The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - ESCAPE - Edited by Kim Cu­lyer. For weekly ad­vice on your travel dilem­mas, email us at doc@hol­i­


I am go­ing to Dubai mid-May and I’ve heard about an at­trac­tion called Mir­a­cle Gar­den. There is lit­tle in­for­ma­tion on how to get there and how safe it is for two women to visit. Please ad­vise. DOC The Dubai Mir­a­cle Gar­den ( pic­tured

above) is in the first phase of its de­vel­op­ment and dis­plays more than 70 flower va­ri­eties, pro­duc­ing more than 100 mil­lion blooms. It is open 9am to 9pm week­days and 9am to 11pm Fri­day and Satur­day. En­try costs about $A10. The park op­er­ates Oc­to­ber to May, how­ever the clos­ing date this year is yet to be an­nounced. Once de­cided, it will ap­pear on its web­site (dubaimir­a­cle­gar­ It is not open from June to Septem­ber due to tem­per­a­tures of 40C and more. There is a new at­trac­tion called the Dubai But­ter­fly Gar­den, which has thou­sands of but­ter­flies from around the world. It is open daily, 9am to 6pm. The en­trance is sep­a­rate from the Mir­a­cle Gar­den and the fee is $A18 (dubaibut­ter­fly­gar­ Tick­ets are avail­able for both gar­dens at en­trances. The eas­i­est way to reach the site is to take the RTA bus 105, from the Mall of Emi­rates. It runs every 20 min­utes Sun­day to Thurs­day, 2pm to 8pm, and every 15 min­utes be­tween noon and 10pm, Fri­day and Satur­day. Cost per per­son is about $A2. I would not hes­i­tate in say­ing it is more than safe for two women to travel to, but be re­spect­ful of the coun­try you are in and aware of their cus­toms.


What would be the best way for chil­dren aged seven and 10 to ex­pe­ri­ence the Great Bar­rier Reef – with­out snorkelling? I’m look­ing for some­where they can get waist deep into the wa­ter and ex­pe­ri­ence some of what the Reef has to of­fer.

DOC Quick­sil­ver Cruises (quick­sil­ver­, op­er­at­ing from Port Dou­glas, has great op­tions for the non­swim­mer and younger visi­tors. By tak­ing a tour to the outer Reef, the chil­dren can ex­pe­ri­ence the best of the Reef from the view­ing plat­form and un­der­wa­ter ob­ser­va­tory. There’s also the semi-sub­mersible tour that will have them glid­ing about 1m be­low the sur­face for a bird’s eye view of the co­ral gar­dens. If you are wor­ried the chil­dren are not con­fi­dent swim­mers, you will find op­er­a­tors pro­vide snorkelling safety of­fi­cers who will as­sist the chil­dren with buoy­ancy vests, flota­tion aids and rest sta­tions. Snorkelling re­ally will give the chil­dren the best ex­pe­ri­ence and I would en­cour­age them to give it a go. Also, most of the is­land re­sorts along the Queens­land coast run guided Reef walks at low tide and glass-bot­tom boat tours.

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