Delightful holiday destination
THE resort city of Cairns, located in the north- eastern part of Australia, is best known as the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns is a holiday paradise waiting to be discovered.
The Great Barrier Reef
Like the splendid Taj Mahal of India and imposing Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef is a must- see in Australia.
No visit Down Under is complete without making a pilgrimage to see the world’s largest living organism, which happens to be the only living structure visible from space.
Think crystal- clear waters, sunny weather almost all year round and an amazing array of marine life. Stretching more than 2,000km, the Great Barrier Reef comprises some 3,400 coral reefs, 1,500 species of fish and 400 types of corals – truly breathtaking.
The best thing is, you can get up close with the schools of bluefinned yellowtails, coral trout and more, even if you don’t know how to swim.
> Take to the air to get a complete grasp of the sheer magnitude of the Great Barrier Reef.
Experience that once in a lifetime helicopter flight, over the sparkling sapphire blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
The view is nothing short of spectacular ( www. gbrhelicopters. com. au).
> Book a full day reef cruise to the Outer Barrier Reef
and hop on a glass- bottom boat or semi- submersible. The semi- sub is like a submarine, giving you a diver’s view of the reef – albeit in air- conditioned comfort ( http:// www. greatadventures. com. au).
Don a special helmet and walk along a platform among the marine life. No experience is needed, and because you walk on the smooth, clean sand of the sea floor, it’s perfect for non- swimmers ( www. seawalker. com. au).
> Do the Seawalker:
Jet Snorkelling is the latest attraction on the Great Barrier Reef and the coolest way to explore the reef.
> Ride on a Seabob Jet:
Adventure for thrill seekers
Cairns is widely known as the adventure capital of Australia, with a staggering range of adventure trips:
Cairns is a Mecca for white- water rafting.
The Tully River is known as the world’s best one- day rafting experience with 44 exhilarating rapids along its course.
It is a fun and unique way to experience the world- heritage Cape Tribulations Daintree Rainforest.
Zoom through the trees on flying fox zip lines, stopping at five platforms with bird’s- eye views over the treetops, down to cascading streams and out to the Great Barrier Reef. Its suitable for young and old alike.
Imagine the thrill of freefalling a full 60 seconds from 14,000ft with nothing but a parachute attached to your back.
Throw in spectacular views of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest World Heritage Area and it’s not hard to see why skydiving in Cairns is a cut above the rest.
> Whiter water rafting:
> Jungle surfing:
If there’s anything worth dragging yourself out of bed at 4am for, it’s hot air ballooning. Romantic, scenic, loads of fun – it is all these and more.
Family fun experiences
For a fun getaway with your family, there are various activities that await:
> Swim in the Cairns’ Esplanade’s huge open air lagoon pool,
right on The Cairns Esplanade, with glorious views out to sea – and best of all, it’s free.
> Cairns Wildlife Dome and ZOOM
is an all- weather wildlife exhibit located in the heart of the city. It is home to the world’s first Challenge Ropes Course in a wildlife immersion exhibit, with over 50 elements of crossings and ziplines, including one which takes participants directly over the top of Goliath, its resident 4m saltwater crocodile.
> Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
– Get your camera ready for the crocodile feeding time, when the huge reptile leaps into the air to catch its food on a pole.
This award- winning eco- tourism attraction promises a nature- based, yet entertaining experience.
> A short 45 minutes by cruise from Cairns is Fitzroy Island,
perfect for families with its calm sheltered waters and kids can learn to snorkel right off the beach.
Glass bottom boat tours, guided walks, ocean trampoline, kayaks and stand- up paddle boarding tours are available on the island.
For more information, visit www. queensland. com.
cairns Wildlife dome and ZOOM is an all- weather wildlife exhibit located in the heart of the city.
do the seawalker – don a special helmet and walk along a platform among the marine life.
Get your camera ready for the crocodile feeding time, when the huge reptile leaps into the air to catch food on a pole.
White water rafting is a must- do in cairns. — Photo courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland