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From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

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From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Hello-

Coming to Queensland in August. Trying to figure out what are the best things to see between Whitsundays and Cooktown. I have about 1 1/2 weeks in that region.

Right now, after touring the Whitsundays, I am thinking of hitting up:

-Mission Beach (2 days)

-Atherton Tablelands/waterfall circuit (1 day)

-Cairns-GBR (1 day)

-Mossman/Kuranda (1 day)

-Cape Trib/Daintree (1 day)

-beaches near Cairns or PD (2 days)

....?

Other thoughts:

Eugnella? (is this needed if I am doing tablelands and Daintree?)

Magnetic Island?

Lizard Island?

What else? Opinions?

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1. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

anyone? please?

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2. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Your not leaving much time for The Whitsundays considering Airlie and Cairns are 700km's apart and Eungella is another 150km. sth west af Airlie. Do a cruise from Airlie around The Whitsunday Islands and GBR . 4 days sitting on beaches in Cairns is wasted, The Whitsundays will be the highlight of your trip, give them the time they deserve. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255083-i1758-k111…

This might help you, but there are better things to do than sit around beaches, you've got the nicest place in Aus to explore. cheers airlian

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3. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Hey Airlian!

I actually am doing a 2 night boat cruise of the whitsundays with Southern Cross.

For my trip to Australia, I'll be going from Sydney to Fraser Island to whitsundays (2 night tour) and then I am unsure about what I should do after that... thats where my question lies.

As of now I was planning on driving from Airlie Beach (after my tour with South Cross) to Mission Beach to check it out for a day or 2, then atherton tablelands on the way to cairns, then a carins/GBR day trip, then Mossman/Capetrib and maybe a day or so for relaxation in PD.

But I want to make sure I am not missing anything up in this area, like Magnetic island, or Eugnella (i would have to backtrack south to see this after my whitsunday tour, something i don't really want to have to do unless this is so not worth missing)...

Was looking for advice on whether there is anything else north of the whitsundays that I should absolutely be looking into, other than my stated itinerary.

thoughts?

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4. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Sounds like you are trying to pack in to much. I agree with airlian and would spend more time in the Whitsundays. The drive to Northern Queensland is long and in parts very uninteresting. Australia needs to be done in bite size portions, like to USA where you are from, you can't do it in a week.

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5. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Hi mk,

Loads of places for you to stop at, and make the most of your Aussie journey.

From Mission Beach...

Are you interested in white water rafting, if so, this is the place to do it at / Tully River. Adreling plus.

If not, perhaps one day at Mission Beach is enough.

Driving North and then to The Tablelands, you could detour to Undara Lava Tubes, well worth a visit, around 200 kms. maybe less, spend a night there, you'll be glad that you've made the effort.

From Undara, you can take the inland road and head north to Chillagoe, it's an historic town with great limestone caves to visit., perhaps spend a night here. Return to Marreba and finish off your Tablelands journey.You may need to do a little back tracking here and there to get where you want to.

Some other places worth a visit.

From Ingham ( south of Mission Beach) and about 30kms west are the Wallaman Falls, this is all unsealed road, should be ok in August but check with the National Parks office before heading up there. This one is Australia's longest single drop in Falls.

At Cardwell, north of Ingham you have Hinchinbrook Island National Park, you can get a ferry across from Cardwell.

Between Innisfail and Cairns, you have a small township called Babinda, if stopping there, visit the Boulders, great place to visit and nice walks but be very careful when swimming there, the boulders are quite slippery and quite a few people get caught there.

Will you have a 4wheel drive. If so, there are quite a few places to stop at from Cape Trbulation to Cooktown. ( let me know).

If going the inland road to Cooktown, ( no 4 wheel drive required) the journey is rather tedious, with great landscape but not too many interesting stops.

I hope that this is a start for you.

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Ingham
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6. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Instead of doing a 2day trip for an extra $100 get 3days/3nights that includes the GBR on a decent boat and make your trip worthwhile, I really don't think you're appreciating how special The Whitsundays are, but that's your choice. A good cruise on a decent boat makes all the difference, not much fun all squashed in a maxi-yacht. cheers airlian

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7. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Hey travelport and Airlian,

TP- thanks for your multitude of extemely helpful info. I am going to read up on all those options. Especially the boulders, as I've seen a few people mention this place... I could have a 4 wheel drive, I haven't booked the car yet... is it worth getting for things around cooktown?

also, think I should skip MB all together? I figured after the whitsundays it would take me probably all day to drive to Mission Beach, so technically I guess I only have one day there (the next day). Should I skip it and just move on to the Tablelands (i.e. just crash in MB on my way there)?

I am wondering now about extending my Whitsunday tour... right now its a 2 day 2 night boast cruise with Southern Cross. They do have a 3 day/2 night option but its a smaller boat and we thought a bigger one might be more fun... with more people...?

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8. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Southern Cross is a good company and has some good boats, but they also have some that are not so good. Just be careful maxi-yachts tend to attract a younger crowd and usually have open plan living (no privacy). Solway Lass is a good boat and Whitsunday Magic is beautiful. There are a lot of boats here, so there are plenty of choices, make sure you get one that will suit you both. There is another company that has a good range of boats oz adventure sail.

You have made a good decision to spend some extra time here, now we just have to get it all together, try a local agent they are great value and will assist you in making your choice. cheers airlian

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9. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

This is what I would do. Hard to know what others enjoy so will just post exactly how I would do it. You can probably tell if it sounds like you or not.

1st night Ingham, stop at Bowen enroute.

Ingham is not exciting however steeped in Italian history. 70% of

the population is of Italian descent. Italian immigrants were targeted

as cane cutters as they handled the weather conditions better than the Engliah.

Hotel Noorla is a goreous old building totally renovated with all the antique finishes. You will not get much history on your trip so may add a different experience.

In the morning drive to Wallaman Falls. I a pretty sure the road is sealed The drive takes to you to top of the gorge and no walking is required to take in the view. However it is about a 2km walk to the base of the falls. If doing the walk long pants are recommended to avoid stinging plants.

2nd night Mission Beach

Stop at Cardwell enroute.

Stay Licuala Lodge.

If having a brief stop at Mission beach this bed and breakfast tucked away in the trees has visiting cassowaries so offers a good chance to see some endangered wildlife.

In the morning take the tabelands road just past Innisfail headed for Yungaburra. We stay at Kookaburra Lodge, small but cosy and inexpensive. A real gem for the price but Yungaburra has plenty of more upmaket accommodation places if you prefer.

On the way from Mission Beach you can do the waterfall circuit and/or other falls in the area. My favourite is Nandroya Falls (by Henrietta Creek) but is a 2kilometre hike, Easy though. Less than 1/2 hour. Also have a stop at the lookout over South Johnstone River. You will see from the road Mt Bartle Frere, the highest peak in QLD.

In the evening you can take a stroll to the creek to watch for platypus.

Nick's restaurant in Yungaburra is somewhat of a Tableland institution. Having a swiss chalet type of eatery in the tropics seems odd but works.

In the morning see the curtain fig, Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. One has a walk around that is very nice with some good trees still intact after the cyclone and the other has a boat cruise and a old fashioned morning tea type place.

Late afternoon drive to chillagoe. Stay at Chillago Cabins. The owners are wildlife carers so there is a possibility you will feed a joey (baby kangaroo) after dinner. Have a nice chat and a home brew in the evening and in the morning the owner will take you on a great tour of the area and also some cave viewing. It is an outback town, tons of kangaroos, eagles and a great sign saying 560km till next fuel.

Good kodak opportunity! The road to Chillago is unsealed for a little ways. Annoying but fine for 2wd.

The morning tour should only take about 2.5 hours leaving you plenty of time to drive to Port Douglas. Stop by Mareeba for coffee plantations or fruit wine tasting if you enjoy. Port Douglas is not a long drive from Mareeba.

The above is only 4 nights leaving you plenty of time and allows you to see so much in a short time without driving huge distances.

Babinda Boulders is off the highway and great if you do not take the southern tableland road. If you wish you could do a day trip from Cairns to Babinda Boulders and Josephine Falls. Or you could access the Tableland from the mid point at Gordonvale. Also a very scenic drive.

You will not really need a 4wd until points past Cooktown or for the bloomfield track north of Cape Tribulation. . So if you can rent one for a day only as they charge so much. Or take a 4wd tour.

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10. Re: From Whitsundays to Cooktown- Whats the "best of"?

Airlian- any suggestions on other local whitsunday tour companies?

Verdant- thanks for the helpful info on Tablelands... I was actually planning on trying on doing it all in one very full day, on the way from Mission Beach to cairns... think thats a mistake?