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best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

Hartford...
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best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

We will be in Cairns for 4 nights in July. One day we are doing Daintree and one day we are doing Kuranda. We would like to do a snorkel trip while there. Which is the best one for a 5 & 8 yr old? We will be at Dunk Island for 4 nights prior to Cairns, and hopefully will do a snorkel trip while there. My husband and I are avid snorkelers but we want to be realistic given the ages of our children. Thank you!

Hartford...
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1. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

Anyone?

Northern Ireland
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2. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

Jacsam

Not sure why no-one has replied to your question?? I'm no expert but I am looking into this for our trip there in November. I found Poseidon or Quicksilver cater for children. My son is 3 and won't be snorkling but they provided me with the following prices for 08/09 Snorkling: Adult $170m, Child age 4-12 $125 and Family (2Ad 2CH) $531. Poseidon leave from Port Douglas, transfer from Cairns for 2 ad and 2 child is $50.00

Hope this helps a bit...

Hartford...
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3. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

Laura,

Thank you for responding. We will be back by the time you leave so I will let you know what we end up doing!. I was hoping to hear from someone who who has done the trip.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

I have been to Far North Queensland many times with my kids, but we always stay in Port Douglas, not Cairns, so I'm not familiar with the various reef boats out of Cairns. But here are my suggestions of what to look for as a good choice for young children (assuming they are not strong swimmmers nor experienced snorkelers):

1. Choose a boat that leaves from Cairns if that is where you are staying. You probably don't want to make your day start an hour earlier and end an hour later by tacking a transfer to Port Douglas onto your reef trip.

2. Choose a large boat. You lose some of the "personal" attention that you might get on a smaller boat, but being on a boat designed for only 30 people all day is going to be very constraining on small children.

3. Look for a boat that has an underwater viewing area, a glass-bottom boat and/or a semi-submersible so that the kids can view the sealife without snorkeling. They will not likely have the stamina to snorkel as much as an adult can and these activities will entertain them while either you or your husband snorkel. (Or course, they will need one parent to supervise.)

4. Consider a trip to Green Island as opposed to an Outer Reef trip. The kids can try beach snorkeling, which may be easier for them. There are also other activities they can do on the island. Many of the boats that go here have glass-bottom boat tours and/or semi-submersibles.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend any particular companies that would meet these criteria because, as I said, I am unfamiliar with Cairns. However, I recall reading about a boat called Reef Magic which might be suitable for an Outer Reef trip and if you do an Internet search under "Green Island", you should get some info on boats that go there. Good luck.

Northern Ireland
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5. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

Jacsam

I'd really love to hear how your trip goes. Have a fab time. Sorry for hijacking your post, but just wanted to thank you to Longhorn74 for the info. Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

If you search "reef trips with children" in the forum (Right hand side of this page), you will see answers to other similar posts.

Cairns, Australia
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7. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

From Cairns would suggest either Reef Magic or Ocean Spirit to Michaelmas Cay. Reef Magic has a pontoon on a particularly good reef site, there's a kids shallow swimming enclosure attached to side of pontoon. New fast boat takes you out there and takes less passengers than other pontoon trips.

Michaelmas Cay (also seabird sanctuary) is a sand cay on Michaelmas Reef, very easy for kids and nervous snorkellers to enter water as is just like wading in gradually from a beach. Excellent site for giant clams as well as other marine life, lovely boat and very high crew/passenger ratio.

Both boats have semi-submersibles and Reef Magic has glass-bottom boat as well as underwater viewing area from pontoon.

Green Island is great for kids but doesn't have the marine life diversity of outer reef.

Northern Ireland
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8. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

I've read about a trip to the Low Isles what does this trip actually include - do you get off the boat onto an island?

Arlington, Virginia
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9. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

We've done one of the boat trips out to the Low Isles (so our kids could try snorkeling for the first time). They motored us from the boat over to the island for beach snorkeling. Some folks swam from the boat to the island, which I would have considered had we not had our young children with us. Our boat also had use of a glass-bottom boat and I took a little tour on it with my son.

Hertford
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10. Re: best reef trip for 5 & 8 yr old?

I've been to Cairns a couple of times and both visits I took a trip out to Fitzroy (& Green) Islands where you can snorkel from the beach, ideal for children. You don't lose out as the variety of fish is huge. It also gives the kids something else to do when they've had enough (play on the beach, look round the Island and in the aquarium) ~ whereas if you go out on a boat you are stuck on it until it's time to come home. Have a brilliant trip!