Cairns is now a modern and vibrant city and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding resorts. Only 3 miles south of its own airport, Cairns lies on the north shore of Trinity Inlet where it opens into the Coral Sea. It faces the Great Barrier Reef to the east, with Green and Fitzroy Islands close by. This part of the coast is separated from the interior by the Atherton Table Land which is a fertile plateau and is part of the Greta Diving Range in Queensland; a tourist area of historic towns, rainforest crater lakes and waterfalls. There is no beach as such at Cairns itself; golden sandy beaches are found along the 16 mile stretch of coast north of the city.
Lying 25 miles north of Cairns and the airport along the Captain Cook Highway is the attractive tourist town of Port Douglas, full of character, stretching the length of its extensive, sandy and accurately named Four Mile Beach. Most hotels and an 18-hole golf course are situated near the beach which never becomes crowded; the town centre is situated on a split of land jutting into the sea. A good selection of restaurants in town on Macrossan Street as well a variety of shops. If you are looking for night life you should opt for Cairns.
Excursions from Cairns and Port Douglas
There is a scenic railway ride to Karanda in the Atherton Tableland which can be combined with a 4 mile plus cable-car ride through and over the rainforest. There are various other excursions including one to the Daintree National Park leading through the rainforest to Cape Tribulation; a headland 68 miles north of Cairns. It was so named by James Cook, the famous British Navigator in 1770 when his ship encountered problems by hitting two reefs in the area and nearly sinking. While in Daintree take a ride on the Crocodile Express – a safe way to see crocs at close quarters!
Outdoor activities can be found in abundance in this area; bungee jumping, tandem sky-diving, white water rafting, hot-air balloon trips; one or two day boat trips to the The Great Barrier Reef and its islands.
Please contact me to learn more about Cairns and Port Douglas, what I consider to be an excellent choice of accommodation and details of various itineraries which would include this attractive area. I also have information on longer cruises of the Barrier Reef and luxury island resorts.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
Photo: Cape Tribulation (PG) 42