Green Ant Cantina
This is some walk from the centre of Cairns, I got to it through the shopping centre, but is well worth it if you're getting a bit sick of all the backpackers in town; less of them walk this far!
Seemed very full whenever I was there with a live DJ.
They don't sell beer on tap which I wasn't too impressed with, but like lots of Australian bars there was a constant free supply of tap water next to the bar, and plenty of bottled beers.
They also do food, which I didn't try, but it was kind of pub food Mexican style.
The Reef Hotel Casino: Casino/Rainforest/Restaurant
It's not that big, but it has plenty of character and things to do. Best described as "Australia's only Boutique Casino", it houses around 500 one armed bandits and numerous table games, 4 restaurants, a rainforest habitat(!), several bars and lots of friendly local staff.
The interior design looks like you're looking through a kaleidoscope!
Flinders Bar & Grill, located inside the Casino is a good place for a pit stop, where they serve everything from coffee to T-Bone steaks, with nothing over AUD$10!
Vertigo Bar just outside of the main entrance to the Casino is open from mid afternoon til late, and has some decent live entertainment
Bring some ID if you're under 25, you'll most likely need it ;)
For the family:
Above the Casino is The Rainforest Dome, which is a large glass dome/enclosure on the rooftop, containing LOTS of native animals. If you don't have the time to visit all of the other zoo's/wildlife parks in Cairns, this is a must see!
The star attraction is definitely "Goliath", a massive, pale coloured, saltwater crocodile who looks thoroughly spoilt in his own pool in the centre of the dome. The birds, bats and lizards all move around freely inside, as I'm sure the Koala's would too if they weren't too busy cuddling visitors/sleeping or posing for photo's :) Luckily the snakes ARE kept in there own separate enclosures. Keep your eye out for the Black Cockatoo, he's very friendly!
Pacific Flavours Restaurant opposite the main entrance serves buffet style meals at reasonable rates. If you're a big eater, don't miss out on breakfast here, it's all you can eat, and it's good quality.
Cafe China Noodle Bar is excellent value if you like Asian
noodle and rice dishes.
Velvet Rope Nightclub has an excellent cabaret style show in the evening (for the whole family), and turns into a full blown nightclub afterwards, playing everything from trance to R&B music. The resident DJ (Chooky) has been in the scene in Cairns for nearly 18 years and mixes it up with the best of them.
Dress Code: Neat, clean and casual.
No sleeveless shirts/singlets/tank tops if you are male
No thongs (flip-flops/jandals) sandals are ok ;)
- Casino and Gambling
- Budget Travel
Souvenir shopping: Night market
If you missed to buy Australian souvenir,dont worry,Night market open 4pm to 11pm!
You can find so many souvenir here for sure.If you are lucky you can get reduced things as well. Almost all stuff are Japanese.There are some food coart and take away shop as well. If you go over 10pm, chinese take away shop will discount sometimes.
Woolshed is in the center of town. It organises various theme nights every night. One day it is water throwing at the girls..one night it is 5 bucks for a jug of beer..and so. It is usually packed with backpackers..everyone trying to hook up and..its a good scene.
Dress Code: Casuals
Woolshed: Holy Backpackers Bar Batman!
I was told that this was the place to be in Cairns. And that's true if you want to hang out with other backpackers. But if you're over 30 (or aren't ready to strip for a free beer), I suggest PJ O'Briens.
Dress Code: Overdressing not required.
Rattle n Hum and Ocean Palace Chinese Restaurant: Dining in Cairns along the Esplinade/Seashore
PHOTO: WOOD FIRED PIZZA OVEN AT RATTLE N HUM.
We ate in Cairns along the Esplinade overlooking the Ocean at two very different places, both excellent. The Rattle n Hum is a Bar & Grill that has good service and good substantial food and drink. The Men's toilet is not to be missed as it look out on the back sit-down restaurant (one way glass I hope).
A few doors north of Rattle n Hum is the Ocean Palace Chinese Restaurant. I had Moreton Bay Bugs with XO sauce (A kind of slipper lobster, closely related to rock lobsters) It was fantastic. Barbara had the best sweet & sour chicken she has ever tasted. We sat out on the sidewalk area in both restaurants and people watched and looked at the Ocean and the hills to the south where some fires were going (the drought has hit Australia hard)
Dress Code: Very very casual but shoes required.
Cairns Bars: The famous Aussie Sunday Sessions
Every Sunday, many bars in Cairns have something called a Sunday Session. Typically starting around 5 pm, certain drinks are 2-for-1. It's a good deal and a great way to meet people, because many locals and tourists know about the deal.
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
plenty of bars in town due to there being loads of backpackers in town!
The sports bars good. most people head to the Woolshed for drinking games and snogging!
The Playpen is a club/bar which i dont remember being in!
- Budget Travel
Woolshed, Rhinobar, Courthouse: Great spots in Cainrs
Where most backpackers head for their free evening meal. Drinks are relatively cheap compared to other bars in area. Have themed nights, from wet t-shirt to mr & mrs backpacker.
RhinoBar: Cheap drinks, cheap food, good crowd on Fridays and weekends
Courthouse: Good on Sunday's - Live Music by the Swiggin' Alley Catz. (Jazz & Blues) Highly recommended.
PJ O'Briens: Expensive drinks, expensive and poor food, stupid themed nights from pole dancing to stripping...
Dress Code: casual weeknights
smart casual weekends
The Pier Bar: Nightlife on the ocean
The Pier offers a stylish nightclub spot located right at the end of the Cairns Esplanade. The clientele is young and there is often live music on weekends. It does get fairly crowded on weekends, though there is a great deck that overlooks the harbor in case you need fresh air. The view is spectacular and they have good deals on Sundays (like many other bars in Cairns). The Pier also serves food, though I never ate meals there.
Dress Code: No dress code, though most people wear typical nightclub apparel.
- Food and Dining
P.J. O'Brien's: Irish pub with class
PJ's is a displaced Irish pub, laden with all sorts of Irish paraphernalia and drinks. It's more of a sit-and-drink type of place than a nightclub, though there is often live music and it can get pretty crowded. The food is good, and they get some interesting characters. There is also an outdoor seating area on the sidewalk who would rather enjoy the night air.
- Food and Dining
Gilligan's: A good place to meet other travelers
Gilligan's is a popular place with travelers and local college students. The bar has three main areas: the large floor, an upstairs lounge area, and a massive porch out back. The main floor offers a large dancing area, some tables, and a wraparound bar, and a DJ is employed on weekends. There is occasionally a live band. This is a place for the younger set. The bar is a little on the expensive side, but the porch is definitely worth the added price. Gilligan's bar is large enough that even when the party is in full swing, it isn't oppressively crowded like many other places can be.
The Wool Shed: An interesting nightlife experience
The Wool Shed has a reputation for being a rowdy backpacker nightclub. It is usually crowded, the music is loud, and you get some really interesting people there, so I would recommend coming with at least one friend. This is not to say that you are in any danger by going there, just that it's not your run-of-the-mill nightclub. I met people who loved it, and I met people who swore never to go there again. I had some good experiences, but I always made sure to go with people I knew.
Shannanagan: Getting upto some shannagan's
I visited this place only once while in Cairns. Although the Cairns night scene is big this place was not the place for me. Not enough people to get the vibe going. Admittedly it was early.
Place has a decent stage area towards the back where they were running a compeition for the backpackers. Things like eating dry Wheetbix.
Winners would receive a prize varying from t-shirts to a ride on the slingshot bungee across the road to be taken immediately. Certainly not what I'd prefer for a prize after several drinks.
Dress Code: Cairns is casual. do not overdress is the idea. After all most people out are backpackers.
- Budget Travel
The Woolshed: Table Dancing
The Woolshed is probably the craziest place to party in Cairns. They have a menu so you can also catch a bite to eat there. It's always packed with tourists as well as locals and the DJ and hosts are great with getting the crowd to play crazy humiliating games for extra drinks.
By the end of the night, You will be dancing on at least one of the tables for sure. Great place to go and always guaranteed a good time!
Dress Code: Girls can wear pretty much whatever they want. They don't like it when the guys are wearling shorts or sandals. But its not that strict.
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