One of my personal favourite places to visit in Australia was the beautiful ocean side city of Cairns. Situated in the northern territory of Australia Cairns provides everything you’d expect from the land down under with its lush green rainforests, laid back life and Aussie sunshine.
Whilst in Cairns I managed to cram in loads of tours and exploring. I’ll give a run-through of what I got up to and hopefully it will give you some ideas to put your own itinerary together when you visit! 1. You have to check out Cairns esplanade located in the centre of town – its an open swimming pool that overlooks the sea and is the perfect place to sit back and relax. I was a bit dubious about a free local pool but it’s incredibly well maintained, lifeguarded and modern designed. Head over to here and soak up the atmosphere, they often put live music on and you can always people watch because who doesn’t love having a nose at other people! And while your there why not grab an ice-cream from Baskin Robins; I only discovered this for the first time in Cairns and I’m a fan – try the chocolate brownie and hazelnut whip flavour with a waffle cone.
Quick Prices: Esplanade Pool FREE | Ice-cream £6 $8
Cairns lagoon beaut #austrailia #pool #chilled A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on
enjoying a @baskinrobbinsau gold ribbon medal waffle ice cream #brcr8 #cairns #icecream A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on
2. The Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is located right next to this world heritage site and wonder of the world, so why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to go and have a look around! I used Quicksilver Tours to go and have a dive around the outer barrier reef. The tour is a full day and early start (5:30am – 4:30pm) where you are taken to the boat that will take you and others (around 70/80 people) over to 3 different reef locations. You’ll get all the scuba diving equipment included and there are options for diving with oxygen tanks that require more lessons or experience. All 3 locations offer a close look at the various wildlife including chorals, fish and turtles with an occasional rare shark spot – not jaws though! Don’t panic! You get lunch included which was a fresh salad type buffet as well as tea and coffee with biscuits throughout the day.
If you feel like sitting out one of the dive spots then you can take the chance to go and sunbathe on top of the boat. One thing I would say is there is an onboard photographer who will come round and snap your picture with blue backdrop of the reef but these can be pricey. I paid £10 for one photo as I wanted a high quality image from my trip as I wouldn’t be there again anytime soon. I would invest in an underwater camera and even a waterproof phone pouch – use these at your own risk though you don’t want to drop your smartphone amongst the choral reef!
Quick Prices: Adult with return coach transfers £120 $180
3. One of the best tours I went on was with Tropical Horizons to the Daintree Rainforest – the oldest rainforest in the world. The day trip included pick up/drop off to and from the destinations. A road trip that took us through part of the Daintree where we were able to stop off and take a walk to look at the old rainforest trees and wildlife. We managed to have a wild encounter with the cassowary bird a native bird of Australia. Our tour guide was very informative and was a wealth of knowledge about the rainforest answering every question we threw at him. There were only 8 of us on the trip which gave it a very intimate and friendly feel. We ventured right through the rainforest to the famous cape tribulation beach a small corner of paradise, it felt like we were on desert island with white sand beaches, palm tree forests and crystal clear water.
Stopping for lunch we enjoyed a buffet style cold salad lunch and had the opportunity to do a spot of canoeing in the river. The next stop off was with a local guy who takes people crocodile spotting down the river, great fun especially when crocs pop up from nowhere beside the boat! Heading back through the forest we stopped off at some viewpoints and grabbed an ice cream from a local famous ice-cream shop – worth a visit! A very long day but great tour to go on if you want to get some picturesque views and learn about the rainforest.
Quick prices: Daintree Rainforest Day Tour £80 $120
cheeky #selfie on cape tribulation beach #beach #australia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on
spectacular Daintree rainforest #forest #landscape #view A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on
4. Another place you should check out is the Kuranda Skyrail and Railway. Glimpse the top of the rainforest from a cablecar hovering above the canopies and get right amongst the natural beauty of Cairns. You get a real sense of the sheer size of the rainforest. The rainforest cablecar takes about 40/50 mins which is enough time to soak it all up. Once you come to the end of the cable you get off in the small town of Kuranda right at the centre of the forest. Its a great little town where you can shop, eat and check out the wildlife centres.
You can pick up great unique souvenirs from the native tribe here with shows and performances as well. But the number 1 thing you MUST do is head to Koala gardens where you’ll be able to have a quick snap with a koala – a big tick off the Aussie checklist! You can hop on the Kuranda Train back to the beginning where you’ll take a meandering journey along the cliffs of the rainforest and get to see some waterfalls on the way.
Quick Prices: Adult £60 $90
amazing view at baron falls #waterfall #landscape #austrailia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on
5. Lastly ignite that inner daredevil in you – do a skydive. It will honestly be one of the best experiences you can have. And skydiving over The Great Barrier Reef couldn’t be a better place to do it. I booked with Skydive Cairns who were great and really reassuring, the skydive cost £120 (with a beach landing) which is pricey but worth it. Again if you want a photo or video of it you’ll have to pay around £80 – which isn’t bad as its a one-off (unless you get the bug for it!) but depends on your budget and if you want to go on any over tours while your in Cairns.
Quick Prices: Adult with Beach Landing £120 $180 | Video & Photos £80 $120
jumping 15,000ft over Cairns and landing on the beach #skydive #awesome #extreme #australia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on
My time in Cairns was incredible, I loved the whole vibe and way of life there. The views were amazing and the people were great you definitely have to check this part of Australia out and what it has to offer.
If you’d like to keep up with my adventures and get social;
Travel. Create, Be Nice!