7 reasons to visit Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
If you are looking for a balmy escape up to Tropical North Queensland in Australia this is the perfect time, with Australia’s international borders now finally open. There’s plenty to see and do for couples, families and solo travellers. Reef expeditions, new hotels, and wildlife experiences, Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef is the perfect holiday destination for every age and we’ve rounded up seven of the new must-see experiences.
1. Crystalbrook Collection’s newest hotel
Flynn, the social butterfly of the Crystalbrook Collection’s portfolio of hotels provides chic accommodation. The Cairns Esplanade hotel offers travellers great views of the Coral Sea from their balcony, glass-bottom hotel pools, a 24-hour gym or the ultimate tropical escape in the top three floor suites of the Esplanade tower with large balconies to laze the day away. Flynn’s Boardwalk Social offers market-style gourmet food and live music.
2. Reef expeditions launched
With no more than 72 passengers, Coral Expeditions has launched a series of new seven-night sailings onboard the Coral Discoverer from Cairns. The nature-based expeditions will take small groups to explore the pristine outer reefs and lesser-known islands of the Great Barrier Reef under the guidance of an expert team including a Master Reef Guide.
3. New Wildlife Habitat exhibit
Wildlife Habitat has opened Rainforest Habitat to give guests the feeling of being in the rainforest while they spot birds and native animals from the exciting new Licuala Tower and Birdseye Bridge. Celebrating the Port Douglas wildlife park’s 30th birthday, the attractions add to the recently completed Nocturnal Habitat, Predator Plank and two new aviaries.
4. Soak up the rooftop view
Enjoy the best views of the Cairns Lagoon from Oak & Vine, the rooftop bar of Oaks Cairns Hotel in the heart of the city’s Esplanade. The cocktail bar serves Nikkei cuisine, a unique blend of Peruvian ingredients crafted with Japanese techniques and showcasing local produce in dishes like snapper ceviche and baby pork spiced ribs.
5. A modern look at the ancient rainforest
Interactive signage including 3D effects and spinning totems bring to life the story of the world’s oldest rainforest at the Daintree Discovery Centre. The Centre’s Canopy Tower has undergone a makeover to add to the experience of walking through all levels of the rainforest on the Aerial Walkway and Canopy Tower.
6. Relax in a rainforest treehouse
Daintree Ecolodge has ‘elevated’ their rainforest tree houses to a new level of luxury with a makeover of the bayans. The Lagoon Bayans has a private screened balcony looking out on to the rainforest and the Rainforest Bayans have a private outdoor bathtub where the sights and sounds of the world’s oldest rainforest can be enjoyed.
7. Scenic multisport challenge
Paddle, run and mountain bike through the World Heritage areas of the Cassowary Coast in the Ona Mission Multisport Adventure on October 25. Run Mt Kootaloo on Dunk Island and the wide sandy beach of Mission Beach, ride through the world’s oldest rainforest and paddle in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park for an adventure in nature’s playground.