Located on the northeast coast of Australia in the state of Queensland, Cairns is a rapidly expanding tourism and business destination popular with nature lovers from around the world, as it is only an hour’s boat ride from the Great Barrier Reef.
As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns’ core attractions revolve around the water. Tour operators are abundant, with opportunities to indulge in adrenaline activities such as rafting, Bungee jumping and four wheel drive tours. For the more sedate, river cruises and rainforest walks beckon. There’s also a world-class golf course .
Tourists holidaying in Cairns are sure to enjoy the unique shopping experience that the city provides. Cairns is full of different types of shopping outlets that include night markets, day markets and shopping centres. Whether visitors are looking to purchase fashionable clothing, jewellery or souvenirs to take back home, Cairns is the perfect place to be.
Travellers should definitely stop in at the Cairns Central shopping centre which is the largest and most popular shopping destination in Cairns. Home to more than 180 stores, the Cairns Central is the largest mall in the whole North Queensland area and has the only department store in the region. The place also has several different boutique styled shops where visitors are sure to pick up some great merchandise.
The Night Markets in Cairns is also another popular destination among locals and tourists looking to shop. Full of treasures, the Night Markets come alive each evening as crowds of people stream in to this area. The Night Markets are located at the Esplanade and is famous for the sale of art items, crafts and Australian souvenirs of all kinds. Visitors can also sample delicious cuisine at the food outlets available here.
The Esplanade Markets near the Night Markets, which are open on Saturdays, are ideal for those looking to purchase lovely trinkets and delicate jewellery. Other popular markets in the city include the Tanks Market Day which is held at the Tanks Art Center situated on Edge Hill. Held on every last Sunday of specific months, this market is unique as it carries a different theme that varies from month to month.
Other recommended places to visit in Cairns for shopping include the Pier Marketplace that features shopping outlets at the marina, and the Shields Street shopping section that is sealed off only for pedestrians.
Flecker Botanic Gardens
Home to exotic flora and fauna, the Flecker Batonic Gardens is one of the top tourist destinations to be visited in Cairns. Visitors are sure to experience a sense of entering into a different world where the hidden beauty of tropical nature can be appreciated. Filled with colourful rare flowers, thick foliage and several different types of trees, the Gardens are set in a natural landscape covering an area of 38 hectares. Uniquely, the Flecker Botanic Gardens features diverse plant growth resembling the tropical jungles of South East Asia and Africa, and plant life suited to the wet weather of Cairns.
Managed by the City Council of Cairns, the Gardens originally opened up to the public in 1886 as a recreational spot but was later converted to the Flecker Botanic Gardens in 1971. This natural oasis can be separated into 3 sections, which are the Collin’s Avenue main garden area, the Mount Whitfield Conservation Park and the Centenary Lakes.
Tourists visiting the Flecker Botanic Gardens should not miss out on exploring some of the site’s main attractions that includes an orchid abode, a fernery, a garden where plants used by Aboriginals are grown, and the salt and fresh water lakes that dot the Gardens. For those interested in hiking, the Mount Whitfield Conservation Park, the Garden’s Rainforest Boardwalk and the Gondwanan Heritage Trail are a must see.
The Mount Whitfield Conservation Park features a typical rainforest environment. The site is home to two hiking trails known as the Red Trail and the Blue Trail. Trekking along these trails will not only allow visitors to admire the lush foliage that grows here and engage in bird watching, but also to behold a breathtaking view of the surrounding area from the peak top. The Rainforest Boardwalk trail takes guests through a diverse environment of palm trees and rainforests that ends up in a swampy marsh area. At the end of this trail, tourists arrive at the Centenary Lakes. The Gondwanan Heritage Trail is more educational and goes through an area where wet tropical plants and trees are grown and conserved.
Tourists holidaying in Cairns should definitely make a trip to the spectacular Flecker Botanic Gardens. This popular attraction in Cairns is a great place for the whole family to visit. Travellers looking for an elegant and luxurious hotel to stay in whilst vacationing in the city should consider the Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns. This contemporary hotel will leave visitors with unforgettable memories of their holiday in Cairns.
Tjapukai Cultural Park
The Tjapukai Cultural Park is sure to take its visitors down an exciting path of history and tradition that goes back to an era of over 40,000 years of age. The Park highlights the cultural and historical aspects of the tribal Aborigines, and is a great place to visit for both entertainment and educational purposes. Covering an area of 25 acres, the Park highlights spectacular dramas, interesting exhibitions, unique displays, and lively music and dance performances among other attractions.
Suitable for families, couples and children, the Tjapukai Cultural Park is the only of its kind in the whole of Cairns, combining the latest theater technology in the business to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience. The word ‘Tjapukai’ means rainforest as it is closely linked to the culture of the aborigines. The Park allows visitors to engage in plenty of interactive activities where original Tjapukai people teach the guests the customs and culture of their traditions.
The Tjapukai Cultural Park can be explored during the day, whilst exciting night shows are held every night. At the Park, there are plenty of events and places to visit. The Magic Space is a museum that contains artifacts that were once used by the Tjapukai people. The origin of some of the artifacts goes back to approximately 40,000 years of age. The Gallery too houses old souvenirs and artwork. Historical tales of the aboriginal people are retold with much drama and acted out skillfully at the Creation Theatre. At the History Theatre, a 20 minute film is played for visitors that educate them on the impact that European settlers have had on this ancient culture.
More lively events and activities can be experienced at the Dance Theatre and the Tjapukai Camp. The Dance Theatre features live outdoor performances of music and song that are sure to keep guests of any age entertained. The Tjapukai Camp is a place where tourists can engage in fun activities and games along with the Tjapukai people.
Travellers looking for a luxurious hotel to stay in whilst vacationing in the seaside destination of Cairns should look no further than the Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns. Hotel rooms at this elegant and contemporary hotel make for a cozy and comfortable living space. The hotel is also well placed for exploring the beautiful city of Cairns and visiting attractions like the Tjapukai Cultural Park.
Cairns Regional Gallery
Experience the vibrant visual arts of Tropical North Queensland in this elegant heritage in the heart of Cairns. Construction of the former Public Curators Building was completed in 1936 – a stately two story building of brick and stane. In 1995, the building was renovated and re-opened as the Cairns Regional Gallery.
Cairns Regional Gallery hosts exhibitions of fine major Australina and international collections covering historical and contemporary art including the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.