CAIRNS – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
Cairns – The Australian Traveller Guide
First rate dining, plenty of good hotels and lots of night life make it the major staging point for any Tropical North Queensland holiday. The Great Barrier Reef is right on your doorstep, along with a stunning tropical rainforest. Cairns is a 22hr drive north of Brisbane, the closest capital city, but this tropical town is considered by many to be the unofficial capital of Tropical North Queensland.
Where to Stay
It all depends on why you are in Cairns. Most of the hotels are around CBD with the high end hotels all there.
For an extended holiday (anything more than two nights) we suggest you head either north or south to find some of the great laid back towns of tropical Queensland. There is the sophisticated with plenty to do and not too crowded Port Douglas. More sedate and romantic Palm Cove. And for those a little more adventurous Cooktown to the north is more of a frontier town than anywhere else in the tropical north. To the south there is the idyllic lazy Mission Beach, also leaping off point for the family friendly Dunk Island and romantic super glitzy luxury Bederra Island.
What to Do
Both north and south of Cairns the all important reef trips will be a lot less crowded and therefore more enjoyable. The Daintree and Mossman Gorges are not to be missed. The indigenous tours and activities are also well worth it.
Adventure junkies can’t take themselves away from the white water rafting around Tully. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a little touristy but a worthwhile day trip out of Cairns. It’s also worthwhile to adventure further out to Lava Tubes at Undara.
There are clearly defined seasons in the tropical north, Wet and Dry. I’s always warm to hot. Peak season and the best time to travel is July to September, but the shoudler season of May and June can be the best of the weather and value.
The wet is not always out of the question, it doesn’t rain every day and it does stop, you just need to be able to handle humidity. The real downer in the wet can be the tropical cyclones.
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