I first visited Cairns on my very first trip to Australia many years ago, but unfortunately I hadn’t re-visited this stunning part of the country until my most recent trip to Australia. Cairns is a picture-perfect costal town located in Queensland’s far north, surrounded by lush green rainforests. The coastline to the north is crammed full of stunning tropical beaches – the perfect setting for a Cairns beachfront break.
My Tropical Cairns Beachfront Break
Destination: Cairns, Australia
Flight Time From London: The flying time to Cairns is approximately 23 hours from the UK, but because I visited Cairns from Adelaide, I had a flight time of just over three hours.
Airline & Airport of Operation: From Adelaide you can fly to Cairns on Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin Australia.
Transfer Time to City: Cairns city centre is about 10 minutes from the airport by taxi, slightly longer if you take the bus. For my trip I stayed at Trinity Beach, which is located along the northern beaches. Trinity beach is about twenty minutes from the airport, but in the opposite direction to the city centre. I took a taxi and it was about $50.
Where to Stay: For my wonderful Cairns beachfront break I stayed at the Sea Change Beachfront Apartments, in Trinity Beach. The Sea Chhange Beachfront Apartments are serviced apartments, and I had booked a two bedroom apartment on the top floor, which had a spacious balcony for relaxing and outdoor eating, with some stunning views over the beach and sea.
The apartment had an open plan living area with full kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one with jacuzzi bath), laundry room and a large balcony. The apartment was tastefully decorated and very clean. There is no on-site restaurant, but this wasn’t a problem as I had planned to cook many of my meals during my stay, who wouldn’t want to with the beautiful views you can enjoy from the balcony! There was a stylish pool and pool area with a jacuzzi and sun loungers, and also communal barbecues for guests to use. I booked this stay with hotels.com and it cost approximately £100 per night. For less than £5 a day extra you can choose a rate which included car hire, so this is what I did.
Sea Change Beachfront Apartments Trinity Beach #Cairns – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Top Attractions for your Cairns Beachfront Break
Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skytrain: About an hour inland from Cairns, up in the Atherton Tablelands is the rainforest village of Kuranda. Kuranda is quite small and has one main street through the village which is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. At the end of the street are the stations for the Kuranda Scenic Railway and also the Skytrain. These are Kuranda’s biggest attractions. You can travel down to Cairns on one and back up on the other. The cost for this is $109.50pp and you need to allow about 4-5 hours. It is also worth noting that only two trains operate one return trip each per day, so it’s worth looking into the times beforehand. The train line was constructed in the late 19th Century and includes 15 tunnels and 37 bridges, all painstakingly constructed by hand by the 300 strong workforce who built the railway.
On my trip I arrived early in the afternoon and took the first of the two trains down the scenic railway, as the second would not have left me enough time to get the sky rail back up to Kuranda. The descent to Cairns takes approximately 1h 45m and includes a stop along the way for some wonderful photo opportunities. The train meanders along 23 miles of track through the Barron Gorge with mind-blowing views across the gorge and rainforest, as well as the many stunning waterfalls and steep ravines. The train even slows down at some of these points of interest along the way for even more picturesque photo opportunities. Upon arrival at Cairns Freshwater station you leave the train and are taken to the Skyrail terminal by minibus for your return journey back to Kuranda. The return trip takes just under an hour, and consists of three cable car rides, all of which glide over the stunning rainforest below. At each of the two stops along the way you can explore the rainforest at your own leisure, along designated trails with some stunning views over the waterfalls and rainforest.
Great Barrier Reef: For my amazing day out on the Great Barrier Reef please read my separate blog here.
Port Douglas: Located just over an hour north from Cairns, along the coast, is the picturesque town of Port Douglas. With little over 3,000 inhabitants, Port Douglas isn’t the biggest town in the world, but it did come third in the Australian Traveller magazine’s Top 100 Best Towns in Australia. A visit to Port Douglas will really make you see why! Port Douglas is a big destination for tourism, with many boat trips to the Great Barrier Reef originating here. The town centre is home to many great shops, restaurants and holiday accommodation. A perfect destination for a great seafood lunch.
Local Delicacy: Seafood is one of the biggest industries in Queensland, so needless to say that any seafood which you have while on a Cairns beachfront break will be absolutely divine.
Top Tip: If you plan a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, I would advise you to pre-book your trip directly with your hotel, or before you arrive to avoid disappointment. I booked with Ocean Spirit Cruises and I highly recommend them.
Currency: The local currency is the Australian Dollar.
Weather: Being located in the tropics, Cairns has a very tropical climate, nearly always in the 30s and quite humid. The dry season is April to November and is slightly cooler and less humid. The wet season is from December to March.
Best Time To Go: The best time to go is during the dry season, which is between April and November. Because I didn’t arrive in Australia until early December I didn’t manage to get to Cairns until mid-December. It did rain almost everyday during my visit, usually between half an hour to a couple of hours a day, the rest of the time it was sunny and very warm.
Recommended Duration: It all depends on how much, or how little you want to do while you’re in Cairns. I would recommend a stay of between 5-7 days which gives you plenty of time to do the things you want to do, as well as having plenty of time to relax.
Conclusion: Cairns is the perfect Australian destination not only to see some of Australia’s most beautiful scenery and of course the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, but it is also a perfect destination for some relaxation. My recent Cairns beachfront break was my second visit to Cairns, and definitely won’t be my last!