Cairns Great Tropical Winter Destinations

"Cairns, Queensland, Australia” by Jordan Fischer available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanfischer/6194797707/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

“Winter is Coming.”

– House Stark

Like migratory fowl, some people could not bear the cold would rather move elsewhere where the climate is warm and the warm air invites you to take a dip in the cool waters. If you are one of those who can’t stand the cold, you certainly caught our drift. Although you don’t have wings, a cheap motorhome for hire could definitely take you to that ideal winter escape.

For people who plan to lookout for campervan rentals in Australia during the winter, we prepared a list of destinations in Cairns that might quench your wanderlust. Some people might wonder why Cairns is the top choice for an ideal winter retreat. However, one look at the map and you’d absolutely figure out the answer to that question.

Cairns rests at the eastern front of Queensland. It faces the Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the best dive sites in the Oceania and the Pacific. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there’s more to Cairns than that vastness of the ocean. So, let us help you get the most of your winter retreat with our list of holiday spots in Cairns.

Atherton Tablelands

Before you visit the many boutiques and restaurants in Cairns, you might want to visit the interesting destinations in the Atherton Tablelands. It is just west-southwest of Cairns and it boasts a mix of flora and fauna that would ensure you that you have already landed to the tropical regions of Australia.

Visit The Crystal Caves and be awestruck by the collection of fossils, rocks and gemstones that are part of René Boissevain’s collection. At present, he already has collected around 600 pieces. The man-made tunnels were dug to house the vast collection of specimens. The maze of colourful rocks and bones would truly give you a psychedelic feeling as you take photos around this eclectic tour.

After a trip to the tunnels, take a leisurely stroll at the Historic Village of Herberton. The place would definitely blow you away. It’s like time travelling as Herberton boasts a uniquely preserved town from Australia’s proud past. Go inside Elderslie House to understand how the colonial Australians live. From the antique pots to the wood chips at the fireplace, there’re lots to do to maintain this fabulous home. There are also other attractions in the tour like tin-panning and riding on an old steel wheeled tractor.

When you’re ready, you can move up to the highlands for a glimpse of Cairns before finally taking the route to one of Australia’s best dive spots.

"Into the Jungle” by Michael Zimmer available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/15813314064/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Into the Jungle” by Michael Zimmer available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/15813314064/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Michael Zimmer

Cairns Botanical Gardens

Upon arrival at Cairns, you might want to check one of Australia’s oldest gardens. The Cairns Botanical Gardens is famous for its “tropical plant exhibitions” in the country. The gardens have been since the 19th century. It features around 6 major locations that are a mix of lush greenery as well as aquatic plants.

The Flecker Garden features several plants from the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, South America, Africa and of course, Australia. The thick canopy resembles the surroundings of an exotic sanctuary where you can see nature working at its finest. There are even carnivorous plants that would make you wonder how they are able to digest unsuspecting small insects that they were able to snare.

The Rainforest Boardwalk features the Layered Tassel Fern, which is an endangered plant. The boardwalk gives you a picture of what the whole region looks like before the settlers came in and built their communities in and around Cairns. Apart from plants, the Lovely Fairy-Wren as well as other endemic bird species in the region could be seen in the thickly forested boardwalk.

"Freshwater Far Palms” by Michael Zimmer available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/16409811066/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Freshwater Far Palms” by Michael Zimmer available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/16409811066/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Michael Zimmer

Meanwhile, the Centenary Lakes give visitors a refreshing view of bodies of water that are not yet spoilt by pollution from the busy street that is just on the other side of the garden. The lakes are made up of two basins. The saltwater lake is filled by mangroves that supply food for schools of fishes that live in the lake. One the other hand, the second lake was dedicated in 1975 during Cairn’s centenary. It was originally a freshwater swamp that was modified to become another wildlife attraction at the Cairns Botanical Gardens.

The Cairns Esplanade

After being immersed in the lush forested and humid area of the Cairns Botanical Gardens, you can relax at the saltwater pool of The Cairns Esplanade. The saline lagoon is open to the public from Thursday to Tuesday, but it is only open from midday to 9pm during Wednesday when they clean the pool.

The Trinity inlet fills the esplanade pools with saltwater. However, pool-goers should not be worried when taking a dip in the waters as it is filtrated using state of the art technology. Add to that, parents would feel safe as the pool is a great alternative to swimming in the unprotected waters where there could be sea animals that may sting their children.

"Cairns Esplanade at Night” by Nicky Jurd available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickyjurd/2481126626/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Cairns Esplanade at Night” by Nicky Jurd available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickyjurd/2481126626/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Nicky Jurd

The park has several facilities where both children and adults can have fun whether it be under the sun or under the water. You can check out the playground design for kids, but is also a colourful sight for adults to appreciate. Then, there are also recreation facilities like the Skate Plaza, Bouldering Park, Petanque court.

When you had your fill with sights and sounds of the esplanade, you can fill your stomach with some barbeque that is cooked to perfection at any of the park’s barbeque and picnic areas. There are around 12 featured areas around the esplanade where you can set-up your picnic basket and cook some meat on any of the grills that are ready to use.

The Great Barrier Reef

"Amazing Great Barrier Reef” by Sarah_Ackerman available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/4252119822/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Amazing Great Barrier Reef” by Sarah_Ackerman available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/4252119822/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Sarah_Ackerman

Finally, there’s the Great Barrier Reef that is an absolute aquatic wonder. It is dubbed as the largest coral system in the world. Some of its features even look great when viewed from the sky, like the aerial photos that were captured and spread around the Internet.

You can even try sky diving and enjoy the view of the stunning drop zone. You could also hire a speedboat to go to the reef. However, the true beauty of the Great Barrier Reef is when you take a dive and observe this beautiful ecosystem and its inhabitants of different species of fish. Its majestic corals that took several hundreds of years to form are truly a sight to behold.

Now that you have a short list of destinations where you can spend your winter at Cairns, it’s time to pick-up a cheap motorhome for hire to help you get to your dream vacation. You can always check our website for the best and most affordable deals for your complete campervan holiday.

We’d love to hear from you. Where in Cairns would you like to go first? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the best places to travel on a campervan in Australia.

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