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On the Esplanade, the Lagoon is popular with kids and is patrolled all day...
With humungous feasts from crepes to wraps and a truckload of vegetarian options, this is one of the best-value options in town. It's a little bit hippy, and a whole lot busy: you'll probably have to wait a while...
Ten-dollar meals that taste good? Yep, possible...
The menu at this innovative restaurant utilises native Aussie fauna (such as croc with native pepper, or roo with quandong-chilli glaze) and flora (like wattle-seed damper loaf or lemon-myrtle panacotta)...
Small Group Tours
The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country...
Transportation & Travel Services
Runs two northern services from Cairns to Cape Tribulation ($78, three hours) via Port Douglas ($35, 1½ hours) and Mossman ($40, 1¾ hours) with additional services direct to Port Douglas and south to Mission Beach ($...
Visitor Centres & Tour Desks
Before heading out to the reef, take your knowledge to greater depths at this excellent and informative centre, where marine experts explain how to identify specific types of coral and fish and how to treat the reef ...
Strait on the Beach is a takeaway shop and cafe on the cusp of the beach serving dhal dishes and slightly more traditional beachside meals...
A little bit of the South up north, Voodooz serves up bewitching belly-busters including Po-Boy sandwiches, Creole jambalaya and seafood gumbo...
Sports & Outdoor
City Place Disposals is the place to visit for affordable camping and outdoor gear. They stock a full range of tents, packs and everything else you'll need if you're 'going bush'...
One of Cairns’ most experienced operators with multilingualstaff. Runs a comprehensive five-day learn-to-dive course incorporating a three-day live-aboard trip for $880. Dive live-aboards available from $1250.
Housed in Cairns’ gleaming-white former courthouse (1921), this pub is now a buzzing watering hole with polished timber bar and heaps of outdoor nooks. Live music in the beergarden all weekend.
Walk through the unassuming street entrance to the cathedral-like back room with funky artworks adorning the walls and couches in the corners. The dance floor cranks from 9pm nightly. Gay-friendly.
A rustic beach house near the jetty is the setting for Palm Cove’s most inspired dining. Black-pepper prawns, Singaporean mud crab and Balinese barra are among the fragrant, fresh innovations.
Runs a daily bus service between Cairns and Cooktown ($75) on either the coastal route (Bloomfield Track) or inland route (via Mareeba), depending on the day of departure and the condition of the track.
Museums & Galleries
CoCA houses the KickArts galleries of local contemporary visual art, as well as the JUTE Theatre and the End Credits Film Club . Their wonderful gift shop is full of local artworks and jewellery.
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