For the majority of our vacation in Queensland we stayed in Cairns, with just a brief overnight trip to Brisbane so I could have dinner with a longtime friend at South Bank. In both locations I booked our accommodation at the Mantra – the Mantra Esplanade in Cairns and the Mantra South Bank in Brisbane.
At the Mantra Esplanade we had a 3 bedroom apartment on the top floor facing the ocean. It was amazing.
Just look at this view.
Not only were there 3 bedrooms, but there were also 3 bathrooms, our own laundry room, living area, dining room and full kitchen. Plus an added bonus of a balcony running along the length of the apartment.
The main tourist destinations within Cairns were in walking distance, along with the restaurants, shopping areas and meet-up locations for tours.
Look at the ocean during low tide, it's amazing just how much sand you can see, it's so very different from the photo at the top of the post.
On our first night we heard quite a commotion outside, there were birds, and lots of them. We went out onto the balcony and saw this:
But this is only a small portion of the lorikeets we saw in this tree, there were hundreds of them. We quickly learned that they gathered there every evening at around the same time and made just as much noise.
As darkness began to fall, from behind the buildings we would see bats too, hundreds of them making their way across the city.
On one of the days we didn't have tours booked we decided to enjoy a little of what Cairns has to offer. We had lunch at Pie Face, where they make pretty delicious pies with adorable faces on them.
From there we headed to Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome which is a wildlife park and challenges ropes course inside a 20 metre glass dome on top of the Reef Hotel Casino. Flynn of course wanted to do the obstacle course, the kid has no fear at all. There are different levels you can do. He did all of them. Of course.
You know, like when he jumped off a platform onto a trampoline below, or when he went outside the building and hung off the side … sorry the photo below isn't great (on the right), but he's up there, and outside, and hanging off the side.
One funny (or not so funny if you are a parent) is watching your 7 year old climbing along logs up above you and you call out to him to look below and there's a 4 metre long crocodile named Goliath down below and he cracks up laughing.
And so because that didn't scare him he decided to zip-line over Goliath too.
And no, Goliath did not actually try to jump up and eat him, he was probably just looking up and wishing that the kid would just make his life easier and fall.
So while the little daredevil did that the other kids and I looked at a lot of this:
Later in the afternoon we changed into swim gear and headed to the large, free, saltwater Esplanade Lagoon, which is the large pool area by the ocean you can see in the first few photographs I posted. There are lifeguards on duty, it is clean and there are bathrooms and restaurants nearby.