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trekkerman Cairns - A travel report by trekkerman
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Cairns,  Australia - flag Australia -  Queensland
4028 readers

trekkerman's travel reports

CAIRNS, Queensland, Australia

  12 votes
i spent 2 weeks in and out of Cairns, using this great city as a base to see and do as much as i could before trekking down the East Coast to Sydney. i had an ample 3 months to enjoy all that the East coast could offer me.

Cairns Lagoon
Cairns Lagoon
Cairns is a quaint smallish city, not too big you cant find places easily, not too small you feel crowded. this colonial style city is based on the North East Coast of Tropical Queensland.
there's plenty to do day time or night time, and not just in the city, many travellers use Cairns as a base to venture out to the Barrier reef, or into the Bush for that authentic aussie feel.
you can also book ANY excursion in Queensland right in Cairns ! you'll find plenty of hotels and hostels to suit everyones budget. many restaurants serving asian, european and exotic cuisine such as kangaroo steaks, or crocodile !
and not forgetting the aussie style grub, make sure you try the great aussie pies !!
and for relaxation go down to the Lagoon.

Favourite spots:
Aussie beach
Aussie beach
in between my many excursions out of the city, i enjoyed the alfresco lifestyle of the cafes and restaurants, by day a cold beer, by night a decent cup of fresh coffee.

What's really great:
Cassowary Bird, Daintree Rainforest.
Cassowary Bird, Daintree Rainforest.
i really enjoyed the indoor night market, great for a little shopping, get a characature, and have dinner. i also enjoyed the cafes on The Esplanade, this coastal road is 1 minute just off city centre and has many things to do, places to go.
REEF TEACH was a fun 90 minutes, a presentation encouraged by scuba dive centres to attend when you train to get your PADI dive certificate.
an ecsentric irishman Paddy Colwell a graduate and a qualified dive instructor provides a fun look at the reefs, corals and sea life in a not too serious method of teaching, but at the same time a serious message in how you respect the reef and sea life at all times. sadly we were told that the Barrier Reef may not be a living Reef in 30 years if continued polution, tourism and climate factors continue at the same rate.
this 90 minute playful but factual insight into the Barrier Reef is entertaining, and well worth going to.
more info:

Crocodile trip on the Daintree Rainforest River
Crocodile trip on the Daintree Rainforest River

i used Cairns as a base for many excursions.
first i spent 3 days up in the Daintree Rainforest, its 2.5 hr north, the tour company collect you from your hotel and drop you back after.
i stayed in an eco-style cabin amidst a tropical fruit orchard, went out on 2 nochturnal hikes, 1 to the heart of the rainforest with a small group to see the wildlife at night, watched bats feeding, saw snakes, glo worms, even a croc. the other also at night was a tour around the tropical fruit orchard itself, trying some of he 50 different species of fruit, try the magic fruit !!
this trip also inc; Mossman Gorge, Rainforest walk & the Daintree River croc tour. i also did sea kayaking which included a tropical breakfast on a secluded beach, amazing experience. and hiked around the mangroves and saw a few small crocs.
more info:
but book when you arrive in oz, tour packages are cheaper !!

Tully River, white water rafting.
Tully River, white water rafting.
i stayed in 2 hostels here, one was PETES BACK PACKERS on Grafton Street (, about 10 minute walk from central Cairns. great little hostel, good prices, clean rooms, huge widescreen tv/sat/ dvd in communial area, bbq every week, shared facilities, self catering kitchen, secluded pool, internet and travel centre onsite. they also provide airport pickups, and several runs to and from city centre each day. free meal voucher for the woolshed too !
i also stayed at the CARAVELLA 149 on The Esplanade, beach front location ( another great hostel, shared facilities, internet, big pool, kitchen for self catering, but has a cafe right next door, money exchange, and fantastic tour/excursion desk - highly recommend. the rooms are clean, good size, comfortable bed. and only 5 minutes walk from literally everything city centre, walking past some great restaurants where i recommond trying the kangeroo steak

Tropical fruit orchard in a down pour !
Tropical fruit orchard in a down pour !
to be honest i didnt venture out at night to bars/ clubs much, as i used Cairns as a base for several excursions in the 2 weeks i was in & out of the city

Caravella 149 backpackers hostel. great place !!
Caravella 149 backpackers hostel. great place !!
along the Esplande you'll find several eateries where you can sit outside enjoy a coffee or a cold beer.
theres so may good alfresco cafes and restaurants, and bars in the pedestrian area, you'll see what i mean when you get there

Quad biking south of Cairns
Quad biking south of Cairns
Casa De Meze on the Esplanade, a lively latin restaurant, great food, great atmosphere.
good food and odd service here, they give you a type of pager and buzz you when your food is ready, then you go and collect your meals at the kitchen hatch. live entertainment some nights.

Kani's On The Esplanade is where i tried ostrich, kangaroo & crocodile platter, strangely enough i loved the kangeroo steak.
food is great and service was friendly, and the view is cool as the sun goes down. i definately would eat here again.

Other recommendations:
Drive-thru bottle shop, aussie style !
Drive-thru bottle shop, aussie style !
Tully River was my next stop, white water rafting for the day, an amazing adrenaline rush. good safety practice, great guides, bbq lunch, bags of fun.
more info see this website, look down the left hand column, and you'll find under the heading - CAIRNS - white water rafting etc.
my next trip was into the famous aussie Bush where i spent a weekend on a Cattle Station, riding horses in the outback, boomerang throwing, wildlife watching, bbq lunch each day.
amazing experience.
my last trip was Quad biking for the day, its not cheap but totally worth every cent.
you get to ride 250cc quads, full safety equip, briefing etc. 2.5hr sessions - AM or PM. trip inc; bbq lunch.

MY TIP; book your excursions when you get to Australia, it is cheaper than booking before you go, or going direct. you can buy 1, 2, 3 or more excursions as a package and save a lot of money

Published on Saturday February 24th, 2007

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Tue, Feb 27 2007 - 05:59 AM rating by downundergal

You certainly packed a lot into your stay in Cairns.
Copying other people's photos spoiled it for me somewhat.

Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 09:47 PM rating by rangutan

Great action!

Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 05:00 PM rating by marianne

interesting to read. What did crocodile taste like/

Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 01:58 PM rating by travler

Great report. The Cassowary Bird looks like a peacock, (without the wing spread).

Sun, Feb 25 2007 - 03:19 AM rating by quikflikchiq

another well written report! i have to tell you though - kiwi pies are much better than the aussie ones!

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