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Thursday, November 30, 2023

New tours and events in Cairns

AS the summer months approach, there are a variety of tours, attractions, events, and dining hotspots to check out in Cairns and the Far North for school holiday activities and more.

TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS

Quicksilver Group’s Reef Biosearch team in Cairns are now offering educational experiences for guests at Green Island Resort and Pro Dive Cairns liveaboard trips.

On Green Island, visitors can join eco tours led by marine biologists, focusing on wildlife, sustainability, and conservation. The tours include an “eco clean and green walk” and a “reef resilience glass bottom boat tour,” which help promote sustainability while educating guests about the island’s ecology.

Meanwhile, Pro Dive Cairns provides customers with a marine biologist Reef Talk presentation before their Great Barrier Reef dive trips, enhancing their understanding of the reef’s ecology and conservation efforts. 

AAT Kings have launched a new Aboriginal Culture & Australian Highlights guided tour as a part of their 2024/25 season, which covers four states and territories over 13 days, including Tropical North Queensland.

Included in the tour is an experience on Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel’s catamaran tours. Travellers can also opt for an Indigenous-owned cruise by Mandingalbay Authentic Indigenous Tours

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas have reopened the Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo exhibit, featuring the lively and adorable tree kangaroo named Quinton.

With help from dedicated international volunteers, Quinton’s enclosure has been transformed into an enriching environment.

This new exhibit includes a diverse selection of tree species that provide Quinton with various perching opportunities, challenging and enhancing his muscle strength and balance.

Visitors can now enjoy observing Quinton at any time, even during cleaning sessions, fostering educational opportunities and advocacy for his conservation.

The Reef Collective have launched The Reef Star Factory in Cairns to manufacture the stars for coral rehabilitation and to be a training hub for First Nations reef interventions.

The Centre is a collaboration between GBR Biology, MARS Sustainable Solutions, James Cook University – Tropwater, Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. 

ACCOMMODATION

At the end of September, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially opened the Cairns Convention Centre following its $176 million expansion.

With an additional 10,500sq. m of floor area, the Centre will boost the region’s economy by $100 million annually and will bring more than 35,000 delegates across 160 events to the city this financial year. 

The couple who successfully reinvented Bedarra Island Resort after the exclusive hideaway was devastated by a cyclone will open a luxury resort at Mission Beach overlooking Bedarra and its neighbouring islands on December 1.

Sam and Kerri-Ann Charlton have reclaimed The Elandra from the Cassowary Coast rainforest so guests can once again relax around the stunning pool while soaking up the island views enjoyed by Grace Jones when she opened the resort in 2008. 

The first stage of The Elandra will have 20 villas priced at $475 a night with breakfast and work is underway on an additional 12 two-level apartments with private plunge pools to open before the middle of 2024.

The facilities include a restaurant open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner to the public, bar, spa, gym and tennis court. The events space caters to 120 cocktail-style and 80 seated guests. A shuttle bus and e-bikes are available for guests.

Rossville Retreat have completed the first construction of their new bush lodges and are now accepting bookings for its launch in May 2024. These luxury, eco-friendly lodges are situated in the bush, offering a serene environment free from nearby neighbours, ensuring that the only sounds you hear are those of the wildlife.

Each lodge comes with its own ensuite bathroom and private garden area, providing a secluded, natural setting that’s perfect for a complete and tranquil getaway.

The Reef House, Palm Cove’s first hotel turned adults-only wellness resort, launched its history book on October 11.

The book commemorates a history dating back to 1957, when it was originally a family holiday home. Directors Malcolm Bean and David Horbelt transformed the property into a 5-star adult-only boutique hotel with more than 21 complimentary signature inclusions from wine tasting classes to an evening chat with a Master Reef Guide.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

On 19 October, Calypso Club opened its doors at the iconic Crystalbrook Riley in Cairns, promising to be the hottest new dining destination in Tropical North Queensland.

The new Australian Chocolate Farm in Shannonvale has opened its doors. Just 15 minutes from Port Douglas, travellers can join a guided cocoa farm tour to learn and experience the in-depth process of how chocolate is made, as well as tasting some of their delicious chocolates.

Their Chocolate Farm Café offers a range of hot and cold refreshments, delicious treats and light lunches. Diners can sit outside overlooking the beautiful farm. 

DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns have brought their internationally acclaimed immersive dining experience, Le Petit Chef, to the Australian Dinner Table for a series of events.

Launched on September 1 and running until December 31, 2023, this innovative concept combines 3D rendering and projection mapping technology to bring a miniature 58mm chef to life, preparing a captivating five-course meal for diners. 

New culinary gem Lenny St. opened in Tolga, offering a memorable dining experience.

When you dine with Lenny St., you will be supporting local farmers, growers and producers.

Diners will delight in yogurt from Mungalli Creek Dairy, ice cream from Emerald Creek Ice-Creamery, sourdough from The Country Crumb, and a variety of other locally-sourced treats.  

EVENTS

Catch the longest-running folk festival in Queensland at the historic village of Yungaburra. The Tablelands Folk Festival features an abundance of folk music acts over four days. From 27-29 October, enjoy family-friendly fun with workshops, comedy, buskers, market stalls and more. 

Reggaetown is back! Sweet Reggae Music will once again resonate through the hills and valleys on 4 November in Kuranda.

Music on the mountain, dancing in the jungle, gathering in the forest with friends and family, delicious sounds, yummy food and beautiful settings.

This year’s line-up features Katchafire, Marla Brown, DMP, Earth Kry, Astro Brim, Cinnamon Sun, Koahlition Reggae Band and DJs.

Join anglers from all over Australia and the world in Port Douglas to undertake the challenge of fishing for one of the ocean’s greatest prizes – the marlin.

Game boats and crews arrive in Port Douglas to team up with the anglers, all with the anticipation of being the one to catch a grander – a 1,000lb fish. The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge will run from 15-18 November. 

For more information go to cairnsgreatbarrierreef.com

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: TTNQ appoints new chair and Calypso Club bursts onto Cairns scene.

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