How to see the best of Cairns


With so much to see and experience, it’s important to plan your trip in the best way to ensure you don’t miss anything while visiting on your tour of Australia. With time sure to be of the essence, here is a guide on how you can easily explore the best that the city has to offer.

Spend the morning discovering Australia’s roots

Enjoying spending time exploring nearby points of interest is almost a prerequisite of any overseas traveller, and with the embarrassment of amazing sights found in and around Cairns, there is plenty to keep all members of the family entertained for days on end.

Among the best things to do in Cairns is enjoy a trip to the Tjapukai Cultural Park, helping visitors to gain an incredible insight into the history of Australia’s indigenous roots. Founded more than 25 years ago, guests here can immerse themselves in the most fascinating aspects of Aboriginal culture through storytelling and music and dance performances by the Tjapukai people. With the chance to enjoy boomerang and spear throwing demonstrations, and even turtle spotting during a canoe ride on the lake, visiting is an experience which you are sure never to forget.

Head out to the Great Barrier Reef in the afternoon

Perhaps the greatest asset of Australia is the Great Barrier Reef, a 1,600 mile coral reef which is bustling with all manner of marine life; it’s so large, in fact, that it has even been named as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Basing your stay in Cairns is the perfect way of discovering the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in all its glory, especially through the superb array of specialised tours which run from there.

One of the most popular places to visit on the Great Barrier Reef is Green Island, a coral cay formed more than 6,000 years ago which is surrounded by luscious coral reefs teeming with wildlife. Although it is reachable by a regular catamaran ride from the city, choosing to embark on a guided tour allows visitors to discover Green Island in the best possible way. Some of the animals you can expect to see on the reef include over 600 species of echinoderms, 1,500 species of sponges, 30 types of whale and dolphin and 23 different marine reptiles, with the beautiful hawksbill sea turtle being among those.

Sample the city’s restaurants once the sun sets

You’re sure to have developed quite the appetite after a full day of exploring, so it’s a good job that Cairns is home to a fantastic array of restaurants. Giving diners the chance to taste cuisines from all over the world, the eateries found in the city rank among the best in Australia.

For a chance to taste Australian cuisine at its finest, a trip to the Ochre Restaurant on Shields Street is not to be missed. Although specialising in seafood, its menu changes according to the fresh ingredients they have available, meaning that you could enjoy anything from secret spice calamari squid and smoked kangaroo with wild spice and mango chutney to grilled spatchcock chicken with zucchini and eggplant.

Another favourite is the Salsa Bar and Grill, located in central Port Douglas and offering fantastic views across the Morey Reef. While its menu is famed for its simplicity, it does offer great variety for diners, with dishes including pan fried barramundi, chargrilled black Angus fillet and chimmichuri BBQ local tiger prawns.

Image Credit: toholio (Flickr.com)