1. TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT
The city of Cairns is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s Tiapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with music and dance.
Northwest of the city, the Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches.
If you have not already been to Cairns, you better put it on your travel list!
2. HOW TO GET THERE
Cairns is just over 1,600 klm north of Brisbane. You can drive (approx. 20 hours of driving from Brisbane) or the quickest way is to fly. Daily direct flights from Brisbane will get you into Cairns in about 2 hours.
The other alternative is to take the train. If you are keen, check out The Spirit of Queensland:
Cairns also has its own port and Marina, so accessing Cairns via the water is also a great option. The port of Cairns is one of Australia’s busiest cruise destinations, with major international cruise ships regularly scheduled.
3. WHAT WE LOVED
The Cairns Aquarium is an underwater world of pure delight! We loved it, and highly recommend you visit.
We also loved river tubing on the Little Mulgrave River with a company called Aussie Drifterz. Min age is 5 years old, so this caters for the whole family (the adults loved this one too!)
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is worth the visit. It is an authentic crocodile experience, and you get to spot crocs existing in a sustainable eco environment.
A day trip to Green Island is highly recommended. The snorkeling is great just near the jetty, and there is plenty of beautiful beaches to relax on.
We loved our day trip to Kuranda. We travelled up to the mountain village by the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which offered ocean views, above the tropical rainforest and front row seats of the Barron Falls! We came back to Cairns by train along the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Visiting Paronella Park is also a highlight. The park is based in a five-hectare property which includes a Spanish castle, waterfalls and over 6500 tropical palms and trees. The park has certainly earnt its place as one of the North Queensland’s premier tourist attractions. We are certainly giving Paronella Park the thumbs up.
Another highlight for us was walking along the Esplanade. Lined with bars and restaurants, a kids play ground and swimming lagoon, the esplanade kept the kids occupied.
We also loved visiting the night markets and food court. Situated along the Esplanade, the markets are opened every day from 4.30pm. The markets have over 70 different market shops, food stalls & licensed restaurants.
4. WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE
Being North Queensland, we chose to visit during Winter (June) as temperatures during the summer months can be hot. Cairns is known for its hot and humid summers and mild dry winters with an average summer top of 31oC and average winter max of 26oC.
5. HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE THERE
Cairns is Queensland’s 5th most populated city with a population over 150,000.
6. WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Cairns Plaza. Centrally located on the Esplanade, it is only a short walk to the CBD, restaurants, shops, supermarkets and other tourist attractions.
We stayed in an interconnecting standard room and ocean suite, which comfortably accommodated 2 adults and two children. It was self-contained with a small kitchen.
7. WHAT’S THE FOOD LIKE
In general, the food is good and reasonably priced. We found fresh seafood, locally raised beef and an abundance of tropical fruit. With its close proximity to Asia, there is excellent Japanese, Malaysian and other Asian cuisines to choose from.
It was peak season and getting a table at most of the restaurants and other eating places required a prior booking.
8. WHAT ABOUT THE FINANCES
Flights with Virgin were approx. $250 return (from Brisbane) per person. Our accommodation with the Cairns Plaza was $330 per night for the double room (self-contained).
River Tubing was $338 (2 adults & 2 kids) this included hotel pick up and drop off.
Hartley’s Crocodile Farm was $215 (2 adults & 2 kids) this included hotel pickup and drop off, and admission into the farm.
The ferry over to Green Island was $268 (2 adults & 2 kids) we did hire snorkeling gear from the dive shop once over on the Island.
Visiting Kuranda was $305 (2 adults & 2 kids) this included hotel pick up, Skyrail up and train back. This price didn’t include hotel drop off.
Please see link below for Paronella Park for details on admission fee:
9. WHAT’S THE KID FRIENDLY RATING
We’re giving this trip a 5 out of 5!
- If you’re prone to sea sickness, It might be a good idea to take travel calm or another travel sickness medication before you leave on the ferry over to the islands.
- There is a little town outside of Cairns called Babinda. If you’re headed that way, the Babinda Bakery is a road trip must stop for traditional pies, cream buns & pastries. Trust me it won’t disappoint!!
- Before booking your trip, contact the Cairns Tourist Info Centre for handy tips, suggestions and help in planning your trip:
CAIRNS TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE
That’s it for the travel spotlight! Enjoy your travels & have a safe & happy day out with the little people in your lives.