Travel with Children
Cairns' consistently warm climate and wealth of natural and man-made attractions makes it a long-time family favourite. The lagoon is a natural starting point and the Cairns Aquarium is ideal for a rainy day. The city is a perfect base for accessing Green and Fitzroy Islands, the northern beaches (be sure to choose one with a stinger net in summer) and year-round swimming holes like Crystal Cascades. From here, you can hop aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway or Skyrail, guaranteed to get the thumbs-up from kids of all ages. If your child doesn't mind a drive, there's plenty of room for running around – and loads of farm animals – on the Atherton Tablelands.
Cairns itself presents few challenges to those travelling with young children. The sidewalks are wide and even, making strolling with a pram easy. Baby-change rooms are easy to find; you'll find baby food, formula and nappies at any supermarket. Breastfeeding in public shouldn't garner any evil-eyes. Many restaurants have kids' menus; anything that isn't a takeaway joint should have high chairs.
Some resorts – though fewer than you might imagine – offer kids' clubs; if you need a break, babysitting companies including Busy Bees (www.busybeesbabysitting.com.au) and Executive Babysitting Services (www.executivebabysitting.com.au) service Cairns and the northern beaches to Port Douglas. If you've rented a car and don't mind being out of the thick of it, the Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort – with a water park, jumping pillow, playgrounds and minigolf – is a kid's holiday dream come true.