Cairns Journals

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

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An August 2002 trip to Cairns by Tim G

Lake Placid Tourist Park Photo, Cairns, Australia More Photos
Quote: We went to see the Great Barrier Reef, but found that the area had so much more to offer. The scenic beauty of the surrounding forests, rivers, and high hills are worth coming here for in their own right. We regretted only having a few days here.

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Overview

Quote:
GREAT BARRIER REEF: You owe it to yourself to at least take a boat out to the reef. It may seem overhyped, over commercialized, etc., but in the end it's well worth it. Snorkeling is a great way to experience the reef, and of course diving is something else! RAINFOREST: The Atherton Tablelands and the other surrounding rainforest in this area is incredible and well worth visiting. SEAFOOD IN CAIRNS: Lookout for Moreton Bay bugs and mudcrab. TJAPUKAI ABORIGINAL CENTRE: We missed it, but other travellers spoke so highly of it. Apparently it's well worth making the time to visit this place. I wish we had.Quick Tips: We found late August a good time to visit as the crowds were sma...Read More

Lake Placid Tourist Park

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Hotel

Lake Placid Tourist Park Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Located 13 km outside of Cairns near Barron River National Park, the location is quite beautiful. It's situated in the hills on a good size lake, with the Barron river flowing both in and out of it. Some will find it relaxing and wonderful to stay up here, others will find it inconvenient and too quiet to be this far out of Cairns. One factor in how enjoyable it will be for you to stay out here is transportation. They do a free pickup from the airport and advertise tourist bookings and pickups. However, we found getting to and from Cairns from here to be too inconvenient as not all operations would come this far out, and if they did they charged more. So we rented a car. If your plans include be...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Lake Placid Tourist Park
Lake Placid Road
Cairns, Australia
(07) 4039 2509

Quote:
We were drawn in by girls passing out flyers advertising %40 off before 9pm. Seemed too good to pass up, and the place was nice. Like so many restaurants in Cairns it had pleasant tables outside. The corner is busy enough to make for pleasant people watching, but not too busy that you're uncomfortable. The service was friendly and quite professional. The dining experience in general was pleasant and quite a nice way to spend an evening in Cairns. The food was good, but quantities small, especially given the price. The seafood dishes were a better value than the non-seafood dishes - good Moreton Bay bugs and mudcrabs though. One could do better in Cairns, and if it weren't for the larg...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Blue Oyster Restaurant
Corner of Aplin & Esplanade
Cairns, Australia
+61 (07) 4031 1115

Quote:
I thought it was called Froggy's but I guess that's just the name of the bar. Anyway this is the restaurant right next to Lake Placid Tourist Park. It's a quiet and pleasant place to eat, but it's not open Sundays. It's nicely integrated into it's surroundings and is right on the lake. Very laid back atmosphere and quite nice. The food was great - they do good Australian food and sumptuous seafood. I had the roast beef and it was excellent. You can order the dinner special and get a soup, entree, and dessert for under $20 AUS. A la carte is good value also. We found the service good, but the kitchen forgot about out dessert, and we ended up waiting a long time. They did apolo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Reflections On The Lake
Lake Placid Recreation Area, End of Lake Placid Road
Cairns, Australia
+61 (07) 4039 2661

Compass

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Attraction

Compass Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
This is a low cost, good value operation. It's great for first time scuba divers, those who just want to see the reef, etc. It's also one of the cheapest trips out to the reef. So if you're a diver or snorkeler on a budget that just wants a cheap ride out to the reef, it's good for that too. Serious scuba divers and adventurers who know what they want will probably want to consider something else as this outfit isn't best suited to them. The staff is very helpful and try to make sure you're having a good time. Introducing people to the reef is their specialty. They encourage everyone to at least try snorkeling and they also let you try a 10 minute scuba diving tutorial for free. The in...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Compass
100 Abbott Street
Cairns, Australia

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

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Attraction

Caravonica Terminal Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Ride a gondola up to the Atherton Tablelands, giving you views down into the canopy of tropical rainforest. The ride is 45 minutes to the top (7.5 km), 1 1/2 hours round trip. You'll reach a height of 1788 feet at the highest station of Red Peak. There are two places where you can get out and walk some nice but short trails, and of course the town Kuranda at the top end of the skyrail is a nice town to walk around with plenty of things to do. The ride itself is wonderful as you peer down into the canopy, seeing plenty of birds and clouds of butterflies as well as the wonderful scenery. I'd suggest using the way up to focus your attention on the forest below, and the way back to enjoy the scenic ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2002

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Cairns, Queensland