8 reasons to visit Cairns
The city’s best attractions revealed
Wedged between the Great Dividing Range, World Heritage wet tropics rainforest and the Coral Sea, Cairns is no shrinking violet when it comes to natural beauty. While the Great Barrier Reef needs little introduction, north Queensland’s tropical city is the central hub in a many-spoked wheel. Here are some of our top reasons to visit Cairns.
1 PARONELLA PARK
Uncover a romantic tale between Spanish cane farmer Jose Paronella’s and his beloved wife Margarita at Paronella Park, south of Cairns. After purchasing virgin scrub in the 1920s, Jose created a pleasure garden for Margarita, later expanding it and opening the five-hectare park to the public. Powered by an innovative hydroelectric system pumping water from Mena Creek, Paronella has won numerous awards. Rising from the forest, stairways and paths glide past elaborately constructed walls leading to a Spanish-style castle. Draped in lichen and moss, structures are shaded by a magnificent stand of kauri trees planted by Jose almost 100 years ago. Stay for lunch at the cafe or overnight in a small cabin.