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Advice re Cairns

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Stratford-upon-Avon...
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Advice re Cairns

Travelling from the UK on 3 week tour of Australia via Bangkok on way out and Dubai on way back. We are stopping in Melbourne for the Grand Prix and arriving in Cairns on 18th March 2014 having visited Ayers Rock on 17th March. Departing Cairns for Sydney on 22nd March.

Help please - where to stay, what to do, where to eat. Is car hire necessary? We are both in our 60's and we want to see as much as possible in the time allowed.

Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: Advice re Cairns

To be honest with you, I think you need to do some research of your own or tell us what you like doing.

Check out the FAQ and very helpful what to do sections on the right bar.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Advice re Cairns

It depends on what you are interested in.

Check TA for accommodation recommendations. Cairns is a very busy tourist oriented city. There is an abundance of accommodation. From 5star to backpacker.

Most hotels have tour desks. For those who don't there are tour booking kiosks on every street corner.

Most tours can be booked the day before.

You should only need a car if you intend to something which is non-touristy.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Advice re Cairns

If you want to see as much as possible, then I would suggest hiring a car. Driving around the Cairns area is not particularly difficult if you are already used to driving on the left hand side of the road.

Port Douglas is a nice town to visit, especially for some fine dining.

Many people like to take the Skyrail cableway one way and the train the other way to visit the town of Kuranda.

For something really different, perhaps consider a drive out to some of the towns in the Atherton tablelands - you could visit Mungalli Creek Dairy for a bite to eat, and spend a night at the accommodation available at the Innot Hot Springs Health and Leisure Park, enjoying the thermal pools for a day or so of relaxing.

Of course, most tourists like to see the Daintree Rainforest as well. If you self drive through there, make sure to stop at the Daintree Ice Cream Company, on the left hand side as you are driving out through the rainforest from Cairns.

The only difficulty will be that March will still be wet season. Be prepared for tropical rain!

Stratford-upon-Avon...
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4. Re: Advice re Cairns

Thanks for your help... we are gradually assessing the situation and have a number of places to visit. Chris

Stratford-upon-Avon...
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5. Re: Advice re Cairns

Thanks a lot for your helpful advice. We are starting to plan our time in Cairns. It is good that we probably won't need a car. Intend to go to GBR on a trip but we do not snorkel so a half day will suffice. We are hoping to have accommodation with a sea view whilst in Cairns as this will be the sea-side part of our trip!

Darwin, Australia
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6. Re: Advice re Cairns

One of the lovely things about taking a boat out to the reefs is that its totally relaxing. I would go for a day and enjoy it, and the activities that non snorkellers do. Lots of submersible stuff, helicopter, even just hop in the water and have a swim- you dont have to snorkel. Its amazing watching the colour of the water change to the aqua of the outer reef.

Cairns
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7. Re: Advice re Cairns

Sounds like you will have a lovely time in Australia. Firstly as Robol mentioned March is usually a very hot and wet month. Often tropical rain in the afternoon but sometimes all day long! So you may need to be flexible and therefore don't book any tours before you arrive. March is a quiet month and you will have no trouble arranging your days once you are there. In regards to accommodation, to get a sea view you need to look for something on the Esplanade and there are plenty of good options. The Trip advisor top five are all good for starters but they don't all have sea views. Re things to do and see the top five options depending on your likes might be ....the Great Barrier Reef firstly is really a must but it takes around 1.5 hours each way in a fast boat to get to the outer reef so for this a half day is really not an option. Lots of the boats have great options for people who don't want to spend a lot or any time in the water with big pontoons, underwater observatories, glass bottomed boats and semi submersibles all great things to do out on the reef and included in your tariff. Another option might be a few hours on Green Island and then about three hours out at the reef or if you really only want a half day check out Green Island but this is not really the outer reef. Look at Reef Magic, Great adventures and Big Cat Green Island Cruises for these three options. Second must do is the Kuranda Train and Skyrail duo. Perhaps a half day out to Cairns Tropical Zoo or Hartleys crocodile farm for a close up look at some Australian unique animals. Not only crocodiles kangaroos and koalas but snakes, cassowaries and lots more. A day drive to Port Douglas is just beautiful if the weather is good, the drive is spectacular and Port Douglas itself has lots of nice boutique shops and al fresco restaurant options. For this one day only a rental car would be good although you might consider a day tour that takes you even further up to Daintree and the Cape Tribulation area. This then becomes a big day hence possibly better to do an organised tour. The rainforest and beaches are both beautiful and unspoilt.then I guess my fifth suggestion would be a day in Cairns itself, a walk along the Esplanade (5km return from end to end) shopping at Cairns Central for two blocks and two stories of shopping all indoors and a great wet weather day. The botanical gardens and centenary lakes are beautiful to wonder around and have nice lunch or afternoon tea options both there and at Edgehill just along the road. I hope I have not overwhelmed you! There is so much to see and do in our beautiful tropical paradise that I call home! Make sure you enjoy our local seafood! Splash restaurant and Barnacle Bills are both frequented by locals and visitors, locally owned on the Esplanade and use local seafood . Hope that helps for starters please feel free to ask any specific questions as you make you plans!

Stratford-upon-Avon...
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8. Re: Advice re Cairns

Many thanks for your response. We have booked an apartment on the esplanade with a sea view! Thanks for advice re the weather and booking tours. We are going to be busy whilst in cairns and will probably not bother hiring a car - unless the weather is terrible. We will make sure we pack some waterproofs! Chris

9. Re: Advice re Cairns

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