Anyone who lives here in paradise can tell you there’s a multitude of reasons why you should visit Cairns. So, I thought I’d give you a quick summary of my top 5 reasons in case you aren’t aware.
The Great barrier reef stretches for 2300Km (approx. 1430 miles) and is known as the world’s largest coral reef system. It has been labelled as one of the Natural Wonders of the world. The best part is that Cairns and Port Douglas are the main access points to explore this magical underwater wonder. The reef is facing challenges with coral bleaching, climate change and crown of thorns starfish. Whilst scientists are doing their best to prevent the destruction of the reef, we really don’t know how much longer it will be around. This is all the more reason to get to Cairns and see it while you still can. There are a heap of options for a day trip out to the reef but here are a few that I would recommend:
Another reason to visit Cairns is our rainforest. There are very few places in the world where you can encounter an underwater wonderland and heritage rainforest in the same day but Cairns is one of those places. The great thing about this is you get the best of both worlds. Our rainforest is ancient and there’s something so restorative about being amongst trees that have been there longer than you’ve been on the planet. There are plants and wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else. Bill Bryson explains about the Daintree Rainforest in “Down Under”, “It’s a landscape in which it wouldn’t entirely surprise you to see pterosaurs gliding through the trees or velociraptors sprinting across the road ahead.”. It’s the perfect place to get back to nature.
3. Indigenous Culture
2020 was declared the year for Indigenous Tourism by the Queensland Government. Seeing as COVID put a big spanner in the works of the travel industry, that has now been extended to 2021. The aim of this initiative is to inject AU$10 million into growing and developing tourism jobs for Indigenous Queenslanders and to make Queensland the leaders for Indigenous Tourism in Australia. I’m a firm believer that whenever you visit a country, you should immerse yourself in the local culture and Australia is no different. Cairns has a number of tourist activities where people can learn and experience the cultural traditions of the Aboriginal people who have lived in Australia for more than 60,000 years!
Some great options for cultural activities are:
Another reason you need to come to Cairns is our waterfalls. We are absolutely blessed to be surrounded by a huge array of waterfalls. Whether you are a keen photographer or you just like looking at or swimming near waterfalls then you are in for a treat. There are far too many to mention them all here but there is a waterfalls circuit you can do from Cairns up to the Atherton Tablelands. All the waterfalls on this circuit are only a short walk from the carpark as are a lot of the other waterfalls around the Cairns region. There are also some other waterfalls that will require more of an effort to get to which makes them all the more satisfying when you get there! Please keep in mind that waterfalls can be more impressive in the wet season (October to April) but that can often mean it might be raining so choose your time to visit wisely.
5. Hiking and Walking
Whether you are a hardcore trekker wanting to do spend a few days out in the bush or you just fancy a leisurely morning stroll through the rainforest, there are a multitude of options for you to explore in and around the Cairns region. I have written the first of a series of blogs about the walks on offer around Cairns here. There are also some great facebook groups for walking and hiking in Cairns so if you have specific questions, they can be a great place to get some local advice. Something about Cairns seems to inspire you to get active while you are here so why not make the most of it and plan your trip accordingly?
Take it from a Kiwi who ended up living here – there’s something truly magical about Cairns! If you haven’t explored it all, it’s time you came to visit. Cairns is the gift that keeps on giving.