I went there but after shopping about I found a new travel opposit the night markets on abbot street. They had everything that the others had but at much cheaper prices. Found out that they are a chain of shops all over the country and they get better rates than anyone. Her name was Erryn and the shop didn't have a sign but it was an old wicked campers shop. Good luck!
Unique Suggestions: If you do go to the main street, set a price 20-30% lower than what they are asking for! They can sell at that price if you push them! They just put commission on top of the original. Happy travel and travel bugs were the worst!
I personally know quite a lot of Indigenous painters who say they are poorly represented by most art Galleries in the Cairns area.
Some of these artists say they are paid a sum (sub) in advance for their work because they often need to culterally go'walk-about' and by doing this the galleries then have control,the painters never receive the true price of what they are really worth.
One artist told me that Local artists are promoted by the QLD Govt by going to T.A.F.E
(Technical and further education).
A very famous indigineous painter voiced her opinion and got put aside regarding her personal story.
The Jangurrarra Gallery on the Cairns Esplanade that only exhibited local authentic work has had to close its doors .
Unique Suggestions: Be aware of art not being traditional....
Doongal Gallery sells tourists many non-traditional boomerangs,so always ask who the artist is and where do they come from,some work is not local but comes from the Northern Territory and other areas of Australia.
Don't be conned.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to purchase authentic indigenous art and craft then ask the local people.
All their art tells a story and if they cannot tell then more than likely it is not authentic.
If not, then there are lots of copies of boomerangs and prints made on the production line overseas.
Everyone knows that Cairns is the place to go snorkelling/diving on the barrier reef from..well it's not...there is such an abundance of tour companies going out that the water is becoming murky, a lot of the coral is dying off and it's just not all that enjoyable....
Unique Suggestions: Use an eco-friendly tour company if you do go from Cairns as the reef is getting ruined from all the boats!
Fun Alternatives: Travel further down the coast. I did a trip from Airlie beach with 'cruise whitsundays' they are slightly more expensive but they are an eco-company, everything was brilliant, I did my first dive with them, I was really nervous, but they don't have more than 2 divers to an instructor and they have a platform for you to practise breathing etc before goign in to the deep water (a lot of companies just get you straight in the sea) They have a platform which stays out in the ocean, so there are changing rooms, good quality stinger suits, you get breakfast, lunch and snacks! You're really well looked after! A fantastic day! You spend 3-4hours out there aswell, so plenty of time for snorkelling before/after your dive!
And Airlie Beach is a small town but the bars are lively every night so well worth a stop off! And yu can get cheap trips out to Whitehaven beach which is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen!
This is not a trap as such, it's a warning. Cairns is a city which has a habour. BUT if you are going there please be aware that there isn't a beach within walking distance from the city area. There is a lovely board walk starting north of the Marina. This follows the Esplanade , which has many accommodation places and eating places.
When the tide is in the water comes to the boardwalk , when the tide is out there is only mud flats.
Unique Suggestions: Because Cairns has a huge tourist population , which includes hundreds of backpackers the Cairns City Council have built a very large swimming area at the south end of the Esplanade, near the Peir Shopping centre.
This swimming pool is great and has life savers on duty until late at night.
It has different depths to swim in.
Within the area there are lawns/Gardens and a great BBQ area ( no alcohol allowed in this area)
Also the accommodation around Cairns have pools. 99% do!
Fun Alternatives: Apart from swimming in the great Esplanade Pool, or visiting the Tableland Lake areas, or Lake Placid, which is just out of town, you can head to the Northern Beaches. One that I highly reccommend is Palm Cove.
Buses run to the Northern Beaches regularly.
Lots of tour agencies along the esplanade have signs saying they are the official tourism department of Queensland. Well,they are not! They are just private agencies who will sell you thier packages and you wont have the whole gamut of diving and adventure packages available for the reef area.
Unique Suggestions: Walk south along the esplanade, past the lagoon and pier, and right opposite the fogarty park, is the REAL tourist information center, sponsored by the government of Queensland. The people here are extremely friendly and will always show you the cheapest and value deal. We saved $100 for 2 people for a discover scuba package!
Check them out first and then walk to the other tour agencies along the esplanade to comparison shop.
The biggest problem in Cairns is the huge amount of travel agents. They all try to sell you trips to the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, Kuranda, Atherton Tablelands, diving courses, etc.
All those trips are definitely worthwile, but it's important to look around for a good price before you book. Most of the times you'll get a discount when you book more trips at once, at the same travel agent. If they don't give you a discount: ask for one and tell them you'll go to another travel agent if you don't get one!
Unique Suggestions: Always bargain for a good price when you wanna make a trip. And shop around before you decide to book your trip. Don't let any pushy sales man talk you into deciding right away. Remember: it's your money and you can only spend it once! It sounds simple, but lots of people get fooled...
Fun Alternatives: Alternatively you can book all the trips in and around Cairns BEFORE you get to Cairns. All along the east coast there's travel agents who offer the same trips. The only downturn from booking them in other places is that you need a good travel schedule in order to be able to plan the trips that far in advance...
Its not so much as a tourist trap as a place that is absolutely fill of tourists. The skyrail iscertainly worth aone way tripat $36 with 2 stops on the way.
The market is good for buying souveniors. There are about 4 wildlife centres eg koala, bird etc which wouldbe better value if they sold a combined ticket
Unique Suggestions: There is a little bus from cairns there that only costs a dollar each way, don't know how he makes a profit when it only has 22 seats and its about a 30 KM drive
Well, if you love to collect souvenirs, it's collector's items. Otherwise, it's tourist trap. Ultimately, souvenirs take up lots of space unless they are given away as presents.
These T-shirts are really artistic... but to wear them in another city is a little touristy for me. Still they'd make good gifts provided your friends love to wear them!
And more shopping...
Will it ever end? What are we going to do with these masks? Does anyone really buy them? Ans: Pascal!
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