For the last 8 years or so we have come up to Cairns to visit family regularly. The stretch between whole family visits this time was longer. The girls and I were here in 2015 for my brother’s graduation from uni but before that it was January 2014. I was here in November just gone for about 10 days. Its been ages since we were all here together basically. Normally we fly up so its been really strange driving our own car around the place after driving up a week ago.
In previous trips during those 8 years we have stayed here for up to six weeks and we definitely have a few favourite places to visit, mostly free ones. Those include:
The Cairns Botanical Gardens
Sugarworld (the kids of course!)
Holloways Beach (and the lovely cafe there)
The Crystal Cascades
Lake Barrine (and the pretty teahouse)
There are of course TONS of other places you can see and things you can do and we’ve done many of them. Most of the places above are free except for an entry fee for Sugarworld and Paronella Park and a park entry (small) for Mossman Gorge (which used to be free but these places do cost money to maintain). In the past we’ve done Green Island, Port Douglas, the Kuranda Train, Daintree, Art Galleries, The Treehouse playground, Muddy’s, The Butterfly Sanctuary, Babinda Rocks, Palm Cove, Trinity beach, Cairns Zoom Wildlife Dome, Catana Wetlands and much more that I can’t remember. Note a lack of expensive touristy things like the Kuranda skyrail and a Great Barrier Reef tour. We just can’t afford that and going on the train was a bit of a stretch for cost at the time (But worth it).
We’ve got to the point now where we only visit the things we feel like (usually the Botanical Gardens, Muddies and beaches) and the rest we do if we have a spare day. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been doing in this first week: