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Gold Coast to Cairns Day Trip

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by Archie Ward (subscribe)
I'm an Australian living in Thailand. I like to read, write and travel. I'm currently working on my (commercial) travel website skedaddlecarhire.com.au to make more moolah for my trips.
Published September 5th 2016
After contemplating some different options as to where to go on our next holiday, my wife and I decided that a reunion with my brother and his wife was long overdue. And this time my brother and his wife are in Gold Coast for a holiday, so indeed, that's where we went.

Gold Coast Trip
Photo Credit l JosepMonter


Flying into Gold Coast airport, my brother picked us up there, and took us back to his house. With no real plans on doing much that day, we decided to just hang out and 'catch up' on things.

Over some barbecue and a few drinks, we talked about getting away for a few days; to go somewhere we've all been wanting to visit. We decided to go to Cairns, up north a bit on the coast. After making a few internet searches and phone calls, we were set to travel the next day.

It being a rather short trip in duration, we decided to take advantage of what time we did have by electing to fly from Gold Coast to Cairns.

We found out through an internet search that the only direct flights to Cairns were on Jetstar Airways. They had two morning flights. Booking round-trip flights for the four of us on the later flight, we were set there.

While we were searching things, we decided to look into parking at Gold Coast airport; specifically, Gold Coast airport long term parking rates, as we'd have my brother's car there for more than one day.

We found that one of the most reasonable Gold Coast airport parking prices could be found at Reddy Airport Parking. Their Gold Coast airport transport, the Gold Coast airport shuttle to and from the terminal was free (and quick and easy), which was an added bonus.

Our flight the next morning to Cairns worked out nicely. We took off right on time (8:55 am), and arrived in Cairns about 2.5 hours later, again right on schedule. It was a warm, sunny day in Cairns, a great way for the trip to begin.

Cairns
Photo Credit l 378373


Our first day in Cairns was pretty laid back. We figured we'd be pretty busy the next two days, so we used this day to just unwind a bit in town and at where we were staying, the Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort (a beautiful place).

We did some shopping at the Cairns Central Shopping Centre, a nice mall with stores selling everything under the sun (I splurged and bought new sunglasses!) The rest of the day was spent by the pool at our lodgings, where I proceeded to take a nice little nap after such an early, busy morning and early afternoon.

Having asked a few locals about Cairns day trips (and as it turned out, there are a whole lot of them), we decided to make our first full day a Fitzroy Island Day Trip.

This expedition, which lasted almost nine hours, included a very enjoyable 45-minute high-speed ferry ride from Cairns and back.

This tropical island, on Great Barrier Reef, is indescribably beautiful. Of the many activities to do there, we decided to take a glass bottom boat tour. I just can't describe in words how gorgeous this area is. With clear water and amazing views, everyone needs to see the Reef at least once in their lives.

We had such a great time doing this day trip, we decided to do another one the next day, our last full day in Cairns. Again, we took the advice of a local resident on where to go, this time from a former guide there. So the next day we ended up taking the Atherton Tablelands Tour from Cairns.

This tour, which took a half day, started off with boarding a bus at a nearby hotel. Our ultimate destination, about 80 km southwest of Cairns, seemed like it may be a long, drawn out journey. But I was dead wrong there. It was fabulous!

With our guide detailing everything for us (and even providing us with two tea breaks along the way!), we were able to view three magnificent waterfalls here in the rainforest- Josephine Falls, Dinner Falls, and Millaa Millaa Falls. We took pictures of Crater and Lake Eacham, both formed by volcanic activity, and the 500-year old Cathedral Fig Tree, an amazing sight in itself.

Time just flew by much too fast for us here. The next morning, we were on our way back to the Gold Coast airport to pick up the car, and wrap up our trip. If and when I get the chance to get back to the beautiful Cairns area again, I'm going for a much longer time next time!

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Where: Gold Coast to Cairns
Your Comment
Cairns is a wonderful holiday destination. It is a shame you didn't have longer there. I've been twice and fortunately had a week each time.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|5681) 433 days ago
Nice article Archie, Cairns is beautiful and your holiday sounded full & exciting :)
by RC (score: 3|1218) 276 days ago
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