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"Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

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San Francisco
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"Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

G'Day everyone,

We will be in Cairns for just a couple of days and would like to do a "all in one" day tour of Cairns, which consists of the Kuranda Skyrail, a helicopter/sea plane ride overlooking the GBR, time to snorkel/dive, and catamaran ride back to shore.

We found this company online and wanted to know if they are reputable and also if there are any other tour operators that do something similar. I understand that they book all the different aspects of the tours with the local companies and put it all together for clients.

http://www.cairnsunlimited.com/

Your advice is much appreciated! Looking forward to visiting Australia again after many years!

Cairns, Australia
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1. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

How many days will you be in Cairns? Two? Are those whole days or arrival and departure?

Kuranda and skyrail can be a tour that you do at your own pace, but the GBR trips are all on scheduled times and are full days. Green Island does a half day trip, but I would never recommend Green Island as the coral damage is pretty extensive and the trip (in my opinion) is not as good as many of the others that are full day trips.

Personally I would go to the providers sites and do a little research and decided what you have realistic time to do.

cairns
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2. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Hi Atron78

When are coming?? i would wait and book when you get here

I have not heard of that site but there is so many these you can't keep up

Regards mosiewigs

San Francisco
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3. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Hi impickles,

We got a quote from a tour operator/aggregator that will do a trip that combines all the above activies in one day. The morning is the Kuranda train and skyrail tour, then fly out to Hastings Reef via helicopter, snorkel for a few hours, then catamaran back to Cairns. I know this is a lot of activites packed in one, but we essentially only have one full day in cairns. Are you familiar with these type of tours?

The night before, we are thinking of doing the Cairns Night Zoo.

Thanks in advance for your help!

San Francisco
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4. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Hi mosiewigs,

Thanks for replying! We will be there mid-Dec, either Dec 13 or 14. Yes, it seems there are so many of these tour "operators" these days. Would you say these are type of companies are reputable enough to book?

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Hi Atron78 - I would be very careful about booking Reef Trips to far in advance. If you get a windy day it can be very uncomfortable out on the Reef. You can book any tour the evening before & some on the day. Every hotel & hostel in town has a Tour Desk with over a hundred tours. In the city area there are Tour Shops on every corner most are open until late in the evening.

If you must book before you arrive make it as close to the arrival date as possible so you can monitor the weather. The Kuranda Train journey takes almost 2 hrs trains depart at 8.30 & 9.30 each morning. Skyrail is continous but allow 1.5 hours to make the 7.5 Kilometre trip. There are two rainforest tours to take on the way down/up. They take about 15 mins each & are included.

You will have problems doing this trip in reverse because there are only two trains from Kuranda to Cairns and they depart at 2.00 & 3.30 pm.

At best if you get the first train to Kuranda alight & spend no time at your destination you will make it back to the Caravonica Skyrail Terminal by 12 noon.

Be aware when you get back down the mountain on Skyrail, Caravonica is about 20 klms out of town & the bus journey takes about 15/20 mins. Taxis would be very expensive.

If you go directly from Caravonica to the Airport & pick up a helicopter Charter you may make the outer reef by 1.00 to 1.30. Most Charter boats head back to Cairns around 3.00 pm & trip time back is around 1.5 hrs depending on the vessel. Not much time to have lunch & snorkel?

Regarding Agents most are very reputable & some do not charge anything until you arrive. Speak with you hotel tour desk they will usually do this. Also the train is government run so if you book direct with them you will have no problems. Skyrail will also take direct bookings & this is a local family run business who are very helpful. It cost them $A40 million to build.

If you want a local operator to organise things for you we use Kuranda Scenic Travel. Owner is Mike Barnard he does Train & Skyrail every day & can organise your other tours. His email is kurandatravel@gmail.com he does not require any payment up front.

San Francisco
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6. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Thanks for all the details Charlie! Gives us lots of insights as our trips nears. We'll definitely consider just waiting to book the reef tours then. One thing that will be nice is this tour has a driver that will transport us from place to place.

cairnsunlimited.com/itineraries_ultimate.htm

Have you heard of anyone who taken one of these type of one days tours before?

Thanks again for your help!

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Hi Atron78

The package offered on Cairns Unlimited is an "off the shelf" tour which can be purchased from any agent in town. I cannot get the Cairns Unlimited site to direct me to the booking page but I know this tour is offered for $399 + $20 (pay on board fee). The $20 would be for taxes.

The operators of this tour are Downunder Cruise & Dive who run the boat which is called Osprey V & Helicharters who operate the fly component. The train & Skryrail are operated as I advised earlier & Downunder & Helicharters would purchase seats from them as these companies do not offer "all up" or "ultimate packages" like this.

Packaging is common in Cairns and I am sure for people with very limited time this is a great option. At the end of the day who you buy this package off is irrelevant everyone has it for sale & the price should be same unless an Agent is willing to discount it and loose a percentage of their commission.

I do not know a lot about Cairns Unlimited except to say they appear to operate a web based Agency offering advertising for operators & bookings if you want them. They do not appear to be concerned if you book direct with them or the operators.

I therefore refer you back to my earlier advice. You can book this with any Agent on arrival or a day or so before when you have some weather advice.

To book this package direct with the Operators of the boat or helicopter go to airchartersaustralia.com.au or downunderdive.com.au.

Alternatively book the Train & Skyrail with an Operator like kurandatravel@gmail.com and they will arrange the helicopter & boat component on your behalf.

Price should be the same whoever you use. Its just a matter of who wants what up front?

If you have any concerns use your hotel tour desk and pay on arrival or wait until you get here and pay when you can speak to someone face to face or on-board.

You will have a great time in Cairns albeit you are trying to put a 3-day experience into 12/14 hours. Trust me Cairns can do it for you some of the Japanese tourists can cram a weeks holiday into 48-hours.

I am a retired Cairns local living in paradise. Enjoy your stay in our beautiful city.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Sorry too anyone else reading this response who is not familiar with Tour Agents (Worldwide).

Agents sell tours Operators deliver the service (run them) I believe always look for an Operator first for maximum protection.

Example: - QANTAS is an Operator WEB JET / FLIGHT CENTRE are Agents?

Sometimes Agents will give you a better deal than the Operator but not always.

If you want to know about Cairns & the best deals you are welcome to ask me. I have no preferences.

Happy Holidays in Paradise - Charlie

Banning...
5 posts
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9. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

have your heard of Outer Reef Pontoon "Marine World"? or there is one that includes a Helicopter ride 10 min - They all leave from Reef Fleet Terminal off Spenser St. - We will arrive via Costa Cruises - how far from where we dock to Reef Fleet Terminal???

Daintree, Australia
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for Daintree
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10. Re: "Cairns in a Day Tour" operators?

Hi Sherry - here's a link to Reef Magic:-

www.reefmagiccruises.com/your-day/heli-magic/

Cruise terminal is close to the marina area where cruise boats leave from. I'm not sure but I think their helicopters leave from a pontoon there - if not it would be from the airport about 20 mins drive away.