DIY - Cairns

Check out our self-guided walking or driving tours of Cairns, or for those with a little more time to explore Cairns and surrounds, have a look at the links at the bottom of this page for more great DIY options.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Cairns – all you need is two feet and a heartbeat!

Flying Fox Colony at Cairns City Library

This impressive colony of bats can be heard as you approach (flying foxes rarely sleep and sqawk a lot of the time amongs themselves), colonies can consist of tens of thousands of bats and at dusk make an impressive sight as they all launch into the sky to head of for the night. This colony consists of the spectaacled flying-fox (or fuit-bat), listed as ‘vulnerable’ the spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus ) population declined from an estimated 820 000 in 1985 to 80 000 in November 2000 (approximately 78% of its population). The largest population of the Spectacled Flying-fox is known from the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area between Townsville and Cooktown. Unlike other large flying-foxes from mainland Australia, the Spectacled Flying-fox is associated primarily with rainforest and sometimes with mangroves.

Esplanade Boardwalk

The Harbour Walk at the end of the swimming lagoon overlooks the famous Cairns waterfront and is a great place to view the birdlife prolific in this area. A high powered birdwatching telescope offers passersby a close up view of the prolific birdlife that dwells on the unique mudflat habitat of the Esplanade. Some of these birds migrate to Cairns from as far afield as Russia, and the nearby Bird Directory attached to the Harbour Walk railing will help viewers detect which birds are which.

Three interpretive nodes are installed along the Promenade to provide information to visitors and locals on the Cultural, Heritage and Environmental background of the area. Each node is a roofed, freestanding, architect designed construction that handsomely houses the vibrant, graphically designed text and illustrations pertinent to the node’s theme. State of the art interactive touch screens to further enhance the interpretive experience have also been installed and offer additional information with regards to accommodation, dining, places to visit and things to do whilst staying in Cairns.

Cairns Marina, Pier Marketplace and Waterfront Restuarants / Cafes

The state of the art floating marina, features 214 berths accommodating a variety of cruising vessels including superyachts up to 80m. Cairns Marlin Marina is a short walk to the tropical swimming lagoon, 5 star hotels, shopping, dining, casino and the city’s vibrant nightlife.

The Pier complex incorporates a retail shopping centre, waterfront bar/restaurant precinct and the 5 Star Shangri La Hotel.

Cairns Regional Art Gallery

Experience the vibrant visual arts of Tropical North Queensland in this elegant heritage building in the heart of Cairns. Construction of the former Public Curators Building was completed in 1936 – a stately two story building of brick and stone. In 1995, the building was renovated and re-opened as the Cairns Regional Gallery.

Cairns Regional Gallery hosts exhibitions of fine arts from major Australian and international collections covering historical and contemporary art including the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Visitors to the Gallery can also witness the creativity of local artists living and working in one of Queensland’s most dynamic regional arts communities. The Gallery exhibits the work of artists based throughout the tropical north.

Download the free ‘Cairns Heritage Tour’ App

Dig beneath the shiny surface of modern day Cairns with this self-guided tour of 20 heritage sites around the city, including images, spoken-word stories and fascinating information on historical sites and influential people, dating back to 1896.

Sites include the old dance halls, the ‘Golden Block’, the Indigenous Hospital Camp, Floating Sea Baths, Lover’s Bower, Russian Guns, Chinatown, the Lit Sung Goong Temple, the Red Light District, Rusty’s Market, Barbary Coast and the Marlin Marina among others.

Click here to download the Cairns Heritage iPhone app now!