For our 18th Wedding Anniversary on 19th February 2012, Scott and I had a week long holiday in Cairns and we loved it!
Arriving mid Thursday afternoon via a direct Jetstar flight (such a bargain, $99 flights each way from Adelaide) we took a walk along the esplanade and grabbed a gourmet, light burger for a late lunch at Grilled.
In our little beep beep rental car we explored the city to get our bearings, stocked up on supplies, picked up all the touristy info and decided on the things we wanted to do, Thursday night we had dinner with Scott’s colleague at the Raw Prawn – the prawn and avocado salad was lovely and light.
On Friday we set out north and drove to the Skyrail station that took us to Kuranda. We had a carriage all to ourselves and stopped at the waterfall station on the way up. It was a tad windy and at times we exchanged looks and a few words as you are high above the tree line with parts of the ride very steep and bumpy.
Overall it was a good experience and a great way to see the scenery avoiding the windy drive. After hopping on the free bus to the markets and a walk around Kuranda with a stop into the Scottish Fudge shop, we took the Skyrail back down to the bottom with stunning views out to the coast.
Friday night we had a couple of drinks at local hot spot Gilligans – a large, modern complex with back packer accommodation, outdoor decking (that is more pub style) with a local band paying and night club/lounge options inside.
Saturday started with coffee at Coffee Works – so beautiful and creamy – shopping at Rusty’s Market, Direct Factory Outlet and then hiring a boat from Cairns Boat Hire for fishing. I caught a fish and unfortunately Scott didn’t catch anything!
Sunday was our wedding anniversary and so we drove north of Cairns, along the beautiful coastline and headed towards Port Douglas. Our first stop was Mossman Gorge for a swim with the cat fish in the world heritage listed rainforest. The gorge is picturesque and sitting out on the granite rock in the middle of the river is a great chance to take it all in.
Port Douglas markets, a walk along the main street, drive up to the look out and a seafood lunch at the oldest pub in the Port, theCentral Hotel made for a memorable day.
With overcast weather and the threat of rain, we decided to drive south and visit Innisfail – an attractive town and we had lunch at theImperial Tavern overlooking the river. I hadn’t been to Mission Beach since I was a teenager and a drive through the rain forest uncovered a familiar looking beachside town with a cute mail street and long palm-fringed beach.
Making it back to Cairns in time for the World Record Zumba attempt the line-up was huge and we got into the park just before the 30 minute class started. With over 3000 people we Zumba’d into the Guinness record book – a hot, steamy class and lots of fun.
Wednesday was our final full day in Cairns and we wanted to do something special. A trip on a big catamaran to Green Island for 2 hours and then out to Norman Reef for snorkelling, lunch and semi-sub viewing with the very professional crew from Great Adventureswas fantastic. Being a little nervous about snorkelling on the reef I donned a very attractive stinger suits and got into the water. The experience was excellent, the coral really does look like a garden under the sea, with schools of fish swimming past including large gropers and dodging people using the scooba-doos.
Each day we swam in the esplanade lagoon which was open til late to the public, locals and tourists alike – very popular and a fantastic facility – here’s all the pics.
I highly recommend a week in Cairns especially to re set yourself and relax – if you’ve been on holiday recently or plan to go soon what activities are on your list?