Take a few minutes, so I can tell you more about Cairns in the Tropical North of Queensland, Australia. This is one amazing place and one of the most favorite Holiday destinations in the Land Down Under!
I am in love with the Great Barrier Reef and the relaxed lifestyle of Cairns. Just as much with the breathtaking Natural and Virgin World Heritage Rainforest in the Tropical North-east. That gave me the idea to share the information with likewise adventurous people, all over the world. I want to provide you with the knowledge and information to make the decision to come experience and enjoy for Yourself what the Best Place on Earth has to offer.
Cairns is a city with approximately 130 000 residents, growing fast. The city is squeezed between the Great Dividing Mountain Range and the Great Barrier Reef. The city is part of- and surrounded by Rainforest and is described as a “City in a Garden”. From the shore, the Great Barrier Reef closes in onto the Mainland and can be visited in so many ways to choose from. The Activities is limitless and the best I can do, is to describe as many as I can think of. I will try my best to group them, to give a good idea of possible options.
Weather wise? The average Min. and Max. Temperatures during the Summer months, range between 22 and 32 degrees Celsius and during the Winter months, between 17 and 28 degrees Celsius. Even in the Rainy Season you can expect heaps of sun, which will give you the time to work on a nice, even Suntan. Relax on the many Beaches, Islands, Esplanade Swimming Pool, or out at sea on the many Reef charters. Just remember that the summer months may become very humid. Just make sure that you drink heaps of fluid on these days!
Water activities? Swimming – Your pick whether it would be from a beach, in a pool, natural rock pools, the Esplanade, or the Reef. Just keep well clear of the Rivers, because they are considered as “crocodile-invested”. You want to have a relaxing holiday, not to become a meal! Snorkeling – Be amazed by the rich underwater life on the Barrier Reef, Islands, or even off some beaches in the area. Diving – You will find few places in the world, where diving is more of a specialized, main attraction. It would be a sin to visit Cairns and not to use the opportunity to visit the Reef for some of the most pristine diving in the world! Even if you can’t swim or have never dived before, expert Diving Instructors can be found on almost every Charter Vessel and they are always ready to take you for an Introductory Diving Lesson, to introduce you to diving. Certified Divers can explore the Reef under the guidance of the same Instructors, to show you the best of each and every Dive Site. A new Craze, is to explore the underwater world by the Seawalker Helmet Dive. You literally walk the seabottom with your head stuck in a glass-bubble. Your hair won’t even get wet! This is the ideal way for a person who want to get the feeling of being in an Aquarium, or if you can’t swim. Then there is also the option of the Glass bottom Boat Tours. Sit safe in a boat and be amazed while watching the Marine Life gliding by through the Glass Bottom, while listening to a Reef Presentation as the boat travel along. Another similar option, would be to travel in a Semi-submersible Submarine, with its glass windows. It will create the feeling of being in a Submarine, traveling amongst the Rich Marine Environment. Or, just take a seat in an Underwater Viewing Chamber/ Observatory and relax watching the diverse Marine Life. Underwater Scooters – One of the charters even have the option to explore more of the reef, by means of underwater mobilisation!
Scenic Flights? Seaplanes – Cairns Seaplanes will be one of your options to get the “Full Picture” of the Great Barrier Reef and the Tropical Rainforests. The same can be said of the Helicopter Flights. Both will take you for a breathtaking view of the Reef with its stunning blue water, the lush, green islands, the secluded sand-cays and the marine life to be spotted, even from the air. They will offer you any deal from being just a One-way or Return Charter between certain destinations, to a large assortment of choices of Scenic Flights over the Reef and the Rainforest. They will even take you to a secluded destination of choice, to spend quality time with the one you love. Special events, like Weddings or Social Events, are just part of the package they will work out, just for you!
Island and Reef Opportunities? Charters – You will find Day – and even Overnight Charters to serve you the best of what you can expect on your holiday. Options between Charters to various pristine Reef Destinations, is almost limitless. If you thought a dive in Daytime is good, you haven’t try a Nightdive yet! To sleep over at sea, is just as good. It is a wonderful experience, bringing some new peace in your heart and soul. Diving and Snorkling would be the main activities on most of the charters, but do not feel left out if that is not what you are into, because just the experience of being out at see and the alternative activities alone, will guarantee to colour up your day!
If you would love to spend your day on an Island, there is a few to pick from. Although there are many islands around, Green Island, Fitzroy-Island and The Frankland Islands would be the most visited Islands from Cairns. From Port Douglas you can visit the Low Islands. There is a few other, of which some is more Private, like Double Island off Palm Cove. Most of the larger Islands mentioned, will offer you a variety of activities, like Swimming, Snorkeling, Diving, Hiking, Glass-bottom Boat and Semi-submersible Tours. There is also activities such as the Helmet Dive, Sea-trampoline, Kayaking, Nautical Museum, Para-gliding or even Camping and Fishing at some. The best way would be to browse through my Activity listings to see which each has to offer.
Other Adventure Activities? Bungy-jumping – AJ Hackett is the inventor of Bungy-jumping and Cairns was obviously one of the first choices in Australia to build a structure to introduce other adrenalin- junky minded people too the “Rush”. They have resently just celebrated 20 years of safe jumping in Cairns! Hot Air Ballooning – Go for a Breathtaking Champagne Breakfast over the Tablelands, just west of Cairns. Watch the Sunrise over the Rainforests in the east, while looking down over the farmlands right under you, as they drift by. White Water River Rafting – Take your pick! From Half-day to Full-day packages, from Moderate to Daring! Take the Barron River or take on the mighty Tully River which will deliver you an Extreme Experience. Sky-diving – So many options to choose from. Different heights, different locations, with different views! From qualified Sky-diving, to Tandem Sky-diving. Para-gliding – Have fun being towed behind a powerful speedboat, while hanging from a parachute. Microlights – Get Introductory Microlight Flight lessons from Port Douglas. Enjoy the spectacular views as you glide over the beaches and river systems, while still doing valid flying hours at the same time. Kayaking – There is a couple of places to practice your rowing skills and to enjoy the freedom of the ocean. Jet-ski – Heaps of fun is the word! ATV- Riding – That is the description for “All Terrain Vehicles”, or 4-wheeler Dirt Bikes. Just up the Tablelands, you will have the option to test your off-road driving skills on some off-road tracks. Horse riding – If you love horses and the tropics, where better to “wind down” on horseback. There is various places to choose from. Take a winding road down the forest, or play in the waves on the beach. Four Wheel Drive, Offroad Driving – Test your skills on the various offroad tracks, from the local area, the famous Bloomfield track from Cape Tribulation up to Cooktown, or even as far as up to Cape York. Jungle Swinging – You have two options to choose from. The one is at AJ Hackett’s place where the Bungy-jumping is done from and the second at Cape Tribulation. Be thrilled by this high speed swing and at the same time, share and enjoy the moment with a friend, because up to three people can swing at a time. Hiking – You will find a variety of Walking Trails all in and around the city itself, or take some of the bigger challenges on some that may even take you up to a few days. Mountaineering- Pyramid Mountain would be the most famous one to give a go close to Cairns and there is even a race up the mountain once a year.
Wildlife? Zoo – You have the Cairns Wildlife Zoo close to Palm Cove and the Wildlife Safari Zoo up at Kuranda. Meet the native animals of Australia close-up at the Cairns Wildlife Zoo and have breakfast with the Beasts of Africa, at the Wildlife Safari Zoo. Bird-and Butterfly Sanctuaries – You have a combination of these sanctuaries at Kuranda and the Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas. Interact with the friendly birds and animals and feed them yourself. Be amazed by the colorful Butterflies, of which many native of the Tropical Rainforests of Australia. Crocodile Farms – Go for a tour at Hartley’s Crocodile Farm, or the Crocodile Tours up the Trinity Inlet. Get expert guides to give you a presentation about the Rulers of the River and watch them feed the crocs. Get a newfound respect for these awesome reptiles. Wildlife Spotting – Take a tour with the old Army Duck at Kuranda and discover the native life in the Tropical swamps up at the Tableland. At Cape Tribulation you can choose between a Crocodile-spotting Expedition at Night, or a Wildlife-spotting Tour at Night, around the local forest. One of the most diverse and natural eco-systems in the world, can be found around Cape Tribulation.
Fishing? If you like fishing, Cairns is the place to be! From fishing the Dams inland for the famous Barramundi, to fishing the Estuaries for Mangrove Jack, Trevally, Blue Salmon, or Barramundi again, you still haven’t scratch the surface of choices! You can fish the many Rivers, the Beaches, the Rock-walls, the Islands, the Reef or the Deep-water of the Coral Sea. Cairns is on top of the list to go for the most sought-after heavy-weight,- the Black Marlin! Then I haven’t even mentioned the many Tuna-, Mackerel and other favorite Deep-sea species. With at least 1500 known species of fish on the Reef alone, the possibilities is limitless!
City life? Markets- Stroll through the Cairns Night Markets and be amazed by all the the local and overseas products up for sale. Indulge yourself with the variety of food served. Shops- Cairns have so many different Shopping Centers to choose from, but the best known one in the hart of the city, would be Cairns Central. If you want to take souvenirs back home with you, there is more shops than you can handle in the city. This is one of the reasons why Cairns is so famous as a Holiday-destination! Take your time and browse the different shops, or just sit back and relax while enjoying a Coffee, or have, from a Breakfast, to a Full Meal, at one of the many Food Outlets. Nightlife- Cairns is well-known for its famous Nightlife, with many Pubs and Nightclubs. Always heaps of people to meet and the atmosphere is Electrifying! Be ready to party the night away!
Sightseeing? Kuranda- This is a great little town to explore! It is described as a Village in the Forest. It have its own markets and as I’ve mentioned before, a Bird-and Butterfly Sanctuary. Close you will find the Wetlands, which you can explore by means of the old Army Duck, an Amphibious Vehicle to drive on land and just as well in the water. It is a beautiful, easy-going town and a nice place to wind down. The Safari Wildlife Park, can also be found just a short distance from the town. If you take the road to Kuranda, make sure to stop over at the Scenic Look-out point, from where you can gaze down on Cairns with its Sugarcane fields, with the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef in the distant background. The winding road will take you through Virgin Rainforest, which will impress you for sure. Skyrail- Another Scenic alternative, is to take this option, to glide over the Forest Canopy, just meters above the trees. Glide past the Barron Falls and stop over at the Mid-way station for a presentation about the forest history and get to see one of the oldest trees in the forest. Many people prefer to do one way with the Skyrail and the return with the Kuranda Scenic Train, of which I will talk next. Kuranda Scenic Railway- This is another option to visit, or return from Kuranda. As I’ve said, this option is a favorite to use in conjunction with the Skyrail. The breathtaking scenes remain the same, but from a different angle. Look down on the Barron-falls as you pass, or try to spot some wildlife on your trip. Barron-falls- From Kuranda, you can visit the Barron-falls, which can be extra spectacular in the rainy season. Take a Scenic Walking Trail down to the look-out point and be amazed by the awesome Forest Fauna and Flora. Barron-gorge- This is the rapids below the Barron-falls, you can visit from Cairns. Cross the bridge towards the Hydro Power Station and look down at the fast flowing waters beneath you. The raw beauty of the surrounding area, make up great pictures to take back home. Copperlodge Dam/Lake Morris- You can visit this dam by taking another Scenic Route from Cairns, by a narrow, winding road that go up the mountain range. Be astonished by the beauty of this eery Lake in the clouds, which feed Cairns with its pristine, clean, nice tasting water. Crystal Cascades- Visit this clear water Creek and cool off in its inviting cool water. The name describing it as “The Crystal Cascades” is very accurate with all the different natural pools and rock boulders down its path. From there you can also take a Walking trail up to the Copperlodge dam if you wish. The natural Forest is again, just amazing! Mossmann-gorge- This famous Gorge, is very much like the Crystal Cascades, but just close to port Douglas. The natural pools is just inviting and a pleasure to cool off in! The Gorge is situated in the Daintree National Park, which is one of the Natural Wonders of the World. Josephine-falls- / The Boulders-/ Fishery-falls. These 3 falls, is all situated in different areas between Cairns and Innisfail and although very similar in description to the Crystal Cascades and Mossmann-gorge, it each have its own draw-power and beauty. Visit the Pyramid-mountain, from where some of them originate and be stunned by the glare of the many smaller falls, all around the mountain, in the rainy season.
Sports? Cairns would not be a town if without any sports. I am not going to go into it much, because that is a aspect which is very similar wherever you go. Just as other towns, Cairns have its own share of sports-facilities, all over town.
Great places within a day’s drive south of Cairns? Paronella Park – A great place with breathtaking views and awesome Rainforest, just south of Innisfail. Mission Beach- Have fun and enjoy the sun on this long stretch of pristine beach with heaps of activities. Whitsundays- Explore this group of 74 Great Islands. Leave from Airlie-beach for a visit, or a stay-over at many of the inhabited islands. Hamilton Island with it’s own Airport, or the exclusive Hayman Island for people who expect just the best. Then there is Lindeman Island for people who want to share an island with only the bare minimum holiday-makers or the fun Daydream Island. Also visit many of the other islands, such as Long Island, South-and North Mole Islands or Hook Island. Visit the breathtaking Whitehaven Beach, with the purest and highest quality pure, white Silica Sand in the world. Party your night away in loveable Airlie-beach, which can lifestyle wise, be compared with Cairns in the small.
Great Places within a day’s drive north of Cairns? Port Douglas- A great town and nice place to wind down if you want peace away from the city-life. Heaps of activities, of which the most involve travelling to the nearby Low-islands or the Reef. Mossmann- Named after the famous Mossmann-gorge as I’ve described earlier. Cape Tribulation – A must go, especially if you are a backpacker. A very nice place to take part in various different activities, with a natural attraction for people, young and old! The nature is raw and untouched and it is the only place in the world, where two of the Natural Wonders of the World, meet up. The Great Barrier Reef meet the Ancient Daintree Rainforest on your doorstep! Walk onto the reef in some places, from the beach! Take the Bloomfield Track with your 4 x 4 vehicle, to the last Outback Town, better known as Cooktown. From there on north, only dirt tracks will lead you, until eventually you will end up at Cape York, the most northern point of Australia. Just be reminded, that will take you more than a day to complete and you will not be able to do it without being well prepared. But, that is another adventure well worth to give some thought!