Cairns, a gateway to the Atherton Tablelands via the Kuranda Range at Smithfield and the Gillies Highway at Gordonvale.
Cairns, on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef
Cairns is the place to soak up the tropical lifestyle. Discover an exciting city that takes pride in its cultural heritage and where time seems to last a little longer. Swim at the Esplanade lagoon, sample local produce at a farmer’s market, enjoy free entertainment, shop for a summer wardrobe or cruise around the marina.
Take a tip from the locals for a cool dip at a secluded freshwater swimming hole, jump on a bike for a sightseeing tour along the city’s network of cycle paths, marvel at tropical plants in the Botanic Gardens, browse the galleries or catch an act in a unique rainforest venue.
After dark choose a lively bar for drinks, taste local seafood at an award-winning restaurant, party on a dance floor, discover treasures at the markets or watch a local cultural show.
Choose from a wide range of accommodation including five-star international hotels, luxurious resorts, waterfront apartments, family-friendly motels and fun backpacker hostels.
The compact city is easy to get around and has the reef, rainforest and outback on its doorstep.
With the Cairns International and Domestic airports only 10 minutes from the Central Business District, Cairns is the ideal entry point for a Tropical North Queensland adventure.
If you need a beach fix, head for Cairns’ Northern Beaches, a string of sleepy seaside villages about 15 minutes from the city. They are a favourite with locals and each has its own unique character, like the family-friendly Trinity, the kite-surfing hub of Yorkeys Knob or the relaxed Holloways Beach.
About 30 minutes north of Cairns, Palm Cove is a tiny beachside village centred around an esplanade lined with 500-year-old melaleuca trees. Walk around barefoot, choose a bike instead of a car and buy fresh seafood for a sunset barbecue on the beach. You can hire a kayak and paddle right off the beach or take a tour to nearby Double Island. The Palm Cove jetty is a great fishing spot, with plenty of Spanish mackerel, cod, whiting, stripeys and flathead to be caught.
More information: www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au