Memoires of a tour of Australia
Latest highlight of the trip
Cairns is basically a city on the sea. Everything revolves around the esplanade and the swimming pool and sunbathing areas around it. All of the bars and restaurants either run along the esplanade, or congregate around the marina area. This makes it really easy to have a full day there; you can walk or cycle in to the centre, sunbathe near the pool, have lunch at one of the many bars and café’s not more than a stones throw away, sunbathe some more and then walk or cycle back to your campsite or hotel. The thing Cairns really lacks is a beach.
We ate at a few of the café’s and found them on the whole to be very good. Always fresh food, always hot, service was normally very good and usually with a smile, prices were good for a tourist town, and they are all so close to the pool area. The only restaurant we ate at in the evening was the Thai restaurant on the marina, which served very good food and was good value too.
We stayed on two campsites; Cairns Holiday Park and Cairns Villa Leisure Park. Both were clean and tidy, but that’s where the similarity ends. Cairns holiday park cost $36 a night and Cairns Villa $25. But don’t be fooled into thinking that its because one is close to the esplanade and the other is about 2km’s further out as we were. The facilities at CHP were the best we have experienced; they looked new, there was always masses of hot water, were massive with plenty of cubicles and showers etc. The pitches were big, and the site was generally quiet. Villa on the other hand was none of those; the facilities were poor, hot water was very intermittent, pitches generally small and heavily shaded, and children everywhere, so not quiet at all. The higher price of CHP is justified by the stark contrast to Villa, but is still too high and with no discount for longer stays (such as a week), it is hard to justify staying more than a few nights.
The highlight of our time in Cairns was definitely the Yacht race on WAGS day. From start to finish, the day was incredible and all for $15 each. Sailing on a racing yacht, that tips over until you think you are going to fall into the water, is a massive thrill, and being made to feel so welcome and a part of the team was fabulous. We can definitely recommend that for anyone visiting Cairns.