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What’s New in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef (Oct 2022)

With summer just around the corner, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef introduces new tours and attractions, accommodation options, and food and beverage offerings, making it the perfect destination ahead of the upcoming holiday season.


Zipline through the world’s oldest rainforest with Treetops Adventure at Cape Tribulation in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. You’ll experience a bird’s eye view from up to 15 metres above ground on a fully guided two-hour zipline tour which was launched on 12 October.

Confident snorkellers can join conservationists assessing reef health on the Great Barrier Reef with a new citizen science tour launched in Cairns by Passions of Paradise. Passions has expanded their Marine Biologist for a Day program to offer an option for snorkellers to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef Rapid Monitoring, while divers can observe the crew working in the underwater coral nursery.

Go on an extravagant Great Barrier Reef adventure with Beluga Expeditions, a fleet of luxury vessels offering customised charters from Port Douglas. Their 34.7 metre custom-built superyacht Beluga sleeps 10 guests in five staterooms with six crew onboard and has four impressive decks, providing privacy plus numerous dining and lounging options.

Interest in mountain biking has hit full throttle in Tropical North Queensland after the inaugural Crankworx Cairns wowed athletes and spectators with newly built rainforest trails and a pump track. The Atherton Tablelands is just an hour up the range and has two mountain biking parks as well as great trails which can be explored on a small-group tour with Off Camber. They supply the bikes and helmets and cater to all skill levels from beginners to experienced riders wanting to try the iconic descents in the region.

The award-winning Mossman Gorge Centre celebrated its tenth anniversary of operations as a gateway to Australia’s outstanding World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest in August. The anniversary event also saw the announcement of a name change to “Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre”, in recognition of the role the centre plays in educating and celebrating Indigenous culture.

The Savannah Way Art Trail will soon become a reality, with the project almost at completion. Artists Glen Manning and Kathy Daly from Manning Daly Art have almost completed a series of six large-scale artworks that are being installed in Burketown, Croydon, Normanton, Georgetown, Karumba and Doomadgee ready for a November launch. The six artworks each tell their own unique story that is relevant to the community in which it will be erected.

Children can interact with virtual unicorns, kittens, dinosaurs, robots and fairies at three parks in Cairns using the free mobile app Magical Park. Launched in August by the Cairns Regional Council, a digital playground experience has been set up at the Smithfield Library Lawn, Goomboora Park and Ravizza Park.

Visitors at the Cairns Airport domestic terminal will be welcomed by seven ghostnet fish sculptures created by Indigenous artists at the Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre on Cape York Peninsula. The Great Barrier Reef-inspired installation is the first public art commissioned through a partnership between the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and Cairns Airport.

A mature stand of stilt mangroves that can reach heights of 30m can be seen in the mangrove forest along the Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk at Cairns Airport. The Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation has restored the boardwalk which reopened in August after being closed for more than three years.

A rare post-vintage car thought to be the only surviving one of its kind is now on display at the Historic Village Herberton. The work on the timber framed, soft-topped 1933 Continental Flyer has been a labour of love for the skilled team at the village taking more than 10 years to complete. It joins an extraordinary showcase of Australia’s timber, farming and mining history which can be seen in more than 60 original buildings including shops and functioning tea rooms.


Northern Escape Collection has launched glamping at Mt. Mulligan Lodge with three luxury Outback Tents on the remote Tropical North Queensland property. Nestled among the property’s Australian eucalyptus woodlands, the Outback Tents fit seamlessly into the surrounding environment and showcase the majestic Mount Mulligan/Ngarrabullgan escarpment from their spacious outdoor decks.

One night’s free camping is included with your ticket to Paronella Park at the Park’s new camping ground, The Paddock, alongside the Spanish castle in the rainforest. The 60 van sites are all serviced with water, power and sullage, and there is a huge, modern amenities block with hot, spacious showers, a full laundry, and a BBQ/camp kitchen.

Step off the deck of Daintree Secrets Rainforest Sanctuary to swim in your private swimming hole and waterfall in the heart of the world’s oldest rainforest. Set on four acres and only two hours away from Cairns, this private and serene holiday home sleeps seven, and is powered by its own hydroelectric system, ensuring your carbon footprint is minimal during your stay.


Crystalbrook Bailey has introduced Arte. By Crystalbrook, a new bespoke, sustainable wine bar in the heart of Cairns. This warm and inviting neighbourhood bar has ever-changing array of boutique bio-dynamic Australian and international wines. The artisan deli-style menu is designed to complement and celebrate fresh, local produce and is best enjoyed in good company.

Skybury Farms and FNQ Spirits are gaining popularity globally for their vodka, coffee liqueur and rum after becoming silver and bronze winners at the USA Spirits Ratings held in San Francisco. Skybury commenced making spirits from surplus papaya three years ago, partnering with Cairns distillery FNQ Spirits to create a premium vodka. The union has also produced coffee liqueur, papaya schnapps, passionfruit papaya liqueur and a coffee/vodka hybrid aptly named Fusion.

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