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ldnrdh

Active sightseeing in Sydney or Cairnes

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Any suggestions as to what to do our 5 days in Sydney this November. I thought I had read about a bridge climb previously but it was on one of the "disappearing" threads I guess. We also have a couple of unplanned days in Cairnes if anyone has some must dos there. Thanks ~

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I already posted a whole bunch of activities for Sydney on our roll call thread... check it out here (about half way down the first page). Anything more specific just ask! :)

 

Cheers,

Kim

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Cairns is near the top of Australia in the tropics. It's one of the most stunning parts of Australia. I am biased..I live here!

 

There are countless things to do. Top of the list is undoubtedly a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Its a must do. You can snorkel, scuba and on some trips you can get to see the reef without getting wet via semi-submersibles or underwater viewing platforms. Any agent or hotel will be able to arrange it. In peak times, July through to November, you may need to book a tour a day or two in advance. Best to leave it as late as possible to book so that you can judge the weather.

 

Other musts without too much detail as any web search will fill you in are:

 

a trip to the Daintree Rainforest

 

a ride on the train to Kuranda and come back via Skyrail, the longest cable car system in the world which skims over the top of the rainforest and waterfalls

 

visit wildlife sanctuaries such as Habitat at Port Douglas and Cairns Tropical Zoo at Clifton Beach

 

tour Hartleys Creek Crocodile Farm

 

"do" the Sunday morning markets at Port Douglas and have lunch at a spectaclular restaurant overlooking the water

 

go to church at St Mary's By the Sea at Port Douglas. There is no prettier and better located church. Its services are at 11.00am and the various religions share the building

 

go white water rafting on the Tully River

 

visit Palm Cove with a great beach and interesting places for a gourmet lunch.

 

Take a light plane trip to the outback with the postman as he delivers the mail for a day visiting cattle stations and having morning tea with the locals. This needs to be booked a couple of months in advance but is unforgettable

 

check out the Flying Doctor Facility in the Cairns suburbs

 

Have a picnic lunch in the Botanical gardens

 

Take a day boat trip to Green Island or a day flight to Lizard Island

 

Visit unusual Paronella Park at Mena Creek near Innisfail

 

Check outr the spectacular waterfalls at Josephine Falls or the Boulders south of the city

 

That should fill in the first day!! Its a great place and I'm sure you'll have a tremndous time. The pronunciation is "Cans" not "Carns". Just keep your mouth closed and dont move your lips (helps conserve energy in the heat) as you say it and they'll think you are a local!

 

Michael

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Thank you both for the Valuable info. A few questions: How do I find out about the trip with the postman? and in Sydney do I need to book the bridgeclimb online ahead of time, is this something that sells out? In Cairnes I do plan to spend alot of time around the reef. We will spend 3 days with Capt Cook cruises and then 2 days at a swanky place on Lizard island. We housed an Australian olympic gold medalist swimmer when he trained here in Calif. for 2 summers, it was years ago and we are trying to reconnect with him for some "local" insight regarding Sydney. Thanks for any leads to the postman ride along, and Kim your impression of pre booking the bridge climb.

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The link below gives you a description of the tour plus a link to the operator, Cape Air. There is a different delivery run each day of the week and all are interesting. One run, is only done each Saturday in the dry season. Its a unique tour and very memorable as you are part of a working operation rather than a artificial tourist.

 

http://www.tq.com.au/tq_com/index.cfm?3F7EB085-99FD-9BBD-46D1-D083EC8E7928

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In November it probably won't be too busy for the bridge climb... depending on what day/time you want to do it. It is a popular thing to do in the warmer weather so if your time in Sydney is limited then I would suggest you book online before you get here.

 

Kim

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The bridge climb can book out particularly on weekends and they recommend you book (either online or by phone). Often if you"re not fussy about time there may be one or two spots left. The weekends are obviously busier. You can climb up inside one of the pylons of the bridge which has dispays on the way up on the building of it. The views are great at the top but nowhere near as spectacular as I imagine the ones from the top of the bridge. Much cheaper of course. Have a great time.

Forgot to add- a good company for snorkelling the reef (from Cairns or POrt Douglas) is Quicksilver- they either go to the outer reef or to the Low Isles- a small island - you can swim or they shuttle you to and from the island and the snorkelling is great. They are a very professional outfit. Lunch, morning tea included etc. Last time we went one of the crew sat on deck with his guitar and everyone started singing with him.

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We did the Bridge Climb in the first few months of its opening and when we did it, many years ago we did book about 2 months in advance. If you are coming here in November, it is not too early to book. To me it is one of the must do's in Sydney. Another is to go by ferry to the Toronga Park Zoo, catch the cable car up to the top and walk down, the views are incredible. If you have time, have lunch at the top of AMP building. It is a revolving restaurant and again, there are great views. Also catch the local bus to Balmoral and have lunch down by the water at Bathers Pavilion.

 

You will have a wonderful time in our far north. Lizard Island is just beautiful and you will have done lots of snorkelling after your Captain Cook cruise. I would suggest getting out into the Daintree for a day or even leaving from Cairns and going on the railway up to Kuranda for a few hours. Michael has really covered everything that can be done. Have a great trip, it sounds as if you will and enjoy our country.

 

Jennie

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We will be in both Cairns and Cid Harbor during our 3/7/05 Sydney-Bangkok Coral Princess cruise. My wife is an advanced scuba diver and we are wondering which of these 2 stops would be best to dive the Great barrier Reef. Any thoughts?

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The reef trips out of Cairns would be superior to Cid Harbour for diving. Cid Harbour and indeed all of the Whitsundays is beautiful and well worth a few days boating if you have the time but for diving you need to go further afield.

If you had to choose between Quicksilver cruises(from Cairns) I think the outer reef is meant to be better for diving than the Low Isles , which is great for snorkelling . You can dive on the Low Isles trip but you should check the quicksilver web site as they have quite a lot of information on this. http://www.quicksilver-cruises.com. Sue

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They (the Quicksilver) are day trips- about 9=4 or 5 from memory so not sure if it would fit in with port time. I imagine once the companies realise the business they can get from cruise ships there will be some tailored to fit in with port times. There are several other companies other than the one I am talking about and I am not sure what times they operate but the internet or Cairns tourist info will be able to tell you.

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Quicksilver actually leaves from Port Douglas, an hour north of Cairns. They bus you up, leaving around 7.30am-8.00am for a 10.00am departure from the Port and you are back in Cairns around 6.30pm. It is a big operation talking around 500 people to the Reef each day and its unlikely they would be changing their times to suit a ship's time in port. There are many other very good operations which go to the reef from Cairns itself..Great Adventures, Ocean Spitit among them and their timings would better suit the time a cruise ship is in Cairns. Again, a web search will give you the options and details.

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When I did the Quicksilver trip it left from Cairns then did a Port Douglas pick up on the way - but that was about 3 or 4 years ago. Hope you have a great time whatever you choose.

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Note to IDNRDH: You mentioned going to Lizard Island. We will be doing our 3rd trip there in January and want to suggest you do the trip to the "Cod Hole". Spectacular coral and 500 pound cod fish. Lizard is more terrific than anything we saw on the 4 day boat trip we also did. Have a great time! Maxine

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Thats still true, Corniglia.

 

I should have mentioned that, with Quicksilver, you have got the option of going to Port Douglas from Cairns for the start of the tour by the catamaran. However, my point, badly made, was that it is a really long day and not necessarily the best option to get to the reef when there are equally other extremely good operators out of Cairns avoiding the necessity to go to Port Douglas. I guess it depends on the arrival and departure times of the cruise and how long it is in port.

 

Another option for the well-heeled is that you can go out to one of the platforms by helicopter and that cuts down the travelling time enormously. Also, the views are unforgettable on a clear day.

 

Lots of reef tours are listed on the local toursim authority's website:

 

http://queenslandholidays.com.au/tropical_north_queensland/tropical_north_region.cfm

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mcavanaugh - Thank you for the tip, is there a website for this or can I just arrange this while on Lizard Island? Much appreciated :) Leslie

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I wonder if anyone can supply a link for the bridge climb as I have no idea how to go about finding one. Thank you. We will be there in February. Also, does anyone know if there are any bed and breakfasts in Sydney?

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Reply to IDNRDH: When you get to Lizard they will offer the trip-"Full day to Cod Hole". They also give you your own little motor boat to explore the area and you can take your picnic lunch or come back for lunch. Just keep that in mind when you plan your time at Lizard. Since we are making our 3rd trip (from N.Y. no less) you can imagine how much we love the place. You might even think of adding an extra day, if you can. Happy to anwer any other questions. E-mail me at mcavanaughphd@adelphia.net My aol is out tonight-probably "Charlie".

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I would suggest you go to the Blue Mountains for at least 2 days as there is so much to do there and they are very close to Sydney.

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Thank you all, am very excited to pursue the Cod Hole adventure even if we only have 2 days on the island, sounds fun! We do hope to see some of the Blue Mountians ~ any suggested area or hike? Leslie

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Can I add a couple of "cruise" suggestions?

 

There is an ex-America's Cup yacht called Spirit which does sailing cruises around Sydney harbour - a harbour cruise with a difference. The leaflet I've got says that it goes at 1330 on Fridays, and 0930 and 1330 on Saturdays - the trip takes 3 hours. It's AUD 93.50 per person. Their website is here.

 

There's similar but possibly less taxing trips offered by Sail Odyssey, but the leaflet I've got for them says little other than that there's a 1730-2100 trip for "twilight racing", and a daytime harbour sailing tour with commentary from 1030-1500. I don't know how many days of the week that they're offered.

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ldnrdh... I live in the Blue Mountains and there are many great walking tracks here, depending on your physical abilities would depend on which ones you would do, some walks take 30-40 mins some take days.

It's a two hour drive from Sydney city to Katoomba so you would want to spend at least one day looking around the area. If you do decide to go let me know and I will give you some more info on what to see and what to miss.

 

cheers,

Kim

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