Cairns Off The Beaten Path Tips by tropicrd Top 5 Page for this destination
Cairns Off The Beaten Path: 49 reviews and 119 photos
Red dirt road on Cairns Highlands.
I strongly suggest when in Cairns to hire a car and get off the main highways and roads and explore the beautiful countryside on offer.
A lot of the roads are graded or deemed suitable for conventional cars.
You might come across unexpected views or wildlife etc.
Your car can get pretty dusty especially if you are driving on the red dirt roads.
Be sure to pull over to the side of the road and wait until the dust settles if a car is in front of you,the visibility is very low with that thick dust flying everywhere.
Enjoy your drive and remember to take water, food and a map of the area. Watch out for cattle grids.
Other Contact: Cairns country areas
Entrance to the cemetery
The Cairns Pioneer Cemetery is interesting yet sad at the same time,it looks run down and a lot of the graves and tombstones are hard to read and in ruins.
The early settlers who came to what was a tropical wilderness full of unknown dangers must have been very draining--mind,body and soul.A lot of these early pioneers died at a young age from maleria,accidents and childbirth.
Most of the white settlers had tombstones and fenced in gravesites but,the Chinese (mostly market gardeners),indigenous people and labourers only had a small stone to mark their resting places.
It rests under gum trees and pine trees and is peaceful.
A rotunda has been erected in the grounds with all the names of pioneers who were buried here inscribed on plaques with some history regarding the Cairns area.
It is open from 6am to 10pm-it is not fenced but the police patrol the cemetery after dark because it has been trashed in the past with graffiti painted on the graves.The Cairns Council erected a fence 2012 to stop the vandalism in this cemetery after many complaints by concerned citizens.
Other Contact: Cairns Council Customer Service.
Phone: 07 4044 3044
Vote 1 Virtual Tourist.
If you want to know how the Cairns City Council feels about visitors to our town then why not go to the Council Chambers and meet some of them.They will make you very welcome and will inform you about Cairns and surrounding areas through their experience.
A little bit different than the 'norm' but it is really nice know that the councillors are prepared to greet you if they have the time to spare.You may need to ring and make an appointment.
I have some photoes of the Cairns Council Chambers on my Off the Beaten Path pages so feel free to look at them.
Other Contact: Cairns Regional Council,Spence S
Take time to reflect
If you come to Cairns QLD then give yourself time away from your hectic sight seeing and head to Centenary Lakes along Greenslopes Street,Edge Hill/North Cairns.
Sit yourself down on one of the seats situated beside one of the lakes--freshwater or saltwater and watch the reflections in the water.It won't be long before you are mesmerised with such a tranquil scene.
A water bird or a duck may swim past and ripple the water but it adds to the relaxing scene.
It costs nothing to do this and you will be surprised at how good you will feel.
Other Contact: Centenary Lakes,Cairns QLD.
West side of the lake
Wandering around the west side of the Cairns Freshwater Lake,you are likely to find yourself in an area that not many people visit.Unfortunately,the unmade tracks make it unsuitable for wheelchairs and prams.The gravel and dirt pathways skirt around the lily ponds and through the swamplands making it an ideal place to watch birds, look at plants,trees,lilly's and insect life.
This is where the Cairns Birdwatchers come and set up their tripods early in the morning hoping to catch one of the many native birds that habitat this area.
The lillies look beautiful when they are in bloom and make sure you take notice of the crocodile warning sign,a croc was spotted in this area only two weeks ago oct 2011.
I have taken some pictures of plants/flowers and put them in a travelogue so hope you enjoy them.
I love coming here it is very peaceful.
Keep your eyes open,I spotted a pair of finches building their nest this morning.
Don't forget to take water,insect repellant and your camera.
Other Contact: Freshwater Lake,Greenslopes Stre
Fig tree fruit
I have written up about the 3 different walking tracks in the Stoney Creek Gorge. it is around this area that I find worthy of sharing,especially the fruits and trees of the rainforest.
The Stoney Creek is aptly named for it is very dry during the (dry season) and some of the stones and small boulders are smooth and white.These are protected rocks...as the creek passes through Kamerunga Conservation Park near the Barron River Bridge.
Other Contact: Stoney Creek,Cairns.
Enjoy your walk.
Stoney Creek Gorge,is north of Cairns in the Barron Gorge National Park and can be accessed from Kamerunga Road into Stoney Creek Road near the Barron River Kamerunga bridge.If you are driving there is a small carpark at the end of the road.
Or you can park your car or get off the Sunbus at Lake Placid and walk to the tracks which
is approx a 3 klm walk from Lake Placid via the Kamerunga Conservation Park that takes you across the old Barron River causeway directly linking you with Stoney Creek Road..the causeway is 250 meters upstream from the Kamerunga Bridge is closed to traffic and only served for a pedestrian crossing to get across the river.
I am writing up only two tracks,but as a local there are many others in the area but are unmarked..so I don't want anyone getting lost.
Don't forget your water,hat, insect repellant,strong walking/hiking shoes and please heed the signs for crocodiles,stinging plants etc. These two tracks dirt with rocks and tree roots jutting up--so be careful and watch your step.
Weir Track--30 minutes return.
The entrance into the Stoney Creek Gorge is via the narrow cement footbridge,turn left after crossing and you will see a well- defined track that runs along side the watercourse.
Although it is classified as a moderate walk,it is a rough and rocky track.
You will pass several clear pools in the boulder type creek and some suitable to take a swim.
The buttressed rainforest trees with twisted roots are beautiful,and huge rock/boulders with ferns are magnificent.Few signs of human interference makes this ancient rainforest magical,children say they love this place.The path ends at the top of a large rock overlooking a waterfall.The Stoney Creek weir is a low natural rock wall damming the creek,slightly above the falls.
Track 2 and 3
Smith's Track--Kamerunga section-1 hour each way.Douglas Track.
Smith's track leaves from Stoney Creek Road on the western bank of Rocky Creek,next to the scout hut.
The track was damaged by cyclone Yasi 2011 and has recently been re-opened.
It starts in rainforest and breaks out into grassy,treed as it climbs to the southern side of the gorge.It then crosses over the Kuranda railway line at tunnel 9 when you are about a third of the way up. Orange markers show you the way and they are nailed to trees.This will take you to Stoney Creek Falls,via Toby's lookout.
This is not a really interesting scenic lookout but it offers the walker a direct coastal access to
Toby's and the ridge above the falls.
The distance from the scout hut to the lookout is approx 2.7 klms and due to the rough track you do need to have strong walking shoes/boots,plenty of drinking water and start early.Do not attempt this in wet weather.
Other Contact: Heed warning signs & closures.
Pyramid from the Mulgrave River.
Walsh's Pyramid mountain is situated approx 23 klms south of Cairns and the turn off is on the right hand side after you cross the Mulgrave river at Gordonvale.There is a parking area at the beginning of the track.
Walsh's Pyramid is 922m high free standing mountain and it will take about 4.5 hours return by a fit person,longer for others.
Runners and climbers flock to Gordonvale for the annual Pyramid race held in August.
It is classified as a seasonal bush walk so be aware that the track will most likely be closed in the wet season.Please read the signs for your own protection.
Make sure you take water and something to eat because it can be a long day--no camping allowed.It is a free attraction.
Lake Morris-Copperload Dam complex is the main water reserve for Cairns and to get there is to drive up the Lake Morris steep winding road that follows the power lines up the mountain range.
Facilities include a kiosk with a relaxing undercover veranda where you can have a meal,snack, a drink to re-energise while you take in the view.There is a picnic area and information about the Dam and flora/fauna.There is also a parking area.
There are walking tracks and you can walk out to the water supply pumping station and see the birds having a rest on the water hoses.
A strenuous walking track from Crystal Cascades parking area takes approx 1 hour each way,take your time,take your water and insect repellant and stop and enjoy the breathtaking scenery where you will be able to see Yorkeys Knob.The track is well marked so it's a bit hard to get lost unless you veer off which we advise against.
Please note: The Dam has no swimming areaand no camping or fires,you can check if any permits are needed by calling 07 4046 6601. Please be on the lookout for cyclists who practice their mountain climbing and joggers who I think are mad running up here in the tropical heat. During the wet season or heavy rain the walking track and the Lake Morris Road may need to close.
Other Contact: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Se
Phone: 07 4053 4533
Iconic Machans Beach post office
Machans Beach is a laid back beach community north of Cairns.
It is the first beach and is a popular fishing spot,moon gazing spot with fantastic views over the Coral Sea and Trinity Inlet.
Machans was a big hippy community in the 60's 70's and up to the 90's where flower power and all things natural were commonplace.The cottages along O'Shea Esplanade were frowned upon by the rest of Cairns but in the last say 15 years it has become the in-place to live.Why not with it's close proximity to Cairns CBD and with views and a lifestyle to die for.
The cottages are being renovated and restored to what I can only describe as a great place to settle down for the rest of ones life.There are chairs near the rock wall where you can relax and have a drink when the sun goes down and watch the moon rise or you can catch a fish or two to cook on the bbq.Lots of locals head to the Ebony & Ivory Restaurant & Bar which has lots of daily specials and live entertainment on certain nights.
Stroll along the Esplanade and enjoy.Have a look at Machans Beach cute post office.
Other Contact: Cairns road maps.
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