Road Trip: Undara Lava Tubes Experience

Since, the city of Cairns officially openned its doors for international flights in early 1980s, it has been a thriving city and conitnues even today.With so many visitors flooding the region every year, many come to simply to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere in this tropical paradise destination and also to experience the natural beauty: the reef and the rainforest. While others, come to experience the outback for its lifestyle and unique attractions. Living in this far nothern part of Australia, you virtually get to experience these natural beauties – the reef, rainforest and the outback on a same day without travelling a far.

The Cairns region has all its natural wonder attractions within short drive away. A self-drive road trip to Undara lava tubes is a journey that will take through the outback that definitely shows what lifestyle is like in the outback that not many travellers get to experience. Here you escape to experience the natural wonders of lava tubes in the outback and away from the natural wonders of lush greenery and crystal clear blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many tourist destinations around Australia have been restricted for travellers and many residents haven been exploring their own backyard. With this restrictions in place, this has given me a great opportunity to explore some of Cairns regions hidden gems, that I would have never done otherwise.

Why Go?

Having few days of leisure, I decided to venture out to Undara, a tiny place out in the Outback, just a short drive away from Cairns city. This is one of the few places that I always wanted to explore – the Undara Lave Tubes.

This natural geological wonders are so fascinating  and impressive to see and Undara is the place to visit and understand its origins. Curious of exploring certain desinations or places have always been my exciting part of travel. It gives me an opportunity a challenge to explore its sites, attractions and what to see and do. Undara is one place that is filled with such variety of opportunities and challenges to explore.

The thought of Outback Undara Lava Tubes and just under 4 hours drive away from Cairns city makes it thrilling and is one place that cannot be missed on any travellers itinearary to the far north. The Undara lava tubes has been on my list of places to explore for a very long time. Lava Tubes has always fascinated me. Studies conducted confirmed that Undara Lava Tubes are the oldest on earth and are a world class natural geological phenomenon. Huge tubes formed approximately 190,000 years ago. The molten lava drianed out under a thick cooler crust, leaving a series of long, hollow tubes. This is what prompt me to go and see the place for myself. Undara is truly different in every sense.

Getting there?

If you’re the kind of adventure traveller who finds remote regions of Australia alluring, then this scenic road trip from coastal city of Cairns to outback Undara Lava Tubes is for you. It is a great short adventure trip and I found this road trip to be the most scenic way to get myself from Cairns to Undara.Better than that, it turns Undara into a journey, not just a destination.Taking this such adventure road trip to Undara lava tubes has brought me back in time and to understand this natural geological phenomenon which has occured over the years. This was going to be a weekend away for nature, beauty and exploration in the outback. It is a great time to getaway from the city to the outback for relaxation, away from the rest of the world.

Knowing that getting to this place was easily accessible by conventional vehicle, I took on one of Far Northern Queensland regions most exciting drive routes – bring together a world of crater lakes, pioneer history, waterfalls, flora and fauna and mind-blowing views, sunsets and sunrise. This was a road trip that was taken me to a part of the region where blue skies and breathtaking landscapes make driving a dream. From the lush tropical rainforest and colourful reefs of Great Barrier Reef in Cairns to the outback Savannah of Undara Volcanic National Park and seeing unique water falls, crater lakes, rare formation and species of plants along the way is a one-time lifetime experience.

Driving to Undara from Cairns was supposed to be approximately under 4 hours, however, it took me almost 8 hours to get to my destination. Along the way, I detoured to various popular attraction spots that cannot be driven past without stopping by. Every attractions were worth seeing. Leaving early, I headed 20km south of Cairns, passing through lush sugarcane farmlands before turning right, heading west inland from Gordonvale and up Gillies Range, almost 20km of winding road. This road is so windy that if you get motion sickness, it is not recommended to take this route but the views from the Heal’s Lookout, halfway up the Gillies Range is breathtaking and I could not drive past this impressive view. As I conitnued my drive making my way up this windy road with twists and turns, I could feel the change in the coolness of the temperature and the scenery. From sugarcane fields, through rainforest to rolling hills and dairy farmslands of Atherton-Tablelands.

Once, I reached the top of the Gillies range, the road was almost straight and the drive was easy with incredibly impressive views on every turn. Here at the top, I began my Atherton Tablelands attractions “must-see” stops before heading Savannah Way to Undara.

My first visit was to Lake Barrine, a crater filled with water, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest and native plants with beautiful setting that overlooks the lake.

 

 

Leaving Lake Barrine, I drove to Yungaburra, a classy little town with pioneer history behind it. It is the first town you visit that opens up the gateway to the groups of many townships scattered around Atherton Tablelands. Here, I took a stroll around the swinging bridge which is located right behind the town centre. It is little known to many travellers and visitors to the area.

 

From there, I went over to Tinburra, just a minute drive out of Yungaburra town centre. It is a great picnic and playground area for families but the view of Lake Tinaroo is absolutely impressive. It is so peaceful and a great place for relaxing.

 

 

Just outside the township of Yungaburra is the Curtain Fig Tree. This phenomenal Curtain Fig Tree is a must-see for any visitor to the area. It is one of the visited and photographed site in Atherton Tablelands and probably in Far North Queensland.

 

 

From Yungaburra’s impressive attractions, I continued my “must-see” tour to the township of Malanda – the very heart of Atherton Tablelands dairy land, just 15km out of Yungaburra town. Just 500 metres from the centre of the town is the Malanda Falls, a popular swimming spot for locals and visitors.

 

Just 30km of drive along dairy farmlands and rolling hills from the township of Malanda is the MillaMilla Waterfall. This waterfall is very impressive with its eye-catching and captivating curtain-like water drop which is featured on many travel brochures.

 

I continued further west from MillaMilla Falls, with a stop at MillaMilla Lookout along East Evelyn Road. I couldn’t drive past this place. The majestic birds eyeview of the area and the rolling green meadows from this location is just magical and absolutely breathtaking. Here, I just forget about the world and absorb how far my eyes can see. I know why locals love this place.

I then continued my 20km drive further inland west along East Evenlyn Road to see the wind-farm just before the town of Ravenshoe. This huge turbines that continuosly producing power are impressive and the views of the farmlands and Savannah land from this lookout is special and the beginning of the outback journey.

 

With bypassing Ravenshoe township, the highest town in the State of Queensland, I reached Millstream Falls, just 10km outside Ravenshoe town and was the last attractions to see along the way before reaching my destination – Undara.

Once I past the township of Ravenshoe, the changes from lush rolling green meadows to dried savannah land. This Savannah Way is Australia’s Adventure Drive, linking Cairns in Tropical North Queensland with the historic pearling town of Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley, via the natural wonders of Australia’s tropical savannahs and the Northern Territory’s Top End.

Travelling by conventional vehicle across semi-dried landscapes and tropical savannah took an easy breezy sealed roads without venturing into the dry,dusty and rough tracks and back roads. The bituman road from Ravenshoe to Undara seems like endless highway but discovering this ancient land at my own pace made this road journey even more interesting, with a stop at Mt Garnet town, a tiny township with very little tourist activity except during winter months when grey-nomads flood the town and the popular Mt Garnet races in the outback.

Undara

Finally arriving in Undara, just before five o’clok in the afternoon after a 90km drive from Mt Garnet, in time to unpack, unwind and make myself familiar with the surroundings before dark. This tiny place in the middle of nowhere in the outback takes you back in time where communication accessories are packed-away, except your camera.

 

 

The following day, it was time to go on an informative tour and visit one of this natural wonders – lava tubes. The formation of these lava tubes are a world class natural geological phenomenon and are the oldest on planet Earth. According to the history and studies conducted found that these huge tubes formed approximately 190,00 years ago, which molten lava have drained out under a thick cooler crust, leaving a series of long and hollow tubes.

Many years ago, these lava tubes lay undiscovered, untouched and unseen. But today, since their discovery, Undara’s highly trained and qualified Savannah Guides conduct small informative guided tours that will take you into the heart of the lava tubes. Once we entered the lava tubes, we were able to marvel at this incredible geological wonder. Seeing this natural creation and formation of these lava tubes kept my head shaking. It truly took me back in time what it was like then. This Undara experience is a one-time experience that I have come to profoundly understand its origins and at the same to experience the tranquility lifestyle of the outback.

Where to stay?

There are various types of accommodations in the area to suit all styles and budget ranging from old railway carriages, custom design huts, Swag Tents and camping grounds. For me to experience Undara in style, I stayed in one of the restored turn-of-the-century railway carriages which Undara offers. Staying in one of this old carriages turned into a comfortable stylist accommodation gave me an ultimate Undara Experience that I have come to enjoy.

 

 

 

My Highlights

To come to an outback area like Undara, located in the middle of nowhere is only for one thing and that is to experience Undara Lava Tubes.  I have learnt so much about the lava tubes and walked away satisfied with my road trip.

 

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Road Trip: Escape to Chillagoe Caves

For many travellers and visitors, Cairns region is known to them as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Rainforest. It is true and these sites are fascinating and definitely a ‘must-do’ on any travellers itinerary. Cairns region offers so much more to do here that often gets missed. One such adventure is a road trip along the Wheelbarrow Way to visit the historic mining town of Chillagoe. A road trip to Chillagoe Caves is a journey through the outback that definitely shows a different side to the region than lush tropical rainforest and colourful reef. Here you leave the world behind and escape to the magical outback west.

Living in Cairns, we are blessed that we can virtually drive only few hours away and your in the highlands of Atherton Tablelands, World Heritage Listed Rainforest and Outback West. The Cairns outback west is no exception and the Great Barrier Reef sits in the heart of it where you can simply ‘sail away’ calmly out to the reef. I decided to take a road trip weekend getaway, heading west.

My destination was Chillagoe, with stops along the way at Dimbulah, Petford and Almaden. Chillagoe is one place that I wanted to spent time on exploring its underground wonders and caves only short drive away. It is a great time to getaway from the city to the outback for relaxation. A weekend away for nature, beauty and exploration.

Why Go?

The township of Chillagoe is a genuine outback town with fascinating attractions and abundant wildlife. The area has its mix of history and geological wonders and was definitely on my list of what to see and do in Far North Queensland.

Chillagoe area is undeniably one of the most exciting, fascinating and diverse area to visit in the tropical outback. This town is known for its unique and impressive caves and underground wonders. Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park includes limestone bluffs, impressive caves, fossils, Aboriginal cultural heritage such as rock art and settler heritage such as historic mining smelters.

Also, the drive from Cairns to Chillagoe is one of my favourite back road that takes you through the scenic “dry” belt of the western Tablelands. During the winter months or wet season of the year, you’re able to capture some of the beautiful scenery. History tells that Chillagoe was once an ancient coral reef which has been transformed into spectacular limestone bluffs with a network of some 600 caves, early volcanic activity has created rich marble and mineral deposits has made it one of the fascinating place to visit. It was fascinating for me to explore this exciting underground world of vast chambers, eerie narrow passages, dripping stalactites and stunning limestone cave decorations. Given its remoteness and raw, natural beauty, it was the perfect place to visit and a ton of outdoor activities and this is what I wanted to do to fill up my weekend getaway. The visit to this area promises to be one of the great contrast, beauty and exploration.

Getting there?

During this global pandemic due to COVID-19, our travel restrictions have been in place and my plans on where to fly to have been limited so decided to go on the road again. Driving along a busy city laneway at 60km/h is not my idea of a relaxing road trip. But I am here 65km northwest of Cairns looking for the signpost that will get me away from the roar of the buses and locals commuting to and from work. It is only when I finally turn off the Kennedy Highway that my visit to one of the Far North Queenslands special places truly begins. This is The Wheelbarrow Way, which starts at Mareeba to Chillagoe, named after the gold mining pioneers who, when work was scare and transportation limited, trudged out bearing their worldly goods in a wheelbarrow.

Getting to Chillagoe is accessible by road and is known for its vast stretches of stunning Savannah land. The drive along the Wheelbarrow Way takes you through rich farmlands and wooded Savannah country. It truly gives you a taste of what tropical outback is like within doorsteps of Cairns. The road trip from Cairns to Chillagoe is 205km. Starting my road trip in Cairns, I crossed the Great Dividing Range (called Kuranda Range), passing Henry Ross Lookout, the Rainforestation nature park, the beautiful Kuranda village and continued to Mareeba, passing Speewah and Koah, on Kennedy Highway.

Mareeba is a sizeable country town located on the northern end of Atherton Tablelands, with fertile soils and consequently farming country. The town have a great museum and a few other things to see and do. I headed into the accessible outback west of Mareeba, taking the state route 27 and passing through Tabacum and Mutchilba before arriving in the quirky town of Dimbulah. Just before reaching Dimbulah is a small township which is the gateway to Hodgkinson Goldfields. In this tiny town, there is a historical railway station and a museum.

The township of Dimbulah in brief history, was the gateway to the gold fields, that sprang up on the Walsh River to service the ore trains. Once the mining faded, cropping became the focus and today sugar cane, mango and lychee plantations can be seen. Dimbulah has a memorial hall, local shops, a hotel, caravan park, soccer ground, bowling club and swimming facilities.

After Dimbulah, the road which is officially called Burke Development Road, I continued my drive west along the road to my next place, Petford. It is a very tiny place with a population of 32 residents. The locality takes its name from the railway station named after John, Joseph Petford, an official of the Queensland Railway Department for many years.

From Petford if you turn south, there is a side trip to Emuford, Irvinebank and Wtsonville that will take you all the way to the township of Herberton. After Petford, I continued my drive west along Burke Development Road to my next township west, Almaden. It is a small community with the population of 71 residents. This tiny township have another historical railway station and the pub – Railway Hotel. The places like Almaden, Petford and Emuford are all linked by the Etheridge railway, which welcomes the Savannahlander train on its weekly run from Cairns via Almaden and Mt Surprise to Forsayth.

From west of Almaden, I continued my journey to my final destination – the outback township of Chillagoe. On entering the Chillagoe region, a dramatic landscape created by massive limestone bluffs and rock formations greets travellers. The road is well maintained and the road to Chillagoe is gravel but the last 20km of the road close to Chillagoe are sealed and travellers should be on the lookout for cattle and horse which wander freely across the unfenced road. At times, you drive on dirt road and you’ll need a car that is reasonable at handling dirt roads. They can be rough at times but don’t require a 4WD.

As I took this state route 27, the scenery begins to change from lush greenery and farmlands to dry and less green as I entered the Savannah Region after Dimbulah. The Outbak scenery is dry, dirt reddish road, scarce greenery and lots of termite mounds. It is very fascinating to see and if it is your first time, you will be amazed to see how high these termite mounds lined naturally along the railways and Savannah.

Chillagoe

Finally, I reached the township of Chillagoe around mid-afternoon where I had enough time to wandered around the town to see the Railway Station, Bank Vault, Court House, Police Museum, Post Office and Post Office Hotel. Around the town, there are some great limestone caves, the old smelters, the courthouse museum, lookout point, the old railway station and the old Mungana township further west. At the end of the town, a tall chimney is visibly seen instantly as you enter the town is part of the ruins of the ore smelter which is iconic to Chillagoe. It is now a drive-around museum at no cost and there is a viewing platform and car park on a high vantage point with informative plaques. It is a site for great photo opportunity and fascinating information on how the pioneers toiled in those days.

As I explored more at my own leisure, I began to see and learn many surviving historic points of interest around Chillagoe and the region. There is so much to see and do to fully experience the past, it truly brought me back in time and immerse myself in the history of Chillagoe. I found Chillagoe a small friendly town with some interesting geology and history. It has a surprising mix of outback landscape, mining heritage, significant Aboriginal art sites and fantastic world class limestone caves. Chillagoe, once a thriving town in its hay-days for range of minerals and today only boasts a small zinc mine and some marble quarries and its world famous caves. Also, it is now one of the favoured haunts of mining buffs tracing the heady days of the 1870’s to the 1920’s mining boom.

Before retiring for the day, my last stop was a visit to the Chillagoe Hub. This is is a private run information centre where I wanted to collect some information about the area and also I signed up for a guided tour of the caves. The caves were my main focus on this weekend getaway road trip as I had never been in the cave before so I made sure to sign up for the next guided tour.

Chillagoe Smelters, once the centre of a thriving mining industry that brought wealth and development to the Chillagoe area, today the Chillagoe Smelters are a fascinating ruin.

Follow walking tracks to viewing shelters and gaze over this significant heritage site. The distinctive chimneys stand as reminders of the gritty bustling workforce, heavily-loaded ore trains and large-scale innovative industry that gave life to this site between 1901 and 1943.

What to do?

Just a short drive out of Chillagoe town is the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park. It is home to some of the remarkable limestone caves in the region that is known for. The following day, I went on an early Park Ranger-guided cave tours to Donna, Trezkinn and Royal Arch Caves. It was time to head inside some of the caves to discover and explore Chillagoe’s underground world which are most popular attractions in the region.

Donna Cave

It was 9am, when we departed for our first cave tour to Donna Cave, located about 1.8km from Chillagoe. From the car park, it was about 10 minutes walk to the cave entrance and had additional time to read the sign. This cave is well lit and is one of the 3 caves in Chillagoe managed by the NPWS. It is only accessed by guided tour with a NPWS ranger who provides a commentary on the formation and history of the cave. Once inside, the first thing that I felt as I headed down into the cave was the enjoyment of the natural air conditioning effect of being underground. The temperature outside was little hotter while inside was nice and cool.

As I entered, right away I could see some of he cool stalactite and stalagmite formations. This cave features beautiful columns, calcite crystals and a cave decoration in the form of the Madonna. The cave has steel walkways and stairs. While walking this 200 metres walk through the cave, we were required to climb several steep flights of stairs – approx. 440 steps in total throughout the tour, including 33 very steep ladder-type steps.

We were made sure to wear the right feet attire and I found myself reasonably fit to do this tour. We were not required for hand-held torches and this spectacular cave were well fitted out with electricity. The stalactites and stalagmites were awesome and the while experience was well worth the effort.

Trezkinn Cave

From Donna cave, I continued my second tour of the caves to Trezkinn Cave at 11am. From the Donna Cave car park, located 1.8 km from Chillagoe, a boardwalk leads to the shelter at the entrance to the cave. From here, we enjoyed outstanding views of the Chillagoe landscape.

The access to Trezkinn Cave is provided via a steel catwalk encircling a huge central mass of limestone. The walk through the cave is about 150m long. Within the cave there are several steep flights of stairs and ramps – about 520 steps in total which includes 46 very steep ladder-type steps.

Inside the cave, a steel catwalk encircles a huge central mass of limestone. The sight of a magnificent ‘chandelier’ formation rewards us and it was absolutely marvelous to look at. No need for hand-held torches, this cave has also fitted out with electricity.

Royal Arch Cave

The final cave visited was the Royal Arch around 1:30pm. From the Royal Arch Cave car park, about 6km from Chillagoe central, a short 200 metres walking track lead us to the cave entrance. Prior to entering the cave, we were given torches that add to the excitement of us exploring the tall limestones karsts and enticing tunnels and to ensure we were able to see where we were waking. There were low overhangs in some places within the Royal Arch Cave so we were to be fit enough to stoop low in several sections. This cave tour took us 600 metres walk through passages, a variety of dark and daylight chambers. In fact, it has 11 chambers in one of the largest cave systems in Chillagoe. Now and again we hist with shafts of daylight that appear in between karst formations, and we could see cave dwelling bats echoing their way around the cave roof tops. The Royal Arch cave has been described by some as grand and impressive. It is a horizontal cave and probably the easiest and longer to explore. In my opinion, this Royal Arch cave was the most impressive cave among the three caves visited.

This cave was discovered by Sir William Atherton in 1888. The name “Royal Arch” given due to two combined features. From the outside the cave, one of the rock formations looks like the profile of Queen Victoria and inside the cave, there is a “daylight chamber” (referring to where the sun shines in) where the collapse of the roof of the cave hundreds of years ago led to the formation of a large rock arch. One of the creepiest parts of the tour was when we turned off all the torches in order to experience the actual darkness of the cave. It was amazing to see how dark it got that it didn’t matter whether our eyes were open or closed. Once the guide convinced us to also be be very quiet, the moment was definitely awe inspiring.

It was quite interesting to learn that the caves served as a tourist attraction since their discovery and that locals often like to take advantage of the cooler temperatures inside the caves by enjoying picnics in the daylight chambers. To me, the highlight of this cave tour was the unexpected shafts of daylight, fig trees, glimpse of darting bats, naturally sculptured limestone formations and ancient marine fossils. It was just fascinating and what a thrill and honour to be exploring this unique caves in Far North Queensland.

My Highlights

After only spending two nights in this outback country town – Chillagoe, I thoughly fell in love with the place. I just wished, I had more time to explore many more other self-guided caves. Discovering these underground wonders of the former mining town of Chillagoe and learning about the natural beauty of the caves have left me spellbound. It was absolutely amazing.

The guided tours to these three spectacular caves with a National Parks ranger and learning more about this amazing underground ecosystem, as well as visit to the Smelter site and Balancing Rock were definitely highlight of my road trip. I have visited Jenolan caves in New South Wales and I must admit, these caves in Chillagoe outclass many of the better known ones in the country and probably the worldwide. The variety and quality of the natural features in the caves were absolutely amazing. The ranger gave indepth information about their age and formation was just beyond. We had to go through the caves which were challenging for the unfit, as there were lots of steps and a few tight places to squeeze through, but overall the effort was worth it. The guide was very understanding if someone was a bit slower.

The tour of the caves was definitely an awesome experience not only allowed me to appreciate the caves but allowed me to see intricate detail as well as sense the awesome big picture of Chillagoes limestone cave systems.. The natural history of the caves and the entire area was fascinating and definitely added a new dimension of new knowledge to me.

For any adventure seeker who is interested or curious in caves should include the Chillagoe Caves on their itinerary to the Far North Queensland. You also get to see a little of the Outback without going too far west. For those wanting a bit more independence on self-guided adventure, make sure to bring a torch with fresh batteries and stay on prescribed routes. Without experience, you will definitely wouldn’t want to wander around lost or even get stuck without a light halfway through a cave. It is totally pitch-black where there is no light.

Journey home

For past two days, spending my time on a lavish cave exploration, it was time for me to take a journey back to Cairns from Chillagoe. The drive back took me longer than expected with a few rest stops and divert of the main road along the way. It is a scenic drive crossing varied landscapes from the red dirt cattle station country, across the irrigated fruit growing tablelands and up through the rain-forested mountains before descending into coastal Cairns. I must say, the journey out west is not most common day trip from Cairns. Cairns is a popular stop for those visiting Tropical North Queensland, which, as they say, is where the rainforest meets the reef – and it is the rainforest and the reef most are in the region to see.

For many travellers, visiting Far North tropical paradise use Cairns as their base, Kuranda, Barron Gorge, the Daintree, Mossman Gorge, Ellis Beach, Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Paronella Park, Hartleys Crocodile Park and the Great Barrier Reef. These are all popular spots to spend a day. And with good reason, these places are glorious. But if you head west, you will find a totally different kind of day trip – red dirt, big skies, and bushland as far as eye can see – and it is well worth the journey. If you never, never go, you will never, never see it.

 

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fiji: An Island Experience of Bula

The island nation of Fiji is situated in shimmering South Pacific, between Hawaii and Australia. This island country in the South Pacific, is an archipelago of more than 300 islands and two thirds of the island is uninhabited, makes it one of the unspoilt places on the planet. Its famed for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture.

Why Go?

In looking at a photo, it is easy to see that holidays in Fiji will be spent in paradise. An archipelago of more than 300 tropical islands of all shapes and sizes, Fiji is all white sandy beaches, palm trees and turquoise lagoons. Fiji’s stunning natural beauty, luxurious spas and all-inclusive resorts make it an ideal wedding or honeymoon destination. Taking a trip to Fiji is equally loved by families, divers and relaxation-seekers. Fiji, with diverse natural attractions, rich local culture and secluded and extraordinarily scenic archipelago truly offers something for every kind of traveller. This has enticed me to visit this island destination and adventure through some of the untouched islands. My impression of this island was not looking for a family-friendly getaway nor a romantic escape but rather an intrepid adventure. I was sure that Fiji wasn’t going to disappoint. Scuba diving in coral reefs, discovering lush inland landscapes fill with wildlife or simply relaxing on pristine beaches are the country’s natural attractions which are sure to amaze me but its the warm, welcoming locals that set Fiji apart from other tropical destinations. This leaves a lasting impression on any visitors to this island. Many first-time holiday-makers head to the Mamanucas, one of Fijis most popular destinations where they enjoy fantastic water-sports ranging from scuba diving to surfing and see some of the archipelagos renowned beaches. For me, it was my “own-time” leisure vacation in this tropical paradise, visiting Suva, capital of Fiji, Nadi, Lautoka and beach relaxation at Dream Island of Beachcomber.

It is time to discover the gorgeous beaches, wilderness landscapes and distinctive culture that make Fiji an unforgettable destination.

Getting there?

It was about mid-morning when I arrived in Nadi International airport, the gateway to the islands of Fiji. Not having to plan any of my travel arrangements, I found myself drifting about in Nadi before stopping in a motel for a peaceful night, which was few kilometres away from the Nadi airport.

Public Bus Transport

The next day, I intimately associated myself with the life of Fijian style and took a public bus to country’s buzzing capital, Suva, which is located on the island of Viti Levu. I was hoping to learn about Fiji’s fascinating history at the Fiji Museum, featuring an impressive collection of Indo-Fijian artefacts. Also, taking time to browse through busy stalls selling local produce, clothing and handicrafts at Suva Municipal Market.

There are four ways to get from Nadi to Suva. You either go on a public bus, self-drive on a hire car, go on a taxi or by plane. The buses in Fiji are efficient and inexpensive and I choose to take a 4-hour journey from Nadi to Suva on the main island by public bus – Coral Sun Express. Coral Sun, also known as the ‘Tourist Bus’, connects to all resorts and hotels along Queens Road to Suva. This way, it gives me the chance to see what Fiji has to offer on the west coast. Buses also stop at all towns in between and making quite an interesting bus journey and inexpensive.

Suva

Arriving in Suva around mid-afternoon, I made myself comfortable in my hotel located right in the heart of the city before exploring the area. Based right in the heart of the city for the next 7 days was the ideal introduction to the area and Suva life. Having to stay in the city have the advantage of been closer to most places, within walking distance.

The city of Suva is the heart of Fiji, home to half of country’s urban population and claims to be the largest and perhaps the most liveable city in the South Pacific outside New Zealand or Australia. It is a lush green city on a hilly peninsula, that gets more than its fair share of rain and has a vibrant cultural scene. The capital of Fiji is set on 15 square kilometre of peninsula adjacent to one of the finest naturally protected harbours in the South Seas.

Exploring Suva

Suva, the capital city, has colonial architecture, plenty of nightspots and restaurants as well as beautiful temples and mosques. Here in Suva, I found all the activities, I could possibly want and the list is endless – from culture, art, recreation, shopping, museums, galleries, markets to nightlife and continues to evolve with new complexes. Suva is a walker’s town and a great place to walk. Most of the places can be seen within one day. Municipal Market

I began my Suva stay, with a visit to the Municipal Market for a taste of Fijian life. This was a great place to pick up souvenirs and inexpensive food.

At this market, the Polynesian, Chinese, Indian and Fijian vendors hawk fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, coconut oil and nearly everything else that a Fiji household might need. I noticed that some sections (upstairs) virtually sell kava roots. It certainly makes it a fascinating glimpse into the trade of one of the most important commodities in the country.

Fiji Museum

One of Suva’s best attraction is the Fiji Museum. This museum is a “must-visit” place when your visiting Suva. I found the museum fascinating myself as the museum details South Pacific culture and discusses the country’s own history.

It has various displays including Indian art exhibits, HMS Bounty relics and artefacts that showcase traditional Fijian life, such as cannibal forks, shell jewellery and tribal weaponry

Government Building

This massive Government Building site is one of the most prominent in Suva. These impressive, orange-coloured government buildings were modelled after traditional Fijian thatched huts, and the complex is open to visitors or may be of more than passing interest to the visitor.

Some of the places visited includes Albert Park, The Grand Pacific hotel, Thurston park, Victoria Parade, Cumming Street, The Triangle, Old Town Hall, Suva City Library and more to fill your stay in Suva.

Though Suva is located on the coast, there is no pristine and sandy beach in town but it doesn’t amount to much. The best bet for a decent beach is to head down to Pacific Harbour, which is about 20 minutes by car or bus out of town.

Nadi

After 7-days of Suva experience, it was time to head to Lautoka to enjoy sun, sand and sea. From Suva to Lautoka, I did a self-drive on a rental car to explore some of the places of interest along the way. This was a great way to divert off the main road and enjoy the views and sceneries where it was not accessible by big buses. Along the way, I spent few hours in Sigatoka before arriving in Nadi for a short day tour before arriving in Lautoka by noon.

Nadi, located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu was once a small community of farmers and shopkeepers but today it is the third-largest conurbation in Fiji after Lautoka. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign tourists. Along with sugar cane production, this city has become Fiji’s tourism capital and the mainstay of the local economy. The town of Nadi called by the locals both frenetic hub of sugar growing and tourism, surrounded by rolling, bucolic countryside.

Nadi: Half-Day Tour

In doing a quick half-day tour of Nadi, was to give me a chance to see and experience what this place has to offer. This tour gave me the opportunity to explore the Garden of Sleeping Giant, famous for its collection of orchids and tropical plants. This tranquil garden was founded by Raymond Burr in 1977. From there, we visited the chiefly village of Viseisei, the legendary landing site of the first Fijians. We had time to wander around this seaside village before continuing into Nadi, to the site of the largest Hindu Temple in the South Pacific. Finally, the tour took us in the colourful sights and friendly faces at the Nadi market. What a thrill and experience that was and I highly recommend this tour for any travellers to the area. After the tour, I took an easy self-drive to Lautoka for relaxation

Lautoka

Lautoka, the second-largest city and port in Fiji and an important business centre, is just located about 20 minutes north of Nadi. It is more ‘industrial’ in flavour, with fewer tourist attractions and more of a ‘local’ feel. Not only most of the vessels here sail to foreign ports but to the outer islands and the resort areas. Also, this city is a quintessential sugar town, with reputedly one of the largest sugar mills in the southern hemisphere. I have seen that, although tourism is an important to the region but sugar industry is still king here and the largest single employer in the district.

Beachcomber

After couple of days in Lautoka, it was time to indulge in sun, sand and sea – my island relaxation destination- Beachcomber. This tiny island is situated on a picturesque marine sanctuary in the heart of the Mamanuca Islands. Beachcomber Island Resort is almost 20 kilometres from Nadi International, Fiji’s National airport. This island resort is unique, spectacular and fun, that is for both the young and young at heart.

I came here to have a great time in the sun and enjoy the sand and sea. It is a place to have casual, relaxed atmosphere and this is what I wanted. I thought, I just came to experience the magic of Beachcomber Island just once but feels like, I like to come back year after year. Yes, this island is that easy to get there, yet so hard to leave. Definitely, this dream island and the memories will stay with me forever. It is an experience of a lifetime and ‘must-do’ island to visit.

Where to stay?

There are various types of accommodations in both Nadi and Suva to suit all budget ranging from resorts, backpacker, holiday houses, apartments, B&Bs and camping nearby. Also, these places offers a range of properties throughout the region to fit most holiday styles and budgets.

Many budget travellers and backpackers make their journey to Yasawa Islands. This place is known for its affordable accommodation and great nightlife.

Recommended Activities & Attractions

Fiji is home to many iconic Island Resorts. Driving around in this area is possible if you have the time and want to see more of the area on your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the main centre of the Suva or Nadi. This way, you don’t have to fight the traffic from locals on their daily commute and you get to sample the local areas within walking distances. Unfortunately, this is where the true heart of the area shines.

Fiji is filled with endless list of activities and attractions. Travellers looking to get active can enjoy an exhilarating kayaking or rafting excursion along the Navua River, which runs through the island’s mountainous interior. You can check out the dramatic 60-foot high sand dunes found at Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. For hikers and birdwatchers, visit Taveuni, the “Garden Island”, a thrilling destination for hiking and birdwatching. Here, you will find rainforest and towering volcanic peaks.

Exploring the area

Throughout the island of Fiji, it is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport. However, my recommendation would be to hire a car or do a self-drive tour and explore the area on your own time. Driving in this area is straightforward as long as you keep your wits about you and don’t mind the locals who drive much faster than wary tourists. When visiting new areas, be aware of no-drive zones and one-way streets. Sometimes, you will save yourself a few headaches when it comes to parking or driving around places to locate the area, it is best to go on a tour and get away with less stress.

 

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© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lush Tropical Rainforest in the City

Without doubt, Cairns city, is one of the most popular tropical holiday destination in Australia. It has one of the most beautiful, interesting and attractive tropical gardens in Far North Queensland Region. It is simply a tropical paradise right here, in the heart of this beautiful city of Cairns.

Just located within ten minutes of drive from the heart of Cairns city centre is the Cairns Centenary Lakes. A lush tropical rainforest oasis that awaits, welcoming its visitors with a piece of taste of tropical rainforest plants. A place that will leave you with a mixture of tropical plants and wildlife experience. It is a place that will keep you coming back and you will never get bored, every time you visit this idyllic location. It is one of my most favourite place in this city.

This Freshwater Lake created in 1975 in a 3-hectare freshwater swamp already existed on the site is an ideal place for visitors and families to come and enjoy the place. It is a great picnic location with sheltered picnic sites, free BBQs, an outdoor nature-park playground for children and public ammenities.

This place is one of the great outdoor recreational place for families, travellers, garden lovers, birdwatchers, photographers and anyone that simply prefer to escape the hustle and bustle of urban activities and attractions.

Why Go?

 

 

Centenary Lake is not just a place to sit back, relax and enjoy the tropical beauty and wildlife. This place has always plenty to do and it is a lush beauty and a great place that certainly invites leisurely exploration. It is beautiful, interesting, peaceful and relaxing place that is good for your mind, body and soul. It always give me a feeling of self-satisfaction, everytime I wander around this lake and the gardens.

 

 

 

Here you have the Freshwater and a Saltwater Pond at one end, Boardwalks through tropical rainforest in the middle and Cairns Botanical Gardens at the other end. They are all linked together by footpath and boardwalks that are easy and flat ground walking. The tourists to the city in particular will enjoy the fantastic views of the Lakes, lush tropical plants and wildlife.

 

This lake is one of the a great and unique place to visit. Here, you not only get the opportunity to get close to nature but you get the chance to see the lush exotic tropical rainforest plants and wildlife all in one location. You don’t have to travel far out of the city to experience this tropical rainforest paradise that is just within minutes from Cairns city centre.

 

Getting there?

The Freshwater Lake and Botanical Gardens located approximately distance of 3-5 kilometres from Cairns city centre makes it one of the most easily accessible place to visit by foot, public bus and self-drive. The lake has no gated boundary can be easily accessed from Greenslope street and Collins Avenue along Whitfield area. Since, the entrance to the lake has no gate, anyone can visit the area throughout the day or at night time.

Exploring the area

Once you enter the place, there is lots to see and do in the area. This is one of my favourites places to visit in Cairns. The great thing about this place, it is entirely easily accessible to get around this beautiful gardens without any help. This is one of the places that I am able to come and visit this beautiful and pristine location all year around. Here, I  take my time leisurely strolling around the area exploring and enjoying wildlife and its rich diversity of flora and fauna. There are certain areas in Centenary Lake that offers few kinds of experience that I enjoy most:  the Rainforest Boardwalk, Chinese Garden, Lake, Water-lilies and Wildlife. Regular visitors will know that each has a special feel all its own.

The Lake

One of the unique attraction of this Lake is definitely the water-lilies with their majestic bright colorful flowers, depending on the season. This lake decorated by a patchwork of colourful water-lilies provides shelter for several species of frogs, fish, plants, flowers, ducks, butterflies and turtles. It is an area where you have spectacular time exploring this beautiful city backyard and enjoying nature with all variety of colourful water- lilies – red, pink, white, purple or combination of all.

Wildlife

 

The lakes swampy area is a safe haven for many bird species, depending on the season. This lake can be filled with abundance of birdlife and other species of birds that migrate to this location each year, while other wildlife makes it their permanent home for their hunting and playground.

With plants and lilies blooming with colourful flowers and migration of several bird species to the area creates a spectacular scene to look at for both nature lovers and photographers paradise. Any visitors making their way to this location can expect to see magpie geese, black ducks, black-necked storks, white Egrets, darter and cormorants.

Chinese Garden

On Centenary Lakes southside is the main entrance to the Chinese Garden on Greenslope street, with four bright red coloured pillars surrounded by bamboos which is highly visible from the road. This instantly gives you an impression of Chinese garden atmosphere. Once you enter through the entrance, you see the beautiful pathways, variety of tropical plants, bamboos, and cycad plants leading to the Chinese temple. A great place to sit down and enjoy the 360′ view of the lake.

Rainforest Boardwalk

My favourite part of the Centenary Freshwater Lakes is the Rainforest Boardwalk. From the boardwalk it connects to Cairns Flecker Botanical Gardens in Collins Avenue. As you walk along, you’ll see sweeping branches, flawless outlines and ordered internal structure, incredible birdlife and the lush and exotic tropical plants are revealed.

It was once an unfriendly boardwalk with very narrow wooden pathway but since the boardwalk has been rebuilt and widen, it is easily accessible for prams, wheelchairs and anyone that can stroll along without been rushed. This walk will give you the taste of what it is like to be going on an adventure to experiencing lush thick tropical rainforest, further north of Cairns to Daintree-Cape Tribulation area.

 

This boardwalk not only set its site on enjoying the lush tropical natural plants and the rainforest experience but gives you an in depth information on the flora and fauna along the way and what you might expect to see. It is quite educational to take a time to read what is in the area and expect to see.

 

The rainforest boardwalk connecting Centenary Lakes to the Botanical Gardens in Cairns, far north Queensland allows the visitors to imagine what the coastal areas of Cairns once looked like before settlement.

The western end of the boardwalk is located across Collins Avenue from the Main Gate and the eastern end is adjacent to the Saltwater Creek footbridge that accesses the Saltwater Lake and mangroves.

If you want peace, beauty, tranquility and a bit of light adventure, this boardwalk is the ideal place. As you go along the boardwalk, you will get to see the amazing tropical plant life existing along the walk and the birdlife is in its abundance.

In particular, having vegetation muffle sounds and trees block views to buildings, roads and other obvious constructions helps me take my mind off the hustle and bustle of urban life. I think, most of us relax and feel better in the presence of trees or lush tropical plants. This area is very popular with birdwatchers, joggers, walkers and families as it offers spectacular views of the natural tropical plants and variety of birds to spot.

Visitors to the area should also watch out for the Lovely Fairy Wren (Malurus amabills) which frequents the area. This special environment has been home for years to endangered plant called the Layered Tassel Fern (Huperzia phlegmariodes) which once thrived in this habitat. It is on the Queensland Government Endangered Species list and is becoming as rare as the ecosystem in which it lives. Yes, sadly, this shrinking ecosystem that once dominated the region has all but disappeared, apart from the small patch around the boardwalk and a few other locations.

Whether your focus is on specific plants, wildlife in the area or, just want to tramp the comfortable pathways under the trees and breath in the fresh air, a visit to the Cairns Flecker Botanical Garden will probably do you a world of good.

Flecker Botanical Garden

Apart from the boardwalk and the wildlife and tropical plants, Cairns Botanical Gardens is just located metres away from the Centenary Lakes. The Botanical Gardens is also home to a number of exotic and rare tropical plants only found in this part of the world. It has a orchid and fern greenhouse as well as a range of endemic plants.It offers another unique attractions to the area and is a very popular spot for locals and visitors. I recommend to take moment to explore this area.

There is a cafe located right in the heart of the garden. As you enjoy your breakfast or lunch surrounded by lush tropical plants, gives you a taste of what it is like living in this tropical paradise.

There are other gardens and plant attractions to see in the area, including Fitzalan and Gondwana Heritage Garden. Click here for the PDF map

Fitzalan Garden

This garden named after Mr Eugene Fitzalan, the first caretake of the Botanic Gardens from 1886-1897 is a “must see” when visiting the area. The area comprises three separate gardens connected by paths and footbridges, and houses a small water lily pond, giant mature palms and trees.

Gondwana Heritage Garden

This garden located between Flecker Garden and the Visitor Centre is an Evolution Garden tracing the evolution of plants from the first photosynthetic bacteria to the modern flowering platns. Emphasis is placed on the Gondwana component of the plant kingdom and in particular the development of the distintive Australian Wet Tropics flora. This garden is certainly worth visiting and takes you back in time.

Centenary Lakes, with such beautiful setting all around with some cool walking tracks, seatings overlooking the lakes where many active ducks and birds around, great botanical garden and surrounded with lush tropical plants, makes it a peaceful walk through nature, a place for chill-out time and tranquility right in the city. This place is truly one of the most beautiful place to visit and every visitor to this beautiful city must go and see.

So if you ever in Cairns, visit the Centenary Lakes and Cairns Flecker Botanical Gardens. Entry to both places are free.

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Experience Cairns Major Attractions

Cairns, located on the door-step to one of worlds’ iconic natural wonders of the world is considered the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is a city in tropical Far North Queensland filled with endless list of natural attractions, including the World Heritage Listed rainforest – Daintree Rainforest. Its Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with music and dance. Cairns Esplanade, lined with bars and restaurants, has a swimming lagoon. Northwest of the city, Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches.

With endless lists of attractions, amazing world class restaurants, laid back cafes, pubs and bars, great shopping, amazing views of the Great Barrier Reef and gorgeous backdrop of lush tropical mountains and rainforest makes Cairns city a perfect location and a spectacular place to visit.

WHY GO?

This city of Cairns, surrounded by natural backdrop of lush tropical mountains and rainforest that meets the sparkling Coral Sea, is a city of extremes and a magical place.

This city is a spectacular place to visit with lots of wonderful things to do. Cairns has a culture of luxury and leisure – endless opportunity for outdoor where you can enjoy a cool drink and some great shopping to hiking trails in the rainforest and outback or swimming in the sparking Great Barrier Reef.

Living in this tropical paradise city, it is a dream and many times I still try to come to grips with it. With the Daintree Rainforest to the north, the Great Barrier Reef to the east and the Atherton Tablelands to the west, Cairns location is spectacular. From lush bush lands to spectacular sparkling sea, this small port city is the gateway to tropical north Queensland. With its breathtaking scenery of where the rainforest meets the reef and the outback gives a vibrant flavour makes Cairns a regional city that never sleeps.

The city known for photographers paradise and its magnetic attraction, push and pulls millions of tourists to the city all-year round. With its friendly and helpful locals, makes visitors keep coming back to the region again and again. Cairns is a vibrant city with vibrant celebrations and Australia’s most popular destination. There is always something new to see and do in this tropical paradise city. Cairns, is one of the only place on the planet where you can swim in one of the seven wonders of the natural world – Great Barrier Reef. You can swim the Great Barrier Reef in the morning and hit the outback and World Heritage Listed Rainforest the next in the afternoon – all in a day.

WHAT TO DO?

With Cairns city been accessible by road, train and air makes it one of the most visited place in Far North Queensland. This picturesque Cairns region offers a wide variety of things to see and do. There are endless activities and places to visit that suits your interests. Whatever you want to do, you will find it – from beaches and reefs to rainforest and outback. There is something for everyone no matter what age you are. The only best option is to drive around in the area if you have the time and see more of the area during your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the main centre of the city. It is the ideal introduction to the city area and Cairns life.

Cairns Lagoon

One of the most popular spot for tourists and locals no matter what age you are is the waterfront of Cairns, known as the Cairns Esplanade Foreshore and Lagoon.

The gorgeous lagoon is the place where you can swim all year round. It is the place to be with something for everyone, especially locals, visitors, backpackers and International students who are seen there either swimming, sunbathing or having barbaques. It has fun and fantastic picnic areas and a boardwalk to walk on at sunset or run on at sunrise. The promenade also host to weekly live entertainment so you can sit back on the grass and enjoy live music, fire twirling, animal shows and famed Cairns buskers. All this gives you a taste of what is to come in this tropical paradise.

Cairns Centenary Lakes – Botanical Garden

Just within 5 minutes drive from the Cairns city centre is the Cairns Botanical Gardens and Lakes. Here you get to take an easy stroll along with sights and adventure with gorgeous boardwalks to wander around surrounded by lush tropical rainforest gardens, flora and fauna, lake and parklands.

It is a rainforest within the city that you will get to experience. You will be able to have time to stop and smell many exotic and rare plants along the way that are only found in this part of Australia and probably the world. This parkland have some beautiful birds and other species that are frequently found in the area, which makes it a perfect place for bird watchers paradise. It is little known to many visitors but very popular among locals, joggers, walkers, families and photograhers.

Cairns Esplanade

For those who prefer a lay-back atmosphere, take a 3.5km walk along the Cairns waterfront and marina area. For gallery and art lovers, take a stroll around the city area and you will be surprised to explore some of the unique sculptures, galleries, arts and craft that reflect on the reef all within walking distance.

To be more adventurous, go on some of the most popular attractions found in the region that every visitor should include on their “What to see and do” itinerary. These attractions are “must see” and cannot be missed while visiting the area:

Kuranda Scenic Railway

For those who want to just relax with a breath of fresh air, Kuranda Scenic Train is just for you. This is one of the most popular tourist train ride in Far North Queensland region that takes you through the heart of the rainforest.

It is one of the most unique train journey in the world. As you begin your train journey, so as the history of this railway. It is so fascinating to learn about the historical past and takes you back in time while enjoying the comfort of this train ride. You will be amazed with the stunning views of the landscape of the area as you slowly journey up the range.

 

You just have to sit-back and relax while enjoying the incredible views of the Barron Gorge, Cairns city and the Great Barrier Reef out from you window while the train winds up the McAlister Range through rainforest, waterfalls, tunnels along Barron Gorge and jaw-dropping cliff sides to the remote village of Kuranda located up in the mountains.

Sky-Rail

For those who want to see the rainforest and spectacular views from above, take a skyrail, which gives you a unique experience that takes you on an unforgettable journey through one of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Tropical Rainforest. It is the longest cableway in the world, spanning 7.5 kilometres and one of the most popular attractions in Cairns.

This cableway ride takes you over and above Barron Gorge and pristine rainforest, gliding just metres above the rainforest canopy is close as you can get. The skyrail journey will immerse you in an intimate rainforest experience and guarantees a rush of adrenaline and an unforgettable journey. The views from above are incredibly breathtaking as you look out towards the Great Barrier Reef, coastline, sugarcane fields and suburb of Smithfield.

Great Barrier Reef

Take a boat trip to the reef on shimmering clear blue ocean, swim with underwater sea creatures – fishes and marvelled at underwater sculptures – coral reefs. The iconic Great Barrier Reef is one of the most visited reef in the world and many visitors come to tick it off their bucketlist. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. However, if this is not your taste, there are endless hiking trails from easy to over-night trails.

Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of world is one of those places that you must visit in your lifetime. Whether you love the water or just want to see of the Great Wonders of the world, take a relaxing trip out to the reef.

It is home to diverse marine life and a great opportunity to experience marine life. From seeing some of the colourful corals, reef fishes to relaxing and swimming surrounded by unforgettable nature. Many visitors come to this region to stay and experience one of the many coastal getaways. It is an experience of a life time.

Daintree Rainforest – Cape Tribulation

For those adventure explorers, take a day trip up to Daintree and Cape Tribulation area to see one of the oldest rainforest in the world. Taking this road trip will take you along scenic coastal drive, sugar cane fields and rainforest passing through small townships and village – Port Douglas, Mossman and Daintree village. Here you get to experience nature at its best.

Daintree Rainforest – Cape Tribulation is a natural botanical wonderland that many visitors come to enjoy. The place is richly blessed with nature, culture and history.

Take a journey into this dense rainforest and see the vast array of flora and fauna. Immerse yourself into one of the most spectacular, unforgettable and thrilling experience you’ll ever have as you drive through the rainforest.  A place to come to this region to enjoy, relax, admire and appreciate this natural wonderland.

Tjapukai Dance Theatre

For those who prefer to experience indigenous culture, visit Cairns most popular Aboriginal cultural experience park – Tjapukai. Here you not only get to see the native people of Australia but to explore the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. This is the ultimate place to experience the rich, ancient and authentic Aboriginal culture lifestyle, dance, food and art unique to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Here you have the chance to talk to local indigenous people who call the surrounding rainforest their homeland and understand from their perspective.

RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS

Cairns is home to many iconic natural attractions. Driving around in this area is possible if you have the time and want to see more of the area on your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the heart of Cairns city. This way, you don’t have to fight the traffic from locals on their daily commute and you get to sample the local areas within walking distances.

Cairns region is filled with endless list of activities and attractions. Travellers looking to get active can enjoy an exhilarating kayaking or rafting excursion along the Tully River. You can check out the dramatic . For hikers and birdwatchers, visit Atherton Tablelands and scenic drive, a thrilling destination for hiking and birdwatching.

WHERE TO STAY?

Cairns is very attractive for those who are on a budget, especially for those who have families and backpackers. It is a very popular spot for both domestic and international all year round, this city provides various types of accommodations in the area to suit all budget. The accommodation range from resorts, backpacker, holiday houses, apartments, B&Bs, caravan parks and campings nearby. Also, the area offers a range of properties throughout the region to fit most holiday styles and budgets.

EXPLORING THE AREA

Cairns region, with its famous and world renowned natural and man-made attractions and attributes, makes this city a popular destination to explore. It is the gateway north to the top of Australia. Many come to indulge themselves in this tropical paradise lifestyle of sun, sea and sand.

It is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport. However, my recommendation would be to hire a car and do a self-drive tour and explore the area on your own time. Driving in this area is straightforward as long as you keep your wits about you and don’t mind the locals who drive much faster than vary tourists. When visiting new areas, be aware of no-drive zones and one-way streets. Sometimes, you will save yourself a few headaches when it comes to parking or driving around places to locate the area. It is best to go on a tour and get away with less stress.

 

© COPYRIGHT: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

© akamau.org. (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to akamau.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.