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stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

nj
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stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

we are traveling to cairns jan 4-11. there is 4 ppl, late 20s.

we are spending our first week in melbourne and then flying out to cairns for our 2nd week in australia. we are a bit confused as to where to stay while in cairns. i see you can get places in the rainforest, but staying in the rainsforest, are you very secluded from restaurants? any nightlife? willl we get bored? or should we stay on beach area and vernture into the rainforest when we want. we are looking to see australia, not really looking to party, but we'd like the option there if we wanted to run and get dinner and a drink. we don't want to be stuck in our rooom in evenings. would you suggest staying in rainforest for a few days and then beach remainder. any suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

jmarie, not sure what you and your group are expecting when you get to Cairns. I am not a Cairns expert by any means but have just returned from a 2 week holiday there. Cairns itself is a small city and the restaurant/bar/activity areas are mainly in the city centre. This area is relatively small and although it has the sea as the boundary on the east side, there is really no "beach" there. To compensate, the central park area (just metres from the ocean) has a really big lagoon that has been hand built. It is essentially a very, very large swimming pool and is enjoyed by all who wish....backpackers, tourists, locals, etc. Remember Cairns is going to be very hot and very humid in January......which means heavy rain and storms will be around.

On our stay, we split our time up between Cairns mainly, Port Douglas and Mission Beach. In Mission we stayed at a B&B which is on the fringe of the rainforest and we enjoyed it but if you find rainforest accom, you will be some way back from the city or town areas (so will need a car). Mission Beach is 1.5 hours away from Cairns to the south and has great beaches and activities that may interest. Whilst there, we did a day sea kayaking, a trip out to the reef for some snorkelling and diving and a day trip to a nearby winery and Paronella Park. There is also skydiving and white water rafting at Tully which would be very interesting to do in January whilst the heavy rains are around.

Keep in mind that you really can't use the beaches in January as it is stinger season and even wading in the shallows is dangerous.

nj
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2. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

we are going to visit a friend in melbourne the first week. he says that melbourne is different than the rest of australia so what we are looking for is just to see australia outside melbourne. we wanna do the touristy things. we want to enjoy our time there. we want to go to the great barrier reef. im just so confused with where to stay up in queensland. we are not set on cairns. it just seemed interesting. do you know anything about airlie beach because thats where my friends suggested that is from melbourne.

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3. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

jmarie, Melbourne is quite different to other parts of Australia but Tasmania is also different, so is NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, etc.....much like the U.S is different throughout. Generally we would advise against going up to Far North Queensland in January, due to the heat and humidity....plus things that go with that weather, like heavy rain and occasional cyclones. Might depend on how you and your travelling group like your heat :-)).

I haven't been to Airlie Beach, so can't comment on it....though the weather and stinger situation will be the same as they are in the Cairns area. If you are set on going to Queensland, then definitely have a look at Airlie, also check out Mission Beach as I mentioned earlier. South East Queensland is also hot and humid but a much different type of area. Surf beaches that are a lot more "user friendly" than further north. Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are the two most popular destinations.

If you and your friends decide that the humidity is not for you, then have a look at the southern states. It will be very, very busy at seaside areas anywhere near capital cities as early Jan is the very peak of holidays for all states....so choose with this in mind.

Early January was interesting for us earlier this year. My parents live on the Sunshine coast in Qld and come down to Melbourne each year from Dec to Feb, to spend Xmas here and also escape the humidity of Queensland. My sister decided it was a perfect time for her and her family to get away on a cheap Queensland holiday (stay at the parents unit). We laughed at her trip reports of rain and muggy conditions every day, whilst we enjoyed beautiful, sunny, warm to very warm days in Melbourne.

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4. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

Hi,

Willino has given you some excellent advice. Just to add Jan is not a good time in Nth Queensland due to the "Wet Season" and the marine stingers which means you cannot swim in the ocean without protected stinger suit.

The rainforest your thinking about is the Daintree National Park which is located just outside Port Douglas and about 1.5hr drive north of Cairns. You can stay at Cape Tribulation but there's nothing else except the lovely beach which cannot swim in because of the stingers. The rainforest is stunning and well worth a visit if you do decided to still go to Cairns.

The best place to stay at is Port Douglas which is a lively seaside town with plenty of great cafes, restaurants and a few pubs.

www.marinestingers.com.au

However, Sth Queensland is lovely with glorious beaches and good weather (no stingers).

Airlie Beach is located on the mainland in the Whitsunday Islands. It also has the same weather conditions as Cairns. Absolutely beautiful region but its better in the winter / spring months.

Both Cairns and Airlie suit your age group.

Itinerary sugguestion :

Melbourne / Byron Bay / Gold Coast / Sunshine Coast / Sydney.

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5. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

The wet season is FANTASTIC! So much more life to see in the rain forests, waterfalls, creeks, etc - this is what makes the area so attractive. I suggest you stay at Port Douglas which has plenty of life and reasonable food and accommodation and is close to the land spots you will want to see and there are good reef tours from there. Swim in your hotel pool as it will probably be too hot for the beach anyway. Cairns is bigger than PD - a small regional city in fact and a good place to stay as well.

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6. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

I think Port Douglas would suit what you are looking for; it is close to the Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation, so you could hire a car and drive up yourself (approx 1.5 hrs to Cape Tribulation from Port Douglas) - even if it is raining it is a beautiful drive and there is no better time to see the rainforest than in the rain! Check out the Jungle Surfing up at Cape Trib and Mossman Gorge is a fantastic place for a swim at that time of year. From Port Douglas you also have a huge selection of boats which vist the GBR, as well as great Restaurants, Bars and shopping if you do so desire. Just keep in mind the first week in January is very busy in Port Douglas so make sure you prebook accommodation and a hire car as if you leave it too late you will miss out. You could always spend a night up in Cape Tribulation - check out the website for Coconut Beach Resort or Ferntree or if you wanted something a little more cheap and cheerful there is PK's and quite a few B&B's up in that area.

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7. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

I'm in a similar situation, heading up that way, just in a few weeks... should I be concerned about the Marine stingers in the Port Douglas area in mid/late November??

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8. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

It always amazes me when it is said that summer in Far North Qld. is hot & humid.

I would expect nothing else when visiting a tropical destination during its monsoon season.

The benefits of visiting Cairns & the Far North in January far outweigh the fact that you will sweat.

The rainforests both north & south of cairns come alive during the wet & the many rainforest creeks & freshwater streams are a great place to cool down whilst taking in some fantastic scenery.

Unlike our southern states we know what our temperature will be the following day without the huge variations & our rain is warm & welcome.

Some of my most memorable trips to the Great Barrier Reef have been in January with the sun shining (it does not usually rain all day in January) & the water like glass due to light winds.

Do not be put off by negative comments regarding our weather.

Every accommodation house has a swimming pool & air conditioning & I have always found that beer tastes better in our summer for some reason?

If you have never experienced a tropical down pour then you haven't lived.

Marine stingers (Box Jellyfish) are only found in our coastal waters & rivers & you should only swim in the stinger nets installed at patrolled beaches such as Trinity, Palm Cove & Port Douglas.

All GBR tour operators have stinger suits available for hire on their boats ($5 hire) Which will protect you from any possible stings at the reef & also from sunburn.

Over 300k people visit the reef annually & less than 1% of people receive some sort of marine sting whilst there.

It is also possible for you to visit our beautful Atherton Tablelands whilst in the region. Less humid than the coast the Tablelands boast a magnificent waterfall circuit,( great in January) volcanic crater lakes where you can swim, historic villages, B&Bs, rainforest hiking tracks, great Queensland pubs & stunning scenery.

From what you have written I think Port Douglas would be a good choice for a base for you.

Come north & have a great holiday!

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9. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

It always amazes me when it is said that summer in Far North Qld. is hot & humid.

I would expect nothing else when visiting a tropical destination during its monsoon season.

The benefits of visiting Cairns & the Far North in January far outweigh the fact that you will sweat.

The rainforests both north & south of cairns come alive during the wet & the many rainforest creeks & freshwater streams are a great place to cool down whilst taking in some fantastic scenery.

Unlike our southern states we know what our temperature will be the following day without the huge variations & our rain is warm & welcome.

Some of my most memorable trips to the Great Barrier Reef have been in January with the sun shining (it does not usually rain all day in January) & the water like glass due to light winds.

Do not be put off by negative comments regarding our weather.

Every accommodation house has a swimming pool & air conditioning & I have always found that beer tastes better in our summer for some reason?

If you have never experienced a tropical down pour then you haven't lived.

Marine stingers (Box Jellyfish) are only found in our coastal waters & rivers & you should only swim in the stinger nets installed at patrolled beaches such as Trinity, Palm Cove & Port Douglas.

All GBR tour operators have stinger suits available for hire on their boats ($5 hire) Which will protect you from any possible stings at the reef & also from sunburn.

Over 300k people visit the reef annually & less than 1% of people receive some sort of marine sting whilst there.

It is also possible for you to visit our beautful Atherton Tablelands whilst in the region. Less humid than the coast the Tablelands boast a magnificent waterfall circuit,( great in January) volcanic crater lakes where you can swim, historic villages, B&Bs, rainforest hiking tracks, great Queensland pubs & stunning scenery.

From what you have written I think Port Douglas would be a good choice for a base for you.

Come north & have a great holiday!

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10. Re: stay where.. in rainforest? on beach? secluded? Help!!

Or...you could look at the possibility of spending a few nights on say..Green Island.

You'll get the seclusion and peace & quiet at nightime, complete with safe beaches (far enough out to not have stinger concerns) snorkelling, reef visits etc and swimming pools/restaurants to choose from. The accommodation is pretty much enclosed in natural rainforest settings, so you would have all that you seek in one swoop. It can also be perceived as a tad expensive, but can be worth it for the package aspect. (Boat trip/some free facilities)

It's a good spot to get away from it all, although during the day it can get fairly crowded with gazillions of tourists, but at night, it seems like you have the entire place to yourself.

This (Cairns Info) site is sponsoring a bit of a sale at the moment ($1050 per couple for 3 days with breakfasts and a reef day-trip)

www.cairnsinfo.com/accRates/Resorts/182…

and this is the official Green Island site....

http://www.greenislandresort.com.au/

Just a thought, but good luck with it all.

Cheers,

Rick

Cairns & PNG.

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