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Short trip advice

Dublin, Ireland
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Short trip advice

Hi everyone

I am planning to go to the GBR in mid July for a short period of time but I would like to get the most of it, currently the plan looks as follows:

Fri - evening flight Sydney to Cairns (night in Cairns)

Sat - Reef trip from Cairns (visiting 2 reefs), move to Port Douglas after the trip (night in PD)

Sun - Reef trip from PD (visiting 3 reefs) (night in PD)

Mon - All day Daintree rainforest tour, move to Cairns after hthe tour (night in Cairns)

Tue - flight Cairns to Sydney

For my return flight to Sydney, I could get an early or late flight, so i was just wondering whether there is something really worth to do/visit for half day on Tuesday as in that case, I will book the late flight. Otherwise, i might just go an book an early flight.

Probably this will be my last and only trip to this area, so I would not like to miss something really good if i have some spare hours.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Cheers folks

Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: Short trip advice

well then , i would book a late flight. Why dont you just spend the afternoon relaxing in Cairns especially if you are not coming back. I think that kind of answers your question!

Other than that, Its a busy trip , but you will get a good look at the reef and also the Daintree.

Will you have a hire car or just transfer between locations?

Melbourne
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2. Re: Short trip advice

I would stay the last night in PD, then work my way back to Cairns, in the morning visit Hartleys Crocodile Adventure and then maybe stopping in at Palm Cove on the way back to the airport for a look around. If you don't have a car this might be a little more difficult though, I'm not sure if there are shuttles or not.

Otherwise you could do the sky rail up and back to Kuranda, or the train one way and sky rail back depending on what time your flight is. If you do this one I would relocate to Cairns the night before.

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Short trip advice

Thanks for the quick answers!

I was not planning to hire a car as I thought that the relocation from Cairns to PD should be well covered transport wise plus I will be doing the Daintree rainforest day with an organised tour, but if there is a strong case for it, I dont mind to get one.

Palm Cove looks very good indeed

Melbourne
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4. Re: Short trip advice

We hired one when we did 7 days up there recently, we found that it worked out cheaper to have our own car and self tour than get shuttles and tours. But you'll have to compare for yourself with what you want to do and see what works out best for you and your itinerary.

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Short trip advice

My only concern about hiring a car is to not being able to see and do all what is offered in the Daintree organised tour. Not sure how easy is to get to the same places with self driving and since we what to make the most of this trip, I thought that the expensive but 'safe' option is to go with an organised tour.

Was it easy for you in your recent trip?

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Short trip advice

I don't believe many of the Daintree organised tours go places you can't visit yourself, except for some the 4wd adventure-type tours. Yes, the organised tours tend to have a good idea of itineraries that please the masses, but you can easily put together a tailored day for yourself.

I have done a similar trip to yours (actually a bit shorter) and wouldn't dream of doing anything but hiring my own car. If you are travelling with a partner or group it will save lots of money, and I'd think it will come out even or be a savings even if travelling on your own, depending on what rate you get for the car. This region is quite easy to drive in without much traffic or parking hassle (except parking is occasionally difficult in central Cairns).

Edited: 02 May 2014, 05:03
Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: Short trip advice

For some reason I though I'd need 4WD to do the self drive tour around Daintree and Cape Tribulation ... If it is not the case, I will start checking pricing for hired cars and make some numbers.

Thanks for the tip, this is why I love Tripadvisor forums!

Darwin, Australia
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8. Re: Short trip advice

You dont need 4WD as the majority of roads that people access ie. cape trib - are all sealed and have been for a while. There are a few roads like Cow Bay which is unsealed but even thats not 4wd. Bloomfield track was years back, but I have seen sedans along there.

Car will give you a ton more flexibility.

Melbourne
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9. Re: Short trip advice

Yeah we found it really easy to do ourselves, west not have seen the exact same things on a tours itinerary but we still managed to see some things that just amazed us. We spent most of the day just at Mossman Gorge, we had lunch at the tourist center, then did the big walking circuit all the way around, took a few hours to do. Just amazing and gave us our fill of "wow" rainforest. There was also a great place to have a swim but it was too drizzly for us that day to want to, but if its a nice day it would be great to stop at. Then we went up to Daintree village another day, and if we had the time we would have gone up to cape trib but with it being a bit of a wet week we decided to leave it for another time :)

I love self touring, I like being able to decide how long I stay somewhere rather than being dictated to. I'm sure I missed some great stuff but I saw so much other great stuff I don't feel I've missed out. There will always be multiple things of equal calibre that you never have time to do all of, so as long as what you do see is amazing and fun and suits your needs you'll have a great time :)

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: Short trip advice

Well, after making some numbers I have decided to hire a car and do self driving for our Daintree experience. The car will also give us flexibility to visit some other places(i.e. Palm Cove) on our last day before taking the return flight to Sydney.

Thanks everyone who provided me with great opinions and tips!! I can not wait for the trip to start now!!

Have great weekend everyone