It is Boxing Day today, Monday 26 December 2012 and we are in Cairns, far north Queensland and very “excited” to be here. This is the furthest port on our cruise.
Another tender today but we are ready for it. The tendering is done from the lower deck 3 and is a quicker process today. There is a large catamaran ferrying people to land to a spot called Yorkey’s Knob, which means a 20 minute bus transfer into Cairns centre. Our bus transfer is actually a bit of a bonus today as it takes us past the sugarcane crops for which the area is famous for, being the region’s second largest industry (tourism being number one).
The catamaran is free but there is a US$10 (return) each fee for the bus transfer. We arrive in Cairns at 9:30am…wow. It is really warm and humid already. The forecast for today is a high of 32oC.
The Cairns information people greet our bus on arrival and are handing out maps, which we accept and head off on a DIY walking circuit firstly taking in the Lagoon which is quite stunning in the sunshine.
The circuit we follow takes in Florence Street, McLeod Street (briefly stopping into the Cairns Central Shopping Centre), down Shields Street to the “mall” and further on to Lake Street.
The Reef Casino is located here but we don’t stay and/or gamble but basically do a quick walkthrough.
From the Casino we head down to the boardwalk to enjoy a leisurely lunch and a fantastic view.
We walk our way along the boardwalk…
past the Pier Shopping Centre (which has loads more restaurants outside and some shops inside) and back to the Lagoon which brings us to the end of our circuit walk.
We find a spot near(ish) to the lagoon where we relax and lie down on the lawn area. The grass is cool in the shade and we actually both have a bit of a nanna nap.
By the time we wake up (and confirm my bag and camera hasn’t been nicked) the temperature has dropped quite a bit. With our day over, we make our way back to the bus pickup point to take us to the catamaran to the boat.
Like our last port (Airlie Beach), Cairns sits within easy access to the Great Barrier Reef so there are loads of tour operators offering every possible tour/adventure/expedition including glass bottom boats, sea plane flights, snorkelling, reef diving. Many of these can be expensive and prices do vary depending on the experience. Some prices like AU$100 for a half day tour up to Kuranda (markets/cable car and steam train), or a sea plane flight over the great barrier reef for AU$250+ per person for 30 minute flight. All of these would be fabulous activities to do but with the brief time available to us, we were happy to take the time to look around Cairns city itself.
Its been a great day cruising around town but the humidity is very draining and we are both secretly glad to be heading back to the boat. Thank you Cairns for a lovely day.[showmyads]
For previous Royal Carribean Cruise post see Christmas day at sea cruising Willis Island (evening)
For next Royal Carribean Cruise post see Cairns, Queensland Australia (evening)