Monday, June 17, 2013

Cairns - Gateway to Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef
Cairns is gateway to one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world called "The Great Barrier Reef".Its a paradise for the divers ,snorklers ,naturists and photographers .

1) An adventure packed holiday in a tropical region
2) Scuba Diving and Snorkelling in "The Great Barrier Reef"
3) Kuranda Sky rail Fun Ride
4) Crocodile Farms and Salt water crocodiles in their natural habitat
5) Aboriginal Cultural Parks
6) Beaches and Greenery

Scuba Diving

Duration  in hours and Minutes
Approximate Cost
Round fare/person
3 hours 25 minutes
500 AUD
3 hours 25 minutes
3 hours
450 AUD
3 hours
2 hours 25 minutes
350 AUD
2 hours 25 minutes

Kuranda Scenic Railways

The total cost for 2 person on twin sharing basis for a 4 day trip would be around 3000 AUD .
Just in case you want to plan your trip yourself .Utilize the links for direct bookings.Our 4 day package Includes following :-

1) Round Trip Flights : 980 AUD
2) Airport Trasfers: 112 AUD
3) Hotel for 3 days : 1062 AUD
4) Kuranda Train + Return Skyrail + Hartley Crocodile Adventure Tour with Transfers: 376 AUD
5) Silver Swift Introductory Dive with Transfers : 526 AUD
6) Green Island Eco Adventure with Transfers : 192 AUD
7) Digital Underwater camera Hire for 2 days with Chip : 60 AUD
8) Food and Drinks on our own  - 40 AUD approximately  per meal

We had our trip organized with Student Flights -

Since All Trips Starts at 7:30 a.m in the morning . I woud recommend to plan 4 days for Cairns .

Hartley Crocodile Park
DAY 1 : 1) Take Early morning Flight .2) Checkin at Hotel near CBD
 3) Hire a Car from airport or use taxi facility to reach Hartley Crocodile Adventure Tours.You should reach the Crocodile park atleast by 1:30 p.m PST ,if you want to cover all shows .
3) If your flights schedule is such that you couldnot reach Hartley crocodile park by 2:00 p.m ,
I would suggest you to explore Cairns CBD market area,esplanade on Day 1 .

Kuranda Sky Rail
DAY 2 : Take a Day Trip to Kuranda scenic railway and Return by Sky Rail .
Sky Rail is a Unique and an exciting experience. After Reaching Kuranda ,explore the village ,river,market ,butterfly park ,aboriginal cultural park .
Note - The starting point of Kuranda Scenic Railway Station (Fresh Water Station)is very far from the skyrail Terminal (Caravonica Terminal).Do plan for a Return Transfers before hand for this tour.

Diving @ The Great Bareer Reef
DAY 3 :Take a Cruise Trip to "The Great Ocean Drive" .I can bet this would be the most memorable experiences of your life time . Do try Scuba Diving and snorkelling .Usually the groups are devided into 3 batches .The Cruise is docked at 3 reefs . One batch gets to dive in one of the 3 reefs .Lunch is served on the second reef .

2) There is a professional underwater photographer with each trip . Each photograph would cost around 10-15 AUD .

Green Island
DAY 4 : 1)Green Island Eco Adventure Tours :-
Relax on the pristine white sand beach of Green Island Resort .
Usually the tour include a ride on the glass bottom boat or snorkeling equipment .
I would prefer to explore both options if you have taken a full day tour .
Do try the exotic mock tails and cocktails from the Island bar counter .
2)Checkout from Hotel .Take Evening Flight .

Some Facts and Interesting Places:-
1) Places you should not miss :-
1.a Hartley Crocodile Sanctuary - Hartley’s Lagoon is a very special Experience that you should not miss. Lagoon Tour Timings can be viewed from the following Link.
1.b) 7.5 km Sky Rail is a unique Experience .
1.c) Scuba Diving in "The Great Barrier Reef".
1.d) Green Island Glass Bottom Boat .
1.e) Shopping at Night Market in Cairns CBD .
1.f) Daintree River Wildlife Cruise .

2)Best Time of the Year for Reef Activities - November to March. It also coincide with the Poisonous Jelly Fish Season .The Lycra suits are available at most of the places during the jelly fish season.
3)  IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR 1st TIME DIVERS .If you are a introductory diver and wish to dive only once . Don't hire the underwater digital camera in advance . Introductory Divers are not allowed to carry the digital underwater camera on the first dive . However you can pay 50 AUD and opt to dive a second time .You would be allowed to carry your camera equipment on the second dive of the day .
4) Hiring Underwater Digital camera's are far better than Use and throw roll camera's in all aspects .Not only in terms of overall Cost involved in developing the role ,picture quality and number of pics .Canon Ixus 220 HS is good enough for Introductory Divers and easily available .

5) Fruit Bats can be found on trees on Shields Street .
6) A tip to cut down Transfer Cost  would be to choose an accommodation in Cairns CBD.
Select a hotel which is very close to Reef Fleet terminal .Since All Cruise Trips starts from "Cairns Wharf- called as Cairns Marlin Marina". You can just walk down to the Wharf. Do locate the distance of "your hotel" and "Cairns Wharf- called as Cairns Marlin Marina" and then decide based on your stamina .

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Travel Living by Nitin Bhatnagar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License