Hi ladies! We are now in the full-on planning stages of where to stay and what to do while in Cairns. Any and all recommendations, suggestions, and advice most welcome! I'd especially love to hear if some things are definitely worth seeing, others not so much, if the package deals I've found sound reasonable or crazy, or if I've missed some MUST see stuff.
I have lots of ideas for day trips outside of Cairns, but not really any ideas of where to stay or what to do while actually in the city of Cairns. I know we'll need at least one day to adjust to the time difference so I figure we'll stay the night in Cairns at least the first night and probably the second as well. We're not looking for resort quality, but clean and close to restaurants that could offer us vegetarian dining. Any thoughts @katelove?
As for day trips and overnights to near by attractions, this is what I've come up with...
An overnight "safari" to Daintree and Cape Tribulation- packages include some of the following: the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary, Daintree River crossing on cable ferry, Daintree River cruise, Alexandra lookout, Maardja Rainforest boardwalk, giant fig tree at Emmagen Creek, Rex Lookout, Mossman Gorge, tour of Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation Beach walk and then accommodations in Cape Tribulation with the chance the next day to do something like jungle surfing. Depending on which style of accommodations we choose this will be about $200 per person (USD).
Green Island: 45 minute catamaran/ferry ride from Cairns, Green Island Resort includes accommodations/return catamaran ride and: glass bottom boat tour, rainforest walks, snorkeling equipment, kayaking, windsurfing, etc. $600ish for 2 people/night. Do you think this would satisfy our desire to see the GBR?
Fitzroy Island: I can't seem to find much information on this place... how does it compare to Green Island in terms of GBR/snorkeling, etc.? Everything I've read just talks about how beautiful it is, but that there isn't much food on the island so we should bring our own...?
Frankland Island: I see it's an uninhabited island, so tours would just go there and come back. Probably not the best for poor swimmers like dh and me.
Tully River Rafting: dh has requested river rafting and this seems to be it. I see day trips from Cairns running about $180ish/person (USD)
Atherton Tableland: I see there are sample itineraries on the area's website, but we aren't sure we'll be renting a car. So I see tour packages for about $150/person (USD) that include a cruise on Lake Barrine, giant curtain fig tree and the tall pines with a guided walk, platypus sightings at Tarzali Lakes Aquaculture Center, swimming in Millaa Millaa Falls, tour of Paronella Park and view Mena Creek Falls and the gardens/castle ruins.
I looked up Carnarvon Gorge and while it sounds amazing, it appears to be a 12 hour drive from Cairns. I don't think we'll be able to swing that with everything else we're doing.
@Shelly C thanks for the links!