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.

Cairns, Queensland Australia

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.

Cairns, Queensland Australia

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.

Cairns, Queensland Australia

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:

Cairns, Queensland Australia

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.

Cairns, Queensland Australia

Cairns, Queensland Australia
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.

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia
I thought I was going to have a heart attack just watching him on the ropes course in the photos above, but nothing could compare to the rest of the 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.

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

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.

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

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:

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome, Australia

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.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Australia

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Australia

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Australia

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2 comments

Southerncrossapartments March 21, 2014 - 3:13 am

Images are very beautiful.The images represent the beauty of Cairns.After seeing these images i just want to visit cairns as soon as possible and next time i am going to visit this first…..Awesome place to see.I just want to know are there some apartments to spend our vacations comfortable????

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Melody April 25, 2018 - 11:33 pm

I am loving your Australia vacation blog! We are planning a trip there and have already scoped out the Mantra in Cairns as our first hotel stay in the region, mainly for the beauty and location but also because of the 24 McDonalds. LOL Usually when we travel, once we get off the airplane and checked into the hotel, we tend to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning. We did that in San Diego for Comic Con once and found ourselves looking for food at 2am. 7-11 was our only choice, so this trip, I am making sure there is hot food at 2am. haha.

Anyways, my question to you is: I notice in all the videos I have watched of Cairns visitors and pictures that the ocean that meets with the sea wall during low tide, never has anybody walking it looking for shells or stuff. Is that because it is infested with Crocs during low tide? If not, did you see anyone down there? Thanks for sharing your vacation.

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