Fun things to do in Cairns

  • Beautiful Cairns Esplanade to play Bocce.
    Beautiful Cairns Esplanade to play...
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  • Snorkelling
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  • St. Mary's by the Sea
    St. Mary's by the Sea
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Cairns

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    Day (or two) trip to Daintree

    by TarjaH Written Jan 4, 2012

    I highly recommend you to visit also rainforest of Daintree.
    I took a day trip and I saw and learnt a lot.
    This rainforest is a part of Wet Tropics World Heritage Site and its studied that its nutrients is one of the reasons why Australia has another great place to visit : The Great Barrier Reef.

    Reason why I would go back:
    - rocks at Mossman Gorge
    - scenery at Flagstaff Hill Lookout
    - crocodiles at Daintree River
    - peace at Cape Tribulation Beach
    - walk in the rainforest

    And next time I would stay a night and enjoy more of peace and BEAUTIFUL nature!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Tropical Trinity

    by tropicrd Written Nov 12, 2011

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    Trinity Beach is a real favourite with the locals and visitors alike..the sandy palm fringed beach and the lush rain forest backdrop has a character of its own...it is the forth beach north of Cairns City and is on the local sunbus route.
    During the wet season the stinger nets are put up and lifesavers are on duty...so please swim between the flags and in the nets to avoid being stung.
    Trinity Beach has picnic and bbq areas and a great fish and chip shop on Vasey Esplanade,and also the Trinity Beach Tavern if you get hungry.
    If you are into beach walks then Trinity is a great place to do that...you can sit on the rocks at the southern and northern ends and watch the sun rise or set over the Cairns slopes or the rocks are a good place to catch a fish or two.
    There are heaps of holiday accomodation to suit all budgets if you choose to stay for awhile.
    Enjoy..

    Tropical Trinity Beach Palm fringed beach Great place to fish. Southern end of the beach. Good long beach for walking.
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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    In the tropical Tanks.

    by tropicrd Written Oct 13, 2011

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    The Tanks art centre at Edge Hill is an amazing experience if you are looking for music,events,arts,culture in one of the Tanks that were used by the Navy during world war 2 for oil storage.Set in the beautiful rainforest along Collins Avenue and next to the Flecker Botanical Gardens,the Tanks offer something for everyone.
    Gallery exhibitions,community arts, live local music,public forums,theatre performances,dance and market days selling local arts and crafts.
    You can pick up a copy of TaNKs at a glance at any tourist information stall that gives you a list of upcoming events.
    Tickets for events can be purchased at ticketLiNK.
    A lot of events and art gallery's are free and check out the small but great ampitheatre.
    There are 5 Tanks in all and the popular catchcry is 'think tanks'
    Don't forget to check out the quirky wall at the main entrance (see my page regarding this)
    Enjoy your time in this unique place.

    One of the Tanks. Art design gates. Tanks billboard. A tank art gallery The tropical ampitheatre
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Theater Travel
    • Music

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    Brand new Cairns Botanic Garden Visitor Centre

    by tropicrd Written Oct 12, 2011

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    WOW!!! on Oct 29th the new Cairns Botanic Garden Visitor Centre will open its doors to the public.The centre has cost $6.2 million and is comprised of two distinct halves.
    One side is for admin providing offices for Cairns Regional Council personnel from creative Cairns,Tanks arts Centre,,Cairns Botanic Gardens and Creative partnerships.

    The other half ,which is closest to Mnt Whitfield has a retail outlet,a cafe and interpretive display and incorperating key sustainability features.The shop will be focussing on unique and locally created gifts and arts.

    I was very excited today because I was invited to have a sneak peek..I was not allowed to take a lot of photoes but managed to get a few.

    The design fits in beautifully with the surrounding rainforest,the windows reflecting the images of the trees and plants.There is also what I believe is an undercover sound/interpretive area that has a curved seating area for a lot of people.

    As far as buildings go I am sure you will love this,it looks like it belongs here.

    It will be open to the general public,seven days a week,from Saturday Oct 29th 2011.

    Toilets and disabled facilities including wheelchair access.

    Brand new Visitor Centre Tropical Botanic Garden Centre wonderful interpretive displays. Cool place It belongs
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    The quirky wall

    by tropicrd Written Oct 12, 2011

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    In 1993 an artist (Nicholas Globe) was commissioned to create a sculptered wall to celebrate the openeing of Tanks as an art centre.The tanks were used by the Navy to store oil during world war 2.
    The artist created a temporary,organic piece of public art that would eventually,over time be enveloped by its natural environment and surroundings.
    in keeping with the artist's original vision.
    If you are strolling through the Tanks then look for this wall,there are some weird sculptures of heads,people,urns and all kinds of stuff.
    Who knows what may be under all those branches and jungle!!!

    I wonder what the artist meant!!! Entrance to the Tanks. Quirky sculptures Very strange
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

    by sirgaw Written Oct 9, 2011

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    Although this attraction is almost half way between Cairns and Port Douglas, we visited from Port Douglas and used a coach service for transfers to/from. Hartley’s specify in their web site that they have a senior’s discount, this was not offered through the transport company -
    BTS Tours and Transfers, who should include this discount in their pricing.

    OK lets be perfectly honest. Very few tourists are ever likely to see crocodiles in the wild and certainly not up close and as personal as you can be to a 5 metre croc with large teeth – they really are not a cuddly type of animal! They are a killing machine that has not changed much since the days of the dinosaurs, around 300 millions years ago and quite frankly the best and safest place to see crocs is in zoos and the like. As was explained to us, in about 80% of the crocodile/people encounters where people are injured/killed, alcohol is involved – and the crocs don’t drink, so it’s drunken guys – mostly guys – who are half or fully tanked and reckon they are unkillable and able to wrestle crocs like they saw in Crocodile Dundee and other works of fiction. No doubt ‘egged’ on by their drunken mates. Perhaps we might applaud the crocs for ridding the earth of some of our refuse.

    Some may consider Hartley’s a bit tacky and “touristy,” but I did enjoy most of the time there. The real highlights were the Crocodile Feeding and the Crocodile Attack Show and both led by very experienced handlers and one in particular, Shane, has a very funny and informative spiel. The boat cruise through a man made lagoon was very spectacular and the snake show was quite good.

    I found the ‘visit’ to the crocodile farm disappointing. There was quite a crowd and we were lined up around a concrete pen and watched a group of ‘junior crocs’ just lazing around. There was one that we could pat (his weapons of war were taped up), but there was a long queue to do so. My suggestion is go to the photo opportunity shelter and have a chat to the handler and his baby croc. A family of 3 kids was having their photo taken while handling the baby croc and my wife and I watched in mirth as croc let loose with croc-poo – I was reminded of the old saying – “s**t happens.”

    There are two conspiracy theories I’d like to share with you:
    1. There are no events scheduled between 12 noon and 2pm – lunch time. There is a huge café and undercover eating deck and I’m sure it is Hartley’s well-laid trap to get you to spend up for lunch. We had a filled pita-bread roll each and a very small plate to share of grilled croc meat and cost around $A20. We brought along our own water and I’d suggest you do likewise and sip away while enjoying the various shows and for lunch.
    2. The only exit from Hartley’s is through the gift shop and for many that is an invitation to spend on something, anything. OK there are funny tea shirts and other things to tempt the dollars out of your pocket. Be strong and keep nose in the air and walk past all those knick-knacks and other expensive and probably made in China paraphernalia that you don't really need and the day won’t cost so much.

    I have a short video: “Never smile at a crocodile” and if you listed carefully, the ‘handler’ calls out to the huge croc, “You’re not looking at the chicken!” as he runs for shelter.

    All up a fun and informative day and having been to Hartley’s and all their steel barriers, that’s as close as I want to get to crocodiles.

    About the photos.
    1. Really crocs don't talk to each other in English, so this photo is not correct - LOL
    2. I seem to remember his name is Psyco and he's huge.
    3. Although only a baby, he could still shred a finger of more. Jaws taped up, just in case.
    4. Sir Gaw getting too close - and I hadn't been drinking either.
    5 Other attractions include Koalas, snakes and birds.

    Prices - adults $33.00, children $16.50, family $82.50

    Note; this page is duplicated on my Port Douglas page

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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    Cairns is a 'batty' City

    by tropicrd Updated Oct 5, 2011

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    If you would like to see bats (flying foxes) up close and personal,you don't have to go to a zoo or wild park just head towards the Cairns City Library in Abbott street and you will see them in their natural habitat.
    A lot of people don't like them because of the mess they make but I suggest don't park cars under the trees.They are noisy and messy but there is something about them that I like--I think it may be because they have adapted to the city around them and it's here that the maternity ward and bat nursery is located.If you happen to see a baby on the ground don't pick it up ring QLD wildlife services and they will help you.
    This colony is protected and as you walk around you will notice how they communicate with each other.The sight of them taking off at dusk is an experience and I think they team up with other colonies when the sky is full of them.
    So,if you are at all interested in these creatures ..this is the place and it is FREE,don't forget your camera.

    Flying Foxes in Cairns City Hanging around The nursery Take care of our baby bats. Come and see the free show.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Photography

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    Check out the Library and history trail.

    by tropicrd Updated Oct 5, 2011

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    The Cairns City Library is a nice quite place inside to relax and browse in the cool interior,especially on a hot and humid day.It has a lot of interesting books and history of Cairns and areas.You have to book a computer if you need one.
    It is amazing how the building is kept so clean and white because a colony of flying foxes habitat in the grounds and they are very messy and noisy.
    The Rotary Club of Cairns sponsored local indigenous artists to do the mosaics on the history trail pathway around the building and this gives the visitor an insight into individual story's.
    Whatever you do don't park your car under the mango and fig trees or you will get a very messy car covered in 'bat poo'.

    A nice tropical public library Nice and peaceful inside. History trail sponsored by Rotary. One of many mosaics messages. Another indigenous history mosaic.
    Related to:
    • Disabilities
    • Arts and Culture

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  • tropicrd's Profile Photo

    Fishing with the kids.

    by tropicrd Updated Oct 4, 2011

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    Fishing with your children can be a lot of fun and may well be a pleasurable and happy memory for them and for you when they are adults.
    I love fishing with my friend at Machan's Beach north of Cairns and often see children with their rods and buckets along piers,creeks and beaches...they all seem to be having a great time with their family and friends. The most important thing to do is make sure your children are set up with the right gear.A light weight rod approx 6 ft long and a reel that can take a 4-6 kilogrm line.This makes it easier for them to cast and feel a bite.
    Local tackle shops in and around the Cairns area will advise you and help you regarding budget costs, rods,hooks and sinkers,bait and what fish are running where and when.Apparently the colour of the rod is important to a child but please do not take this as my word..I have been told it will encourage the child to fish.
    I reckon the best time is sunrise and sunset or two hours before and after low and high tides.
    So if you want to do something different with your children when visiting Cairns then head for the nearest wharf or Cairns Marina sea wall at the pier,beach or safe creek (please take notice of crocodile signs and how quickly the water level can rise ).Enjoy the precious time you have with your children while you fish together as it opens the door to communication,have heaps of fun and remember actually catching a fish is a real bonus!! Good luck!!

    Family Fishing is Fun Beware of crocodiles The Barron River for fishing
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Fishing

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    Family Fun with the kids.

    by tropicrd Updated Oct 4, 2011

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    Family holidays can be so much fun as long as the children have activities to suit their age and things to do and share with their family.
    Cairns and surrounds have lots of fun stuff for the 'little kids' and the 'big kids' at heart.
    The Cairns Esplanade has the man made swimming Lagoon,bbq and picnic areas that are very popular with families.The bike lane is shady and safe for children to ride their bikes.
    Further along the Esplanade(heading north) you will see Muddy's playground which has water features and all kinds of fun equipment,including a flying fox that the children love.
    There are undercover bbq's and tables to have a picnic.Lots of families hold birthday party's here so the children can have a wonderful time at Muddy's.Children love to climb so the new rock/boulder park situated near the skate board rink is proving to be 'the best' place to hang out, most adults love it too.
    Further north you will see the Pirate Ship playground and children adore playing on it.
    Most suburbs and beaches around Cairns have playgrounds in the parks and nearly all are shaded to protect the children from the harsh tropical climate.
    You pay for parking south from Florence Street/Esplanade.Free parking north except the hospital car park near the helipad.You can find out all the latest family activities via the local magazine called PakMag.
    So when you are in Cairns and the children get a bit restless then don't panic head for the nearest park or beach.The best thing of all -- these activities are FREE.

    The Pirate Ship,northern end of Cairns Esplanade Playground at suburban Manoora Freshwater Creek Park Undercover BBQ and Picnic areas at the beaches. Climb the boulders.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    A fun Cairns and reef Map

    by tropicrd Written Sep 29, 2011

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    This fun map was created by the Cairns Post so tourists could see the many things to do in the area.
    I love it and hope you will too.
    It was to big to get it all in one pic so I have taken it in bits.

    Qantas coming into land at Cairns Going out to the islands and the reef Barron River and slopes
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Chic and glamorous Palm Cove.

    by tropicrd Written Sep 26, 2011

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    Palm Cove is my favourite beach north of Cairns if I want to have lunch or dinner at the many restaurants and cafes along the esplanade. Although it has become an upmarket tourist place with resorts and spas dominating the area,the beach remains everyone's and is a popular beach for locals and tourists.One of my favourite things to do is stroll along the esplanade early morning or evening looking at all the beautiful melaleuca gum trees that are protected in this area.You will see buildings,resorts and shops built around these trees and they give an outdoor feeling to a restaurant or the many boutique shops.
    You can sit on the beach with a view to Double Island.The Palm Cove pier is a popular place to relax and fish, hopefully catching one or two.The pier is a pick up and drop off point for many of the boats going out to the reef.
    Stinger nets are put up during the summer months (wet season)
    The gardens in and around the resorts are beautifully maintained and at the northern end near the pier is a caravan park...what a wonderful address!
    Anyway when any of my friends and family are in Cairns I love bringing them to Palm Cove,and they all say they love it.

    Palm Cove beach and Double Island Melaleuca gum trees. Melaleuca gums in NU NU restaurant Dine indoors with the melaleuca's
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Luxury Travel
    • Photography

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    Freshwater Railway Station without the crowds

    by tropicrd Updated Sep 24, 2011

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    You can visit the Freshwater Railway Station after the tourists have had their breakfast and the train departs for its journey to Kuranda through the World Heritage Rainforest and the ancient culture (Buda-dji) Murals are painted on the locomotives by aboriginal artist George Riley.He tells the story of Buda-dji the Carpet snake who carved out the Barron Gorge.
    The scenic railway follows the path of Buda-dji.
    Take your time and stroll around this beautiful station full of history and how they worked and survived the early days of the railway.
    It must have been very hard for the women and children living in the camps at each tunnel.
    You can find out how,why and when this happened at the station museum.
    The station has a gift shop,restaurant and tropical gardens to enjoy.
    It is free to enter the station , the museum and cottage.
    The train carraiges and in the station is an ambient place to have breakfast.
    Best time to visit if you are not travelling on the train is after 9.30am ---4pm.

    Freshwater station with no crowds Station platform and restaurant carraiges. In the station restaurant. Red Lynch Cottage Hard living conditions for women and children.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    Cool off at Ryan Weare Park

    by tropicrd Written Sep 23, 2011

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    This is another popular place that locals enjoy cooling off and enjoying a picnic or bbq.
    It is part of Freshwater Creek and this spot is along side of the Kuranda railway line
    between the Freshwater Station and Redlynch station along Aeroglen Drive.It is on the right hand side after the roundabout at Freshwater Creek.Plenty of parking,public toilets including disabled toilets,bbq's and picnic tables and a play ground for the little ones.
    Lots of beautiful trees including mango trees that the birds and bats adore,some locals come here to pick the green mango's to make chutney and jam.
    It is really nice when the Kuranda scenic train goes past and the passengers wave and sometimes the train driver gives a whistle.
    It is also a place that is prone to flooding and what once was a peaceful area becomes a swirling frenzy of water and the roundabout is cut off.
    I love coming to this park.

    Wave to the train while you swim. Cool off in the creek Playground and picnic area. Mango and other trees From Redlynch to the park.
    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Budget Travel
    • Birdwatching

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    Where the locals swim.

    by tropicrd Written Sep 23, 2011

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    Glenoma Park is a great place where the Cairns locals go for a swim in Freshwater creek or to have a wood fire bbq (wood supplied) but you will need to bring your own newspaper or starter kit. The creek is cold and has slow mini rapids that are safe for children as long as they are watched by adults.It is fast flowing and very dangerous in the wet season or after a heavy rainfall--they then become rapids and flood the area.There are lots of picnic tables and the bbq's are pretty rustic,there is also an under cover picnic shelter.Lots of shady trees along the creek with sloping tracks to the many natural swimming pools amid the rainforest.
    The park has paved flat walkways and suitable for wheelchairs and prams,but the creek itself has no disabilty access.There are public toilets and a parking area.Please make sure you take insect repellant and drinking water.
    Best thing this is free and a great way to cool off.
    Be aware that the left side of the park borders onto the Cool Caravan Park and they have cabins facing the creek.

    Natural swimming spots along the creek. Wheelchairs and pram friendly. Rustic wood bbq Suburban rainforest along Freshwater creek Plenty of room to play,walk,run or chill out.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Water Sports
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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