We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

3 nights trip - help

Mumbai (Bombay...
Level Contributor
123 posts
94 reviews
Save Topic
3 nights trip - help

Hi our family - wife and 10 year old would be visiting PD- Cairns region from 27th May. Flying back by early morning flight to Gold Coast on 31st . This would be our third leg of Australian trip - after Melbourne and Sydney

Tentative plan

- land at cairns airport at 1.40 : pick up rental car for the trip from airport --- suggestions on the car hire company if any experience ; also we would be having 3 large bags and a small sack so sedan/ larger car might be useful

- start from airport to PD - will we get time to check out Palm Cove beach enroute ?? Suggestions on things to do enroute considering I don't want to drive in the night ?

- reach PD - - chk in and explore nearby market or carnivale as that event on during this period

- dinner ??

Day 2

Reef day with Wavelength

Evening PD Sunday market ?? Dinner ??

Day 3

Daintree and cape trib-- request for things to do on way to cape Trib ?? Can this be clubbed with Mossman ?

Day 4 --- chk out : here two options need to see how it works

Option 1 we want to do sky diving in cairns - depending on the available slot , so assuming we are on for it should I go Mossman Gorge after chk out and leave for cairns ? Or take the first slot of dive and then move to atherton tablelands and back to cairns

Option 2 if we skip skydive how should we spend the day before we reach cairns in the evening

Any recommendations on hotel close to airport in cairns ??

Day 5 fly to Gold Coast

We would prefer veg meals ( wife loves sea food though)

Thanks in advance

9 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8,933 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 3 nights trip - help

www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au for car choice/price - they are all pretty much the same

Day 2 - book the cruise ahead of arrival as popular. Markets will be finished by time you are back from the reef (all day trip). Dinner - just walk up the main street (or marina) and find a place that suits.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
12,828 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Day 1: Sunset will be at 17:51 and the drive from Cairns to PD is about 1 hour, so you should have time for up to a couple of hours in Palm Cove.

Day 2: Is your 10-year-old a fairly good swimmer and keen to spend all day on a small boat snorkeling? My 10-year-old was so we had a great time on Wavelength. However, not all 10-year-olds would enjoy that kind of experience (and thus, making the experience not so good for you). In that case, consider a trip to the Low Isles or a trip to a fixed pontoon with Quicksilver.

Day 3: You don't have time for Daintree, Cape Trib and Mossman Gorge in one day before sunset.

Day 4: Doing a tandem dive will take several hours with the ground school, the flight and the dive. If you and your spouse both do it at the same time, you will have to arrange something for your child as the skydive company is not going to babysit him/her. If you and your spouse do separate dives so that someone is with the child, you'll be there all day.

An alternative to Day 4 skydiving would be the morning at the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas followed by an afternoon in Mossman Gorge. Then drive back to Cairns.

Mumbai (Bombay...
Level Contributor
123 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Thanks Longhorn and dytokyo

Day 1 is settled then - enroute to PD will spent a couple of hours at PC

Day 2 - longhorn my daughter is a very good swimmer and has an adventure streak so guess she will love it on wavelength

Day 3 - daintree and cape Trib

Day 4 - mossman gorge .... question on wild life habitat - we doing featherdale and Tarongo so will WH be a different experience?

Also is hartley croc experience worth it ? As we will exp crocs on the ferries in daintree

Looks like sky dive will have to be on some other site 😀

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
12,828 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 3 nights trip - help

If you are already going to Featherdale and Taronga, then you can probably skip the Wildlife Habitat. I have not been to Hartley's, but many folks who post regularly on this forum have and they highly recommend it.

Port Douglas...
Level Contributor
29 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Hi Vedpu, yep Hartley's is well worth stopping in to experience on your way through, they've got plenty of animals to see and interact with besides crocodiles and the croc tour means you can tick that one off your list nice and early as you're unlikely to see them otherwise unless you organise a Daintree River tour.

To get there on your first afternoon though you may need to skip Palm Cove, which is well worth a visit, and stop there on your way back to the airport.

You've picked a great snorkelling tour to go on, the best for pure snorkelling regardless of the conditions because they've got so many sites to choose from, many of them exclusively.

You won't be able to get back in time for the markets though as they finish up by 2pm.

As far as dinner options go, it's hard to go past the locals' favourite Salsa, the food is divine and the service is also great. Other great options are On The Inlet down near the marina if you love seafood or we really love the delicious tapas selection at Sea Bean.

You can certainly visit Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation on the same day, just try and get on the road early so you can have a good look around at the Aboriginal art and craft at the Mossman Gorge Visitors Centre as well as the Gorge itself.

Once you're on your way to Cape Tribulation, we recommend Cooper Creek Wilderness Tours for a truly breathtaking rainforest experience. It can be easy to visit the Daintree Rainforest and not get a true appreciation of its amazing history and significance, but the Hewitt family have been taking visitors on tours through their inspiring "backyard" for decades, it encompasses a number of different rainforest environments and there's a good chance you will spot a cassowary in the wild while you're there.

If you time it right, try and get to Cape Tribulation for a late lunch at Whet restaurant, there's not many dining options north of the Daintree River but Whet wouldn't be out of place food-wise in any city and it's in a really beautiful location.

There's some excellent tours to choose from in Cape Trib including jungle surfing or electric mountain bike tours, or else you can opt to just chill out on the beach where the reef meets the rainforest or indulge in a tropical fruit tasting at Cape Trib Farm.

Be sure to stop in for a homemade ice-cream on your way back to Port Douglas at either the Daintree Ice Cream Company or Floravilla at Cow Bay, although trying to stop at just one may be hard.

In regards to something different on your spare day suitable for the whole family, a really fun option is parasailing with Uplift Watersports or else you can try stand-up paddleboarding, go for a kayak or try river drift snorkelling down a river in the rainforest.

Have an awesome trip.

Mumbai (Bombay...
Level Contributor
123 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Thanks people

Finally will settle on this.... few doubts still

Day 1 is settled then - enroute to PD will spent a couple of hours at PC

Day 2 - reef tour with wavelength- evening local PD

Day 3 - daintree and cape Trib- need to plan the day - suggestions how to space it along with daintree river cruise

Day 4 - mossman gorge .... atherton tablelands with few waterfall visits ?? Possible before check in Cairns

Will skip Hartley and sky dive

Request help

Port Douglas...
Level Contributor
29 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Hi Vedpu, please see above for our suggestions when visiting the Daintree.

If you can manage it, try to go on a sunrise or sunset cruise on the Daintree with Daintree River Wild Watch or Dan Irby's Mangrove Adventures, the wildlife is much more active at these times and these operators have a wealth of knowledge about the flora and fauna on this very unique stretch of water.

The Daintree River is much more than spotting a couple of crocs sunning themselves in the middle of the day.

1 post
Save Reply
8. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Hi guys

Just leaving for PD from Sydney in some time

Changed my plan a bit considering cost and convenience -- will land today at 1.30 in the afternoon. Got a good deal at 72 AUD for transfer from airport to PD for three of us (child free) fromSun transfers.

Evening will see around PD --any suggestions for dinner welcome..

Tomorrow booked with wavelength for snorkeling

Day after tom will hire a car from PD to do daintree or take a tour as one of the members has advised above. Then last day hire a car again and drop at cairns city while doing mossman on the way

Does it sound fine

Port Douglas...
Level Contributor
29 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: 3 nights trip - help

Sounds like an excellent trip, happy travels and enjoy your holiday. Wavelength will give you an awesome reef experience and you will enjoy the Daintree whether you take a tour or explore it yourself. If you do drive yourself we recommend stopping off for a tour with Cooper Creek Wilderness Tours to get a better appreciation of the rainforest and a fair chance to see a cassowary in its natural environment.

And if you get the chance stop in for lunch at Whet Restaurant in Cape Tribulation, great food, great people, great location.

There's plenty of good restaurants in Port Douglas, you can't go wrong with Salsa or if you like your tapas and paella check out Seabean across the road. enjoy...

Reply to: 3 nights trip - help
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Port Douglas