10 Things to Do, See and Play in Cairns

Cairns is a fabulous place to visit and there’s always plenty to do to keep yourself entertained. To help make your life a little easier, the following are the top 10 things you can do when you are visiting Cairns.

Rainforestation Nature Park

You will need to drive a short distance outside of Cairns to visit, but it is definitely an absolute must-see. You will be visiting a real rain forest. The park covers 100 acres, and has a series of tours along with an impressive koala park. You will really love this if you are a nature lover.


The Daintree Dreaming Tour by Adventure North

The Aborigines have lived in this part of the world for thousands of years. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for you to spend some of your time there learning about their culture and history. So you should definitely take the Daintree Dreaming tour and maybe think about going on an overnight safari with guided tours and talks conducted by Aborigine elders.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, located on Cairns’ outskirts, will give you an entirely new perspective on this area. It will take you on a ride covering 7.5m over the rain forest and gorges. It is an absolutely spectacular ride. If you are afraid of heights, then you should avoid it. However, if you do decide to go make sure to remember to take your camera along with you.

Cairns Tropical Zoo

Australia has so much wildlife that it really is logical to see as much of it as you can but in a controlled way. There are different wildlife shows at the tropical zoo every day, which includes a chance for you to get very up close and personal with some of the native species. This five star attraction is ideal for all members of your family.

Kurandu Scenic Railway

The railway travels from Cairns over to Kurandu. It is quite the understatement to state that it travels through some spectacular scenery. You pass through waterfalls, rain forest, and rugged mountains. Who would turn down an opportunity to see all of this? It might not be a really long journey, but it is certainly a spectacular one.

Barron Gorge National Park

Although it is a bit of a trek to get there, this is a really cool place that you absolutely must see. It is a huge place with a gigantic waterfall and many different areas for you to explore. It features spectacular scenery and is a great place to hike.

Fitzroy Island

The island is actually a national park situated around 27km south of Cairns. This tropical island is well worth visiting, especially to see the coral reef surrounding the island. The interior always has its very own rain forest, and here is a great resort. The 45 minute ferry ride to and from the island is also very enjoyable.

Palm Cove

Located 27km north of Cairns, this is a classical tropical beach with plenty of palm trees. It features amazing sand, perfect weather, outstanding views and is fairly quiet as well. It’s the perfect place to be on your vacation.

Great Barrier Reef

If you are going to be visiting this part of the world, then you simply must see the Great Barrier Reef. Seriously considering getting in some scuba diving to check things out closely or go on a boat tour.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

The Australian butterfly sanctuary is the prefect place to take your family to. It is located right in the center of Kuranda and is filled with these incredible insects that will leave your children as well as you and your spouse completely speechless and in awe.

Women’s Organisation Constructs Shelter to Assist Domestic Violence Victims

The day four women from Cairns decided to create an emergency shelter for domestic violence victims, they never thought it would be permanent.

This is because they never imagined that domestic violence would become such a big problem in their community or that the shelter would become a vital resource in the city.

The women had no idea and considered the shelter to be a short term collaboration until domestic violence rates went down.

Ruth Thomas, Jean Bleyerveld, Pat O’Hara and Joan Trewern are the four women who started the shelter by hosting fundraisers and bringing a formal proposal to the local council.

Fundraisers included sausage sizzles, bush dances and selling baked goods. At that time, it was necessary for the women to also provide some of their own money to the cause.

Federal and state resources provided the rest of the money needed. In 1977, they were able to open Ruth’s Women’s Shelter. At first it was located in Earlville, but later was located in a Cairns North hilltop Queenslander.

The shelter was put to use on the very first day. Since they had no employees, Ruth Thomas decided to move into the facility herself.

According to Lynelle, the shelter’s first days were quite dissimilar to how things are done now.

These days, the shelter is equipped with cameras, alarms, and a security system, but in the beginning, the staff had to go outside to bring in new residents and the shelter’s location was well-known.

In 1986, Lynelle applied to work at the shelter when was in her late 20’s. She was already a skilled nurse with a young child.

The shelter was able to pay Lynelle thanks to sales from Ruth’s Bookshelf. It was opened in 1980 and the store was provided by Rusty Rees. Lynelle says the people of Cairns have been incredibly supportive.

Shelter residents who have nothing and have to restart their lives greatly appreciate the donations. It can be easier for some of the women to completely start over than attempt to retrieve their property from the homes they’ve left.

Even the little things, such as toiletries are appreciated. There is one individual in Cairns who prepares gift boxes for residents and the shelter has a large room full of donated clothing for everyone from infants to elderly women.

The shelter is frequently the first place abused women are able to freely discuss their issues. Some have been shunned by their relatives, live in a new city or are reliant on their spouses.

A Guide To Cool Outdoor Living In Cairns

If you live in a tropical climate, choosing the correct design is absolutely crucial. If you choose a house design that is not tailored to tropical living, you are going to spend a fortune keeping it cool. The extensive hot summer will give ample proof of that.

You make various investments throughout your life, however you home is surely the biggest one. For this reason much thought should be given to how you can add value to your home, ways in which you can decrease running costs and methods to ensure your home is a comfortable environment for you and your family.

To fulfill all of the above factors, without paying a lot more than a typical house, you need to keep your home cool. Being such a homeowner also allows you to be in the position of using less resources and hence reducing your carbon footprint, a sure way to increase your feel-good factor.

The aim of this guide is to provide you with a helping hand as you work along with your architect or designer, allowing you to add in features that are compatible for tropical living regardless of whether your chosen home style is a modern block style, a Queenslander or anything else for that matter. This guide has been compiled, not just for people who are building their own home, but also for those who are renovating their current property. The goal is the same; keep the house cool.

Preparing for the Seasons

December to April tends to be the wet season in Cairns, with May to November seeing dry weather. North and north-easterly winds are common in Cairns during the wet and hot season. The whole year through Cairns is affected by south and south-easterly winds.

Summer months tends to see temperatures high temperatrures during the summer, with recordings between 23 and 31.

In view of such temperatures, having a cool and comfortable home can be a challenge. That is why it is so important to have a house design which works to make use of cool breezes whilst keeping the stifling heat out.

In tropical homes, outdoor living areas that have been effectively designed tend to be the most popular space to spend time. For the area to be effective it needs to have an insulated roof coupled with an open design that allows prevailing winds to circulate.

Tips for Improving Shading and Air-flow

For protection both from the rain and the sun, outdoor living areas should be shaded. Verandas, awnings, sails and pergolas are all excellent options. Plants and vegetation can also provide a two-fold purpose by creating an attractive environment as well as providing shade.

– Your patio should have blinds installed. The cost of outdoor blinds Sydney will vary depending on the type of blind you install and the materials used. Especially when coupled with an outdoor fan, blinds provide appropriate shade as well as protection from the sun.


– Outdoor living areas should be created that are well-ventilated, weatherproof and have easy access to the main house. Fans, power outlets and screen all add to the practicality and comfort of the living space.

– Use large doors and windows that open onto verandas and courtyards to fuse the outdoor and indoor living space.

– To ensure outdoor living spaces can be enjoyed all year around use eaves for weather protection.

– To keep outdoor areas cool and to maximize on prevailing breezes, consider planting large shade trees.

– To further increase outdoor living space, as well as welcome breezes to circulate in the house utilize a design which includes courtyard spaces between pavilions.

Taking Care of Trees in Cairns

Are you wondering what to do about tree crossing boundaries issues? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about this.

1. Vegetation And Trees- Neighbourhood conflicts often are a result of trees and vegetation that crosses boundaries between properties. The Neighbourhood Disputes Act 2011 is what regulates the issue but the council is not responsible for enforcing the act. If you notice there are branches that are hanging over the dividing fence, then contact the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and they will let you know what the next step will be.

2. Removals And Private Property- Do you need to remove a tree on your own property? If so, then contact the council. This is because you may need their permission before you do so.

3. Advice On Disputes Involving Trees- As previously mentioned, conflicts often arise due to vegetation and tree crossing boundaries. The 2011 Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution act allows people to resolve tree and vegetation disputes with ease, as it encourages residents to take care of the issue in a friendly manner, as well as a timely manner. Council is not required to enforce the act, so keep this information in mind.

You can always call the QCAT, short for the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. You can call them at 1300 753 228. You can also visit their website or send them an email to request more information.

4. Speak With Your Neighbours- Try to talk to your neighbour because this is usually the best way to resolve issues, but if this doesn’t work, there are other options. You can enlist the help of a mediator, who are objective and they may help you resolve the issue quickly. You should only resort to legal action if it’s absolutely necessary because this can be costly and it can make relations with your neighbors even more tense.

In some cases your neighbours may even share the costs of tree removals in Adelaide by a professional arborist.

5. Resolving Issues- Thousands of people in Queensland ends up finding themselves in a disagreement that involves a fence or tree, and the act does explain what their rights are. The act states that the tree, which includes care and maintenance, will be the responsibility of the keeper of the tree. This means if the tree is on your property, then you are responsible for its care and maintenance.

The QCAT can hear matters relating to trees and they can make decisions, as they have the jurisdiction to do so. The QCAT allows the community to access its single tribunal and they can provide residents with a way to settle disputes. They can do so in an informal way.

6. The Act Doesn’t Apply To Every Single Tree- The act doesn’t pertain to trees on rural land. It also doesn’t apply to trees on land that a local government owns and if that land serves as a public park. This also excludes trees that have been planted for specific purposes, such as part of a condition of a development approval or planted for commercial reasons.

Provisions are limited to urban areas. It’s also applied to cases that involve trees that are adjoined to a neighbour’s property. If lands are separated by a road, then the provision also applies.

Cairns Naval Base

The naval base, HMAS Cairns is located in Cairns, Queensland. This naval base is the focal point of all Australian naval activity located off the north east of Australia. At the moment though there are some huge changes that are being planned for this long standing naval base.

Just recently, several high profile documents were released that detailed the plans to expand the Cairns Naval Base up to three times its current size. The Cairns Naval Base is expected to add several more facilities as well as accommodating over 3,000 more personnel in the near future.

Plans are already underway and are currently being fast tracked by delegates in order to start construction to upgrade this Australian naval base. Blueprints are already in the waiting line to be signed off by Defence Minister Marise Payne at the moment.

This enormous undertaking to expand on their naval base has been expected by experts as Australia is already building a reputation as one of, if not the most powerful and effective navy after the last world war.


The Cairns Naval Base currently holds about 14 naval vessels and accommodates around 900 naval personnel and is expected to include an additional 12 brand new patrol vessels by 2020 that would replace the previous Armidale patrol boats.

Not only are these plans intended to boost their naval presence and capabilities, this expansion are also a way to attract more tourists into the country. Australia’s tourist economy has always been one of the country’s foundations and adding an impressive and high tech naval base for tourist to visit is seen as another great reason to visit the country.

Nevertheless, there are controversies that follow this plan to expand the Cairns Naval Base. The biggest issue lies in the need of dredging inland to accommodate the bigger facility and increased number of naval vessels as the path will have an adverse effect on the river mangrove which is currently a marine life sanctuary.

Those who object to this expansion of the naval base points out the risks it delivers toward the Great Barrier Reef as well as its World Heritage status.

However, this expansion is being seen by most of the Australian government as a way to also strengthen their defenses as tension rises over the South China Sea issue. Strengthening Cairns Naval Base is a great deterrent to any would be threats that might arise in the coming years.

Cairns Asbestos Problems

30 years ago, CAIRNS iconic Esplanade was used as asbestos dumping ground. The harmful material has started spilling out onto the beach.

A former teacher of Cairns State High School has lifted the lid on the demolition of several school buildings which were later used as landfill near where Cairns hospital helipad is located. Over the last three decades, coastal erosion has caused asbestos to spill out as pictured on the right potentially exposed to the elements.

Russell Geisel (above) who taught at Cairns State High School from 1982-1995 said three World War II era buildings with asbestos roofs were torn down in the mid-80s.

Mr. Geisel said that the sheeting was broken up at the school then mixed in with the rest of the rubble before being dumped on the Esplanade. Four months ago, The Cairns Post revealed that white asbestos had spilled onto the shore opposite Cairns Hospital amid building material dumped about 30 years ago that has been used as landfill.

He said that one day during school hours, he and some few people saw piles of sheeting perfectly sitting there and suddenly someone in a backhoe went and smashed it all up so that they could throw it into the back of a truck.

Two weeks ago, Cairns Regional Council inspected the area but they could not identify any asbestos sheeting. The Cairns Post gathered samples of the material from the Esplanade beach to be tested by experts at SGS Australia and reviewed by Clear Asbestos Removal (clearasbestosremoval.com.au/melbourne).

The laboratory analysis confirmed the presence or chrysotile which is white asbestos. Chrysotile has been the most used asbestos in Australia. It comprises of more than 50% of all asbestos used.

Queensland Health says the asbestos fibers can be split by mechanical energy into progressively finer fibers of microscopic size.

Respirable fibers are responsible for adverse health effects caused by asbestos including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. The Cairns Regional Council has said that asbestos remediation works are almost finished at the local Civic Theatre and it will reopen in three weeks.

After finding asbestos in the backstage area last month, the council closed the theatre. It relocated shows. Mayor Bob Manning said there had been extensive cleaning. However, he said it was fortunate that the asbestos contamination levels were very low.