Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Exploring Cairns City, Australia

Last summer, we were fortunate enough to visit Australia twice. The first time we went to Brisbane. The second time was in Cairns.

To be honest, I wasn't familiar with Cairns (pronounced ‘CANS’) before finding out we were going there. It's basically known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and Cape Tribulation in Tropical North Queensland Australia.

Since hubby had work there, we jumped at the chance to go with him. Seeing the Great Barrier Reef was definitely on my bucket list and I also wanted the kids to experience nature and see as much of the world as possible.

We went end of May to first week of June and it was actually the start of the winter season already in Australia (June to August). But since Cairns has a tropical climate all year round, the weather was just the right amount of cool for us. And it really felt so good to escape the sweltering Manila heat!

Cairns City has a very laid back vibe and is framed by a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. I mean look at the view right outside our hotel windows!

Btw, our hotel was the Mantra Trilogy which had a really spacious 1-bedroom apatrment. I loved the fully equipped kitchen since we saved a lot of money by just buying food from the grocery and cooking. The room also had bathtub, plus a washer and dryer. And we loved the huge balcony which of course had the gorgeous view of the pool and ocean.

The best part about the hotel was definitely its location though. It was near the airport and just a short walk from the famous Cairns Esplanade and also the Reef Fleet Terminal where the Great Barrier Reef day trips depart from.

Cairns Esplanade
Reef Fleet Terminal

Actually, the city is not that big so you could walk pretty much anywhere. It was all very relaxed and chill, which was a nice change from being in a bustling city (although I have to admit, I am a city girl at heart).

tourists ;p 
Cairns Art Gallery
Cairns Post Office

Probably the area we enjoyed the most was the Cairns Esplanade, which is a scenic promenade that includes a swimming lagoon, waterfront boardwalks, and BBQ areas. There were also so many good restaurants nearby which made it really hard to pick one when we'd eat. We'd pass this area everyday when walking back to our hotel and it was especially pretty at night lighted up.

You know me, I love shopping! So at first I was worried since there was only one major mall in the CBD, the Cairns Central Shopping Centre. But then I found out it had a Target and a Kmart which was all I needed lol! There was also a Coles, Smiggle, and Typo! Needless to say, we were there practically everyday. ;p

Most businesses and shops in Australia close quite early at around 5-6pm. Good thing there's the Cairns Night Markets & Food Court which opens from 4:30pm til late. It's a great place to grab a bite and browse around the different stalls selling Australian souvenirs, food products, jewelry, clothing, massage oils, arts & crafts, and many more.

I also noticed there were a lot of Aboriginal art around the city which gave us a little peek into their past and culture.

We loved exploring Cairns and I would definitely wish to come back soon. There are a lot of day trips and tours you can take while here. Of course, we took the Great Barrier Reef and also the Kuranda tours which I'll be posting about next. :)

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