Will be traveling to New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef in June. Any suggestions for best barrier reef experience? Don't need luxury, just a genuine local Australian experience.
Mike, My wife and I were in New Zealand last March for 3 weeks. I was there for 2 years over 45 years ago on a church mission and always wanted to go back but due to costs and other things just never got there until last year. We rented a car in Auckland and spent 3 weeks traveling down both islands and ended up in Queenstown. What a riot. It was so fun for me: not as much fun for my wife because i spent time finding most of the places I lived in, in the different cities I served in. We also went to many, many other places as well. Never been to Ausie land but will give this advice. If you rent a car and drive, be very alert and careful. I found myself driving on the right side of the road a few times. There were 3 american couples that were involved in an a car accident in Hamilton, N.Z. the day after we were there. 2 of the 6 were killed. It was due to not being used to driving on the left side of the road. Our kids heard the news here in Utah because the couple that were killed were from Utah as well. They thought it was us to begin with. Have a good time and be careful.
Try Ball dive tours out of Cairns. Done the GBR with them twice! Real professional.
There are many Model T guys in Queensland that can offer suggestions. I refused to drive in the USA on our trip as it added to much Stress for me and I wanted a relaxing holiday and not focusing on driving on the "wrong side" of the road especially on roundabouts! Enjoy your Australian trip!!
Mike, Send me a PM and I can advise you on some alternatives. Lots of different options available from lots of Ports. Depends if you want to dive or not also? Have a look at 'Quicksilver' .
I lived in Australia for two years. Cairns (pronounced Cans) is good, but now very touristy. Further South is Hamilton Island. I would recommend that highly. I did a live-aboard, called ReefSleep where you are anchored out on the reef for a couple of days which gives you a lot of great diving. Enjoy
Hi mike. I'm in auckland. New Zealand, I have four model t's. Can't help you with the reef sorry, but its a great country here. Can sort you out with a ride in a model t in both islands to see this wonderful country of ours if you like, us kiwis are a friendly bunch, especially through the model t club here, and rand is right in what he says with driving here, but just keep in mind your on the "right" side of the road here, and you'll be fine. We even painted big white arrows on the road every where round the country to remind wrong side of the road people which side to drive on(true) so get in touch and enjoy your trip down under. Chris lawrence
Not exactly the reef, but I had a great (and unusual) Aussie experience from Cairns 15 years ago. There are mail flights from Cairns that service the cattle stations (=ranches) on the Cape York peninsula to the north, They land on private ranch strips, leave mail, pick up mail, exchange gossip, have lunch at one of the spreads, and fly on. Each station gets visited once or twice a week, weather permitting. These places are isolated - 15 or more (way more!) miles from the nearest neighbor, and not much in the way of roads. In the wet season, the roads are impassable. The mail plane sometimes has a seat or two available for paying passengers. I flew from Cairns to Cairns with 17 stops, met some neat people, and had an unforgettable experience. Fair warning - the plane is small, and tropical thermals can give you a bumpy ride.