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== Understand ==
 
== Understand ==
  
Cairns is a cosmopolitan city with a population of approx. 130,000 that is very focused on the tourist industry. Cairns is surrounded by rainforest. Agricultural activities include sugar cane, banana tropical fruits and the world's first tropical fruit wine region. Cairns is very popular with international tourists.
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'''Cairns''' is a cosmopolitan city with a population of approx. 130,000 that is very focused on the tourist industry; particularly popular with international tourists. Japanese tourists are especially catered for, with many shops and signs being written in katakana, as well as English. The town is surrounded by rainforest, and can be used as a gateway to destinations such as [[Kuranda]], and the [[Daintree]]. Besides tourism, the town is supported by agricultural activities include sugar cane, banana tropical fruits and the world's first tropical fruit wine region.  
  
There is a lot of accommodation to suit all budgets with plenty of drinking establishments and restaurants catering for all tastes. The atmosphere is relatively inexpensive tourism, laid back and unpretentious, loads of clubs and coffee shops overflowing with international tourists give Cairns it's cosmopolitan feel.   
+
There is a lot of accommodation to suit all budgets with plenty of drinking establishments and restaurants catering for all tastes. The atmosphere is relatively inexpensive tourism, laid back and unpretentious, loads of clubs and coffee shops overflowing with international tourists giving Cairns it's cosmopolitan feel.   
  
 
There is no swimming beach to speak of in central Cairns, although there are many choices just to the north and the south of the city.  A large outdoor, lagoon-style built pool is located in the center of the Cairns City area, which is very popular throughout the year with tourists and locals alike.  If you are aiming to have a beach side resort holiday there are several resorts a short drive north of Cairns.
 
There is no swimming beach to speak of in central Cairns, although there are many choices just to the north and the south of the city.  A large outdoor, lagoon-style built pool is located in the center of the Cairns City area, which is very popular throughout the year with tourists and locals alike.  If you are aiming to have a beach side resort holiday there are several resorts a short drive north of Cairns.

Revision as of 02:42, 6 October 2008

Cairns's Pier Shopping Centre and promenade

Cairns [1] is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland Australia.

Contents

Understand

Cairns is a cosmopolitan city with a population of approx. 130,000 that is very focused on the tourist industry; particularly popular with international tourists. Japanese tourists are especially catered for, with many shops and signs being written in katakana, as well as English. The town is surrounded by rainforest, and can be used as a gateway to destinations such as Kuranda, and the Daintree. Besides tourism, the town is supported by agricultural activities include sugar cane, banana tropical fruits and the world's first tropical fruit wine region.

There is a lot of accommodation to suit all budgets with plenty of drinking establishments and restaurants catering for all tastes. The atmosphere is relatively inexpensive tourism, laid back and unpretentious, loads of clubs and coffee shops overflowing with international tourists giving Cairns it's cosmopolitan feel.

There is no swimming beach to speak of in central Cairns, although there are many choices just to the north and the south of the city. A large outdoor, lagoon-style built pool is located in the center of the Cairns City area, which is very popular throughout the year with tourists and locals alike. If you are aiming to have a beach side resort holiday there are several resorts a short drive north of Cairns.

Get in

By plane

Cairns International Airport (IATA: CNS) is the primary international gateway into the region and is also served by many domestic flights.

The international airlines serving Cairns are:

  • Qantas [2] flying in direct from several international destinations, eg. Narita (Tokyo).
  • Jetstar [3] from Osaka and Nagoya, Japan
  • Air Niugini [4] flying from Port Moresby.
  • Air New Zealand [5] flying from Auckland.
  • Cathay Pacific [6] from Hong Kong 4 times a week
  • Airlines PNG [7] flying from Port Moresby, Tabuil and Mt Hagen.
  • Continental Airlines flying from Guam.
  • Airfast Indonesia flying from Timika.
  • Korean Air flying from Incheon.

The domestic airlines serving Cairns are:

The hourly-or-so Airport Shuttle [10] bus into town costs $7, while a taxi will do the same trip directly to your destination for around $15.

By train

Cairns Station is right in the city centre, easily within walking distance of the waterfront and most hotels.

Queensland Railways [11] Tilt train and The Sunlander services connect Cairns to Brisbane (via Townsville and Rockhampton), taking 32 hours for the full journey. Even though the Tilt Train reaches speeds of 160km/h between Townsville and Brisbane, the diesel Tilt Train running between Brisbane and Cairns runs at a maximum of 80km/h between Townsville and Cairns due to the poor alignment of the line. Although a trip between Townsville and Cairns takes 4 hours by car, it can take over 7 hours by train.

The Kuranda Scenic Railway [12], also operated by Queensland Rail [13], runs from Cairns to Kuranda, stopping over the majestic Barron Gorge to allow passengers to leave the train and enjoy the beautiful view over the water.

The Savannahlander [14] also travels from Cairns to Kuranda but then continues on to the outback town of Forsayth.

By car

The 1700-km Bruce Highway running south along the coast connects Cairns to the state capital Brisbane. Car rental is available from Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar and DIY Car Hire [15].


Get around

By Foot

The center of Cairns is small enough to cover on foot.

By Bus

Frequent Sunbus buses depart from the market square to the suburbs and Northern Beaches. You can buy a bus ticket that lasts for 24 hrs. The bus driver stamps the time of purchase and it valid for the next 24 hours.

By Car

Apart from the town centre, a car is useful to see the surrounding attractions if you are not taking a tour.

  • Cairns Rent A Car, 432-434 Sheridan Street, 1800 777 779, [16]. Has a good selection of late model vehicles at discounted rates.

See

Events

  • Catch an amateur rugby game in town if you can, the locals play a mean game, and it's a great way to meet local folks.
  • International cricket is sometimes played in Cairns at Cazaly's Stadium [17]. Time your visit right and you could catch a great game for just a couple of dollars.
  • Cairns is home to one of Australia's best basketball teams, as well as basketball's most famous mascot, Joe Blake the Snake.

Natural attractions

  • Many natural Cairns attractions including the Great Barrier Reef, Copperlode Dam, Atherton Tablelands and Daintree Rainforest
  • Cairns is the hotspot for wildlife diversity in Australia and is an ideal place to see a huge variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. Places such as Mount Lewis, Lamb Range or Mount Hypipamee are ideal locations to see anything from a Cassowary through to Tree Kangaroos.

Do

Swimmers using the lagoon on a winter's day

Cairns is an adventure sports enthusiast's paradise: every second shop is a tourist information centre with signs blaring "dive dive" or "tandem skydiving". Its location close to the ocean, the mountains and the rainforest gives travellers lots of choices of activities.

Standby rates are ubiquitous: many of the more expensive activities, including scuba diving and skydiving, are up to $150 cheaper if you are prepared to go on standby for a cancellation.

  • Fishing in Cairns is popular for black marlin and 1000+ lbs are often caught in offshore.
  • Swim in the artificial lagoon on the promenade near the pier. The lagoon is unfenced and free. Its shallow water (max depth 1.5m) makes it popular with children and families. The lagoon is a good place to cool off especially during "stinger season" between October and May (cf. Dangerous creatures in Australia) when local beaches should be avoided.
  • Sun-bake or people watch on the grassy part of the promenade near the lagoon. On a sunny day, even in the middle of Cairns's tropical "winter", there will sometimes be more sun-bakers than there is visible grass.
  • Have a barbecue on the promenade. Cairns has free barbecues scattered generously among the picnic tables on the grass.
  • Go walking - Cairns is surrounded by rainforest clad mountains, and there are nearly 200 walking tracks in this World Heritage Area. If you are a keen walker look for the book 'Tropical Walking Tracks' at bookshops and adventure shops. It lists all of the tracks around Cairns as well as those between Townsville and Cooktown and has maps of them and 'how-to-get-there' directions as well.

Coach Tours

Many coach tours depart Cairns daily, with a couple of hundred to choose from. There are rainforest tours to Mossman Gorge, the Daintree River, Cape Tribulation, and the Cairns Highlands (Atherton Tablelands), specialised 4WD tours, city sights tours, tours to wildlife parks, outback tours, and much, much more.

  • Cairns Discovery Tour, [18]. Includes the Royal Flying Doctor Service visitor centre and botanical gardens.
  • Food Trail Tours, PO Box 112 Cairns 4870, Qld, Australia, +61-7-4041-1522 (fax: +61-7-4032-0422), [19]. This tour offers a chance to experience a food, wine and sightseeing extravaganza on the tropical food trail while meeting local people and tasting local produce. The tour includes a tropical fruit wine maker, coffee plantation, macadamia plantation, inclusive barramundi lunch, and a hint of chocolate, as well as a very unique wildlife feeding experience at Granite Gorge [20]. Food Trail Tours is a small locally owned company that takes you away from all the attractions, souvenir shops and other coaches, to meet local local people, and taste their exceptional produce. A day on the tropical food trail costs $137 for adults, $65 for a child, and $395 for a family(2A+2C)..
  • NatureTour Australia, [21]. Specializes in trips to local wildlife hotspots.
  • Northern Experience Eco Tour, [22]. Visits the waterfalls, crater lakes and rainforest of the Southern Cairns Highlands, plus the Spanish castle ruins of Paronella Park, near Innisfail.

Diving and snorkeling

A number of Cairns operators run day and liveaboard scuba diving trips from Cairns. For seeing the Great Barrier Reef, the smaller dive boats provide the best experience, both for diving and for snorkeling. The larger operations have more amenities - better food, larger and faster boats, more activities, but sometimes provide a poorer underwater experience, as the underwater areas that the larger boats visit are heavily overused, and somewhat barren of coral and fishes. Your mileage may vary.

  • Tusa Dive Australia, cnr Shield Street and the Esplanade, +61-7-4031-1028 (, fax: +61-7-4031-3141), [23]. Tusa Dive Australia are a particularly good small operator. Tusa Dive offer 2 dive day trips to the Outer Reef for $160 ($190 with equipment hire)..
  • Pro Dive Cairns, 116 Spence Street, +61-7-4031-5255 (, fax: +61-7-4051-9955), [24]. Pro Dive Cairns specialises in 11 dive/3 day 2 night liveaboard trips to the Outer Reef, departing every day except Tuesdays. Their dive sites are suitable for inexperienced divers: most trips will include one or more groups of students doing their checkout dives. The liveaboard trip is $580 for a twin share or double cabin (including all equipment). Pro Dive Cairns also offer several PADI [25] courses which include the liveaboard trip: the basic Open Water course (2 days of classroom and pool work plus the trip), Open Water referral checkout dives, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver. The trip is $580 per person, twin share or double and equipment included. Additional fee applies of $35 per person, includes a $15 Government Environmental Management Charge as well as a Port Departure tax and administration costs. The trip is $560 per person, twin share or double, reef tax and equipment included. Open Water course $725, Open Water referral $630.
  • New Horizon Sail and Dive, PO Box 5957, Cairns, Qld 4870, +61-7-4055-6130 (, fax: +61-7-4055-6315), [26]. New Horizon Sail and Dive operates two classic sailing boats, Santa Maria and Coral Sea Dreaming, to the outer Great Barrier Reef. They allow you to experience the reef in a smaller more intimate affair with a maximum of ten (10) passengers on each trip. The trip is from $380 per person for a two day liveaboard and from $540 for a three day liveaboard, all equipment included..
  • Taka Dive Adventures, 131 Lake Street, +61-7-4051-8722 (, fax: +61-7-4031-2739), [27]. Taka Dive offer two liveaboard trips: a 5 day/4 night tour of Cod Hole and the Coral Sea (from $1050 for a 4 share cabin and $1175 for a twin cabin) and a 4 day/3 night tour of Cod Hole and the northern part of the reef (from $900 for a 4 share cabin and $1000 for a twin cabin). The two trips can be combined into one from $1850 (4 share cabin).
  • Dive Directory, PO Box 5264, +61-7-4046-7304 (, fax: +61-7-4031-1210), [28]. Destinations including the Great Barrier Reef, Cod Hole and the Coral Sea. Also offering PADI scuba diving courses from beginner to professional.
  • Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, 143 Lake Street, +61-7-4053-0500, [29]. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions are Australian divers' favourite luxury dive operator, famous for little touches like fresh towels every day, as well as excellent dive sites suited to serious divers. Unlike most liveaboard operators in the region, Mike Ball trips allow solo diving and rebreather diving if you provide appropriate equipment. Cabins with private bathrooms are available. 3 night trip from $1185, 4 night trip from $1294 and 7 night trip from $2300, rental equipment and courses extra.
  • Great Barrier Reef Diving, P.O. Box 5696 Torquay, Queensland, +61-7-4128-9359 (, fax: +61-7-4128-9359), [30]. Oz Magic represents many different dive operators ex Cairns Many different dive options from one day to seven days.

Skydiving

If you are sick of the sea, head up in the air.

  • Skydive Cairns [31], 59 Sheridan Street. tel 1800 330 044 (free call in Australia) or 07 4031 5466. fax 07 4031 5505. email reservations@skydivecairns.com.au. Skydive Cairns offers tandem single jumps and AFF courses. One of the most beautiful plane rides up to 13,000 feet overlooking the reef just long enough before you lose your lunch on the way down.
  • Tandem Cairns [32], Shop 10, 93 The Esplanade (entrance on Aplin Street). Tel: 1800 805 432 (free call in Australia), [mailto: admin@tandemcairns.com.au admin@tandemcairns.com.au]. Tandem Cairns offers tandem skydives for $270.

Hang Gliding

Hang gliders fly off Rex Point Lookout, halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas on the Captain Cook highway. On weekends, it's common to see multiple gliders soaring the sky above the scenic lookout, and the winter season provides consistent flight conditions.

  • Airplay Hang Gliding, 0417000797 (), [33]. Airplay offers tandem hang gliding flights of durations up to an hour and a free outbound shuttle service. Lessons and full instruction are also available to those wishing to learn to fly.

Ballooning

Always wanted to try ballooning - the Cairns region has some of the best weather for ballooning in the World and so trips go year around and are rarely cancelled. It's also one to the cheapest places to go flying you'll find anywhere. The trips go inland to the Atherton Tablelands and take off at first light at Mareeba, finishing around 10am and can connect directly to a Great Barrier Reef tour or drop you in Kuranda.

  • Ballooning with Hot Air, 1800 800 829, [34]. Includes a hot breakfast, champagne & transfers. AU$175.
  • Champagne Balloon Flights, 07 40392400, [35]. Offers a slightly cheaper trip that doesn't include breakfast.

Sail and visit Duyfken

The 16th century replica Duyfken [36] is now berthed at Marlin Wharf, Marlin Marina, Cairns. Duyfken was the first recorded European ship to visit Australia. Duyfken is open to the public from 9am to 5pm every day as a floating museum. Come and see what life was like on a 16th century sailing ship and learn about Australia's earliest maritime history. Admission costs are Adults $5, Children $3 (under 12) Family $10 (2 adults and up to 4 children).

You can also Sail Aboard Duyfken Adults $75 Children (under 12) $40

Buy

  • Night Markets [37], 71-75 The Esplanade. ph 07 4051 7666. The night markets operate every night of the week till late. They are a collection of stalls catering mainly to tourists: you can buy lots of clothes, games and Australiana.
  • Pearls. Of course, you can buy pearls everywhere and the price range is huge. In Cairns you can find shops where you can buy real A-grade pearls from the Torre Strait - not cheap, but at the end more then fair in comparision to the European or US prices for the same quality level.

Eat

As with much of Cairns, you can divide the city into the Esplanade and the places within a block of it, and the rest of the city. The Esplanade is littered with bar and grill places supplying red meat and beer all in the one place, and with seafood restaurants. It's relatively difficult to find anything open before 11am, since they expect the clientele to be sleeping in. The rest of the city has small cafes and milkbars catering to locals. The number of Japanese tourists here makes Japanese food a fairly reliable option, although prices can be steep.

A number of the more expensive restaurants on the Esplanade, particularly towards the north end, offer discounts of 20-30% for early birds: usually you will need to order by 6:30pm and pay and leave no later than 7:30pm to get a discounted meal.

  • La Pizza Trattoria, 93 The Esplanade. tel 07 4031 2646. La Pizza Trattoria has good pizza. It lures most patrons in by letting them wander past the pizza chef kneading the dough as they smell the baking pizzas. Medium sized pizzas $17. Open 7 Days 7am until late.
  • Villa Romana Trattoria [38], Aplin Street (cnr The Esplanade). tel 07 4051 9000. fax 07 4031 5557. Large Italian meals with some good seafood options and overworked wait staff. 30% discount if you order before 6:45pm. Meals are $20-$30.
  • Hide's Coffee Cafe, Shop 7, 87 Lake Street. tel 07 4041 1899. Hides Coffee Cafe, a couple of streets back from the Esplanade, is a good place for a relative cheap (under $10) breakfast or lunch. Order at the counter and remember to keep an eye on the collapsing umbrellas at the outside tables.
  • Sushi Express, Shop 28 Orchid Plaza, 79 Abbott Street. tel 07 4041 4388. fax 07 4052 1277. A sushi train made up to look like the Kuranda Railway, this place is popular but not wildly busy. The tempura seems to get more attention than the sushi or sashimi. Plates from $2.50 to $4.50.
  • Perrotta's At The Gallery, 38 Abbott Street. tel 07 4031 5899. If you want to escape from several evenings touring the bar and grill places, Perotta's is just off the Esplanade and does more sophisticated Western food. Try the French toast with roast pear for breakfast. Breakfast, lunch and dinner approximately $20.
  • Donnini's Ciao Italia, at the Pier Marketplace, features indoor and outdoor dining with a beautiful ocean backdrop. Located at The Esplanade, Donnini's is within walking distance of many of Cairns' hotels. Meals will set you back around $20-$25, and are extra delicious!

Drink

  • The Woolshed Chargrill & Saloon Bar [39] , 24 Shields Street. tel 07 4031 6304. fax 07 4041 2283. If you are looking for a place to find all the travelers, go to the Wool Shed in downtown Cairns. Legend has it that if you can't pull here, you won't anywhere in Oz.
  • Rattle 'N Hum, 67 The Esplanade. tel 07 4031 3011. The Rattle 'n Hum is a bar and grill in the midst of one of the busiest parts of The Esplanade. It's quite large and getting a seat is seldom a problem: sit out the back whether they light torches in the evenings. Competition for the pool table is not formidable so you should be able to get several games in. They do a number of main meals, including wood-fired pizza (approximately $20). The staff are highly variable in quality, ordering a cocktail is quite a risk but they're certainly able to pull a beer.

Sleep

Cairns has seemingly endless places to stay, but they do book out during high season (June - September).

Budget

Cairns is the backpacker capital of Northern Queensland and there are over 20 hostels, all offering basic bunks in the $14-18 range.

  • Nomads Serpent Backpackers Hostel [40], 341 Lake St. Freecall 1800 737 736. bookings@serpenthostel.com. Shared Dorm accommodation from $14 a night. Free shuttle bus, Free meal every night. Very clean hostel with a huge swimming pool.
  • Cairns Beach House backpackers hostel [41], 239 Sheridan St. Freecall 1800 229 228. talk2us@cairnsbeachhouse.com.au. Shared dorm accommodation from $21. Fun and friendly staff and a great onsite bar.
  • Jimmys Backpackers Hostel [42], 83 The Esplanade. Ph: +61 7 4031 6884. bookings@jimmys.com.au. Shared dorm accommodation from $21. Centrally located right opposite the Lagoon with a 24 hour reception.
  • Asylum Cairns [43], 149 Grafton Street. Tel.: 07 4031 1474 or toll free: 1800 065 464 (for bookings only). Fax: 07 4031 8499. E-mail: cairnsbackpackers@cairns.net.au. Bed in small dorm (no bunk beds) $18 for one night or $15 per night if staying two nights or more (prices on website are out of date). Free transfers to and from airport, bus- or trainstation if staying two nights or more. Free internet. Not particularly clean or well maintained. Very friendly and helpful staff. Not in city centre, but within easy walking distance.
  • Cairns Central YHA Backpackers Hostel [44], 20-26 McLeod Street. Tel.: 07 4051 0772. Fax: 07 4031 3158. E-mail: cairns_central@yhaqld.org. Bunk beds in shared rooms $23-$25 per night, double and twin rooms from $54 per night.
  • Cairns Esplanade YHA [45], 93 The Esplanade. Tel.: 07 4031 1919. Fax: 07 4031 4381. E-mail: cairnsesplanade@yhaqld.org. Bunk beds in shared rooms $20 per night, double and twin rooms from $46 per night.
  • The Bellview [46], 85-87 The Esplanade. Tel.: 07 4031 4377. Fax: 07 4031 2850. E-mail: stay@bellviewcairns.com.au. Dormitory rooms from $20 per bed per night, budget single rooms from $35 per night, budget double rooms from $47 per night.
  • Bohemia Resort [47] 231 McLeod Street. Tel.: 07 4041 7290. Fax: 07 4041 7292. E-mail: info@bohemiaresort.com.au. Close to the centre of Cairns and featuring four-dorm rooms, singles, twins and doubles, as well as ensuite and family rooms. Very clean and well maintained. Facilities include a 25m saltwater pool, kitchen, bar and shuttle bus service. Prices start at $23 per person, per night.
  • Floriana Guesthouse [48] 183 The Esplanade. Tel.: 07 4051 7886. Fax: 07 4051 3056. E-mail: info@florianaguesthouse.com. Situated on The Esplanade in Cairns with the front rooms looking out to the coral sea, Floriana is an older style Art Deco 1930's guesthouse. It is 15 mins walk to town and offers rooms with share facilities and self contained flats.

Mid-range

Mid-range Cairns hotels, resorts, and inns are listed here alphabetically.

  • Cairns resort [49] holiday in Cairns with 181 The Esplanade will prove to be most memorable.
  • Gilligan's Backpackers Hotel & Resort [50], corner Sheridan and Grafton Streets, is located in the Cairns Business District, in close proximity to the Esplanade, various nightclubs, as well as Cairns Central and Rusty's Markets. Gilligan's also regularly advertise special guests, especially during Australian Big Brother, where evicted housemates often spend the night mingling with guests and partygoers.
  • Palm Cove Esplanade Apartments [51] - Enjoy the magnificent ocean, pool and mountain views of Palm Cove Esplanade Apartments in Tropical North Queensland over looking the scenic silky sand of the Palm Cove beach. A 20-minute drive from Cairns airport and set amongst thriving melaleucas trees on the beach front, you will be just a short stroll from the relaxed buzz of Palm Cove Village. Rockford Palm Cove Queensland apartment address: Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, QLD 4879. Tel: 07 4055 3999, Toll Free: 1800 788 155.
  • Holiday Inn Cairns [52], 21-123 The Esplanade & Florence Street. Tel: 07 4050 6070. Fax: 07 4031 3770. E-mail: admin@holidayinncairns.com.au. Double rooms approximately $150 per night.
  • Oasis Resort Cairns [53], 122 Lake Street. Tel: 07 4080 1888. Fax: 07 4080 1889. E-mail: res@oasis-cairns.com.au. Resort style King rooms and Twin rooms(with two doubles) approximately $150 per night. One block from the centre of Cairns.
  • Quality Hotel Sheridan Plaza [54]. 295 Sheridan Street, Cairns, QLD 4870 Australia. Tel +61-7-4031-6500 Fax +61-7-4031-6226. A modern four-star boutique-style hotel, the Quality Hotel Sheridan Plaza is only five minutes away from the Cairns Airport and City Centre, and easily accessible to public transport and tour routes. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation starting near AU$120.
  • Queen's Court [55], 167-171 Sheridan Street. Tel: 07 4051 7722. E-mail: info@queenscourt.com.au. Budget rooms from $69 per night, motel-style twin rooms from $103 per night. Family suites available.
  • Reef Retreat Resort [56]. 10-14 Harpa Street, Palm Cove, Cairns Queensland 4879 Australia. Tel +61 7 4059 1744 Fax: +61 7 4059 1745. The Reef Retreat is located in Palm Cove, just 22 km from Cairns in the renowned Great Barrier Reef region of Tropical North Queensland, Australia, nestled between an idyllic coconut palm fringed beach and lush, tropical rainforests. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation starting near AU$95.
  • Rydges Plaza Cairns [57], Cnr Spence & Grafton Streets ph 1300 857 922 - Centrally located in the heart of Cairns. Rydges Plaza Cairns is close to the Cairns Convention Centre, Reef Casino, Great Barrier Reef departure terminals, Esplanade Lagoon, Foreshore Promenade and Cairns Central shopping complex. Rydges Hotels and Resorts is an Austrailian owned and operated company.
  • Rydges Tradewinds Cairns [58], 137 The Esplanade ph 1300 857 922 - Located on the Cairns Esplanade overlooking the Coral Sea, Rydges Tradewinds is just a few minutes walk along the Esplanade Boardwalk to the Cairns lagoon precinct, City Centre, Restaurants, shopping and departure points for the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns [59], Corner The Esplanade & Kerwin Street ph 1300 857 922 - Located conveniently on the Esplanade, Rydges Esplanade Resort is in walking distance to Cairns finest shopping and dining facilities. Amenities include three superb resort swimming pools, one children’s pool, two tennis courts, a complete Health club, Aerobic classes, spa, sauna, and masseuse services.
  • Villa Vaucluse Apartments of Cairns [60] offers self-contained Cairns accommodation apartment units for holiday and corporate guests. It is located at 141-143 Grafton Street, Cairns, Queensland, 4870 Australia. Villa Vaucluse provides personalized tour arrangements at no extra cost. Rates start at AUD 150.

Luxury

  • Grand Mercure Rockford Esplanade, [61], Facilities such as bar and outdoor swimming pool. Enjoy magnificent ocean, pool and mountain views in Tropical North Queensland over looking the silky sand of the Palm Cove beach. The hotel is within walking distance of the infamous shopping centre of Palm Cove Village. Address: Williams Esplanade Palm Cove, QLD 4879. Tel: 07 4055 3999. E-mail: esplanadepalmcove@rockfordhotels.com.au.
  • South Side Inn [62] 4-Star Accommodation, 3 km from the the City Centre and 6 km from the domestic and international airports.
  • Sofitel Reef Hotel [63], 35-41 Wharf Street. Tel: 07 4030 8888. Fax: 07 4030 8777. The Reef Hotel Casino is among the best hotels in the city, located in the same building as the Reef Casino and with views over Trinity Bay. Room rates start at $220.
  • Cairns International Hotel [66], 17 Abbott Street. Tel: 07 4031 1300. Fax: 07 4031 1801. Spacious rooms and suites all with balconies, overlooking the harbour and the city in the heart of Cairns. Accommodation rates from $200 per room per night.
  • Clarendon on Spence [67], 79 Spence Street, Cairns, Qld, 4870. Tel: 07 4041 2226 . Fax:+61 7 4041 4132. 2-3 bedroom apartments with balconies, fully-equipped kitchens, and master bedrooms featuring en suite with corner spa. Located in the heart of Cairns City, near Esplanade, Reef Fleet Terminal, and restaurant strip.
  • Regency on Spence [68], 79 Spence Street, Cairns, Qld, 4870. Tel: 07 4041 2226 . Fax:+61 7 4041 4132. Sister-property of Clarendon on Spence. Offers 2-3 bedroom apartments with balconies located near restaurant district, shopping mall, and Reef Fleet Terminal. Common facilities include a spa and outdoor swimming pool.

Get out

  • Cairns is a good jumping off point to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The market town of Kuranda makes a great day trip. You can drive, catch the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns or Freshwater stations, or take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway [69].
  • Mareeba, the edge of the outback, where the sun shines 300 days a year, and they produce 80% of Australia's coffee crop. With a tour to the area you don't need a car.
  • Mossman Gorge 70 minutes north of Cairns is a good place to cool off. Avoid the tour coaches, and take great care swimming as the currents can be very strong.
  • The Savannahlander [70] is a four day train journey that departs from Cairns to the outback town of Forsayth. It's a great way to see the Chillagoe caves and Undara lava tubes.Template:Guide



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