Cairns

Cairns is a regional city in Northern Queensland and the center of tourism in the area. It’s one of the most popular holiday destinations for overseas visitors to Australia and it’s great base for visiting the Great Barrier Reef, the nearby rainforests and the Atherton Tablelands further inland. As a result the city is full of tourist shops and various tour operators. I still found it a fairly pleasant city, obviously way too touristy but apart from that nice enough.

Cairns is on the coast but there’s no actual beach in the city itself. At least there is a pretty nice swimming lagoon for cooling off during the hot days. It’s no substitute for a real beach of course, and pretty crowded during the day. The walk along the coast on the promenade is nice (if at times crowded) and a popular exercise spot too. I did little bit of running there too, but strictly outside the daylight hours. With 30 degree day temperatures anything too physical was off the books for me.

I still did a fair a bit of walking in the area, mainly in the Botanic Gardens and its surronds. The Botanic Gardens in Cairns are very nice and obviously the focus is on the tropical species. Near the Gardens there are two popular walking tracks, Blue and Red Arrow. The combined track makes for a nice walk through some wilderness near the city with some excellent views to the Cairns airport. The early part of the track is known as the Red Arrow, a fairly easy (if somewhat steep) walk up the hill in the rainforest. The second part known as Blue Arrow is a proper bushwalk and slightly more demanding. Apart from the nice views and the rainforest itself there were also quite a few lizards and birds along the tracks.

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