If you are planning a visit to Tropical North Queensland then Cairns is the perfect place to base yourself. You can reach the Outer Barrier Reef in around 2 hours with cruises departing from the recently upgraded Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, or take a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and return on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Cairns is also the adventure capital of Queensland – bungy jumping, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, sky-diving, horse riding, scuba diving…the list goes on.
There is also a wide range of restaurants, markets, shopping and cultural activities. The Cairns Esplanade and harbour foreshore has been updated with public lagoon swimming pools, Pier Marketplace, walking tracks, playgrounds and a range of alfresco dining options. But if you like a beach holiday and the feel of sand between your toes, travel further north from Cairns to some beautiful beach villages. Dont just head straight for Port Douglas or Palm Cove, stop along the way at some quiet, less touristy locations along the way.
Holloways Beach is one of the closest beaches to Cairns city. It is a lovely spot to cool off on the way home from sightseeing or sit and enjoy the fresh air. There is a small shopping centre with a supermarket, liquor store, newsagency, cafe and resaurant. Stay at the Cairns Beach Resort.
Trinity Beach is very popular with everyone in Cairns and therefore has a huge selection of take-away shops, restaurants, small shopping centres, and accommodation types. Although mainly residential, the road along the beachfront is entirely dedicated to tourist resorts, restaurants and cafes. Stay at On the Beach Holiday Apartments.
Kewarra Beach is a secret protected by locals and there are not a lot of tourist development here. It is a gooe beach to bring a young family as it is clean and wide with and has picnic tables and play equipment. Stay at Kewarra Beach Resort.
Ellis Beach has a 5 kilometre strip of golden sandy beach and is nestled between the world heritage listed rainforest and the Coral Sea. Ellis Beach Bungalows offers spacious self-contained bungalows, set on picturesque beachfront land.
During the Australian winter, tourists and folks from the southern states flock to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland. The weather is warm but comfortable and the rainfall is minimal – but prices are up. During November to May, most beaches are protected by ‘stinger nets’ as poisonous jellyfish invade the coast. If you go during summer, be warned – Cairns is HOT and uncomfortable, averaging around 30degrees with over 60% humidity! Wherever you stay, make sure it is air conditioned and has a great pool!
And dont forget your sunscreen!