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Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

Mead, Washington
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Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

We will be traveling to the Queensland area in March 2012. We will be renting a car in Cairns. Should we go on a tour? (Billy Tea Safaris, etc..) or should we wing it and tour the area on our own?

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

A lot depends on your budget and your style of travel.

While I have heard a lot of good things about the various guided tours of Daintree, we're not "guided tour" kind of people, so when we went to Daintree (twice), we did it on our own and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's easy to drive on your own and there's plenty of info available (in books, online and in the PD tourist office) about what to see and do in Daintree. Likewise, we've been to Mossman Gorge 3 times on our own to hike and swim.

Also, with a family of 4, any land tours would have taken a big chunk of change out of our travel budget. We much preferred spending that money on snorkel trips out to the GBR.

Daintree, Australia
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2. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

Good advice from longhorn - Daintree is very 'do-able' by yourself and having your own car gives you much more freedom to move around.

How long will you be in the Cairns area? If only a day or two I would suggest basing yourselves in Port Douglas which is closer to Mossman Gorge (15 mins from Port Douglas), and Daintree (under an hour to Daintree Village and to the Daintree River ferry).

If you are staying longer, and don't mind packing and unpacking(!), perhaps split your time between Cairns (or Cairns northern beaches such as Palm Cove), Port Douglas and Daintree (either north or south of the Daintree River). For a totally different experience perhaps spend a day or two up on the Atherton Tablelands (Cairns Highlands).

I hope this helps.

Mead, Washington
4 posts
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3. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

Thank you Longhorn and Sunbird! We are staying in the area for 6 days/5 nights and we were thinking of making Port Douglas our base! We are planning to snorkle and I'm looking at SilverSonic, any input? We would prefer a smaller group and the outer reef.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

If you just want to snorkel, then I always recommend Wavelength. (I've been out with them 5 times.) They offer snorkel-only tours to the Outer Reef with a maximum of 30 passengers.

www.wavelength.com.au

Edited: 09 December 2011, 18:11
Moreton Island...
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5. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

If you are going up to Cape Tribulation try "Ocean Safari" when you are up there.

Lots of fun on a small boat with good snorkelling, do a morning trip if possible

http://www.oceansafari.com.au/

and check the reviews also

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g499639-d…

Edited: 09 December 2011, 21:28
Daintree, Australia
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6. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

For anyone who just wants to snorkel (and not dive) from a smaller vessel you can't go past either Wavelength or Ocean Safari - we've never heard a negative report about either.

Wavelength is a full-day tour to the outer reef from Port Douglas (currently AU$200 pp) and Ocean Safari is a half-day tour, again to the outer reef, from Cape Tribulation (AU$119).

Daintree, Australia
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7. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

Reading your post again, BeauDEEful (love your name!), Silversonic is an excellent company which also caters for divers. If you are only going to snorkel I think the other companies may suit you better as all their emphasis is on looking after the snorkellers.

Mead, Washington
4 posts
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8. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

You three are utterly brilliant! Than you so much for the information. There are soooo many possibilities and it's really hard for a newbie to figure which vendor to use. You have all made this decision so much easier!!

Norwich, United...
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9. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

We are sitting in Cairns airport having spent 10 days in the area with a hire car - you don't need a guide - it is so easy. Great drives, lots of things to do as you go.

We based ourselves in Port Douglas for most of the time - must doos: Snorkel the reef (we did it with Posiedon) and the Argocat from Daintree - not yet on TA but details available at Daintree Village. If time is short we would give Cooktown a miss - a long drive for little. The hill was closed when we were there - apparently been closed for six weeks!

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas etc...

Wavelength is a great company to see the reef. Not a large boat and you don't have to fight your way amongst the crowds on the larger boats.