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Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

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Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

Five of us will be spending 3 days/ 3 nights in Port Douglas in April. We are avid travelers and live by the the "we can sleep when we're dead" philosophy, so we are not afraid to pack things in. We arrive in Cairns at 10:30am on day 1, and leave at 10:30am on day 4. We are staying at the Sheraton Port Douglas.

This is my itinerary so far:

Day 1 - land, possibly take sky-rail? sky-rail and train? check in. Eat somewhere fun (Salsa bar and grill?). How do I get from the airport to the sky rail or to my hotel? Do I need to rent a car?

Day 2 - Great Barrier Reef snorkel tour (already booked with wavelength charters ). Would like to eat somewhere fun (beach shack?)

Day 3 - Daintree? Dan Irby's? I am not sure how to get here form our hotel, how long to plan for? Do I need to rent a car? What else to see? Where to eat? Can someone put this day together for me? This is my youngest son's birthday, too, so I want it to be a fun day and go somewhere nice (but not too nice - he is turning ten) for dinner to celebrate.

Day 4 - Flight leaves at 10:30am from Cairns. Probably no room to squeeze anything in before checking in.

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

Take a tour to visit the Daintree rain forest, Daintree River cruise, Cape Tribulation and Mossman Gorge www.tropicalhorizontours.com.au

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

With a group of 5, the most cost-effective and flexible way to see and do the things you want to do is to rent a car.

I've been to PD many times with my kids, including when they were pre-teens, and I would recommend taking the Skyrail both ways rather than doing the Skyrail/train combo. First of all, riding above the tree-tops is a lot of fun and taking the train can be kind of slow and boring (unless your kids are REAL train fans.) Besides, unless you are lucky enough to have seats next to the window, you don't see all that much on the train ride.

We've self-toured Mossman Gorge and Daintree several times and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd get an early start to this day and probably recommend starting with Daintree so that you don't get stuck in a long line to cross on the ferry. Take a picnic lunch--you can get picnic supplies at the Coles supermarket in PD. On the way back, stop at the Daintree Ice Cream Company for some exotic ice cream. (It won't be chocolate and vanilla--more like passion fruit and wattle seed.)

And just to throw a wrench in your plans, you might think about substituting a morning at the Wildlife Habitat (Breakfast with the Birds) and an afternoon at Mossman Gorge in lieu of the day at Daintree. (It just depends on the interests of your family.) There's a fairly new Mossman Gorge Center where you can learn about the area and even book a Dreamtime Walk. Or you can take the shuttle from the Center and visit on your own by doing the 2km walking trail and possibly even swimming in the natural pools. Here's a new article I found on the Dreamtime Walk: torontosun.com/2014/04/01/rainforest-walking…

Finally, while I appreciate your "you can sleep when you're dead" philosophy when vacationing (it's mine too), I would find some time to enjoy Four Mile Beach--even if it's only a long beach walk at night. You have access right there at the Sheraton.

Alice Springs...
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3. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

There is such an abundance of things to do and view in the area.

Since Cairns and Pour Douglas are only 80km between the two, and if you would like some great experiences,

Check out;

The outer reef tour, was our favourite for snorkelling, less crowds than the inner reef, or Green Island and cheaper from Port Douglas with a great seafood lunch included.

There is a glass bottom boat option view if you do not want to dive.

I think you would all love the Kuranda & Rainforestation day tour from Cairns.

This tour which incorporates the Sky rail to Kuranda, an army duck tour through the swamps, which the boys would love, I'm sure. Then spend the rest of the day there to visit the many options like Butterfly world, Crystal cave or Barron falls, then you take the train back down through the rainforest to your pick up point.

This is a great day out and we loved it.

Visit:

cairnsinfo.com/cairns-tours/…

On the way to Port Douglas, also look up; Hartley's crocodile farm, Mosman gorge and especially, breakfast with the birds which is just before the right hand turn-off between the Daintree and Port Douglas,

which we also really enjoyed.

There are also a few dozen restaurants in Port Douglas to choose from, some will incorporate crocodile, emu and kangaroo for a different taste experience as well as some fabulous seafood.

All are highly recommended and we have enjoyed all of these activities more than once.

The Daintree is by far more difficult option to recommend your options in such a short time, but try the canopy and boardwalk tours

http://www.daintreerainforest.net.au/

Fan palm, Rain forest walks, visit;

http://www.daintreerainforest.net.au/

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4. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

Thank you so much for the advice! We had a wonderful time. The Skyrail to Kuranda was a highlight, and we took the advice to do the Skyrail both ways skip the train which we all thought was great.

Thank you thank you thank you to all who recommended Hartley's - that was the boys' highlight of their entire trip - and we signed the oldest up for the Big Croc Feed (a little pricey but definitely worth it).

Mossman's Gorge was great - we took the shuttle to the 2km walk, and the boys went swimming and jumped off rocks on the swimming beach.

Snorkling the GBR with Wavelength charters was FANTASTIC.

Our Daintree river cruise was nice . . . might have been better if we did it first before we had all of the other experiences to compare it to. After feeding crocs at Hartley's and seeing the amazing wildlife underwater, a few stiff crocs and some pretty birds didn't totally excite everyone in our party. But it was still good.

Thank you again for all your help. It was so helpful, and we had a fabulous time. We are so sad to be home!

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad the things we suggested worked out well for you and that you had a fabulous time.

Ohio
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6. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

Diana, thanks for the feedback on your trip. I will save your post for planning with our teenager!

7. Re: Itinerary help for family of 5 with (pre)teen boys

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