<WH in Australia> Quiet Cairns, astounding Great Barrier Reef

After unstoppable work in February, taking a small trip is a MUST. Since the temperature of the sea is getting higher, the coral in Great Barrier Reef is getting bleaching, which it might cause closed here. It is such a pity because it’s extraordinarily gorgeous.

Actually, there are plenty of ways to get Great Barrier Reef.  I chose to get there from Cairns, which is the most popular. Cairns, comparing to Melbourne, is quite quiet, even on Saturday. However, I still can share some spots you can visit.

1. Great Barrier Reef and Green Island Tour
Strongly recommend to buy this tour by KKday (definitely can book at Great Adventures directly) if you want to go to Green Island. Green Island is super amazingly beautiful. Tiny but suitable for beginner of snorkeling. The water is so clean that you can see the fish directly on the wood bridge. Even you just choose to stay Green Island to hang out more time, it is absolutely worth it.


However, I took a Green Island and Outer Reef combo tour. You can have more water activities at Outer Reef. Semi-submarine is one of cool things you can do there if you can not swim. To be honest, it is kind of sad when I saw bleaching coral there. But still, seeing a bunch of fancy fish and coral is pretty awesome. Hard to imagine the sea life, especially fish tell the way of the difference of the color is not like human.

2. Cairns Esplanade Boardwalk
Close to lots of restaurants. Considering the quietness in here, it is OK that you can stay here all day, no matter you want to watch a book, seek for serenity or hang out with friends.

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3. Cairns Lagoon
Due to limitation of waterfront, Cairns is not suitable for swimming. However, the government established the Lagoon to the residents here.

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4. Cairns Night Market
Indoor night market. You can buy tons of souvenir and eat exotic foods here. For sure, you won’t miss out the message here. I even get a henna tattoo in here. I can’t say it is the best night market I’ve ever seen, but it’s kind of night entertainment in this quiet city. Maybe just don’t ask for too much 🙂

Address: 71-75 The Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Opening Hours:

  • Food: 10am – 11pm
  • Massage & Beauty: 12pm – 11pm
  • Shopping: 5pm – 11pm


5. Cairns Botanic Garden
No where to go? Do not want to spend much money? Hop on 131 Bus, buy tickets from bus driver and head to the peaceful and colorful botanic garden. Just be careful the mosquitos.

6. Green Ant Cantina
Great vibe. Love their Mexico food. Price is affordable and quality is above the average. Mixed of locals and tourists.


Address: 183 Bunda St, Parramatta Park QLD 4870, Australia
Phone: 07-40415061
Opening Hours: 16:00 – late (Tue – Sat)

You might go to Pier to get fresh seafood dish. There are lots of restaurants here. Just come to THA fish and choose one type of fish and the way they cook. Simple but delicious.

Address: Pier Shopping Centre, G7b Pier Point Rd, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Phone: 07-40415350
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 21:00

8. The Lillipad Cafe
Kind of diner and Jamaica vibe. Half service here. Price is definitely affordable. I enjoy sitting here to observe various customers, not typical type, but multiculture here. Come to here, and you will know what I say.

Address: Caravella Central Backpackers, 72 Grafton St, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Phone: 07-40519565
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 15:00


9. Tropic Days
A little far away from city. However, consider you get what you pay. Price is reasonable. They also provide shuttle bus between hostel and city. Friendly staff offers various suggestion of tours. The transportation between airport and hostel, the cheapest way is to book bus by Backpacker Shuttle Cairns. One way costs 6 AUD (2017) and return 10 AUD.

Address: 26 – 28 Bunting Street, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Phone: 07-40411521

The trip was short but abundant. Still many places I didn’t visit in Cairns then, but I got the peace and rest I needed. That’s the most important. Travel never ends. Just don’t lose the passionate of exploring new stuffs.

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