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squeeky336

Air from Sydney to Cairnes and tours of GBR

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We have decided we want come into Sydney a week or 10 days before our cruise to NZ. Then get air from Sydney to Cairnes and back. Can anyone help me with that?

 

I have found tour companies that will sell me a 4 or 5 day tour to GBR and rainforrest including hotel and meals.. But they seem very costly for what I get. 2K for 3 days. Since I have to find an airfare anyway.. I would think I can just book a hotel and shouldn't I be able to find locals that will take me out to the GBR and ticket to the park and rainforrest? I would think I should be able to do that for a lot less than 2K..

 

any advise is apprechiated

 

Michelle

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Hi OP - guess this is related to your other thread? If you're flying Down-Under via LAX look at Qantas direct to Brisbane and then jump-up to Cairns - you can book this on a single ticket. Then fly CNS to SYD to arrive prior to your cruise (and spend a few days there) to NZ (if you're planning on flying out of AKL you should be able to single ticket using Qantas and a American code share). Use search engines such as Google Flights, Skyscanner, Matrix by ita, etc... to find the best flight options.

 

For tours, accommodation, etc... Trip Advisor is probably your best best. To experience the GBR take a tour from Port Douglas Marina. If you snorkel, I'd recommend Wavelength - small boat (~40 max), three snorkelling locations on the outer reef and you get about an hour's diving at each. Plenty of tours of the Daintree to chose from - ask over on the PD forum of Trip Advisor to fine-tune your itinerary.

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I’ve been to the GBR region many times and I think you got some good advice from BritinSoCal.

 

I, too, recommend starting your trip by flying from the U.S. to Cairns (via either Sydney or Brisbane—either is fine). The GBR area is a nice place to get over jet lag. I recommend spending your time in Port Douglas rather than Cairns because PD has a nicer ambiance than Cairns and it also has a beach in town which Cairns does not. Plan to either spend the first night in Cairns and drive to PD the next day or to take a shuttle transfer from Cairns Airport to PD. You do NOT want to try to drive from Cairns to PD right after a transpacific flight as the drive is on a curvy 2-lane road.

 

There are a number of accommodations in PD and you can get some good recommendations on Trip Advisor. I suggest you find a place near town so you can walk to the beach, restaurants and shopping and don’t have to rely on a car. But if you do decide to stay outside of town (e.g. the Sheraton), driving and parking in town is not hard.

 

Some activities in the area are: snorkel trips, tours to Daintree NP and Mossman Gorge (either guided or self-guided), the train/Skyrail (or the Skyrail/Skyrail combo which I prefer) to Kuranda, and native animals at either the Wildlife Habitat or Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure. You can easily book all of these activities yourself online.

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We have decided we want come into Sydney a week or 10 days before our cruise to NZ. Then get air from Sydney to Cairnes and back. Can anyone help me with that?

 

I have found tour companies that will sell me a 4 or 5 day tour to GBR and rainforrest including hotel and meals.. But they seem very costly for what I get. 2K for 3 days. Since I have to find an airfare anyway.. I would think I can just book a hotel and shouldn't I be able to find locals that will take me out to the GBR and ticket to the park and rainforrest? I would think I should be able to do that for a lot less than 2K..

 

any advise is apprechiated

 

Michelle

 

The simplest thing is to fly into Sydney and catch a return flight to Cairns. Then book all your tours in Cairns.

 

Cairns is the package tour capital of Australia, they will fall over themselves to sell you tours. There is plenty of competition. Although it is better to make sure you aren't there during our school holidays.

 

Airfares from Sydney to Cairns would probably work out at about $180 each way. So two people return = $720 (about US$520).

 

Qantas have what they call a Walkabout Pass that gives you discounted domestic flights if you book your international flight with them. That may be cheaper. Other airlines may do something similar.

 

You can't move in Cairns without falling over someone trying to sell you a package tour. These guys are probably as good a place to start as any:

 

https://www.cairnsvisitorcentre.com/cairns-tours/cairns-package-tours

 

Port Douglas is nicer, but if your aim is to get out on the reef then it doesn't really matter which place you stay at.

Green Island is a waste of time. The coral there has been ruined by tourism.

The Kuranda Skyrail is OK, but not so much if it rains. There are a couple of sections and you have to get out and queue for each section.

The Kuranda Train is quite good and leaves from the centre of Cairns. Unlike the Skyrail which is well out of town.

Cairns is a tourist town, every sort of accommodation is available.

The Cape Tribulation and Daintree tours are well worth it. Make sure you get a croc tour on the river.

If you feel adventurous, there are reef tours that will take you out on the reef for a couple of nights:

 

https://www.cairnsvisitorcentre.com/reef-encounter-great-barrier-reef-3-day-2-night-liveaboard-diving-snorkelling-excursion

Edited by SinbadThePorter

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There’s a few cruises that go to Cairns from Sydney,x does a couple,princess too

I used to live in port Douglas,for me the area is over rated but Americans seem to love it.

As a few people said get a return flight from Sydney or such.

Jetstar,virgin,qantas.

You should be able to it for $400US or less.

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Can’t fault the advice you’ve already been given, Cairns first (or somewhere in the area) Sydney, cruise, home.

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We took a 4 day GBR cruise with Coral Expeditions out of Cairns. Highly recommended! But it’s not cheap. Once back in Cairns, we did a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest with Billy T expeditions, Also highly recommended. (And a day trip on the train to kuranda and back, and a day to Tjakupai, the aboringinal center). So 4 days in Cairns after the 4 day GBR tour was just right for us,

Then we flew back to Sydney for our princess cruise.

 

I suppose you could just fly to Cairns and do a one day boat trip out to the GBR, if that’s what your budget allows and then book a day trip to the Daintree with a different company on another day.

 

We stayed at the Mantra Esplanade. Excellent location. Across the street from the swimming lagoon- which you will want to try since the tropical weather is so humid.

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...I used to live in port Douglas,for me the area is over rated but Americans seem to love it.

As a few people said get a return flight from Sydney or such. Jetstar,virgin,qantas. You should be able to it for $400US or less.

 

Poms too :D... plus those who want a less hectic vacation, a beach, aren't bothered by casinos, etc...

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I should probably repeat here some advice I gave in the OP's other thread about buying standalone tickets for Australian domestic travel and also travel between Australia and New Zealand

 

If you are buying this on a standalone basis (similarly for Sydney-Auckland), your best first step would be to price this using Qantas' and Virgin Australia's websites. For Sydney-Auckland, also look at Air New Zealand, but make sure you are looking at the Australian or New Zealand version of the website. (Also check this for Virgin Australia, but I know that Qantas switches you there automatically.) The cheapest published fares are usually restricted to being sold in Aus/NZ/South Pacific, but buying from the relevant version of the airline website counts. If you buy these from a US (or elsewhere) travel agent, you could end up paying rather more than you need to.

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Quntas sounds close enough.

Who said,it's a feeble mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.

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