After living 3 months in Cairns, I decided to finally fully discover my new hometown. There is no other way to find out more about Cairns then by going on the half-day Cairns Discovery Tour.
The very informative, entertaining and comprehensive tour started in the very centre. To be more precise, at the reef fleet terminal to pick up the last passengers that just got off the boat. Yes, you can combine the city sightseeing tour with a morning on Green Island or at the Tjapukai Cultural Centre.
After exploring the central district, the tour then takes in locations like the botanic garden, a great lookout over the city, the Surprise Creek Falls in the Barron Gorge and at the very end the stunning Palm Cove. Other stops include the St Monica’s Cathedral with its spectacular stained glass windows and a traditional afternoon tea in the delightful suburb of Edge Hill.
One of my highlights on this tour was the St Monica’s Cathedral. From outside the cathedral is very unassuming and not one that you are drawn to unless you know that inside you will see the World’s largest themed stained glass windows. Now, when I heard these words, it still didn’t mean much to me, I really think you have to see the windows until you realise how special they are. Another eye-opener for me was the patches of Cairns swamp still intact in town: they really give you an idea of how parts of Cairns would have looked like before white settlement: a thick, dark jungle that I would not venture into but the pioneers did.
And last but not least, we ended up driving past the majestic melaleuca trees in Palm Cove and walked out to the jetty to take in the last daylight and the beach of this popular part of Greater Cairns. Now that would be a great way of starting your discovery of Cairns as the tour gives you a sense of place and an overview of what Cairns is all about nowadays. It is a good wet weather option with umbrellas provided if need be.