If youʼre anything like me, you can never say no to an adventure and an opportunity to explore another part of Australia you have never been.
Iʼve heard a lot of great things about Cairns so me and my girls jumped on a plane from Gold Coast Airport and headed up North! (2.5 hours) We stayed in an airbnb for the 4 nights that we were there – you can find super reasonably priced ones in Cairns thatʼs really near the esplanade so itʼs definitely worth checking out.
TIP: (if youʼve never used Airbnb before, you can get yourself money off by using this link: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/c/lydiac803?currency=GBP )
One thing that Cairns is known for is Daintree Rainforest – the worldʼs oldest tropical rainforest, 80 Million Years older than the Amazon! ao heading here was an absolute no-brainer. We woke up early to head to Central Station to catch the North Bus to Kuranda (30minute drive). Hopping off at Kuranda town, we grabbed a coffee and headed to the Skyrail ticket office to purchase a one-way ticket that takes you to Smithfield. (this is the town at the bottom of the cablecar, but a return option is available).
Kuranda to Smithfield takes around 1.5 hours including the 3 stops you make. You can take longer at each stop as itʼs a hop on/hop off service. Thereʼs a great Ranger talk at Red Peak stop off thatʼs well worth doing!
Another must-do when visiting Cairns is a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We jumped on the Passions of Paradise boat trip (8 hour day trip).
One of the big highlights for me was the Scuba Diving – the instructors on the boat were amazing and took their time to teach you all the things you needed to know to make the most out of your experience. Then when they felt like you were capable they let you take in the surroundings and dive unattached to the instructor. Later in the day, they gave the option of a second dive for 40 minutes!
Cairns is also known for itʼs party scene. Unfortunately, we went a little out of season but it was still worth while heading out! The Conservatory Bar, Woolshed and Gilliganʼs are all great places to check out and dance the night away.
Port Douglas is an absolutely must and what better way to travel there than in a Jeep Wrangler? :ʼ)
TIP: We rented ours from A1 Rentals down Lake Street – super cheap and great rental company!
We drove one hour north of Cairns up to Port Douglas and the drive is absolutely beautiful. It follows the coastline the whole way and the scenery is incredible. Port Douglas is a really beautiful town with lots of shops, coffee stops and places to stop for lunch. We had lunch at Betty’s Bohemian Beach Cafe and then headed to Four Mile Beach for an afternoon in the sun
We rented the Wrangler for a few days so decided to head to Palm Cove, situated half way between Cairns and Port Douglas. (30 minute drive from Cairns). I had some work with a resort located on the beach so was lucky enough to spend the whole day there!
Thereʼs no shortage of beautiful restaurants in this area, most are beachfront and offer amazing dishes. We headed to Portofino, a super delicious Italian! Iʼd also recommend NuNu, itʼs on the beach and the menu looked super tasty!
"All my trips on the East Coast and our Campervan rental was booked through Sammy at RatPack Travel - the BEST rated travel agency in Australia, they offer 10% off every trip and rental, which makes it cheaper than booking direct! They create free personalised travel calendars and can give you SO much advice on where to stay and places to visit!"
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