The City of Cairns
Queensland's most northerly city of Cairns, framed by a backdrop of rainforest clad mountains and fringed by the Coral Sea, is the heart of the Tropical North and an ideal base from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforests. Both of these most fascinating ecosystems are World Heritage listed, and there are very few places on earth where two such treasures rest side by side, and so easily accessible to visitors.
Named Australia's most liveable regional centre, which is reflected in its growing population of some 152,000 residents from all corners of the globe and expected to rise to 250,000 in the next few years.
The balmy climate dictates the leisurely, laid back lifestyle, focused on outdoor activities, and several large-scale projects have re-shaped the city in recent years. The upgrading of our city's heart, City Place, the Reef Fleet Terminal and the $32 million Esplanade Project, have transformed the CBD and waterfront into an area where recreation and relaxation make the most of the tropical climate. Soon to be commenced is the Cairns Cultural Precinct which will be constructed on the waterfront on Trinity Inlet adjacent to the Cairns Convention Centre. The new precinct will encompass a Performing Arts Centre, Museum and Public Plaza.
The 4800 sq metre saltwater swimming lagoon offers locals and visitors an all year safe swimming location, set on the Cairns foreshore overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity Inlet. Saltwater is pumped from the inlet and filtered through a state of the art filtration system, to meet the high Australian standards.
Children can enjoy the sandy edges, build sand castles and play in shallow water. On the other side, others can lounge on the timber decks in moderate shade. Shady trees, landscaped gardens and open spaces all contribute to the leisurely atmosphere of the lagoon surroundings, now used for many community activities from musical concerts to exercise and martial arts classes, workshops, competitions and festivals.
Further along the Esplanade, Muddy's Playground is a delight for the little ones with a maze of water slides, playhouses, climbing nets and water jets. Along with the skatebowl and beach volleyball courts, the area attracts many locals and tourists alike.
The mudflats do remain however beyond the amazing Cairns Esplanade, and this is what attracts birdwatchers from around the world. As well as the regular flock of pelicans and spoonbills, the summer months sees the arrival of sandpipers, knots, godwits, whimbrels, tattlers and turnstones, as well as the rarer beach stone curlew.
Telescopes are provided on The Esplanade for a little birdwatching, and interpretive display shelters tell tales of many a legendary character of times long gone.
Cairns carries with pride the mantle of safest tropical city in the world and is rated Australia's third most popular tourist destination after Sydney and Brisbane. The traditional Queenslander homes sit side by side with the modern high rises and innovative family dwellings of the suburbs, and all architectural styles blend together along the tree lined streets.
Cairns International Airport is the nation's fifth busiest in terms of international and domestic passenger movements, and is just a few minutes north of the city centre. Visiting cruise liners tower over the wave-piercing catamarans at the Reef Fleet Terminal; while yachts and game fishing boats moor at the adjacent marinas, only a block from the main centre.
Cairns is renowned for its fresh, exotic produce and international standard restaurants, bistros and cafes open to late evening, with menus ranging from genuine Australian bush tucker to the tastes of home for overseas visitors. Art galleries, cinemas and quality nightclubs are located within the city centre; while live theatre and music take centre stage at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Cairns Civic Theatre and Cairns Convention Centre.
On the city’s northern fringe is the century-old Cairns Botanic Gardens containing the Flecker Gardens, Tanks Arts Centre, Centenary Lakes, Rainforest Boardwalk and the Mt Whitfield Conservation Park.
Visitors to the Botanic Gardens are greeted with extravagant colours from the plethora of exotic and showy blooms such as the Flame of the Forest vine from New Guinea or the equally exotic blue green Jade vine from the Philippines. Gingers and Heliconias conjure up visions of far away steamy paradises with names like Hot Rio Nights, Chocolate Dancer and Barbados Flat.
Palms from the tropical lands abound, ranging from tiny understorey palms from South East Asia and New Guinea to giants from the Pacific Islands, such as the fast growing Sago palms. Hidden in the foliage are vivid clumps of Lipstick palms and the showy but elegant native Foxtail palm.
The gardens has a range of natural environments and ecosystems from mangroves, fresh and saltwater lakes and a boardwalk through the native lowland swamp rainforest.
For those wishing to learn more, self guided walks in several languages are available from the Gardens Information Centre and Bookshop.
Further north of Cairns city, the landscape merges into a coastal strip bordered by rainforest clad mountains of the Northern Beaches, a sweep of golden sands, blue waters and palm trees, as the highway takes one of the most scenic trips in the country following the coastline for much of the way towards Port Douglas.
Cairns 24 Hour Medical Centre
24 HOUR MEDICAL SERVICE
The clinic is equipped to handle all General Practice emergencies for holidaymakers, routine investigations & dive medicals.
Bulk Billing on applicable consultations
for Medicare Card holders.
Japanese interpreters are available.
Cairns Apothecary Pharmacy
Extensive range of medicines, vitamins and healthcare products
Practitioner items with a Practitioner available by appointment
Travel medicine & vaccines
First Aid & hire equipment
Excellent service and helpful advice from our professional staff
Cairns Botanic Gardens
Conserving and preserving the world's plant species
Mt Whitfield Conservation Park
Tanks Arts Centre
Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Visitor Centre and Giftshop
Visitor Centre Cafe
Free guided walks of the Botanic Gardens 10am each Tuesday and Thursday.
Free guided bird walks each Tuesday at 8.30am....Read more...
Cairns Night Markets
The Cairns Night Markets is one of the most interesting and diverse shopping and entertainment experiences in Far North Queensland.
Over 85 fascinating outlets selling everything from didgeridoos, carved crocodiles and souvenirs, or locally produced coffees, to pearls and fine silver jewellery. Pick up a North Queensland t-shirt, thongs or sarong.
The food court offers a great...Read more...
Rusty’s Market has, over 30 years, developed into one of the largest, most successful & best known markets in Australia & overseas.
From an insignificant beginning of some 6 stall holders Rusty’s has grown into an enormous three day event with over 180 stall holders. It has become renown for its carnival atmosphere, colourful stall holders, sumptuous displays of exotic fruit,...Read more...