Only 45 minutes from Cairns, Fitzroy Island is one of the most unspoiled islands on the Great Barrier Reef. Being a continental island, it is covered with lush, pristine rainforest. Getting wet and exploring the coral reef surrounding the island, where tropical fish present a rainbow of color, is as easy as stepping off the beach. Bird life also abounds here, presenting a natural showcase not to be missed. If you want to explore an idyllic, unspoiled tropical paradise, your choices are plentiful with a day tour to Fitzroy Island. Spend the day snorkeling the fringing coral reefs, strolling through the National Park rainforest walking tracks. There are also numerous water sports options available.
The Cairns Esplanade has been a focal point for locals and visitors in Cairns city since the region was founded in the late 1800s. It is a recreational area for people from all walks of life — backpackers traveling around Australia, visitors looking for a beautiful view during an early evening dinner, couples having an early morning jog, teenagers using the skateboard ramp, CBD workers resting on the grass for lunch. Entry to the Lagoon is free. Lifeguards are on duty while the Lagoon is open. The Lagoon is a 4800 sq m salt water swimming facility that offers an all-year round, safe, swimming location without stingers and crocodiles. The Lagoon is filled with water from the Trinity Inlet.
The Cairns region encompasses 1687 sq km of land on a narrow coastal strip between the Great Dividing Range and the Coral Sea. The region is part of Australia's Wet Tropics and is framed by the lush rainforest to the west and north and the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to the east. Cairns city is the principal center of the region and is located along the coastal strip with sub-regions to the north and south consisting predominantly of good quality agricultural land and areas of high ecological significance. The region also includes a number of offshore islands: Snapper, Fitzroy, Green and the Frankland Islands.
The Kuranda Scenic Rail journey takes one and a half hours to complete and includes an English narration on the history of the railway. Freshwater Connection is a popular departure point for organized tours. It provides a perfect venue for visitors to enjoy a hearty breakfast and is an ideal way to begin a Kuranda Scenic Railway journey. It includes a museum and pioneer cottage. Kuranda Station is one of the earliest stations to be built in Australia using standard concrete units and is the oldest remaining examples of its type in Queensland. The station was designed in 1910. A modified version of the design was built in 1914 and included the Passenger Station building, Signal Cabin and Utilities Block.
Kuranda Koala Gardens are open from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. Encounter Australia’s weird and wonderful animals. Get your photo taken cuddling a koala or feeding a wallaby (extra charge). See freshwater crocodiles, meet some monitors and wombats Experience Australia's first walk-through snake house.
Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary is opened from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. Experience the magic and enchantment of Australia's largest live butterfly display. Be dazzled by more than 1,500 tropical jewel-colored butterflies including the flashing, dancing electric-blue Ulysses, regarded by many as the unofficial emblem of Tropical North Queensland. Located in the heart of Kuranda, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly aviary in Australia. Wander through the landscaped gardens that replicate the natural rainforest environment as hundreds of butterflies float around you. Complimentary tours take place through the day and a "Behind-the-Scenes" Laboratory Tour is included with entry ticket.
Kuranda Birdworld is opened from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. Just a short walking distance from the Koala Gardens, this massive flight aviary is landscaped with water features and rainforest plants, home to more than 80 species of native and rare birds. Spot cassowaries, increasingly rare in the wild, as well as bowerbirds, parrots and lorikeets. You’ll also see international visitors such as South American macaws, and have the chance to hand-feed rainbow lorikeets, cheeky cockatoos and other Australian birds (the bird food can be purchased at additional cost on site).
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway takes you on an amazing gondola experience over World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest in comfortable all weather cable cars. Enjoy birds-eye views as you glide just meters over the canopy, before exploring the forest floor and learning more when stopping at two rainforest mid-stations. Complimentary Ranger guided boardwalk tours are available at Red Peak station. A visit to the Skyrail Rainforest Interpretation Center is a definite must at Barron Falls station. Take in the spectacular views of the waterfall from three lookout platforms, each offering a different vantage point.
Welcome: Meet the Tjapukai performers before the show and enjoy your choice of a welcome drink (sparkling wine or juice) in the Retail Gallery where authentic Aboriginal art including didgeridoos and boomerangs can be purchased. Get your face or arm painted by the performers.
Live Cultural Performance: Relax while the world famous Tjapukai dancers perform live on stage. Join the cultural celebrations and learn traditional dances from the people of the rainforest.
Lakeside Ceremony: With clapsticks in hand you add to the pulsating rhythm of the corroboree while Tjapukai Aboriginal warriors use traditional fire sticks to create fire. Suddenly a spear is launched and a spectacular fire ball explodes into the night sky.
Four-course Buffet Dinner: Enjoy dining in the Boomerang Restaurant with an international buffet of hot and cold dishes plus delicious desserts freshly made by Tjapukai’s pastry chef.