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Home > Member Reviews > Omblygombly's Port Reviews of Cairns, Whitsundays, Newcastle (England), Brisbane

Omblygombly's Port Reviews of Cairns, Whitsundays, Newcastle (England), Brisbane
Rhapsody of the Seas cruise in October 2012
Member Name: Omblygombly
Cruise Date: October 2012
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Member Review: Omblygombly's Rhapsody of the Seas Review
Butterfly Sanctuary Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Paid at the gate.Although there are literally hundreds of butterflies there, I was somewhat underwhelmed.Maybe my expectation was greater than what was delivered.There is a free guided tour if you get the timing right.

Skyrail Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
As we had 2 days in Cairns I chose to book the Kuranda train/skyrail through one of the tourist bureaus and saved myself $35 from what the cruise line was charging.Kuranda has 3 small markets where you can buy a clothes,jewelry and nick knacks.There is a butterfly sanctuary, a dangerous / venomous animals park and bird park. With the sky rail there are a couple of places where you can get off and go for a short walk through the rain forest.

Cairns being a launching pad for the Great Barrier Reef there are lots of ways of seeing the reef.From scenic flights - plane and helicopter $$$ - to small charter boats with scuba / snorkeling gear at the ready.Or you can go to one of the islands and snorkel around there.There's also white water rafting,paragliding,for the more adventurous.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I only went to Airlie Beach.There are all sorts of options to get the the reef or one of the islands.There are plenty to choose from.Hook island is great on one side you have all these amazingly colourful fish and just a 10 minute walk to the other side of the island you have coral.

Another island South Molle has all sorts of activities,beach volleyball kayaking etc.

If you are only going to Airlie beach, you are wasting your time.Although pleasant,there's not much there,; a few shops, a large lagoon pool where you can swim - its too dangerous to swim in the water by the beach.You are much better off going to one of the islands, you can do this very easily from Shute Harbour - 10 -15 minute walk to Airlie Beach.From Shute HArbour there is a regular ferry service that takes you to a few of the islands.

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Newcastle (England)
Port Rating: Not Rated
If you like wine, it,s a great place to visit.About a 45 minute drive and you'll be in the middle of the Hunter Valley.Off the top of my head try to go to Tyrells, De Bortolli and Rosemount wineries.There are dozens of other wineries in the region,but these ones are certainly a few of the better producers of wine. Particularly good varieties are Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.If you can find a skipper,hire a car.Not only will it be cheaper it will let you go other places as well (obviously).

If wine isn't your scene, head North about 30kms and you come to Port Stephens.There are quite often dolphins frolicking around and there are some lovely places to sit down and have a picnic.

P.S. Newcastle was actually the 1st port.

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Port Rating: Not Rated
Went with a friend of a friend to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.Here you can hold a Koala feed Kangaroos and they have a birds of prey show,short show and tell lectures and a number of other animals in a "zoo".If you're not an Australian I would recommend it as a cheaper and a closer alternative to the Australia zoo.

Disappointingly due to the size of the ship we docked well away from the city and there was a fairly large charge to jump on a bus to get to the city.I can't remember exactly how much though.Being docked in the middle of the industrial area it was either that or getting a taxi.

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