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!
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.
- Family Travel
Plant and tree spotting
Favorite thing: A trip to Freshwater and Saltwater lakes at Centenary Lakes and the Botanical garden to see some incredible plants and trees is a must for any visitor to Cairns.
I have no idea what some of them are called but,they are something to behold.The colours are just beautiful.The plants and trees attract many species of birdlife so if you are a keen birdwatcher don't miss these amazing places.
Fondest memory: I love walking around the lakes and gardens..it is where I come to either exercise,paint or to relax.
I always take my camera with me..just in case I see something unusual.
Some plant life looks as if it belongs in some prehistoric world.
Gum trees and paperbarks.
Favorite thing: I love gum trees,no matter what species.
I especially love the melaleuca trees (paperbark gums) and iron bark gums.
The swamplands have paperbark forests which I adore,so if you visit Cairns please take yourself along the boardwalk that runs from Centenary Lakes Greenslopes street to the Botanical Gardens in Collins Avenue.
Don't forget your camera.
Fondest memory: Gum trees are symbolic for me--they remind me that I belong to this country called Australia and no matter what state you travel in you will find a species of gum tree.
The tropical north is where I call home and the melaleucas are very special.They are so soft to touch and I love hugging them and looking close up at the colours and textures.
They look so majestic against the tropical sky and kind of strange next to tropical palm trees and other plants.
More tropical plants in paradise
Favorite thing: I have taken more pictures of some of the tropical plants and trees that are abundant in Cairns,especially around the Centenary Lakes.
Fondest memory: I love spotting different,and very colourful plants and trees.
Sitting still waiting for birds to fly in is so relaxing for me.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
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.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Learn something about Corals.
Favorite thing: Learn something about CORALS REEF: Bricks & Mortars of the underwater seaworld.
Coral Reefs are composed of mostly 'dead' limestone & only a small part of the surface is alive with colorful corals. Named after tiny animals called Polyps which are the most obvious reef builders. Polyps divide & create new living structures known as coral colonies. This in turn is the framework around which all sorts of reef animals lives.
Coral colonies grow upwards to the light. They may reach the surface & die or be eaten by starfish or gradually eroded by borers. If the rate of accumulation of the dead skeletons exceeds the rate of erosion, a reef is slowly formed. Acropora, one of the fastest growing staghorn corals grow as much as 200-300 mm per year. However, sediments accumulate on reefs only at an annual rate of 1mm.
ALGAE is another important mortar in reef-building. An encrusting coralline algae is of special importance in cementing together the skeletons of corals & other reef creatures which in turn forms a hard pavement on reef crests.
Corals are ...
Favorite thing: Corals are found in most of the world's seas, even in polar waters. However, only those which have symbiotic zooxanthellae (single-celled plants which live in the cells of the polyp tissues) & live in shallow, warm, tropical waters grow fast enough to form reefs.
Coral reefs are hence only found in waters where the min temperature does not drop below about 18°C & grow fastest where the temperature is around 26°C. Light is required for the algae's photosynthesis. Hence, corals grow best in clear, shallow continental shelf waters (less than 50 m deep) & away from river influences.
Life cycle of corals.
Favorite thing: At least learn a little of how corals reproduce. Right? After all, it is collectively the largest living organism in the world, so, please show some due respect for their survival :-)
Coral polyps reproduce sexually by producing sperm & eggs which unite to form tiny rounded larvae called planulae. Each polyp is both male & female. It releases a bundle of eggs & sperm into the sea water on only 1 or 2 nights each year in late spring or early summer. The planulae will then float in the surface waters for a short time & swims down to find a suitable spot on the hard reef surface where it will change into a polyp & begin the process of forming a colony.
Coral colonies can also reproduce asexually, ie, parts of the colony break off & survive to form a separate colony.
MOST ASK ABOUT QUESTION....WEATHER!!!
Favorite thing: The most asked question in the travel forums is...when is the best time to come to Cairns.
So I will try to give you an idea how to decide when to come.
I would visit here at any time of year. Cairns does not close because it rains. It just slows down a little.
During the off season you can get great accommodation prices. Not that the tours are any different in price. You may however grab something at a bargain price.The airfares from the south of Aus also can be a lot cheaper...
It may rain, but you will never be cold and dry out rather quickly:)
You can't swim in the beaches at this time of year as the stingers don't like to share their space:)
BUT accommodation here is all set up for this and have swimming pools. Also there is a great swimming pool at the Esplanade area and other water holes around to have a dip in.
The wet season officially starts from November to March. NOW this doesn't mean it rains non stop all these months. For an example, November 2007 wasn't wet, December had a little rain and Janurary 2008 also had a little rain...it is now Feburary 3rd and we have just started to have rain, mainly of a night, through the day it has been overcast with sunny times.
The humidity is high and it is hot!!
More rain is expected now during the next couple of months and also a cyclon or two can come to visit us. No one really knows , only the weather gods!!
The high season is the dry season, this is from around April onwards to November.
During this time you can have perfect days for weeks....BUT then I have known years where you can get rain in the middle of July!! Once again it's the weather gods!!!
If you want to beat the rain, July, August, September are really the best months. These months you can also swim in the beaches.
So you will just have to make up your own mind:)
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!!
More unusual plants in Cairns
Favorite thing: A visit to Flecker Bontanical Gardens is a must see if you like plants,birds and beutiful tropical ambience.
Fondest memory: I love coming here to stroll around looking at the different plants and flowers throughout the year.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Favorite thing: PHOTO: TJAPUKAI DANCE THEATRE PRESENTATION. THE PERFORMER ON THE RIGHT IS PLAYING A DIDGERIDOO.
The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is not what you expect. You first learn, through a film, about what the native Aboriginal people believed and about their creation stories, their folklore and beliefs. Then you learn through film and first-hand stories about their history since the white settlers came, in many ways a very tragic history. Then you see their artifacts and carvings and the many items of their culture and you begin to understand the richness, beauty and significance of their lives and their story.
We then went into the park where they performed at the Tjapukai Dance Theatre and introduced us to their culture, both past and present.
Fondest memory: It's a toss up between learning to throw the boomerang in the Cultural Park (I spend almost a half hour with the young man in the picture later in the day), and sitting having afternoon tea in a beachside cafe in Palm Coast and watching the serf, the sailboats and the people walking by.
- Family Travel
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.
- Budget Travel
Day trips for everything
Favorite thing: Cairns is the gateway to the northern areas of the tropical rain forests and the Great Barrier Reef.
There is not much to do in the city itself, besides a few random small museums. But there are ample quantities of hotels and restaurants. Most people stay in Cairns only to venture out on day trips. Among them, to places like Kuranda, Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Daintree, Mossman or diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
Port Douglas offers a smaller and quieter place to base your trip from, as well as shortening your commute by about an hour on most day trips. That being said too, Cairns has no beach in the city while Port Douglas has a beach nearly 5km long only 5 minutes walk away.
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