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What to See?
Step inside the brightly lit Cairns Regional Gallery to view vibrant works of art created by both well established artists and aspiring ones. You’ll also see indigenous pieces on display along with interesting artifacts for sale at the gallery shop.
If you haven’t got your fill of the dots and lines that make up aboriginal art, visit the pandanus gallery in Palm Cove and the Jungara Aboriginal Art gallery situated along the Cairns Esplanade.
For something a little more sparkly and a little less aboriginal, visit the Crystal Caves located in Atherton. It houses the world’s largest amethyst Geode. Shiny!!
For theatre fans, the Centre of Contemporary Arts Cairns has much to offer. Plays, burlesque performances and film festivals happen throughout the year, so check this one out. The Tjapukai Aborginal Cultural Park also offer evenings full of entertainment. Learn to play the didgeridoo, see the powerful dances of the aboriginal performers and enjoy a full course dinner with the family. That’s the way they do it down under!
Cairns Central is where you ought to be if you want to purchase designer apparel, electronics, fancy footwear, jewellery and well anything else you can think of.
The Pier at the Marina is known for its specialty stores carrying designer clothes, accessories and furnishings. But if the prices turn you off, drive to DFO on Mulgrave Road-the perfect place for discounted shopping on all designer labels.
Shopping at the Cairns Night Markets is another tourist favorite. Find opals, pearls, crocodile skin, local wines and a lot more at the night markets on the Esplanade. For more options you could visit the Smithfield Shopping Centre and the Stockland Shopping Centre in the northern part of Cairns.
If you want to pack a few gourmet foods to take back home, visit The Edge Food Store on Collins Avenue. And if time permits, do visit the Kuranda markets to pick up local arts and crafts. You’ll also get the opportunity to see the oldest rainforest in the world, so it’s really worth the trip.
Where to eat and stay?
While you will come across multiple dining options that suit every pocket, try something different in Cairns. Book a dinner cruise with Cairns Sunset Cruises or sink your teeth into kangaroo meat or crocodile at Cairns most creative restaurant named Ochre. For fantastic views and scrumptious seafood there’s nothing better than a meal at Pesci’s. They serve delicious Mediterranean fare too, so pig out!
For a truly authentic Australian BBQ experience in the lap of nature, make dinner reservations at the Cairns Night Zoo. Feast on steak and seafood, spot nocturnal creatures in their own habitat and then sit down to a drink at the bar.
To treat your palate to a whole range of new flavors, visit the award winning Balinese restaurant named Bayleaf at the Bay Village Tropical Retreat, the only one of its kind in Cairns. If you’re not in the mood for Balinese fare, take a trip to the Reef Casino that offers a mix of Asian and continental cuisine at their restaurants named Tamarind, Café China, and Flinders Bar and Grill. Go gamble and get some grub!
Other delightful restaurants to dine at include Hogs Breath Café, the Golden Boat Chinese Restaurant and Dundee’s Restaurant.
For jazz enthusiasts the best places to be at include the Mondo Café Bar at the Hilton, the Blue Mango Wine Bar, and the Clifton Capers Bar & Grill. Other equally interesting options are Blue Sky Brewery, the Vibe Bar & Lounge, conveniently located in CBD and Apres Beach Bar & Grill at Palm Cove. If you don’t mind a surprise, just take a walk around the CBD nightclub area past 6 pm and look for the noisiest/busiest bars in the vicinity. You may just have a very rewarding evening.
Skip the regular B & B’s if you’re in Cairns and take a look at some highly relaxing alternatives. The Castaways Resort & Spa at Mission Beach, the Angsana Hotel & Resort situated a close 20 minute drive away from Cairns, and The Lakes Cairns Resort & Spa have a couple of things in common. Great rooms, even better spa facilities and strategic location.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous take a ferry ride to Fitzroy Island. You could book a room here, go snorkeling, diving, camping or just enjoy the beach. If you’d rather stick to the brand names you’re familiar with, you’ll have many options to choose from. The Best Western City Sheridan, Best Western Central Plaza Apartments and The Hilton Cairns offer a great escape after a long day spent outdoors.
Where to go?
If you’re up for a good deal of walking, a rainforest tour is a must. Paronella Park next to Mena Creek is the perfect place to head to, for some time away in the wilderness. For a place closer to the city centre, visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Alternatively, take a tour of the Nerada Tea Plantations located at Atherton Tablelands. Don’t forget to take home of box of Australian grown tea.
Now if you love Koalas and can’t get enough of them, a trip to the Kuranda Koala Gardens will prove to be very fruitful. Watch these precious marsupials as they eat and sleep in the trees. This is your chance to spot Wombats, Crocs and Lizards too.
Lastly, take a walk along some of the most breathtaking beaches in Australia including Trinity Beach, Mission Beach, Kewarra Beach and Clifton Beach. You’ll love it!
Australians love the outdoors and so will you. Take a Diving and Snorkeling tour with Silverswift and spend 5 hours on the reef. Grab a sea kayaking opportunity with Cairns Kayaking or bungee dive in the rainforest at Smithfield. You can’t trust anybody but AJ Hackett for this.
And if you like being air borne, try a skydiving lesson with the professionals at Skydive Cairns. Alternatively, experience the thrill of walking underwater at The Great Barrier Reef.
Cruises along the water of the Great Barrier Reef are pretty popular here and you can choose from multiple cruise operators like Coral Princess, Quicksilver cruises, and Captain Cook Cruises.
Listen to the sounds of birds and animals in their peaceful habitat at the Cairns Tropical Zoo or feed your ears to the sweet sound of the twittering birds at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. This is best way for you to get up close and personal with wildlife.
If you’ve rented a car, the best thing to do is to take a trip to the Murdering Point Winery. Take a tour of the winery, sip a few fruity wines and listen to the story of Murdering Point and the ship wreck that happened on King Reef.
Lastly, catch a play or a musical performance at Brothers League Club Cairns. There’s something entertaining every week, so watch out for the latest.
Avoid visiting Cairns during the winter months if you really want to engage in outdoor sports. It could get very windy and this could dampen your spirit of adventure!