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6 nights end November

Huntington Beach, CA
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26 posts
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6 nights end November

Planning a trip for end of November. Wanted to get some expert and local advice from you all. We have 6 or 7 nights here. Want to spend some good time on the water and visit Daintree and other local sights. We have kids, 10 and 12 and are planning to do some snorkeling and get a feel for the area. Considered going to the Whitsundays to do some sailing, but logistically difficult, any suggestions for something similar in this area? What do you recommend for boat trips, maybe one day to the outer reef and another day sailing? Prefer smaller boats and not big crowds. Is seasickness a problem? Is the water choppy end of November? Should we rent a car for our stay here?

Thanks much for your help!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: 6 nights end November

I would suggest you look at Hamilton Island, which is in the WhitSundays... Easy to get there as there are direct flight to the island from Sydney... Check out Virgin Australia or Jetstar for air fares. Good for kids as the Resort caters for families and safe waters and yes, you can do good sailing, snorkling, etc. check out on web.

However, the Daintree NP is north of Cairns, the other end of GBR, so you are looking at probably 800 kms away! Which would mean taking another flight from Hamilton up to Far North Queensland!

If you choose to go to Cairns instead, there is more to see and do.. Cairns or Port Douglas are good places to stay and you can do trip out to the GBR, plus Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, also visit Kuranda. A trip out to Green Island would be good with kids.

P.S. Oh yes, people do get seasick on trips out to GBR.... however, it would be a shame to not try it..

Huntington Beach, CA
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26 posts
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2. Re: 6 nights end November

Thanks for your response! we were considering going to both locations, PD and HI (or a sail), but at this late date our flights are limited and there doesn't seem to be a non stop flight between them (which makes it not worth it). I was intrigued by whitehaven beach and the waters in the Whitsundays...is there any daytrip destination from pd or cairns that would give us a similar experience? Do you have a recommendation for a place to stay in pd with a great pool, since in November I think we will spend a bit of free time there?

Thanks!

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: 6 nights end November

Whitehaven is unique.... There is nothing like that up Cairns/Port Douglas area, best beaches are in the WhitSundays.. look at Google Maps and it give you a great view if all the islands there.

Doing both... Yes, you could do! There is the option of you driving .... Get yourself over to Airlie Beach and drive ... Then maybe you will see even more! Driving okay, as long as you okay with being on other side of the road... There are no freeways, just the Bruce H'way. Also as you planning to stay Port D, a car really is a must, otherwise you spend a small fortune on taking tours..

Regarding hotel with pool, there all have them at PD, look at WOTIF.COM and then check what people have said about them on TA. I have no preference to suggest, as I always stay at Trinity beach, which is between Cairns and Pd.

Huntington Beach, CA
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4. Re: 6 nights end November

If we drive down and stay in Airlie, is it better to do day trips on the boat or try to overnight with kids this age? Other than whitehaven, what should I look for in a boat company? Where else is unique to this area?? What is the realistic driving time to get down there?

Thanks much for your help!

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: 6 nights end November

I think I am more of a mainland person... as I love checking out the hinterland along the mainland.

Anything you can do on HI you can do at AB... plus you have the surrounds of the hinterland to check out, it is a lovely part of OZ. AB has always been a popular option for the many people on gap-year (touring around OZ), so lots of cheaper Accom, good for those not wishing to spend more money staying on the island resorts.. Again check out Hotels on WOTIF.COM and look at comments on TA. Absolute years since I have been there, so suggest you Google "things to do in Airlie Beach" and check out the local web sites. I know you can do many trips out to Islands and also lots of sailing trips out to Whitsunday... it visually is truly the best part of the GBR. Whereas off PD there is just the reef,, which takes about 2hrs by high speed craft. Don't miss WhitSundays.... that would be a shame!

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: 6 nights end November

P.S. regarding your comment "if you drive down and stay at Airlie"' can you confirm .... Drive from where?

Huntington Beach, CA
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7. Re: 6 nights end November

from Port Douglas...there don't seem to be any more non stop flights at this time...

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: 6 nights end November

PD uses CNS Airport, so look at CNS to PPP (Proserpine) which is on the mainland. Not sure any airline does the route now, and warning, if an airline does, could be expensive. It is not a popular air route. I think you can do CNS to HTI, but again, could be too expensive.

It is about 650km fm PD to Airlie beach via Townsville, it takes 7hrs 20mins, if you do it in 1 day, but it would be a a long day (we always recommend shared driving) if you going to do that!

South of CNS is Mission Beach, lovely spot, then just keep driving and why not spend nite in Townsville en route to Airlie. Also again look at WOTIF for TSV accom,.

Check web site tourismwhitsunday.com.au.

Warrnambool
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9. Re: 6 nights end November

You might want to take into consideration 'Schoolies' week if heading to Airlie Beach at that time. Still seems to be a fair amount of accomodation to be found though.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: 6 nights end November

Just so you know "schoolies week" is the last time those finishing high school, to get together and party.

They all Year 12 students, having a "muck-up" holiday. Popular spots like Gold Coast/Bryon Bay can be taken over by these kids letting their hair down, before they embark on life in the grown up world. As Australian school season runs February to November, that is why other post has added warning.

Not sure how badly Airlie Beach is affected by all the Queensland Year 12 students, but beware...