Cairns Journals

Cairns: Australia's Tropical Tourist Mecca

Best of IgoUgo

A July 2006 trip to Cairns by stomps

The Lagoon Photo, Cairns, Australia More Photos
Quote: On our short 3-day sojourn to Tropical North Queensland, we managed to see a little of the city we were staying in!

Cairns: Australia's Tropical Tourist Mecca

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The Lagoon Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
When James and I heard about Jetstar's (one of Australia's budget airlines) buy-one-ticket-take-a-friend-free sale, we both had the same thought: the Great Barrier Reef. Both of us wanted our scuba licenses but were too poor to get them, so we thought an intro dive on the Reef would be a great place to start.At first, we considered the Whitsundays, a beautiful group of islands south of Townsville. These islands are renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Australia; their white sandy beaches are surrounded by colorful reefs teeming with wildlife. Unfortunately, because they are so secluded, visiting is incredibly expensive; the plane tickets were the same price, but the only accommodati...Read More

Nomads Serpent

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Nomads Serpent Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Once James and I booked our cheap tickets on JetStar, we launched Iinto searching for the perfect place to stay in Cairns. There were plenty of hostels to choose from, since Cairns is a tourist city, and many of them seemed to have the exact same advertising--essentially, "great location, cheap beds!" We were able to throw out a few that friends had told us were terrible, but there was still a plethora to choose from.At first, we were gung-ho for staying at the YHA, because I had a free YHA membership from my work abroad program. Unfortunately, this discount didn't help much, because both YHAs seemed to be so overpriced that, even with the discount, we would have ended up paying more th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 12, 2006

Nomads Serpent
341 Lake St
Cairns, Australia 4870
(800) 737-736

Nomads Serpent

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Nomads Serpent, pt. 2"

Nomads Serpent Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
This entry is a continuation of my Nomads entry.The free trip to Marlin Jetty went without a hitch, and saved us from having to walk 2.7kms in the rain. However, our problems began when we tried to go back to the hostel, exhausted after a day of snorkeling. After trying to get through multiple times on a busy phone line, we were finally told to go to the Lake St taxi rank. After a long search, we found it and, after waiting for 45 minutes, realized the shuttles run every 30 minutes…except between 5:30 and 9:30pm. The taxi ride didn't cost very much -$8 or so- but it would have been nice for the people at the front desk to tell us when we called, asking about the shuttle, that they weren't curr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 12, 2006

Nomads Serpent
341 Lake St
Cairns, Australia 4870
(800) 737-736

Swordfish Market and Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Swordfish"

Swordfish Market and Cafe Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
After walking through the markets on the Esplanade on Saturday morning, James and I headed toward Budget Rent-A-Car by turning on Aplin St, which spanned the block between the Esplanade and Lake St, our destination. After passing three or four shop fronts, James suddenly stopped and started pointing at "Swordfish", advertised as a combination fish market and restaurant. "We're eating here tonight," he stated.And eat there we did. After going in several circles looking for a parking place, we lucked into finding one and walked through the spitting rain to the brightly-lit market. Half of the restaurant was tables, while the other half was taken up by the "market"--essentially, seafood display c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 12, 2006

Swordfish Market and Cafe
5 Aplin Street
Cairns City, Queensland 4870

Rattle and Hum

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
When we arrived back in Cairns after our foray into the Atherton Tablelands, the sun was shining and the sky was nearly free of clouds - something we hadn't seen much on our rather rainy trip. Excited, we went to an Internet café that advertised parasailing trip bookings, hoping that I would make it on a trip that would give me a bird's eye view of the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, since it was only about 15 minutes before the last trip of the day and the last few days had been rained out, I didn't make it in time.This gave us a lot more free time than we thought we would have, and the first thing we thought of was food. Our lunch hadn't been very large, so we were definitely rather hungr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 12, 2006

Rattle and Hum
67 Esplanade
Cairns, Australia
+61 (07) 40313011

The Esplanade, The Lagoon, & The Sunset

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Cairns Lagoon Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
After running ourselves ragged for nearly three days, trying to see everything that the Tropical North Queensland area had to offer us, we just needed a break. So, when we got back to Cairns around 3pm on Sunday afternoon, we took one. After going to the hostel to get some gear, James went to the Lagoon and I went shopping (which I have described in another entry).After I finished shopping for family presents, I met up with James near the Lagoon. Since Cairns has plenty of beaches, but none that you can swim at for a vast majority of the year, the Lagoon is its very good substitute. It reminded me a lot of South Bank in Brisbane. Both are oases in an area where you can't normally go swimming...Read More

Cairns Shopping & Markets

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
On the second morning of our three-day trip, James and I were scheduled to pick up our rental car at 9am. We decided to go into central Cairns early so we could check out the markets. This is something that all cities in Australia seem to have - weekend markets, where any local artisans can hawk their wares or food. Cairns, being a tourist city, doesn't stop here; every night from 4 to 11pm, the night markets pop up along the Esplanade. Unfortunately, we hadn't made it to these the night before, because we were too tired. Instead, we got a good night's sleep and, bright-eyed, headed for the Esplanade.After checking out the Lagoon, which looked abandoned and gray under the equally gray sky (it ...Read More