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Great Barrier Reef

Chicago, Illinois
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Great Barrier Reef

Considering a trip to GBR/Cairns for the two of us; I have done an introductory dive and would prefer to do another (or two) while at the Reef; my wife is a snorkeler and not a strong swimmer and fearful of strong currents (having once almost been washed out into the Ocean while in Thailand!). So we have a few questions:

1. What is the best time of year to travel, for weather purposes?

2. What is the best way to get to Cairns if we also want to go to Sydney and other parts of Australia?

3. If we want to visit two or three sites for snorkelling and introductory dives (maybe over two visits) which operators would you recommend given our abilities?

Thanks

Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington
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1. Re: Great Barrier Reef

1. I think the best time to be at the GBR is anytime from June to October. It is neither the monsoon season nor stinger season, so you've generally got good weather (warm and mostly dry) and no stingers (i.e. dangerous jellyfish).

2. The best way to get to Cairns is to fly.

3. I've never had a problem with strong currents at the GBR (such as those I've experienced in Cozumel), but if your wife is fearful of any open water, then she might do better with an operator such as Reef Magic because the snorkeling is done is a sheltered lagoon. Also, she has the option of enjoying the reef on a glass bottom boat ride, a semi-submersible and an underwater observatory. However, this limits your diving to one location. Or a trip with a company like Seastar might work for you both. They offer introductory dives at two sites and two levels of snorkel tours -- novice and adventurer. Also, their first site offers snorkeling from a beach, so that may suit your wife. I haven't personally gone with this company, but the TA reviews are excellent.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Great Barrier Reef

Thanks; I was thinking October also because of weather and stingers, and we also want to travel South to Sydney. My wife has snorkeled off a boat at various Carribean sites since her adventure so if current isn't a problem she will be okay.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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3. Re: Great Barrier Reef

Hi,

October can be a little iffy for Stinger Season www.marinestingers.com.au I love September for Nth Qld especially the Whitsundays & Cairns / Port Douglas. I also prefer to stay in Port Douglas than Cairns.

other's to consider - for reef tours.

http://www.calypsoreefcruises.com/

http://www.wavelength.com.au/

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Great Barrier Reef

Thanks; How are Sydney and Melbourne in September?

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Great Barrier Reef

I haven't been to Melbourne in September, but I think Sydney is great at that time. (Remember, that's the month when the Olympics took place in Sydney in 2000.)

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Great Barrier Reef

Didn't recall about the Olympics; thanks again.

Cairns, Australia
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7. Re: Great Barrier Reef

sandbag7,

October is the best month to visit Cairns , the weather is warm and dry and humidity low , the stinger season has not started and the winds are generally calm.

The best way to travel is to fly , Qantas , Jetstar , Virgin and Tiger all fly from Sydney- cheapest fares are available when booked in advance check their specials at certain times of the week , sign up with them and they will send you updates on their cheap fares.

Check out Pro-dive Cairns , they offer different locations and night dives. Alternatively you can do dives off Cairns and off Port Douglas to see the best of the reef.

You will have a great time- keep researching.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Great Barrier Reef

Thank you; we are working on it!

9. Re: Great Barrier Reef

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