CAIRNS, AUS - JUN 22 2014: Cairns Cenotaph and Memorial site

Cairns in a Day

Not too many people come to Cairns with only a day to spend seeing the sights, but we know that many of our Wanggulay visitors like to just relax at the property instead of rushing around doing the tourist thing, which we totally understand – how could you not just want to lay around the pool or discover some of our amazing flora and fauna waiting on the doorstep.

But if you do only have one day to explore this amazing area, we’ve put together a list of some places you must visit in that day.

Breakfast on the Esplanade

Start your day with breakfast at one of our tasty restaurants with views over the Esplanade. What better way to start the day than breakfast overlooking the ocean. There are some great cafes along the Esplanade waiting for you to discover, selling fresh breakfast fare.

Apart from breakfast in nature here at Wanggulay, we can’t think of a better way to start a day of sightseeing.

Discover the Botanic Gardens

When you visit Cairns, a visit to the Botanic Gardens is in order. This is a great way to walk off breakfast while discovering the five main areas of the gardens. In amongst these five garden areas you’ll find a rainforest boardwalk, conservatory, lakes, Aboriginal plant garden and the bamboo collection.

The gardens are a great way to discover some of our native plants; you’ll also likely spot the Ulysses butterfly and the Carins Birdwing butterfly while walking around the gardens – you might even be lucky enough to spot the Hercules moth flying area. We can almost guarantee you’ll see the Australian Scrub Turkeys scratching around in the gardens.

Rusty’s Market

If you’re in town on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, Rusty’s Market is a great little stop for fruit and veg, flowers and fashion. Rusty’s has been operating in town since 1975 and is full of everything you could need to bring back here to Wanggulay for the rest of your stay – fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious breads and mouth-watering deli items. The great thing about Rusty’s is that it’s open all day so you don’t need to rush while here or be up early – you can take your time and browse through the over 180 stall to find something appealing.

Lunch Stop

When you’re on holidays you don’t always want to be sitting down to a full lunch, especially in the warmer months. We have some great bakeries in Cairns serving up your usual bakery fare of pies and sausage rolls, however you are sure to find some freshly made sandwiches, great tasting cakes and freshly ground coffee. Why not grab a sandwich and make your way to one of the wonderful picnic spots in town to enjoy lunch while soaking up the sun.

An Arty Afternoon

The Cairns Art Gallery has a great range of exhibitions coming and going; in fact there are so many exhibitions coming up all the time, we can’t keep up. Located in a heritage building that was built in 1933, the art gallery is home to some great collections of works completed or inspired by Far North Queensland.

The art gallery is a great way to spend a hot Cairns afternoon, and you’ll discover a lot more to the north Queensland art scene than you thought existed.

A Day Done

Heading back to the Esplande is the only way we can think off to finish off a great day exploring Cairns. There are a wide array of restaurants selling various cuisines – for some of our staff favourites, remember to ask us when checking in. After dinner, a walk along the Esplanade, watching the lights twinkle over the water is a great way to finish off the day.

After a long day, we can certainly recommend heading back to Wanggulay and taking a dip in the pool.


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  1. […] Cairns and the rest of Tropical North Queensland is generally known for its pristine white beaches, sunshine and warm weather. But go beyond the beach, and you’ll find lush rainforests to help you escape the heat. […]

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