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Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

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Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Hello there

So the subject pretty much sums it up. Can't drive want to explore daintree rainforest. We will be flying into Cairns on 14th December and flying out on 17th Dec.

We would love to do the following:

a spot of kayaking

overnight stay, or two, in daintree and go walkabout

great barrier reef

There are hostels that will pick us up from airport to the hostel, please advise us on the best way to get from Cairns to Daintree and best place to say at a reasonable price.

Is sunpalm transport reliable?

Ideally, we would like to avoid tour packages but if that's the best way then so be it!

any other tips are very welcome!

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1. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

If you only have two full days and want to see the Daintree, then you might be better to stay in Port Douglas, rather than Cairns. If you don't drive, then you'll need to join a tour. Some tours are small group. The tour attached below includes sea kayaking at Cape Tribulation and may be of interest to you. A range of other tours are listed on the website - click on the tours tab at the top.

portdouglasinfo.com/portdouglas-tours/…

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2. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Cape Trib connections are half tour/half commuter but would depend what time you arrive and leave to how you can fit it all in.

http://www.capetribconnections.com/

Cairns is surrounded by rainforest. You could go white water rafting right in the suburbs through rainforest and wet gorge. Not kayaking but same page. Many do kayak but I think it is dangerous, fun, but dangerous. Check Youtube. Barron River, Tully River, ocean kayak Fitzroy island, Cape Tribulation and Mission beach. Or if you could change your date the bucket list adventure 3 day rafting through the rainforest on the north North Johnstone River.

www.cairnsrafting.com.au/barron/default.asp

As you have only a little time perhaps best to know what time you arrive and leave so that those part days are best utlised.

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3. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Definitely take the bus to Cape Trib and stay there. We were amazed at how Cape Trib was so accessible for non-car driving backpackers. Ocean Safari (fab snorkeling outfit) and Jungle Surfing (rainforest canopy zipline) will pick you up at your hostel. Plus there is a good network of rainforest hikes and walks throughout the Cape Trib area. We spent three nights and it was not enough.

Amazing night skies the best we've ever seen, with the Milky Way right there. Worth staying up in Cape Trib just for that.

We got to know an older backpacker during our stay who confirmed that Cape Trib was great for the car-less hostel set. (Cape Trib is so small and we kept running into her.) Our new friend took the bus to Cape Trib that everyone else took, so I assume it was Sun Palm.

Ocean Safari was the best of our three snorkeling trips, and that includes Wavelength out of PD.

We stayed in Cairns, PD and Cape Trib and found that Cape Trib had the most to do within walking distance. (Not knocking PD, which we absolutely loved, but Cape Trib was the place where we had rainforest hikes all around us, plus the zipline, crocodile, etc.)

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4. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Thanks for all your tips!

Our Aussie friend phoned and informed us that it's predicted to be the worst rainy season yet so, apparently, potential to get stranded up in Cape trib!

That possibility and the fact none of us can drive has made us decided to scrap the whole idea...we are now hitting New Zealand for a week instead - yahooooooo!

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5. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

If you stay in Cairns, you can do day trips with tour companies to the Daintree and Cape Trib.

My thoughts about you staying in Cairns is that on the day you don't go to the Daintree, you possibly have more options for sightseeing from Cairns, particularly if you get accommodation in a central location. For example, you can walk to lots of places or catch local transport to say the Botanic Gardens etc won't break the bank.

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6. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Penelope's suggestion to stay in Port Douglas is one I would agree with. It's a smaller town (and gorgeous) and much closer to Daintree than Cairns. Because it's a small town you don't need a car (we had one but it was parked up for four days!)

We did two great trips from Port Douglas: SAILAWAY to Low Isles:

sailawayportdouglas.com/sailing_snorkelling_…

and a day trip to the rainforest with Daintree Discovery Tours:

daintreediscoverytours.com.au/full-day-tour.…

Both of these trips offer small groups and our Daintree tour guide, Murray, was really friendly and amazingly knowledgable about the forest, we had a great day there (have a look at the reviews elsewhere on this site).

Both companies collect you from your accomodation, what more could you want?

Edited: 16 October 2010, 17:44
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7. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Saying Cairns is surrounded by rainforest could be a bit mis-leading for non-drivers. You can't see or walk to the forests from the city. Cape Trib connections does provide a way of getting to the excellent rainforests of Daintree and CapeTrib with the option of spending one or more nights up there (also a boat ride on the Daintree looking fir crocodiles), and there are day tours such as Wait-a-while from Cairns to the forests of the Atherton. If really pressed for time there is the bus or (rather expensive) tourist train to Kuranda, but you only see a little rainforest there, or the Sky-Rail that runs from the Tjupukai(if I spelt that right) aboriginal culture centre north of Cairns to Kuranda, soaring over the rainforest canopy and dropping down a couple of times where you can walk in the forest and see interpretive info. You can get there by organized tour or public bus.

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8. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

My apologies if someone thought that my post was saying that Cairns was surrounded by rainforest - that wasn't my intent at all.

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Cairns
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9. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Cairns is surrounded by raInforest. Peope too Often confuse Cairns with Cairns

You can catch a public sunbus to Lake Placid area where nearby you can walk up the range to Kuranda, spring creek or rent a boat and paddle along the rainforest surrounded river.

There is also red and blue arrow walks with some rainforest which is walking distance from the city, albeit quite a long walk but from the northern accomodations not too far at all. Across from the Botanic Garden is remnant rainforest boardwalk through to the lakes where there is currently a crocodile in residence. (right next door to Lakes resort.

Plus you can stay in these area and still be in Cairns (just not Cairns city) Lats time I hear 150,000 people lived in Cairns yet maybe 100 live in down town.

I am sorry I live in Cairnas but way out from the city along with the other 150,000 residents. If this 150,000 population does not live in Cairns pray tell where do we live?

Example

You can stay at the Grarden Gate bed and breakfast in Cairns and be very close to remnant rainforest, or Rainforest studio which is further out but very close to skyrail and have view of rainforest . there are even many more. Far far more beautful cheaper and mroe authentic than Port Douglas which is filled in swamp afterall.

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10. Re: Help! 3 of us that can't drive but want to see rainforests!

Sorry I meant to say confuse Cairns wirth Cairns CBD or city. It is a very large town. Includes Palm Cove to the north and Gordonvale to the south.

It creates confusion for many people as they may ask the agent to stay on the beach in Cairns so they are sent to a Cairns beach, they then cry and whine because the beach is not in Cairns. yet it is if they were informed correctly.

Or the above Cairns Rainforest Studio, another called Cairns reef'n Rainforest is also accessible by public bus but is a suburb of Cairns rather than the city.

Also if recommend in port douglas I would hope people ahve stayed at the same time, it is is seasonal being a tourist town. Not always the same atmosphere.

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