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5 days in Cairns in September

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NZ
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5 days in Cairns in September

Hi we are a couple in our early 30s and we will be visiting Cairns for the first time in the first week of September. This will be our babymoon as I will be 23weeks pregnant by then.

We are trying to decide between staying in Cairns or Port Douglas. PD sounds wonderful as it seems to have more of a tropical feel we are after but will it be warm enough to swim in the ocean? And we are also very scared of running into a croc when we are on the beach or something. Are we being ridiculous?

Cairns seems great as well but with more of a city feel I am guessing? It also seems far away from places like Daintree.

Would we be better off staying in a hotel with nice pools in Cairns or staying in PD?

We would also like to avoid renting a car if possible.

We are planning on snorkeling at GBR and taking a tour to Daintree so please recommend us some good companies to go with.

Any other tips or advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

Stay in Port Douglas and enjoy the peace while you can!

You can walk all over Port - its quiet and pretty.

Crocs are around, but swim only in the net areas and not at sunrise and sunset. You need to assume they are there even when you dont see the sign. I havent ever seen one on the beach there.

It is warm enough to swim in the ocean. Further out on the reef, it is warm, but I have worn a wetsuit at that time of year still. If there is wind it can be a little chilly for stints in the water of more than 15 minutes or so.

You can stay in a nice hotel with pools in PD easily. Lots of choices. Something just off Macrossan street will do you fine.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

Another vote for staying in PD. The town has a lovely village feel & a wonderful beach. Cairns does not have a beach. September is usually the best time to visit this region as its out of stinger season & the weather is gorgeous.

Its definitely warm enough to swim in the ocean.

NZ
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3. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

Thank you for the advice. Sounds like Port Douglas is the place to be! I am glad to hear it'll be nice and warm there. We are really looking forward to escaping the winter!

Itinerary wise we are thinking

Day1- relax and walk around maybe go swimming

Day2- GBR

Day3-Daintree Forest

Day4-Green Island or Skyrail (which one will be better?)

Day5-relax in hotel pools or beach some more

We want to take things easy but still enjoy all Cairns has to offer. So please let us know if we are missing out on anything.

And we were thinking of going with Quicksilver to the GBR as it seems to have a nice big boat -just in case I get tired and can't snorkel too long. What are your thoughts?

Thank you!

Darwin, Australia
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4. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

If you are staying at PD- Green Island will be a long day. Kuranda trip also longish day. Do you plan on self driving back to Cairns to get to Kuranda or Green Island?

Jury out on Green Island- I haven't been there so wont comment. Maybe you could do the Kuranda trip on your way back to the airport if you have a late flight?

I have done a few different boats to the outer reef. QS big , but that has its benefits, also Wavelength from PD are good.

Cairns
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5. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

Ok so just to be sure we are all on the same page Port Douglas in not Cairns! They are about 1.5 hours drive away from each other so although for sure Port Douglas is a wonderful relaxing seaside holiday spot you probably don't want to be driving back to Cairns for the day! Or maybe just once! So if you are staying at PD Quicksilver is an excellent choice, big and a little impersonal perhaps but undeniably a great way to see the GBR for swimmers and non swimmers alike. I like your suggested itinerary but if staying in PD and going to GBR you probably would not need to do Green Island. I would do SkyRail on day four. Take the cable car one way and the scenic train the other. Personally I like Skyrail up and relax on the train on the way back - possibly even upgrade to Gold class and enjoy a beverage or two on the way down?! You can organise transfers from Port Douglas and enjoy the day. Skyrail takes most people about 1.5 hours allowing for time to explore the two stops and the train also,about 1.5 hrs so you really need to set aside the best part of a day. It is a "enjoy the journey" more than the destination sort of day really but there are lots of shops and attractions up there and at the very least you will probably enjoy lunch and an ice cream there! Hope this helps with your Port Douglas holiday!

NZ
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6. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

Thank you all for your suggestions!

We will cross Green Island out and do Skyrail instead. I am so looking forward to having ice cream there!

I was researching tour prices for Kuranda and Daintree and was surprised by how pricey they were!

We are now considering renting a car for the duration of our trip.

Will we be able to find our way easily and enjoy those places by our selves? Or would we still be better off going with a tour group?

Thanks again!

NZ
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7. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

I have also just checked out Wavelength and they seem really good too! I like the fact that they just do snorkelling. I am just slightly worried that their boat seem a lot smaller.

Do you think it'll still be suitable for me as I might not be able to stay in the water for too long?

Otherwise I'll just go with QS. :)

Cheers

8. Re: 5 days in Cairns in September

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