In this article I will give you my personal tips for Cairns. As you may have noticed in the previous article Journey to Down Under – 10th stage Cairns, I have nothing negative to write about here either. First I will tell you about the things I did and then I will tell you what else I would have done if I had had more time in Cairns.
Cairns as a city is nothing special, do not expect a big city like Sydney or Melbourne. Nevertheless, it does have a certain beach and tropical vibe. I loved to stroll along the Esplande, feel the sun on my skin and smell the salty smell of the sea. The best thing to do is to get some ice cream to make the heat more bearable.
You should plan a whole day for the Outer Reef of Cairns. Check out the various dive shops and get the best deal. Green Island is perhaps the cheapest package, but many professional dive shops have advised against it. The further you go into the sea, the more beautiful the coral reefs become. That’s why it’s worth to splash out here. Another tip: always ask where the boat is going and what is included in the price!
As a small comparison:
We were on Michaelmas Island and spent about 200CHF per person. The price included transport, food & drinks plus one glass of prosecco, wetsuit and snorkeling equipment and a trip with a ship which had a glass bottom.
Next I would recommend you to visit the botanical garden if you are interested in the beautiful flora of Australia. Not only will you see millions of different plants and flowers, but you will also learn a lot of new things from the information boards. I was really impressed by the botanical garden and I had a lot of fun exploring it with Sureya.
This can also be combined with my next tip. Go out one evening and buy dinner at the nightmarket and then eat it at the Esplanade. But before you buy your food, you should have a look at the small stands and be dazzled by the huge offer. You can find everything from jewellery, toys to natural medicine. After eating, you can stroll along the Esplanade until you find a suitable bar to have a drink. For me personally it was a successful day. (Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the Nightmarket)
So now to what I would have liked to do if I had had more time. An absolute must do is the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree Rainforest is one of Australia’s most picturesque sites, with stunning scenery, and abundant flora and fauna. I have seen many pictures of it and when I was a kid I drove through it with my family without remembering very much. Even now while researching I regret that we did not go to the Daintree Rainforest.
Another point is the Crystal Cascades, which will simply take your breath away with their beauty. I would have loved to go swimming there in the middle of the rainforest. I imagine it to be very special and also very peaceful.
I would also have loved to take the train to Kuranda. The Scenic Railway runs from Cairns to the nearby town of Kuranda, passing by incredible scenery such as World Heritage-listed forest. We had read about it and wanted to do it, but the train did not run that day when we had planned to take it.
Finally, I would like to raise a point that is very important to me: The Coral bleaching. If you don’t know what coral bleaching means, here is a short explanation: “Warmer water temperatures can result in coral bleaching. When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.” (Source: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html)
I have seen this phenomenon with my own eyes. I had already seen the Great Barrier Reef in 2007 and 11 years later the reef looked totally different. White corals as far as my eye could see and if they were not white, they were long dead. But there were still a few alive and they need to be protected now! I am not a good example of environmental sustainability with all my flying, but every day I try my best to correct my behavior and live more environmentally consciously.
If I have aroused your interest in the topic, I have a very special film for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGGBGcjdjXA&t=38s
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