Cairns review by Rod Stringer October 2020
If you’re looking for a holiday break in Far North Queensland, now is the time to plan before the wet season sets in over the summer months and it’s still a good time to enjoy the Daintree National Park, trips out to the Great Barrier Reef and all that the tropics have to offer.
There are lots of LGBTQ+ welcoming and GALTA member businesses from Mission Beach to Cooktown. Check out our Visit Gay Australia website for further details.
There are plenty of experiences awaiting in Cairns and surrounding areas. The day trip on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway up the escarpment is a must-do with great attractions in the Kuranda Village including the markets, including the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.
Skyrail is not operating at present due to COVID-19 restrictions but the railway is running additional trains to compensate. Tropicwings offer a great day tour and a rainforest experience on a WW2 Army duck.
The Kuranda Rainforest River Cruise is a fun experience and you’re almost guaranteed to see a freshwater crocodile. At a very affordable cost of $20, the scenic 45m trip departs from the wharf near the railway station.
There is a wide choice of accommodation in Cairns and we can recommend the Pullman Reef Casino Hotel which is ideally located close to the marina, waterfront boulevard and ferry wharf.
Plan ahead for a day trip out to Fitzroy Island or Green Island, both very popular with bookings available online or at the ferry terminal.
The Cairns boulevard is busy day and night and a popular gathering spot later in the day is the relaxed lagoon pool.
The new ‘hot spot’ in town is the 5 star Riley’s Hotel on the Esplanade where there is a spectacular roof-top bar and restaurant. The Lido Bar at Rydges Hotel is also a perfect spot to sip.
While there are no gay bars in Cairns at this time, for nature lovers Buchan’s Point on Ellis Beach is clothing-optional and very popular.
The long established all gay Turtle Cove Resort is an iconic spot and a must to include in your itinerary.
Located north of Cairns on the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas the property has carried out extensive renovations over the past year and its attentive young management team of Nathan and Julian have really put the property back on the map as a stand-out for LGBTQ+ travellers. They also welcome day visitors to book for lunch and enjoy the stunning location as well as the company of house guests.
Direct flights into Cairns are currently operating from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast and regional Queensland. Queensland Rail also operates a daily service from Brisbane.