Low Tide in Cairns
Favorite thing: Sitting in the park on the edge of the water in Cairns is a great time to watch nature at its finest. Here are I sat reading a book about the reasons that tides come and go, right in front of me one of the world's great feats was occurring. Here, situated next to one of the greatest wonders in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, there was another natural phenomenon right before my eyes.
It was amazing to me how far out this tide stretched, it seemed like I could walk 100's of meters before I actually hit water again.
Take a moment or two to watch the beautiful moments!
Where in the World is Cairns?
Favorite thing: So you have come here to learn a little bit about Cairns did you?
Do you know where this place is located?
Cairns is located in Tropical North Queensland, which is on the upper right hand corner of Australia. The interesting fact about this is that it is as far away from Brisbane (which is the capital of Queensland) as Brisbane is away from Melbourne. That means that people from Queensland even have to get in a plane to go visit Cairns.
Having said that, Cairns is located 15000 kilometers from New York!
Favorite thing: If you're based in Cairns, a visit to Part Douglas is a 'must'. About an hour's drive north, the drive itself is interesting with some beautiful scenery. Port was a sleepy little village only a few years ago, now it's a thriving tourist destination in its own right.
There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, entertainment, shops, accommodation, a beautiful marina, excellent beach, weekend markets...plenty to see and do.
Still Can't Find Someting To do??
Favorite thing: In Carins, you can not help but notice the tourist information shops all over the place on the esplanade and around the city's major tourist area. They are pretty much travel agents selling tours!! Even though at times it gets a little annoying to be visually bombarded by advertisement, it isn't a bad idea to spend a little time browsing the pamphlets given away for free for all the different tours offered by many different companys. Different companys offer generally the same tour with a little difference for a different price.. So it's a great idea if you're interested in taking tours, to do a little shopping around to find the best deal.
If time is limited, tours can actually help you see the most even though I am not a very big fan of them simply because time allowed is limited and I usually like to take my time and absorb the surroundings!!! That said, tours can be a great option!!
State Flag of Queensland
Favorite thing: The Queensland state flag was created as a colonial flag - a British Blue Ensign with the badge of the colony added to the blue field. Because some of the Australian state badges were originaly created to represent the Governor (as distinct from the Colony) they generally showed some element of British royal heraldry - the main criteria being that it be different from similar badges used in other parts of the Empire. Queensland uses a blue Maltese Cross (Malta used a red cross). The Crown [superimposed on the cross] on the Queensland badge represented the status of the Governor as representative of Queen Victoria in the Colony.
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Favorite thing: you will truly fall in love with this place and want to go back time and time again, its fantastic and something for everyone. What ever direction you look in there is a new and different lanscape to venture, the tropical rain forest, the rural area and the coast. One you go will fall in love with the place and the people.
Fondest memory: New years eve, woolshed, cairns. Locals were fantastic and the atmosphere was fantastic too. Cheers Peeps.
Favorite thing: Australian currency is in dollars ($AUD). There are 100 cents to a dollar. We have 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces (coins), which are silver, 1 and 2 dollar coins, which are gold.
We also have 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes. Each note is a distinctively different colour and they each have a 'clear window' in the notes. "Australia was the first country in the world to have a complete system of bank notes based on plastic (polymer). These notes provide much greater security against counterfeiting. They also last four times as long as conventional paper (fibrous) notes." (taken from: www.dfat.gov.au/facts/currency.html)
For more information - like who are the people on the notes see the website above.
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Favorite thing: Cairns itself has no beach, although when we were last there the council was saying it would build an artificial one. If a true ocean beach is what you're looking for, head for the northern beach villages. They are about 20 minutes drive from the city. Local buses serve them all.
The two best villages are Palm Cove and the one shown in the photo, Trinity Beach.
Both villages have plenty of accommodation, especially self-catering apartments, and they also have several cafes and restaurants opposite the beach, plus a few shops.
Favorite thing: A northern beach village that should be on your list to visit, or even to have as your accommodation base, is Palm Cove. It has a good beach, plenty of accommodation from 5 star resorts to a caravan park, shops, cafes, restaurants. The Novotel Resort also is a Country Club, with tennis courts and a resort golf course.
The very attractive main street along the beach is lined by huge Melaleuca trees, which locals say are hundreds of years old.
Secrets of the Reef
Favorite thing: You have to visit the Great Barrier Reef and here are the 6 best kept secrets of visiting the reef:
1. Get out of Cairns.
2. The more north you go, the better the reef is.
3. Port Douglas is just north of Cairns and has much smaller, freindlier, personalised boats that go to the outer reef. Its also a pretty little town and is right next to the Daintree World Heritage area.
4. Quicksilver is the worst outer reef product NOT the best - its the most well known but fails by taking 400 tourists to a single trashed site and giving them 2 hours to squeeze what they can out of it and charging $40 more than anyone else to pay for the fancy lunch and the massive fuel bill.
5. You do NOT have to scuba dive to see coral reef. Reefs are driven by sunlight so all the life is in the first few metres, not much beyond 10 metres. You can see 90% of stuff by floating on the surface ! Dive companies push scuba because it makes them rich.
6. My best tip is to go to with the best kept secret of the Great Barrier Reef... a small unassuming company called "Wavelength" (www.wavelength.com.au) which is the only snorkel specialist boat I know of. And they are in Port Douglas ! This is the boat I do all my underwater photography on.
Hope this helps.
Fondest memory: My best memory of Cairns is realising I couldnt hear the "doof doof" music from the nightclubs as I drove away from the city as fast as I could !
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The impressions of the Great Barrier Reef
Favorite thing: A day at the Reef is something totally different then what I did before. While you are snorkelling in salty water of the Ocean, you see the coral floating by. Exploring the underwater beauty of the Reef is an amazing experience.
There was also a semi sub that showed us the underwater world. You sit in this boat and you have some glass windows to see the life in the Ocean.
If you want you can also do a dive initiation and do a short excursion to the ocean floor or fly over the Reef in a helicopter.
That last one I did also and it's amazing.
Fondest memory: A day at the Reef is a day that you will never forget, I had some much impressions coming towards me that day, that gave me memories I will cherish.
Favorite thing: You have to see the Great Barrier Reef. There's heaps of companies that offer trips from Cairns to the Reef. They leave around 8 AM and come back at the end of the afternoon. It takes about two hours to get to the Reef, so prepare yourself for a long day on a boat...
Once you get to the Reef you get the opportunity to go diving and/or snorkeling. For those of you who can't swim: there's usually a glass-bottom boat from where you can see the Reef and the tropical fish.
On a day-trip you visit two or three different Reefs, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the beauty and splendour.
When you choose to do a diving course in Cairns there's no need to do a day-trip to the Reef, cause they already take you out to the Reef for several days.The amount of time you spend on the Reef depends on the sort of diving course and on the company you use.
Fondest memory: The nightlife is something I really miss. There's a couple of really nice pubs and bar-dancings and it's busy every night.
Most bars provide entertainment for backpackers and have special deals for cheap drinks and cheap meals.
First of all there's the Woolshed, the most famous backpacker bar in Oz. They play all kinds of popular music, only problem: they play the same songs over and over again...
But it's definitely the place to be to meet fellow travellers, regardless of the day of the week as it's always busy in here. Some good drinking deals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Then there's the Irish pubs: PJ O'Briens and Shenannigans. The latter is the bigger of the two with an outside area and lots of room to party. Both have good deals on jugs of beer (1,1litre), especially during happy hour.
The Sportsbar also provides backpacker entertainment. with cheap drinking deals. Same sort of music as the Woolshed, same crowd: backpackers.
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Favorite thing: Visit the beaches -miles of them! We also enjoyed driving around the Cairns area, past sugar cane plantations and up into the hills surrounding the town. It was fun to explore Australia on our own and just to observe the different way of life! Photo of a beach near Cairns.
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Your Reef Trip
Favorite thing: You must go out scuba diving, snorkelling or simply taking in the views ... HUGE HINT ...
Please DO NOT forget to pack a hat and shirt for the boat trip .. but most importantly .. DO NOT forget to wear heaps of sun cream and keep reapplying every hour you are out there even if it absolutely and totally overcast .. the rays will get you ...
Fondest memory: My Dive .. under the sea is just the most amazing thing you will ever see .. it is a comletely different world down there!
- Diving and Snorkeling
Sun Sand & Sea
Favorite thing: The weather is beautiful most of the year ... watch out for the wet season though.
There is so much to do in Cairns and there are so many places to travel to.
The people are really friendly and helpful .. enjoy your stay in Cairns
Fondest memory: Meeting so many different people from all over the world ... On most trips I was the only Australian!
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