Sometimes, an escape from the Sydney city bustle is much needed, and what better getaway than a quaint little town in North Queensland? A Holiday in Cairns will offer one of the most beautiful and picturesque trips in Australia, boasting gorgeous mountain views and beautiful ocean waters. The CBD is also home to the Reef Fleet Terminal, where locals and tourists can board on boats to visit the Great Barrier Reef – one of the World’s 7 Wonders! We recommend staying somewhere local to get the full experience that Cairns has to offer, such as a CBD hotel around or nearby Shields Street. Shields Street was the heart and centre of things to do in Cairns, with restaurants and bars and clubs lining the streets. However, the Esplanade is also a beautiful road through Cairns which also trails around the Harbourside. The Salthouse on the Esplanade was a beautiful destination, with open air seating and several bars to order cocktails and wines from. Corea Corea at the Orchid Plaza also offered one of the best Korean Marinated Beef dishes we’ve ever had.
During the day, there is also the Central Shopping Centre, which is about a 10 minute walk from the Harbourside areas, as well as several markets around town. One of the most impressive was Rusty’s Markets, which had a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, amazing cheap street eats and cute souvenirs and accessories. There is also a free public pool at the Esplanade called the Esplanade Lagoon, which will probably beat any hotel pool existing around Cairns. And finally, what’s a trip to North Queensland without seeing the Great Barrier Reef? Trips are usually full day, starting from 8:30am and ending at 5:30am, and range in price from $190-250. We chose the Sunlover package, which offered a full day of activities – including glass-bottom boat tours, semi-submersible submarines, underwater observatory, snorkel gear and more. This was $199 and one of the best experiences we’ve ever had. Snorkel gear is included and instructors are available for beginners, though there are also options for first-time divers and underwater “moon-walker” activities. Definitely a must-do!