The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
New Indian Boy Arrives In Great Barrier Reef Town | Cairns Tropical North Queensland
Posted on March 23, 2016 by Sophie Tabouel
I was led to believe it was supposed to be the green season (wet season) when I was due to land in Cairns Queensland Australia from Mumbai in India. I fully expected and assumed wrongly it would be raining every day with a depressing grey all around, but I was so so wrong. I came out of immigration to see Australia for the very first time and the sun was shining brightly before me. It was then I felt like a very fortunate Indian boy to be in this lucky country!
I am going to be here spending 3 months looking around all of the tourism assets and being hosted by the wonderful people at Cairns Holiday Specialists.
As part of my 3 months business education I am going to be lucky enough to try out all of the local tours and attractions to assess their inclusion in our holiday packages for us to promote in the Indian market.
Below is my very first editorial on my amazing day being hosted on the Great Barrier Reef by Kate Day from Great Quicksilver Cruises, Kahlia Pepper from Skyrail and Ivana Andacic from Kuranda Scenic Railway .
I was very chuffed to be one of the “chosen” one’s to spend a spectacular journey with the combination of the most popular 3 best experiences in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
Green Island Adventure
What a way to start a weekend! It was Friday and my day started at 7.45 am meeting my hosts at the Reef Fleet Terminal in Spence Street Cairns. This is where guests check in with vouchers for all the Great Barrier Reef day cruises.
I got some breakfast and grabbed a coffee from a coffee shop named “Al Porto” on the terminal to ensure my stomach was full for my journey of adventure.
I met my hosts and then we were heading to The Green Island for our half day tour.
There are different cruises available to reach this location however the best known is with Great Adventure Cruises who sponsored our tour for the happy beginning of my weekend.
You have to secure your ticket from the counter at Reef fleet terminal, don’t worry if you see big groups, crowd & a queue, this is normal as all cruises depart from here & normally leave the port by 9:00am to ensure all passengers have maximum time at the Green Island or out on the Great Barrier Reef.
Right from ticket counter till boarding the process is smooth, crew is extremely helpful & understands every passenger even an Indian boy like me.While boarding the cruise it was a great welcome from the boats crew & noticed that pathways is extremely comfortable for all age group & disabled friendly.
The cruise boat has 2 levels, you tend to board first level & if you wish you can go on ground floor where you have a well-stocked bar & refreshments available at all times.
This is the fastest ferry boat to Green Island and it takes only 45 min from Cairns to reach our Great Barrier Reef destination for the half day morning tour.
Great Adventures Green Island Half Day Tour
Comfortable interior, spacious seating & arrangements for big families are made available and in short, this half day cruise is for everyone. Atmosphere was very light with warm smile from the crew & tea/ coffee counter makes your day.
There are numerous activities you can do to explore the Green Island, the best way is to pre-book all your island activities well in advance thru Cairns Holiday Specialists who are the local Destination Specialists since 11 years.
Some of the things you can see and do on the island are scuba diving (both certified and introductory) to explore the magnificent reef in the deeper waters for more brilliant colours, snorkelling, para gliding, and if you don’t want to get wet but still want to enjoy coral sighting why not board the glass bottom boat and for even more information and facts on marine life and nature you should take a moment and visit Marineland Melanesia.
Crocodiles, Sea Walker which enables you to explore underwater world without getting wet. Crew members are available on board to explain & educate all available activities. Crew is multilingual & can cater to all different languages.
Green Island is an intimate place allowing you to stand right in the turquoise lagoon to explore an exceptional Great Barrier Reef. The Island gives you straight access to the reef within the range of 10-15 meters, you can get snorkelling gear free of charge with your ferry ticket.
If you want to cut yourself off from daily busy life & want to be yourself under the stars & soft background music of the sea lapping the shore, you can stay at a luxury resort with 46 rooms, situated on the island called The Green Island Resort.
You can spend a full day or a half day adventure at Green Island & come back to Cairns by various scheduled cruise times. We were back to Cairns by 1 pm all surprised & mesmerised of the Green Island & the huge range of island activities on offer.
I was lucky enough to explore Seawalker to see how it works without even getting your face wet J & it was wonderful – you sincerely must try. Oh and you will meet Gavin the famous photo bombing Parrot Fish he is amazing!
There is so much more to see and do on Green Island you are best to book a full day tour or as suggested above book a holiday to stay on this gorgeous Great Barrier Reef Island in Australia.
Go searching and find Nemo and see if you can find Dory too!
In Closing, well organised transportation, smooth operation and a most magnificent morning I really enjoyed the Seawalker experience.
We had a quick lunch at Dundee’s restaurant on the Trinity Inlet in Cairns with stunning view of ocean & blue sky with floating yachts. Dundees is one of the best “Cairns Waterfront Dining restaurants” serving steaks, seafood, pastas and Australian specialist food.
Skyrail Rainforest Gondola
Well, we were all set to explore another one of the best experiences on offer in Cairns the “Skyrail Rainforest Cableway”.
An overhead cableway spread over 7.5 km above the Australian Rainforest this is an experience you should not miss.
It takes approximately 1.5 hrs one way starting at the Smithfield Terminal as our boarding point where you get to know about the history & update on this world heritage site from the specialists.
We were thrilled to learn and see 500 years old trees & plants in this Rainforest which till now I have only heard of Rainforest but to see it for myself was already an over whelming experience. It actually gives you opportunity to see, touch & be a part of Rainforest at 2 hop off hop on stations while you travel.
Total 3 stops to go starting Smithfield terminal – Red Peak station – Barron falls station – Kuranda Terminal. Another exciting thing to experience is to pre-book the premium view cable cars called Diamond View Gondola where you have panoramic views of the tropical landscape, Coral sea and rainforest thru the clear Perspex windows and clear Perspex floor!
It gives you a unique perspective of looking straight down into the treetops to the forest floor below so you can see things just like a birds eye view. Remember to look good & pose well with a great simile while you alight from Skyrail as there is a camera on the door & photos can be collected at station shop.
Two stops i.e. Red Peak & Barron falls you have a great opportunity to get answers to all your question as a specialist also called “Rainforest Ranger” who will take you thru the Rainforest & explain the different types of trees & related stories of the local Aboriginal people which is the interesting part of this walk- feel the nature around you.
Second stop is Barron Falls, well as its name indicates a specialist will take you to a breathtaking view of water fall which cannot be explained & has to be experienced in person, I was told that rain showers back to you due to depth of the water fall in valley this stop will leave you in deep thought as how this Skyrail & train track was developed – you just can’t stop thinking & ultimately give up saying “hats off to the people who made this possible”.
Stations are the very easy to access but not busy as our metro station in city J rest assured that you have enough space to stand, greenery around including small seating arrangements made available for senior citizens to take a break. Station also has a souvenirs shop where can have refreshments & collect your photos is you wish to charging USD 20 only.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
While we were heading to our last leg of Skyrail terminal which is Kuranda Village, we were given an small brief on the great historic Kuranda railway, walkable distance from Skyrail terminal to Kuranda Station.
It changed the entire mood & feel once you get on Kuranda station which is almost 120 years old.
This beautifully restored train was all set to welcome us in Gold Class compartment which made us feel special & back in 1988 heritage bogie with wooden art & special club style seating & great service by experienced staff with love, charm & warmth in everything they do, we were felt like royals on board, can connect to Indian Palace on wheels.
While experiencing services indoor, we cannot ignore the most stunning view of the passing rainforest & waterfalls whilst travelling thru mountains & feel the nature around you. Location made us think, how this train was built in 1890 with limited machineries & technology & felt we are blessed in millennium age.
Our historic train journey started at Kuranda railway station followed by Freshwater station & Cairns station, however we got down at Freshwater station where a pickup was arranged back to Cairns.
To conclude my days touring I experienced 3 of the best and most popular tours in Tropical North Queensland in one day!
I wish to thank my hosts from Great Adventures, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway.
I will be telling all my millions of friends in India to come and see this spectacular Great Barrier Reef to help us find Nemo and Dory, see these ancient rainforests and the fantastic ecologically sound tourist attractions the Skyrail Gondola and the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Kiran Sonawane – The Tour Specialists
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