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.

Which company to book with

Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
281 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Which company to book with

Hi,

We are a group of 10, some above 60. 3-4 of us would like to snorkel. But rest would be happy with submersible experience. So

1) Should we take the reef trip from Port Douglas or Cairns?

2) Which company to choose?

Thank you for the help.

Mentioned in this post
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
152 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Which company to book with

Whether to depart from Port Douglas or Cairns would depend on where you are staying. It is an hours drive each way between the two and that adds a fair bit to your day.

I think that the operators are all probably pretty good. We went out on Reef Magic from Cairns to a pontoon moored on the reef. That was convenient because you had shade and they had a good buffet lunch on the pontoon. They had a semi-submersible that was interesting. Those people snorkelling will encounter Wally the large Maori Wrasse who will swim up to you for a photo opportunity. We had a good day although it was rough getting out there and back. Luck of the draw, I suppose.

Mentioned in this post
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
14,508 posts
116 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Which company to book with

If you are staying in Cairns, go out with Reef Magic. If you are staying in Port Douglas, go out with Quicksilver.

Both boats offer the same experience. They each take you to a different fixed pontoon on the Outer Reef where you can experience the GBR by snorkeling, semi-submersibles, glass-bottom boat rides and an underwater viewing platform.

Mentioned in this post
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
281 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Which company to book with

Thank you once again longhorn74. Havent booked the stay yet. Should we go from Port Douglas or from Cairns?

Mentioned in this post
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
14,508 posts
116 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Which company to book with

There are pros and cons for each, but I prefer staying in PD.

Edited: 29 December 2016, 23:06
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11,299 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Which company to book with

Firstly, when are you going and how many days are you in Cairns ?

Cairns is obviously closer to the airport and easier to move your group around. You can use tours to get to the reef (full day tour) and rainforest/Cape Tribulation.

Port Douglas (one hour drive north) is much smaller than Cairns, has a good beach, marina, restaurants, access to reef, closer to rainforest/Cape Tribulation, has Wildlife Habitat for native animals - for me much nicer place to stay but a lot depends on what you plan to do.

Mentioned in this post
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
281 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Which company to book with

we are staying 2 full days and 3 nights.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
152 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Which company to book with

If I had just two days I would probably go to Port Douglas. One day on the reef and another walking on the beach and spending some time in town. The pub is great as is the Tin Shed. Plenty of first class restaurants. Classy accommodation but probably more expensive than Cairns.

Cairns is also appealing but has no beach. Still the foreshore walk is great. A lovely lagoon / swimming pool on the foreshore. I love the vibe with stacks of young people from all over the world mixing.

Mentioned in this post
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
The Tin Shed
The Tin Shed
2,101 Reviews
Port Douglas, Australia
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
6,378 posts
276 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Which company to book with

We went with Reef Magic, here is our TA review

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
281 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Which company to book with

Thank you all

Sydney, Australia
13 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Which company to book with

I stated in Palm Cove, about halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas. It's smaller than both Carins and PD and has a really nice beach. Reef Magic from Cairns is good

Mentioned in this post
Palm Cove
Palm Cove
Cairns Region, Australia
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia