During winter Australians usually prefer to hit the snow slopes or snuggle in front of a fireplace in the Hunter Valley -“ but things are changing. Instead of embracing the cold, many gays and lesbians go in search of more sunshine -“ and that usually means a trip to north Queensland, usually Cairns.

When it comes to resorts there are two holiday spots that the GLBT community is flocking to -“ Turtle Cove and Skinny Dips.

Turtle Cove Resort and Spa is located on a private beach between Cairns and Port Douglas. This getaway is surrounded by beautiful rainforest with freshwater rivers, creeks and waterfalls -“ a great place to kick back and enjoy the day.

There are a huge number of activities on offer from reef tours and diving to bungee jumping, helicopter flights, sky diving, rainforest tours, white water rafting and unlimited shopping, resort spokeswoman Deborah Mullins said.

Turtle Cove is one of GLBT’s favourite spots as we have been there for the gay community from the very beginning. Our private beachfront location and the friendliness of our staff entice gay people from all over the world.

Our proudest moment was being awarded the title for Best Gay Resort in the World 2005, as voted by readers of Out Traveler magazine. The experience we offer is totally about relaxation, rainforest and reef, set in a backdrop of an incredibly beautiful and unique world heritage national park.

If you’re a naturalist at heart but still enjoy the luxuries of life, then Skinny Dips is definitely for you. This retreat is an exclusively gay tropical resort situated on a secluded property two kilometres from Cairns city centre.

When the winter blues creep in down south, Cairns basks under 28 to 30 glorious degrees daily. Winter is our dry season with blue skies and very little rain or humidity, Skinny Dips spokesman Wayne Pihlgren said.

The ocean is safe for swimming during winter and the water re-mains a comfortable temperature. Of course there’s also the man-made lagoon on Cairns Esplanade.

The most consistent feedback we get is -˜friendly, affordable and professionally run’.

Skinny Dips was recently the recipient of a Pink Choice Award for Excellence in Service to the Gay and Lesbian Community. Our central location and pricing are also very much in our favour.

Turtle Cove is offering a number of special packages available from just $485 for a four-night stay, which includes breakfast. Skinny Dips also offers an array of packages for the winter traveller.

We’ve got a wide range of hot deals which make a Skinny Dips experience very economical, Pihlgren said.

Our special packages cover a wide range of tours, activities and special interest groups.

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