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===Please help me?===

Bay Of Plenty
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===Please help me?===

Have NEVER EVER been to Great barrier reef or its lovely looking islands.

*We are a family of 4 and would LOVE to come over nxt Winter (2010).

*Our girls will be 13 and 11 yrs, (water babes)

*AND we L--O--V--E to snorkle- have just done Rarotonga and Fiji x 3 in the last few years.

*

NEED somewhere with a great beach and pools, kids club would be an Xtra bonus (esp for miss 13), but so long as there is plenty of activities and other girls - they both will have a great time.

I'm thinking a large/med resort type thing???

*

Oh and we are not wealthy, lol.

ANY advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated ---- as we really dont know a great deal about this part of the world.

Many thanks.

Sydney
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1. Re: ===Please help me?===

Hi rhad

Wow you are certainly going to love seeing the reef and the islands!!

With regards to the islands, there are a lot to choose from. Some islands are all inclusive (all meals and accommodation) and others are just room only (or room & breakfast).

I am assuming you are coming from NZ? You will have to get a flight into Brisbane and then a connecting flight to Hamilton Island (where you can then get the ferry transfers to the islands) or Airlie Beach (and also get the ferry to the islands). Both jetstar and virgin blue fly there so check out their websites for flight details and examples of prices.

The biggest island is Hamilton Island. There you can stay in normal hotel rooms, or a great alternative is the Whitsunday Apartments or the private villa's - they both provide golf buggies to get around the island. If you are in a self contained apartment / villa you can pre-order food from the supermarket on the mainland and it will be delivered to your room. There is a supermarket on the island but they are a little more expensive and have limited variety. There is a kids club and lots of activities (some free and some you pay for). They also two main pools (the main pool is huge and has a swim up pool bar) and depending where you stay, your complex will also have a pool to share with other guests in the complex. Check out www.hamiltonisland.biz for some of the apartments / villa's. For all other activities go to www.hamiltonisland.com.au

There is also Daydream Island, which is also good for families. It is a much smaller island however.

One of the all inclusive islands is Club Med Lindemand Island. The rates look a little more expensive but it includes all your meals and drinks (including alcohol). There also is Long Island and South Molle that are all inclusive but my pick would be Club Med as the staff are fantastic and your girls would be able to go and have fun with the other kids (and they have a circus school).

From any one of the islands you will be able to go on day trips out the reef and snorkel. You can also snorkel off the beach at Hamilton Island but there isnt too much to really see there from the beach.

Good luck with the planning!!

Bay Of Plenty
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2. Re: ===Please help me?===

WOW Barina---

thanks heaps you've been really helpful!

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: ===Please help me?===

Islands in the Whitsundays generally have very average snorkelling i.e. that is coral reefs. You need to take a boat day trip to the reef. Great snorkelling (from resorts that allow kids) can be had from Heron Island and Lady Elliot. Dunk may meet your needs - just be aware that it doesn't have good snorkelling actually no snorkelling that we could find near the resort. It does have a nice beach - 10 minute walk from the resort, nice pools and kids club.

adelaide
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4. Re: ===Please help me?===

A friend and i recently stayed at Hamilton island and loved it. We stayed in a frangipani apartment which is right near the beach and has a pool and spa nearby and you get a buggy to use.You can also use most of the other pools including the reef view hotel which is heated. We met a family there and they were having a great time. We went on tours to the great barrier reef and whitehaven beach, both were wonderful. We also did a guided snorkling tour off the beach at HI and saw turtles which were exciting. We stayed for 4 nights but wished we had longer there.

whitsundays
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5. Re: ===Please help me?===

There is some fantastic coral to be found around The Whitsunday islands with places like Mantaray bay, Blue pearl Bay, Luncheon Bay, Butterfly Bay and Crayfish Point just to name a few.

For resorts there is some surprisingly good coral off the eastern edge of Catseye for experienced snorklers at hamilton island and even the fish feeding tour will show you lots of fish as well as a bit of coral and a turtle or ten.

Hayman has Blue Pearl bay within walking distance of the resort and it is a very good snorkeling spot.

South Molle has great coral at Paddle Bay just a short walk from the resort but it is now 18+ so no kids allowed.

Daydream has good coral up it's north western side and the northern tip on low tide can be very good.

The only way to get to some of the bays previously mentioned is a daytrip and many of the island resorts cannot get you there as they don't allow the better trips out of Airlie to service their clients. Maybe consider basing yourself in Airlie. Adventure Whitsunday Resort Park is a great place for families with lots of activities and kids club. The money you save from not staying on an island will get you daytrips to the islands and the GBR as well as a scenic flight over the lot,

they will be the highlight of your trip.

6. Re: ===Please help me?===

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