Queensland Journals

Bill in Australia - CAIRNS and QUEENSLAND

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A November 2001 trip to Queensland by billmoy

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort  Photo, Cairns, Australia More Photos
Quote: Cairns in itself is not a great destination city for tourists. However, its central location allows Cairns to serve as an excellent homebase for a variety of activities in Tropical North Queensland within driving or sailing distance.

Bill in Australia - CAIRNS and QUEENSLAND

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Overview

Cairns Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
Cairns (pronounced "cans") is a seaside resort town in the state of Queensland, sort of like the Florida of Australia. Cairns is located in the northern part of the state between two stunning World Heritage sites: the Wet Tropical Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. The city is well stocked with travel agencies and tour companies ready to whisk you away by land, by sea, and even by air to see a cornucopia of exciting things. You can sign up for a scuba tour of the Great Barier Reef, see exotic animals like crocodiles and kangaroos in their native habitat, ride through (and above) the rainforest to visit Kuranda, and experience unique Aboriginal activities at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. ...Read More

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

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Hotel | "Oasis Resort"

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort  Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
This resort hotel is located in the middle of central Cairns. It is not right along the main drag on The Esplanade, but this may be seen as a blessing because you are not enveloped in the crush of tourists. The property consists of several mid-rise buildings with a total of 314 guest rooms, centered about a cool free-form pool with its own fake "beach" and a swim-up bar. The pool is indeed an oasis, a fine place for a relaxing dip after a long hot day traveling under the sun. The grounds are attractively landscaped with some lovely palm trees and gardens. The typical room has a tropical look, with colorful fabrics, rattan chairs, and comfy beds with whimsically carved headboards depicting stars...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
122 Lake Street
Cairns, Australia 4870
61-61-40801888

Barnacle Bills

Restaurant | "Barnacle Bill's Seafood Inn"

Quote:
This popular seafood restaurant is on The Esplanade, the busy thoroughfare that parallels the seafront of central Cairns. A large and well-stocked fish tank is poised in the front window to lure you in (sorry for the fishing reference). The dining room has a fun casual look, with a bar near the back. Diners can select from a wide range of fresh seafood (and one or two non-seafood) dishes. This is a good place for couples, families, groups, and even a celebrity or two, as my friend spotted one of the young stars of "American Pie 2" dining here. My friend splurged and ordered the crayfish entree, and he found it to be delectable and well worth the rather expensive tab. Not being a seafoo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Barnacle Bills
The Esplanade
Queensland, Australia

Adelfia's Greek Taverna

Restaurant | "Yanni's Greek Taverna"

Quote:
My friend was excited about walking past a wonderfully aromatic Greek restaurant after buying groceries. This restaurant is Yanni's Greek Taverna. This award-winning Greek restaurant opened at a quiet intersection in the middle of Cairns in 1993, and has been serving tasty food prepared from old-world recipes passed down from several generations of the same family. The decor of the dining room looks like an authentic, typical restaurant found in Greece. A large fish tank welcomes you upon entering the romantically lit restaurant. There is blue trim around the windows and the cozy candlelit tables have wooden chairs. It is a charming and welcoming look, not kitschy. My friend and I shar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Adelfia's Greek Taverna
16 Aplin St
Cairns City, Australia
(61) 7-4041-1500

Annabel's Pantry

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Restaurant

Annabel's Pantry Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
Annabel's Pantry is conveniently located in the center of the village of Kuranda and very close to the modern Visitor Information Centre. There are 34 varieties of small meat pies, all handmade from scratch and baked fresh every 30 minutes during its breakfast and lunch hours. There are some rather exotic fillings, such as kangaroo or salmon. I ate a lamb meat pie with hot pepper, and it was a bit too spicy for my taste buds. The shepherd’s pie is a more typical choice. I tried to order a pie floater (as made famous by "Harry's Cafe de Wheels" in Sydney), but this was not served here. There are a few cafe tables on the sidewalk in front of the bakery. Besides the wide range of meat pies, there ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Annabel's Pantry
Therwine Street
Queensland, Australia
(61) 4093-7605

International Food Courts

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Restaurant

Quote:
Cairns has a few large shopping centers in the middle of town, each with a ton of shops and what are trumpeted as "International Food Courts". When you want a decent meal without the fuss of going to a formal restaurant, dining at one of these shopping mall food courts is not a bad idea. The Night Markets (open from 430PM to 11PM) are located along The Esplanade, the main drag along the shoreline. There is also a "back" entrance from Abbott Street. This slightly sanitized and commercialized covered market, which has the air of a pleasant and informal shopping arcade, is the surrogate for the old open-air markets. It is fun to wander about the stalls to check out the wide range of t-shirts, handc...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 18, 2002

International Food Courts
Throughout Queensland
Queensland, Australia

Mossman Gorge

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Attraction

Mossman Gorge Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
Mossman Gorge is a dramatic natural feature within the greater Daintree National Park, and part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in Tropical North Queensland. You are relatively deep in the woods if you visit here. The shades of green are so deep that the forest appears even darker to the eye, and cooler than the true humid conditions. The drive up the coast from Cairns and Port Douglas is scenic enough. If you visit Mossman Gorge, you will wind up on some lonely and secluded roads. Parts of the roads are very narrow, with one-vehicle widths at some points. There is a parking lot with very basic lavatories nearby. A couple of well-marked walking paths lead from the parking lot, through the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 18, 2002

Mossman Gorge
20 Minutes North Of Port Douglas
Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Great Adventures Green Island

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Attraction

Great Adventures Green Island Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
You want to experience the Great Barrier Reef, but it is so large that you can only experience a bit of it. Which part do you visit? What company do you use to book your trip? There are so many outfits that choosing one can be a daunting chore. We wound up booking an all-day tour of Green Island and Norman Reef with Great Adventures, a very experienced and reliable company when it comes to reef tours. Great Adventures has its own wharf along the harbor, very close to the main wharf in central Cairns. My friend and I wanted to choose a clear day to take an all-day tour, so we did not buy our tickets until the morning of the tour at the ticket booth at the wharf. You can always purchase tickets ah...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Great Adventures Green Island
Great Adventures Wharf
Queensland, Australia

Town of Port Douglas

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Attraction | "Port Douglas"

Quote:
Cairns and Port Douglas have had a rivalry to see which town would become the unofficial tourism capital of Tropical North Queensland. While Cairns has claimed that title and keeps on running with it, Port Douglas has acquired a touristy but very laid-back atmosphere with its share of quiet tree-lined streets. Port Douglas Road, which branches off from the main Captain Cook Highway and leads into town, is beautifully laid out with a promenade of lush trees. The famous Four Mile Beach and the blue Coral Sea trim Port Douglas. Port Douglas, about 60 kilometers north of Cairns, has a permanent population of only about 3000. Coconut and palm trees surround Four Mile Beach, near Trinity Bay. My sharp...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Town of Port Douglas
70 Km North Of Cairns
Queensland, Australia

Great Adventures Norman Reef

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Attraction

Great Adventures Norman Reef Photo, Queensland, Australia
Quote:
(continued from "Great Adventures Green Island" section above) After departing Green Island, the smooth Great Adventures catamaran ventures to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, an amazing World Heritage Site hosting about 400 types of coral and 1500 species of fish. The anticipation is great for scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts, but landlubbers will also have wonderful experiences as well. You can rent underwater equipment on board, and there are changing facilities as well. The tour stops at Norman Reef, which is all below the surface of the water. Great Adventures has its own pontoon stationed here for guests as a base. The three-level pontoon is the setting for t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Great Adventures Norman Reef
Great Adventures Wharf
Queensland, Australia

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

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Attraction | "Kuranda (Skyrail Rainforest Cableway)"

Kuranda Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Kuranda is the name of the small village perched at the top of the Barron Gorge National Park, but the name is generally associated with the entire experience of commuting to and from the Kuranda area via one of three means of transportation: the thrilling Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway (operating since 1891), and the scenic Kuranda Range Road. Tour companies have packages where you can ride the train up and the Skyrail down, but this is more expensive than a complete roundtrip on either the train or Skyrail. We chose to ride the Skyrail each way to enjoy what is promoted as the "world's most beautiful rainforest experience". The award-winning Skyrail Rainforest...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2002

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Cairns, Queensland