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Airlie Beach to Cairns

Stratford on Avon...
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Airlie Beach to Cairns

As part of a stay in Oz my family and I (2 kids 14 &11) are travelling from Brisbane to Cairns with a Motorhome. I have the some of the journey planned thanks to Trip Advisors but need some help form Airlie to Cairns (we are stopping in Cairns for 4 days at the end of our holiday). I have about 5 days to make the trip from Airlie to Cairns, where should I stop at and what should I try and see. Should i try and go past CAirns and take in Port Douglas or do it as a Day Trip from Cairns? Any Advice gratefully received!! Finally should I book trips and Campgrounds before I leave the UK or just as we go along. Hope you can help!

Townsville...
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1. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

Hi, going from Airlie Beach , after 3 1/2 hours you get to Townsville. Stop and stay.. Enjoy the lovely beachfront, visit Magnetic Island ( very unspoilt) visit the Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary and then go onto Mission Beach (2 hrs drive away) Cairns is another 2 hours from there. Personally I like Port Douglas It is a arty tipe of village.

About booking before you leave, If it is in our holiday periods, that is a good idea. Try www.big4.com.au

Stratford on Avon...
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2. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

Thanks Katsie

If I had 2 1/2 days at Port Douglas, what would you suggest that would be the best things to do/see there bearing in mind that I will probably do the Reef from Cairns.

Sunny Queensland...
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3. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

I certainly agree with stops at townsville and mission beach,which I particularly enjoy.I would be in two minds about port douglas though.It is the trendy popular part of FNQ which is precisely why I dont enjoy it.Besides it is usually more expensive than alternatives such as cairns.As you say you can do the tours out of cairns and just do a day trip to port douglas and the daintree.

Besides the area from Ingham to cairns is delightful.Cardwell about 2 hours north of townsville is beautiful and worth at least a lunch stop for a feed of mud crabs.An hour north of here is paronella park which is worth an hour or two.It is quite close to mission beach.

Less than an hour from mission beach you come to innisfail and my recomendation is to detour from the highway here and go up the mountains to millaa millaa.On your way up you can stop at a tea plantation at nerada.The area around millaa millaa has a lot of waterfalls and very scenic.

Travel north to atherton ,tinaroo dam to mareeba.From mareeba you can drive down to cairns via kuranda or go north to port douglas and back down to cairns that way.

I cant answer your question on campgrounds.Mrsdrron thinks camping out is staying in anything less than a hilton.However if you are coming between june and september the coastal parks are very busy and full of mexican grey nomads.Mexican= anyone from south of the queensland border.

For the best information on routes,driving times and for info on campgrounds go to our local motoring assoc. website which is fairly easy to use and has very good info. and links.

www.racq.com.au

Townsville...
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4. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

I agree with all dronn said!! Doing the tableroute is great. We also stop at Mareeba at the COffeeworks. You can taste lots of different coffees. Malanda has the dairy museum. etc. If you do want to stay in Port Douglas for two days, i suggest going north and visiting the river going on an armyduck looking at the mangroves, also going up to Cape Tribulation and visiting the Rainforest centre there. port Douglas has a animal rainforest park, but I have not been there because of Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville where I am an annual member. If you choose to go inland (as we do) there is Lake Tinaroo with camping grounds also vulcanic craters. My kids Enjoy Sugarworld in Cairns ( waterslides) and going to the movies at Cairns City Central. They also love browsing at the night markets in Cairns. You can go whitewater rafting near tully(innesfail) and ride 4 wheelers and horses from Cairns. All brochures at hotels and information stands like inside The Pier Centre. Hope this helps.

Stratford on Avon...
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5. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

Thanks for the tips folks, some great ideas there and i think we will head inland as you suggest.

One final question, we are hoping that the weather will be ok, as we travel further north (probably better than a British Summer) but what sort of time will it get cooler get dark.

Townsville...
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6. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

We have some of the best weather at this time of year. It gets dark around 6 to 7 here but a little bit later insummer. Inland it does get colder, but along the coast it is usually sunny and GREAT. At Innesfail and Tully it might rain. they have high rainfall figures, but it is only a little stretch. There are also many places motorhomes are allowed free of charge,but for overnight stops only. racq will have more on that. We are heading north on Thursday with our overseas family and look forward to it. will do a trip report when back - and have a lookout for motorhomeplaces etc.

Stratford on Avon...
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7. Re: Airlie Beach to Cairns

Thanks Katsie

Enjoy your trip