There are so many things to do and things to see in Cairns, you won’t get a chance to sit still!

HOW TO GET THERE

Cairns airport hub has lots of domestic and international flights arriving daily.

You can catch the Spirit of Queensland train from Brisbane to Cairns five days a week and there are regular buses running up and down the coast.

Driving is also a great option so you can hire a car, four-wheel drive or campervan and hit the road.

GETTING AROUND

Tropical North Queensland is a great destination for a self-drive holiday. You can hire a car at Cairns Airport or at many other major centres, and there are excellent roads winding from rainforest to reef, through the Outback and up into the hinterland. You’ll need a four-wheel drive if you want to reach the most remote regions of Cape York, which is one of Australia’s great driving adventures.

Getting around is easy with the companies below.

Taxis: there are 20 wheelchair accessible taxis in the Cairns region.

Public Bus: all Sunbus buses are wheelchair accessible. Phone 07 4057 7411

Dial A Bus Mini Bus Charter & Rentals: Toyota Hiace, with Tieman Wheelchair Lift, fits 2 wheelchairs. Phone 07 4031 3733

Wheelie Easy Charters: custom made 12 seater vehicle accessible for up to 2 wheelchairs. Driver/tour guides are also qualified carers. Prices at charter rate, please enquire 07 4059 5959.

ACCESSIBLE BATHROOMS

Accessible toilets are dotted all along the main esplanade, and in all major shopping centres.

Changing Places Facility is available at the Woree pool and the Smithfield pool will soon be opening one. You need an MLAK to access them and you need to bring your own sling.

THE WEATHER

Located in the Tropics, Cairns has a wet and dry season (rather than spring, summer, autumn and winter) with day time temperatures ranging from 24C in the dry to 33C in the wet.

MAJOR EVENTS

Arts & Culture

Celebrate Tropical North Queensland’s ancient Indigenous art, its vibrant multicultural communities and the unique tropical way of life.

Cairns Festival is a showcase and celebration of the region’s natural attractions;  amazing local talent with performances, exhibitions, music and film; and unique sense of place and cultural abundance. Accessible facilities available. 24 AUGUST – 2 SEPTEMBER 2018.

Food & Wine

Sample the region’s best food and wine, meet passionate local producers and eat indulgent meals in the most stunning locations. Tastes of the Tablelands Festival is the ultimate garden party showcasing the best things that the Tablelands have to offer.

Music

Feel the rhythm of Tropical North Queensland with year-round festivals celebrating everything from opera to country.

Yarrabah Band Festival: The community of Yarrabah on Tropical North Queensland’s beautiful coastline comes alive with some of Australian musical talent.

GOOD TO KNOW

The Cairns region is located within on a narrow coastal strip between the Great Dividing Range and the Coral Sea, and is part of Australia’s Wet Tropics.

Palm Cove Beach and Port Douglas Four Mile Beach both have beach wheelchairs and Port Douglas has a beach mat. Located at the life saver huts.

DON’T MISS

The Cairns Lagoon (feature picture) ranges in depth from 32 inches to 5 feet and features underwater seating benches making it easy for all to enjoy. Accessible from the southern end of the facility with an accessible bathroom onsite that requires the MLAK key. The key can be obtained from the local kiosk shop at the lagoon, or from the cairns regional local council office. A beach wheelchair should be available soon and patrolled by Life Guards. The Lagoon is free and open to the public from 6am-9pm daily.

With hundreds of parks and reserves across the Cairns region, there are many hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered including;

  • the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly aviary in the country
  • The Jack Barnes Mangrove Boardwalk is located off Airport Avenue on the way to Cairns Airport. It offers two walks through different zones of mangrove forest, showcasing 11 of the 29 mangrove species found in Cairns
  • Zhangjian Friendship park: The Chinese-themed friendship garden within the Cairns Botanic Gardens
  • Cattana Wetlands is enjoyable 80ha nature conservation park with a 420m boardwalk through feather palm forest, freshwater and salt water lakes.

Hartley’s Crocodile adventures allows visitors to get up close to view crocodiles. The animals can be viewed from boardwalks and level pathways.

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the Kuranda Scenic Railway is a great family day out, and has an accessible bathroom facility.

Cairns Ironman Race is held annually in June.

TOURIST INFORMATION

For everything you need to plan your next holiday to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef – brochures, destinations, activities, events, accommodation, booking services and more:

Visit the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef Tropical North Queensland official website

Phone 1800 093 300

Email info@ttnq.org.au

More information: The Access for All Directory has a comprehensive list of accessible accommodation, services and facilities that we hope will make planning your trip to our region less stressful and your visit more enjoyable.

Photo credit: Tourism Tropical North Queensland

Published 25 July 2018.