Media Releases

New in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region

Walk across a gorge

Cobbold Gorge can now be enjoyed from above and below with the October 13 opening of a glass bridge spanning its sheer sandstone walls. Accessible on the Savannah Way, gorge tours can be done in an electric boat, on a stand-up paddleboard, by helicopter, and by hiking with a Savannah Guide. Located on a cattle station, the gorge is Queensland’s youngest at just 10,000 years of age.

Arty hotel opens in CBD

Meet artists-in-residence, celebrate Australian heritage at a nostalgic milk bar, and dine on locally grown beef at Bailey, the newest hotel in the Crystalbrook Collection. Opening on November 2 in the Cairns CBD, Bailey’s 217 rooms appeal to your inner artist and details like coat hangers made from recycled cardboard will ensure your stay has as little impact on the environment as possible.

Uncover the Hipster influence

Funky laneway art, hidden bars, a vintage record store, elite barbers and cafes with a conscience have sprung up in the Cairns CBD thanks to the influence of the Hipster culture. Discover these new hangouts on the Hipster and Street Art Tour with Cairns Urban Walking Tours. Georgia Babatsikos also hosts food-lover tours of Rusty’s Markets and a Cairns history tour.

See nocturnal critters during the day

Meet the masters of the dark during the day at Wildlife Habitat’s new Nocturnal Habitat in Port Douglas. Native species including the only striped possums on display in Australia, feathertail gliders, monstrous spiders and cockroaches, as well as the cane toad come out play under a canopy of stars. Technology is used to turn day into night and change the circadian rhythms of the animals at the nature park.

Exclusive winemaker’s weekend

Penfolds winemaker Andrew Hales will host a long weekend at Lizard Island to celebrate 175 years of Penfolds on November 15-17. Special menus will be created to pair with wines from The Penfolds Collection 2019 including the 65th release of Penfolds’ 2015 Grange. Champagne at sunset, degustation dinners and wine masterclasses will be held in the luxurious island setting on the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Feast returns

Reef Feast Palm Cove returns this year on October 4-6 to celebrate the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region’s fresh produce, live music and lifestyle. Enjoy the Longest Lunch on Friday, feast and dance under the stars on Saturday and come back for more great food and the markets on Sunday. Held on Palm Cove’s Williams Esplanade, the three-day celebration makes the most of the stunning beachside location.

Discover the Torres Strait

The history, arts and culture of the Torres Strait are uncovered on a bespoke tour with newly launched Torres Strait Eco Adventures. Guide Dirk Laifoo shares his local knowledge with adventures on Waiben (Thursday Island), Muralag (Prince of Wales Island) and Ngarupai (Horn Island). This undiscovered region has a rich World War II and pearling history entwined with the local islander culture.

Australia’s greenest region

Holidays in Port Douglas and Daintree are turning green with the region destined to become Australia’s first eco-certified destination under Eco Tourism Australia’s accreditation program. Douglas Shire Council has announced a major carbon offset project buying land for tree planting and habitat regeneration in the Daintree rainforest. The region was named in the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 list as one of the globe’s best places for innovative and comprehensive green tourism.

Cooktown celebrates 250 years

The program has been finalised for Cooktown Expo 2020 with a regional showcase from July 17 to August 4 in the town where James Cook beached the Endeavour 250 years ago. Three key events showcase the region’s history – Reconciliation Rock Music Festival, Cooktown Discovery Festival and the Endeavour Festival. Visit the HM Bark Endeavour replica, taste bush tucker, take a local language workshop and learn to weave in between enjoying the entertainment.

Relax in the rainforest

Relax in the natural surrounds of mist at Cape Tribulation where every room has a view worth savouring. The luxury boutique accommodation has pavilions boasting 50 square metres of living space including a large covered outdoor deck with a daybed overlooking the world’s oldest rainforest. Guests are greeted with champagne and a cheese platter and can head straight to the creek for a dip, pick tropical fruits from the orchard, or snooze in a garden hammock.

New host for dance festival

The Ang-Gnarra Aboriginal Corporation is the new host of the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival which will be held on a traditional bora ground near Laura’s famous collection of rock art sites. People from more than 20 Indigenous communities across Cape York Peninsula come together to celebrate with music, dance, singing and cultural performances.

Join a foodie tour

Eat and drink you way around Cairns with an expert foodie so you don’t miss any of the city’s new hotspots. Award-winning restaurants and tucked away gems are included in the Cairns Boutique Walking Tours which can focus on sweet treats, hidden bars and cocktails, or include a bit of everything with a Taste of Cairns.

Rooms with a view

The Bungalows at Mission Beach boasts an extraordinary ocean view of Dunk Island from each of its three private villas. The freestanding villas are set within a secluded beachfront estate and each has its own direct access to the beach. The whole property can also be booked for exclusive use. Grab a fat-tyred bike and pedal along the beachfront or organise a dinghy to explore the islands.