What to see in Cairns, New Zealand

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With the Daintree Rain-forest to the north, the Great Barrier Reef to the east and the Atherton Tablelands to the west, Cairns’ location is spectacular.

 

The small port city is your gateway to Tropical North Queensland. Cairns gives access to some truly unique ecosystems: From a lush green jungle to a sparkling blue Coral Sea.

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This is where the rain-forest meets the reef. As one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, Cairns is well set up for visitors, with a picturesque harbour, air-conditioned shopping malls and classic Australian pubs.

 

The parklands in the compact city center give you a taste of what it is to come when you set out to explore the this tropical region.

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Rent a bike or follow the promenade on foot, from the marina to the mangrove forest. To cool off, swim in the man-made lagoon or let the kids splash around in the water playground on the Esplanade.

 

A little further north, you can enjoy the gentle waves at sheltered Trinity Beach. Climb aboard the comfortable Skyrail for an impressive rainforest experience.

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Glide over the tree canopy and waterfalls of Barron Gorge and catch a breeze at scenic lookout points.

 

The last stop is Kuranda, a quaint and artistic mountain village. Browse the daily craft markets for souvenirs before you take the Scenic Railway back to Cairns.

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With its many free outdoor activities, bargains at the night markets and affordable food courts, Cairns is very attractive for those on a budget, especially families and backpackers.

 

Many come here for two nights and stay for weeks! For a more upscale oceanfront vacation, drive north along the scenic coastal road to Palm Cove or Port Douglas.

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Both towns are laid-back and offer miles of palm-fringed beaches, fishing piers, unique shops and rustic Aussie bars.

 

Port Douglas is a dream destination for snorkelers and divers. Book a cruise and explore the largest barrier reef in the world.

 

The only living structure that can be seen from space. Find yourself surrounded by tropical fish and see if you can spot the famous clownfish.

 

Enjoy lunch with views over the Coral Sea before you dive in again. It’s an amazing world down under! Back in the rainforest, drop in at a crocodile farm to see small fresh water crocs and the far more dangerous “salties”.

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The enormous creatures circle your boat in search of lunch. Watch out, they are hungry! In this swamp it is Eat Or Be Eaten, so how about some smoked crocodile for lunch?

 

Feeding time is a bit more relaxed in the Cairns Tropical Zoo. Cuddle a koala or wombat, visit the kangaroos and admire the colorful cassowary.

 

Experience the tribal Aboriginal lifestyle in the cultural center of the Tjapukai people. Named after the rainforest, this local Indigenous group takes great pride in teaching you traditional

hunter-gatherer skills.

 

Learn ancient survival techniques and witness a spectacular dancing ceremony with didgeridoo music.

 

Aboriginal traditions are also very much alive in downtown Cairns and you are welcome to join in.

 

End the day with a moonlit dinner on the oceanfront. Tropical North Queensland’s sensational natural and cultural attractions have a boomerang effect on visitors.

 

They always come back. With the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest on its doorstep, Cairns is your ticket to the tropics.

 

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