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Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

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Bay Area, CA
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Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

We'll be in Cairns the first week of October. Do we need to make reservations in advance for a

* GBR tour?

* Kuranda trip (with train outbound and skyrail on return)?

* Daintree/Cape Tribulation trip from Cairns?

If so, how far in advance?

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

There's quite a few different GBR trips you can do from either Cairns or Port Douglas - http://www.quicksilver-cruises.com/ being largest boat going to outer reef.

Likewise with Daintree and Cape Tribulation , the Scenic Railway with just two trips a day up from Cairns can be packed though October may not be a peak month and you could probably book for a couple of days ahead if need be.

http://www.kurandascenicrailway.com.au/

No problem with the skyrail as it's running throughout the day but leave it until when stalls start closing at Kuranda and you may have a queue.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

Meant to say with the GBR and Cape T you could also wait until you get there and have a cruise along the esplanade and see what standby deals are on offer.

england
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3. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

best to book your reef tour in advance as if you wait until you are there some boats will be fully booked and you'll have less choice. Consider whether you get seasick or not and whether you have a preference for which part of the GBF you want to visit. Also boats differ on thinkgs like age at which they charge child rates and flat bottomed tours included or not.

Consider hiring a car but book in advance if you do or you may find only very expensive vehicles available.

Mission Viejo...
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4. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

We booked our Reef tour (Silverswift) way in advance for our visit to CNS in early July, a peak period due to school holidays and the generally good weather. We also booked the Daintree tour (Billy Tea Tours) in advance. However we waited til we arrived to book Kuranda RR/Skyrail and it was no problem.

We had a great experience both tours I mentioned and they were an excellent value. We don't like tourist-infested places so based on what we read we planned to spend only 2h in Kuranda. That worked out perfectly, we had time to stroll the town and eat lunch. However if you're a shopaholic or want to visit some attractions then set aside more time in Kuranda.

central coast nsw
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5. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

We did Cairns 5 mths back & did not pre-book anything as we were advised that the weather can have a bearing. We checked out the forecast for the day we wanted to go the the reef & had no trouble getting on the boat we wanted.

Same as Kuranda, we simply booked via our accomodation the day before & were picked up & dropped off with no drama. Note that if you plan on getting yourself the the train & back from the Skyrail (train up & skyrail back is way to go !!) they leave & arrive from different places.

Can't help on Cape Trib/Daintree as we hired a car & self drove this trip. Easy. No Dramas & saw heaps.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

The other aspect that really discounts the need for booking ahead is the GFC.

Even before it hit, I recall a good year ago that the Mayor of Cairns was off on a national drumming up tourism tour and appeals were being made by the state government to get more funds being spent by Feds on international marketing for tourism.

Meanwhile the GFC has hit tourism, not just here in Australia but globally and I've just seen an article online where Rupert Mudoch has his luxury boat out in the hire market.

When people have less money to spend, holidays/vacations are a very discretionary item and far less are taking them.

I do wonder why some people would say in such an environment you ought to be booking ahead for not only within a week will you be able to get what you want but as I have said, every chance there can be discounted prices for that is occurring throughout the industry or people being offered sweeteners such as upgrades etc. and not just in Cairns.

Bay Area, CA
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7. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

Thanks to everyone for their replies. We're a family of two adults and one young child (will be 22 months old at the time of the trip). I'll wait to make the reservations until I get there because I want to do the GBR tour in "good" weather.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

A few things to be aware of PP are:

1. If you don't already know, you all will need a visa or ETA for Oz. - http://www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/eta.htm and can be applied for online.

2. Though you're no doubt used to plenty of sunlight in California, the Oz sun can have a real kick in it even in October, so have some nice light/loose clothing for Bub, a good sun hat and plenty of 30+ suncream [can buy that here but some young ones have skins that are reactive to particular brands and so if you've found a good one, pack a couple of bottles]

3. Re choice of boats, the biggest and fastest http://www.quicksilver-cruises.com/ that goes to the outer reef might also best be avoided with one too young re numbers [~300 passengers] overwhelming, and being big and fast it has big powerful engines and even for an adult the continuous background humm gets annoying on what is a relatively long trip [maybe put a youngin to sleep?!] and then the platform to me would not be as ideal as going to an island, more sharp edges to bump into and sun reflection, hot deck etc.

Their low isles trip [ both from Port Douglas, though think there could also be other boats going there from Cairns] or one to Green Island might be better where there's sand and trees.

So you might want to decide between Cairns and Port Douglas or at least Cairns Northern Beaches, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach or Palm Cove [Cairns not having a beach itself and regardless of where you have a GBR trip from, there are shuttle services].

You might even want to look at splitting the accommodation between beach and rainforest, http://www.capetribbeach.com.au/ you can drive to easily enough or get a bus or tour trip spread over trip up on one day and back on another, the location being a nice option particularly if the weather is warm.

www.ragingthunder.com.au offers an online chat with a local operator facility and a good way to check on further info.

9. Re: Reservations needed for reef tour, Kuranda train/skyrail?

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