Cairns Journals

Gateway to Far North Queensland

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2004 trip to Cairns by rodeime

Pullman Reef Casino Photo, Cairns, Australia More Photos
Quote: Cairns, once a sleepy, distant backwater, is now an international tourist gateway offering instant access to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Or, when you've finished, travel further north into the truly remote Cape York Peninsula.

Gateway to Far North Queensland

Overview

Quote:
I've made several visits to Cairns recently and plan to visit again soon. There's world-class accommodation and dining downtown and wonderful rainforest resorts nearby. Catch a reef cruise for a day or two on any of the excellent vessels regularly departing, or venture a little way north to ritzy Port Douglas or quaint Mossman. In this journal-in-progress you can read in detail many of the attractions and sites I have visited during my trips - and come back regularly for updates. There are several excellent websites. Here are a couple: Tropical North Queensland ...Read More

Pullman Reef Casino

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Sofitel Reef Casino"

Pullman Reef Casino Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
In keeping with Cairns' development as a world class tourism destination, so it follows that resort hotels like the Accor's Five-Star Sofitel Reef Casino should come to town. Opened in 1996 at a cost of $220 million, it boasts a two-level boutique casino, four restaurants, a nightclub and (wait for it) a fully enclosed rainforest dome that houses numerous exotic birds, marsupials, reptiles and a fully grown freshwater crocodile (honest!). See separate entry. I confess little excitement in blackjack tables and roulette wheels, so I was more interested in what the hotel itself offered. My room, on the fourth floor, was lavish and spacious, complete with spa bath. I liked...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 30, 2004

Pullman Reef Casino
35-41 Wharf Street Queensland
Cairns, Australia 4870
61-61-40308888

Sands of the Dreamtime

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

dining Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Indigenous tourism is a fast-growing niche segment in the Australian market. Some contrived and some genuine, Rod Eime goes in search of green ants and coloured sands and meets the authentic Gibson family of Hopevale, north of Cooktown. "...in reality, they are far happier than we Europeans; being wholy unacquainted not only with the superfluous but the necessary conveniencies so much sought after in Europe..." So wrote Lieutenant James Cook in August 1770 in his journal of the New Holland natives after unprecedented interaction with them. Little did he know what impact British settlement would later have on these ancient people. Les Gibson of the Guugu Yimithirr people has a...Read More
Lizard Isalnd Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
So much of Cape York’s attraction lies offshore. A perfect adjunct to any land-based exploration is a Great Barrier Reef cruise. Ranging from a few hours to several days, a cruise along our UNESCO World Heritage Listed coral reef is an experience that will remain with you for a long time. The premier cruise product for this region would have to be the 7-day, 6-night "Tip of Australia" cruise offered by Cairns-based, Coral Princess Cruises. Choose either a Thursday Island-Cairns itinerary or vice versa aboard their 35m, 50-passenger luxury catamaran. The corresponding leg is by air. Each expedition cruise allows you diving, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat excursions on some of the mos...Read More

A Cape to Adventure

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

We Made It! Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
A Cape to Adventure Story and photographs by Roderick Eime The Australian love affair with the 4WD is evident everywhere from Cocklebiddy to Coles Car Park. Great roaring, bull-bar reinforced, spotlight-emblazoned urban assault vehicles ferry cherubic pre-schoolers and burly scaffolders alike. Most look like they’ve never seen more danger than the odd pigeon poop, so can these all-terrain behemoths really hack the rough stuff? We found out. Our objective was to take a showroom-st...Read More
Pearlers' Graves Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Story and photographs by Roderick Eime Just how tiny Thursday Island got its name is still a topic of some debate. Most defer to the much-maligned Captain William Bligh, who sailed through the straits en route to Batavia after the famous mutiny, but Capt Owen Stanley also has some claim after his mapping voyage of 1848. Surrounded by larger islands with names like Prince of Wales, Horn, Wednesday, and yes, Friday, Thursday Island is the administrative hub of the Torres Strait Group and as such boasts facilities and infrastructure that overshadow that of the frontier settlements of Bamaga and Seisia back on the mainland. The broad grins and cheery faces of the Torres ...Read More