As I previously wrote I chose to fly to Cairns primarily because It allowed me to visit the Barrier Reef and join the caving trip to Chillagoe, but as it turned out, Cairns was a pretty neat destination on its own.
I had chosen to save a few bucks by staying at a backpackers hostel and consider myself fortunate to have chosen one that was not on one of the blocks crammed with nightclubs etc. so I was able to get some sleep though like with all hostels there was a fair bit of noise at night. I picked Caravella on Esplanade, the pictures on the website were a little misleading though. The bay is not really visible from the hotel and consists of a tidal flat so most of the time your looking at mud not picturesque water. It was a great opportunity for bird watching though and the boardwalk the ran along the shore makes a great place for a stroll.
The unplanned shopping trip I had to make due to my bag being delayed gave me a chance to walk around town and see what was there. I spotted a large colony of flying foxes roosting in the trees near the city library.
These are amazing to watch not only because of their huge size but their social behavior and the way they interact is very interesting. Just watch where you step.
Perhaps to make up for the fact you can’t swim in the bay they have one of the largest public pools I’ve ever seen over looking the waterfront.
I went for a walk out towards the edge of town and founf the botanical gardens which was a great spot to spend some time and photograph Australian bush turkeys, flowers, interesting plants and butterflies.
Then it was back to walking along the Esplanade to find a restaurant for dinner. I really enjoyed Cairns and of course its proximity to the Barrier Reef!