"Cairns - more than the Great Barrier Reef" Top 5 Page for this destination Cairns by vtveen

Cairns Travel Guide: 869 reviews and 2,212 photos

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef was on our wish list since long times and making an around the world trip we could fit Cairns into our itinerary. It was also our first serious visit to Australia.

Of course the boat trip to the Reef was the highlight of our visit, but to be honest we were, as ‘first time snorkelers’, rather disappointed about the services and help we got during our trip on the Compass.
Nevertheless the Great Barrier Reef itself was ‘a once in a lifetime’ experience.

But Cairns has a lot more to offer. To explore the surroundings we had a rental car for a couple of days, which allowed us to travel where and when we wanted. We made a trip to Kuranda and Mareeba and it was amazing to see how the landscape was changing from a tropical rainforest into (almost) a desert. A notice board along the road said: “Mareeba: where the rainforest meets the outback’.
Another trip was to the Atherton Tableland with its impressive Fig Trees and crater lakes.

Cairns is (of course) very touristy with every kind of accommodation between camping sites and basic hostels, through apartments till five star hotels (and they are still building new and bigger ones), an untold number of travel agencies, shops, galleries, restaurants and ….. everything you need as a tourist.

We were very lucky with the weather and for us it was indeed: ‘Queensland – Sunshine State’.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great Barrier Reef, the weather
  • In a nutshell:‘an once in your lifetime’ experience
  • Last visit to Cairns: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 29, 2007
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Reviews (18)

Comments (4)

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    Very good and interesting tips !!!!! I will read them with more detail to prepare my next trip Gracias !!!!

  • Jun 4, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Thanks for the tips. Did you take the train or cablecar to Kuranda> Can you see as much scenery etc. with just a car?norma

  • canuck68's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2007 at 12:49 PM

    Your pictures are very stunning and your tips helpful. If I ever go to Australia, Cairns will certainly be on my list.

  • northeast80's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2006 at 4:05 AM

    Mooi nieuwe pagina's Jaap. Ik antwoord nu op uw e-mail. Emma.


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