A tropical paradise, coupled with booming nightlife and heart-pounding adventure is the city of Cairns in the land down under, Straya. It is a popular sunny vacation destination attracting wistful divers, winsome travelers, and adrenaline junkies whose laid back ambience has gripped the hearts of them all.
Cairns is primarily visited to experience the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory, however, this beautiful city has succeeded in amusing travellers in other respects also.
A BRIEF HISTORY ABOUT CAIRNS
Cairns was named after William Wellington Cairns (1828-1888) Governor of Queensland from 1875-77. Before the official recognition, the town was variously known as Dickson River by the people who squatted along its banks, Newport by Cooktown residents who saw Cairns as a rival, Thornton after William Thornton and Trinity Bay by those who were unsure of the real name.
THE MAIN ATTRACTION – GREAT BARRIER REEF
One of the 7 natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living organism on the planet and home to some of the most incredible deep sea creatures. The Great Barrier Reef ‘is a beaut’ and can be enjoyed at cheap prices on a big boat with other travellers or privately on luxury charters. Many people also like to see its magnificent colours from above by taking a sweet helicopter ride.
Novice or expert – every kind of diver can enjoy the brilliant colours of the underwater world from his own comfort zone. Diving spots range from the shallow, calm & protected waters to the deeper sites in the outer reefs. Some of the best diving spots are believed to be in the Ribbon Reefs. There are also amazing opportunities for snorkeling here.
Here, at the Great Barrier Reef, it is truly possible to have an unforgettable experience as you swim with the brightest of fishes, the majestic turtles and come extremely close to the most colourful corals in the world. The best way to see it all is to go island hopping to the best islands!
Nov-May is considered as the stinger season (when there are jellyfishes galore).
Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and has over 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometers? It is believed to be visible from space!
TJAPUKAI ABORIGINAL CULTURAL PARK
Experience the culture, food, dance and arts of the world’s oldest living culture at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. You can learn to play a didgeridoo, throw a boomerang and also weave, paint and create your own souvenir!
At night, eat world-class food and enjoy world class entertainment as the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders depict the thrill of the hunt and the ancient totems of its people. Celebrate their music, dance and chant with them, enjoy a fire making ceremony (with sticks, not matches!) and take part in the Rainbow Serpent Circle.
By day or night, the Aboriginal Culture Park is sure to elevate your experiences manifold.
Did you know the Aboriginal custom throughout Australia bans a person from talking directly to their mother-in-law? Perhaps the rule was so formed to avoid the constant disagreements and arguments that ensue between husbands/wives and their mother-in-laws!
A SMALL JOURNEY AWAY
The Daintree Rainforest is a must visit for those who want to experience the rainforest by being in it! It is more rugged, natural and wild and you can really connect with nature on a deeper level. Spending 2 days is ideal here.
Consider the Kuranda train & Skyrail experience where you can go over the rainforest in a cable car and experience the scenic view from the train of the Barron Falls. There are many petit shops here selling local art and other cool stuff!
THE BIG PICTURE
Australia is known for its’ big things’ collection and Cairns also adds to its collection. Called as the Marlin Capital of the World, the number of 1000 pound Black Marlins caught on Cairns’ coast is more than the rest of the world’s fishing grounds put together! To commemorate this, they have erected a 10 metre tall Marlin ouside Stockland Shopping Centre on Mulgrave Road as a reminder that you are indeed in the ‘big game fish’ territory.
Cairns biggest contribution and their object of pride, is the 14 m high Big Captain Cook structure located on the Cook Highway that has been voted as Australia’s No. 1 Big Thing in an online poll. Its huge size was an accident as the measurements were mistakenly read in the plans as 14 m instead of 14 feet. His outstretched hand is no ‘Heil Hitler’ representation nor is it trying to hold back the barrage of tourists, who come to Cairns each year – as the locals like to interpret it; but it was his motion to his crew commanding them not to shoot at the aborigines. It was nearly repainted to look like George Washington in 2010…but thankfully, the locals revolted. Interestingly, Cairns also boasts of a lot of businesses thriving on Cook’s name right from Captain Cook Cruises to the Captain Cook Laundromat.
Another thing about Cairns is that it has a lot to offer in terms of adventure, too. Diving and snorkeling is only the beginning… you can also do sailing, golfing, bungee jumping, hiking, cycling, hot air ballooning and white water rafting, here.
Hope this post has inspired you to go for a vacation Down There.
Write in the comments what you loved the most about Cairns or what you are planning to do there!
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” – St. Augustine