Fun things to do in Cairns

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Cairns

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    A walk among the Mangroves.

    by tropicrd Updated May 2, 2011

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    The Cairns Mangrove Boardwalk is in Cairns,it takes you through the salt plain and mangroves along saltwater creek near the Cairns airport.
    As you walk along this boardwalk you will get the feeling of being alone and experience the
    life of the different crabs and fish that live in the mangroves.
    A tower with 16 very steep steps will take you up to the canopy where you will see the mature mangroves,the salt plains with the mountains across Trinity Inlet.
    The loud sounds of the fiddler crabs with orange claws can be heard as you stroll along--if you stay very quite you will be able to see them.
    You could even be lucky to spot a crocodile sun-baking or resting in the mud along the saltwater creek area.
    Insect repellent is a must as it is home to many species but it is mainly the mosquitoes you need to be protected from. It is better to go on this walk during the daytime when the insects are not so heavily populated.
    Take drinking water with you--it is not a long walk but being in the tropics and among the Mangroves you need to stay hydrated.
    It is so close to Cairns airport but you don't hear the planes that much.
    Often visitors ask what the stink is when they are travelling to and from the airport--we let them know it is the mangrove perfume of Cairns.
    The boardwalk is wheelchair friendly.This boardwalk is free with free parking.

    Maturing mangroves Boardwalk directions. The salt plains of Cairns Spot the fiddler crab with its orange claw. Part of the saltwater creek
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    Rare Sunbird spotting

    by tropicrd Written Sep 12, 2011

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    Well!!!this is especially for all the bird watchers who want to see these beautiful little Yellow Bellied sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis).
    They are only 11cms and have a long downward curved beak and are usually seen in pairs.
    They are restricted to the North east of QLD and many people say they habitat in woodland and forest margins, and riverine vegetation and not infrequently gardens.
    Well keep your eyes and binoculars at the ready because Cairns and suburban gardens often have these little 'jewels in the sun'=sunbirds building their nests and raising their young.
    I will put up my latest pics of nest building under my patio.

    Sunbirds building on my angel windchime Sept 2011 Starting to build their nest. Taking shape Making sure it is a safe place to build.
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    Exploring the jungle boardwalk and Centenary Lakes

    by tropicrd Updated Sep 5, 2010

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    Across the road from Fleckers Botanical Gardens in Collins Avenue,Edge Hill you will find an open parkland which has a freshwater lake and a saltwater lake, these parklands have many different walks.
    The winding jungle boardwalk has been built in tropical rainforest--swamp-land and mangroves.

    You will find giant weeping paper bark trees along this boardwalk.

    Ther are bbq and picnic areas,a playground and public toilets.

    Free

    Giant weeping paperbark on the boardwalk Weeping paper bark tree on the jungle boardwalk Stroll along the pathways Swamp land along the jungle boardwalk Dorrise on Freshwater lake bridge with VT flag.
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    Visit the Scarecrow family

    by tropicrd Updated Sep 13, 2012

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    It is a lot of fun to visit the scarecrow dynasty at Mareeba QLD.
    This scarecrow family has grown over the years after a scarecrow was made to scare birds away from a mango plantation.It was called Jake, he became very popular and was set in different poses and clothes--the owner set up a stall selling pot plants next to him and locals and tourists loved him.Spurred on by Jakes popularity the owner decided it was time he had a partner so another scarecrow was made and called Lucy.It was so much fun seeing the relationship develop and each time you drive by they have had different clothes on and poses.Lucy proposed to Jake and the wedding plans started--the whole town of Mareeba got into the act and would donate clothes and other items,even a wedding dress.The gifts rolled in--accessories for the scenes.When the big day came people came from all over --dressed to the nines for the ceremony--sweets were thrown into the crowd.Since then a baby scarecrow has been born called Jed.Baby clothes and a stroller were donated. So if you are travelling up to the Cairns Tablelands at Mareeba keep an eye open for the scarecrow family. No fees/costs I often drive up this way and my last visit was Sept 2012

    Scarecrow family were kidnapped & vandalised 2012 The scarecrow family 2011 The new scarecrow family-Jake,Lucy,Jed & Joy 2012
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    Crocodile Farm

    by dancinbudgie Written Mar 19, 2008

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    Hartley's Creek Crocodile Farm is a nice morning out...especially if you like having the pants scared off you by big ugly reptiles! They do a cruise around the complex and the crocs are SO close to the boat! I'd hate for it to sink! Makes for some great photo's though...and the kids sit still!
    A ticket for a family of 4 costs $72.50 Australian.

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    A most delightful suburban wetlands

    by tropicrd Written Sep 13, 2012

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    The Cattana wetlands between Smithfield and Yorkeys Knob north of Cairns is a real treat.You can stroll around the path ways,have a picnic at the covered shelters or if you are into bird watching then there are bird hides strategically placed for your enjoyment.

    There are plenty of seats situated in areas overlooking the water and bush land. I found it very quite except for the sound of the birds and rustling in the grass from a lizard.

    It is all flat walking and suitable for all ages, wheelchairs,prams,cycles etc.

    It is free and the entrance has public toilets including disabled facilities.

    Don't forget to take water, insect repellant and of course your camera for that special picture.

    Enjoy and please leave only your footprints,rubbish bins are plentiful.

    It's all about the birds and other wildlife. Road to Cattana Wetlands Great information So peaceful Picnic spots and bird hides.
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    Billy Tea Safaris

    by wise23girl Updated Sep 6, 2010

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    And Billy Tea there was...the old fashioneed variety. The fire even looked real but regulations meant it was really gas. but what a gorgeous spot for this highlight of the tour (but not the only highlight). Fresh fruit on a platter, wine if you felt so inclined , and of course Billy Tea and Damper. We had to scuttle out of the way while the billy full of hot tea was given the traditional swing through the air.
    Then this was a place where you could swin in safety and some did. Apparently the water is too clear and sparkly for the crocs. (It is up to us to keep safe...do not blame the crocodiles)

    There was just so much included in our tour. John, our guide, just looked the part as you will see from the photos. But he also gave us "the low down" on all aspects of our journey. And he found us a cassowary and two chicks which we were able to photograph ...a rare treat .

    We enjoyed a river cruise on the Daintree, a drive along the 4WD Bloomfield track, a barbecue lunch, and more.

    I better leave some surprises. So go along and discover for yourself.

    And there is also opportunity to arrange a Billy Tea tour to Chillagoe Caves and Outback so be sure to check all this out as soon as you arrive in North Queensland.

    The Billy Boils Traditional Swing of the Billy Our guide John with AussieBarney Very rare photo Two Cassowary Chicks..even more rare

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    Culteral radio while you travel.

    by tropicrd Written Sep 19, 2011

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    Great travel radio.

    I often tune my radio in the car to National Indigenous Radio FMI 98.7 to hear what Australia's indigenous people's are saying about their communities.
    No matter where you are in Australia you can listen to what our traditional Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders have to share about their mob.
    You will learn about culteral differences within their own communities and how they resolve issues with them and the 'white community',how to hunt in the traditional way,indigenous songs & music,talk back and guest speakers,art and dream-time.
    Over the years I have learnt so much from the Cairns local community radio called Murri Radio, and of course from very dear personal indigenous friends.
    these friends refer to it as 'Black Radio'
    I love the story telling and am often transported to another time.
    Our local radio announcers are very funny,make heaps of mistakes,laugh a lot and are very natural in the way they explain things--it is my favourite radio station.
    If you are travelling through Australia and especially Cairns area then please tune in and learn.

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    Drive or ride the 260 bends up the Gillies.

    by tropicrd Updated Sep 19, 2011

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    Well!! if you want to have a driving or riding experience up to the Tablelands or what some people call the Cairns Highlands then you must drive/ride up the Gillies Highway for an adrenalin rush.

    Miners and settlers in the 1880's used this when it was an aboriginal track from the Tableland to the coast--it went through Kulara,Lake Barrine and the Mulgrave Valley and called Robson's track (still the most well known and used name by the locals) .

    This old track was widened to allow wheeled traffic and cars in 1926 and named the Gillies Highway after Tom Gillies the premier of QLD at that time.

    An ardent campaigner for the new highway was Ted Heale and a lookout to honour him is approx 15klms up the range and called Heales lookout over looking stunning views down the Mulgrave Valley.

    It took four years of road work to try and eliminate the sharp bends and curves of the Gillies it used to have 610 over 20klms.It used to be a single lane and a toll-road.Gates at the top and bottom controlled the alternating traffic,it is now a two lane road so the gates are defunct.The road climbs 760 metres above sea level.

    Up until 1942,when the Kuranda Range Road (now called Kennedy Highway) the Gillies remained the only artierial road from the Tablelands to Cairns.White car shuttle buses had a daily service transporting visitors to Yungaburra and the crater lakes.

    Even after upgrading over the years it still has very challenging bends = 260,a hard job well done in my opinion.
    Dangerous in the wet season when landfalls or flooding falls over the road, it is closed to all traffic when this occurs.

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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.
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    Eco-Safari the Rainforest

    by dlandt Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Instead of getting on a bus and going to the Daintree, which is several hours away, you might want to consider a trip up into the local rainforest. Its also a world heritage sight, but the vast majority is closed to the public. One particular guy has access to the area, and takes people up in a 4x4 safari type vehicle, see the travelogue for a picture or seven. He takes you not only to the public access areas, similar to other visitor friendly parks, but along utility roads, park ranger routes, dry creek beds, and all these other nooks and crannies. You see the wildlife, views like the one shown here and get a few lectures on local flora and fauna. Did you know ginger grows here naturally?

    The Rainforest
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    Wonderful QLD style homes

    by tropicrd Written Oct 15, 2012

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    If you are in Cairns and want something to do,take a stroll around the inner suburbs of Parramatta Park,Bungalow,Westcourt and Manunda and check out some of the QLD style homes which are disappearing in favour of more modern houses. These houses were built high on stilts/poles to protect property and people from the tropical flooding during the wet season and also allowed air to circulate through these houses via the beautiful casement windows.These old style houses are called QLD'ers and are all within walking distance of the city.

    These houses are being sold to businesses which to me is better than pulling them down,some suburbs such as Edge Hill and Whitfield have built modern style QLD'ers and use brick instead of weatherboard.

    I hope you enjoy seeing what is now considered a part of Cairns history.

    A grand old QLDer. Beautiful casement windows So pretty Decorated Casement windows Businesses buying the QLDers
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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.
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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.
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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.
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