Top 5 Things To Do In Cairns & The Great Barrier Reef

  • Mar 28, 2015
  • Stoewie van den Bulk

Cairns presents a chic, modern feel with luxurious resorts, award-winning restaurants, bustling markets, and a vibrant nightlife.

However, just beyond the hectic-paced, cosmopolitan atmosphere, lies the unimaginable beauty that is the Great Barrier Reef and, alongside it, ancient sprawling rainforest. It’s this immense diversity that makes the region a text-book example of the perfect getaway destination.

Here are 5 experiences you don’t want to miss:

1. One thing the region does exceptionally well is food, with restaurants ranking among the best in Australia, featuring everything from fine-dining to barbecues. The theme throughout is most definitely diversity, with a wide-range of international cuisine to choose from, and where fresh, local seafood absolutely takes pride of place. Try out Tamarind, an award-winning restaurant offering a contemporary menu, showcasing Asian fusion.

Cairns

2. Cairns is a culturally-rich city, where art is appreciated, valued and diverse. The 2km stretch of the Esplanade Boardwalk is littered with spectacular public art displays, and the city hosts an impressive regional gallery. There is also a strong sense of history, especially concerning the local indigenous people, and the region celebrates this through art and festivals. For a once in a life time opportunity, visit the Samurai Gallery, home to an enthralling display of artefacts, the only one of its kind in Australia.

3. Relaxation is key for many on an escape to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, and the wide array of luxury spas and well-being centres pay testament to this. Oiled, with locations in both Cairns and Green Island, offers out of this world massages, using only the purest Australian jojoba oils. Choose from an upper body or foot massage and float your way right out of the salon!

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4. Undoubtedly, the biggest lure to the area is the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. There is no shortage of ways to explore the natural wonder; you can dive right in and snorkel or scuba, jump on board a semi-submarine or glass-bottomed boat, or fly over the impressive expanse. To the other extreme, yet complementing the ocean entirely, is a land that time forgot: the ancient rainforest, millions of years in the making. Chug through rugged terrain peppered with tumbling waterfalls on the inimitable Kuranda Scenic Railway, and prepare to be awestruck.

5. If you like to partake in a little retail therapy, you’ll be inundated with choice in the region. From sprawling shopping centres, to the unique night markets offering fresh, local produce, not to mention art and craft stores, designer boutiques and quaint souvenir shops, it is non-stop! However, for something a little off the beaten track, head to Millaa Millaa and visit the Mungalli Creek Dairy, an award-winning farm making biodynamic (organic) dairy produce, including yoghurt and cheese.

 

Where you stay during your break away can often mean the difference between a great experience and an exceptional one. Make your accommodation the cherry on top, and be sure to check out our range of luxury accommodation in the region.

Image Credit: Tourism Australia

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