I LOVE CAIRNS
I think the title says it all. Cairns is the best.
I have been to Cairns before but I left immediately, hurrying off to my transfer vehicle. To me, Cairns was to Port Douglas what Ballina is to Byron Bay – i.e. a gateway to a better place.
I’m sorry Cairns. I was wrong about you. You are beautiful.
My friend from Cairns calls it a ‘city in a garden’. There’s beauty everywhere, from the flowering Cannon Ball tree on the esplanade, to the Jurassic figs in the Botanic Gardens.
The foreshore area has the best playground I have ever seen. Muddy’s has a water play area, lots of shade, a classy cafe for the hungover parents to recover in, and imaginative play equipment like the giant fish sculpture. Sorry Canberra Aboretum – you’re now my second favourite.
And the churches. In the same way that Georgetown, Penang, has a blend of heritage buildings and quirky 1960s gems, Cairns has churches for miles. Special mention goes to St Monica’s opposite the Riley Crystalbrook Collection hotel where I stayed. The stained glass windows in the Military Church were extraordinary. From the outside, this building is a drab lump. On the inside, you have stained glass artworks worthy of the world’s greatest cities.
Which brings me to the friendly locals. In the space of an hour, I met AND SPOKE TO five people. Five completely random strangers who, in turn, chatted to me about a tree I was admiring, failed marriages and relationships (*ladies, there’s a very self-aware older gentleman in Cairns looking for love), the Cairns Urban Sketchers Club, a recent breast cancer diagnosis and the best times to visit Cairns (December – March = NO).
Another total surprise was a gig that I stumbled across when I was looking for the toilets. Drunk Emma was lumbering around in the rainforest and bam – there was a Joan As Policewoman gig taking place in an old WWII oil reservoir. I stood there (post-pee) for 15 minutes of knee-weakening songs from an artist I had never heard of.
I didn’t get to see much beyond the Esplanade area and the inside of the hotel because I was in Cairns for a conference. My friends who spent longer in Tropical North Queensland keep posting pics of waterfalls and the Great Barrier Reef and I am DYING FROM FOMO.
So Cairns, when can we hang out? I’d really like to see you again.
Do you have any tips for visiting Cairns? Care to share?
Another place I really, REALLY love is Lord Howe Island. Check out this post if you want to go there sometime.