Disclaimer: Thank you to Cascade Gardens for hosting us as your guests. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.
Cairns is considered the gateway city to Australia’s notorious Great Barrier Reef, in the tropical far North of Queensland. This town has it all: From charming cafes, to bustling markets, a swimming lagoon with gorgeous beaches nearby, it’s no surprise Cairns is considered a premiere tourism destination for travelers. If you’re thinking about visiting Queensland, Cairns is an absolute must and here are our reasons why!
WHERE TO STAY
Cascade Gardens is hands down the best affordable accommodation in the heart of Cairns.
Only 5 km from the International Airport and 300 meters (walking distance) to the Esplanade of seaside shops and restaurants, these holiday apartments are perfectly located near all the action. Each room boasts of modern tropical decor whisking you away into your own personal piece of paradise.
WHAT TO DO
RELAX Poolside. Bask in the sun, or take a dip in the refreshing pool to remedy the heat. With an outdoor bbq and lush vibrant gardens outlining the pools perimeter, this is the perfect place to chillax and unwind.
SNORKEL the iconic Great Barrier Reef, known for being the world's largest coral reef off the coastline of Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef is over 2,300 km long, and has an ecosystem like no other, comprised of hundreds of islands, reefs, and over 600 types of hard and soft corals including countless species of colorful fish, turtles, dolphins and sharks. We opted to experience this twice and highly recommend Tusa Dive for some outer reef snorkeling, and Liquid Desire for some inner reef island adventure. Both companies offer completely different experiences but are sure not to disappoint.
EXPERIENCE the Botanic Gardens. Located only 4 km from the city center, the Cairns Botanical Gardens are one of the top free attractions in the area. Renowned for being the best exhibition of tropical plants in all of Australia, this place is truly stunning. Learn about various flora and fauna while checking out the multitude of boardwalks provided. Our personal favorites were the Bamboo Collection, the Butterfly Atrium and Flecker Gardens consisting of paths, footbridges and ponds, it was a beautiful maze of tropical splendor.
STROLL the Esplanade. Known for being the focal recreational point for both locals and visitors. Here you can find a plethora of beautiful bars and restaurants along the water's edge to appease any and all cravings you may have. Our personal favorite however, was the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. This 4800 sq meter salt water swimming pool was an engineering marvel, offering its guests year round swimming parallel to the ocean for cooling off … crocodile free.
EXPLORE Palm Cove. A cute and quaint beachside village lined with century old Melaleuca trees. Lounge on the white sanded beaches, or test your hand at fishing off the jetty. If that’s not your thing, there’s also an abundance of retail stores, galleries and boutique shops for those who seek a good old fashioned shopping spree. We loved this little oasis of a town for its simplicity. Palm Cove offers the ultimate tropical serenity, with pristine palm fringed coastlines and warm waters, we never wanted to leave.
Our stay with Cascade Gardens was nothing short from exceptional. It was centrally located near all of these magnificent places we’ve just discussed, allowing for easy access, and the freedom to do as we please. The staff, (especially Glenda) were absolutely phenomenal and attentive to our every need. Cairns was the perfect tropical oasis we had hoped it would be and a place we plan to visit again and again.