Day 1,751 of Traveling the World | Cairns, Australia | November 22, 2022

Everybody says the name of this city differently, but everyone enjoys it! It is pronounced CANS. Most people (that is, Americans) desperately want to keep the R in it, though. It is a rather large place, although in many areas it feels like a small fishing village. The downtown has quite an array of shops and restaurants, accented by a beautiful post office, library building, and cultural center. Most impressive is the work the city has done on the Esplanade along the ocean. Since there is no real beach, as extensive mud flats for migratory birds take the place of a beach, Cairns built a free public swimming pool and imported sand to build a beach alongside the pool! It is very nice, and many people were swimming and enjoying the water, as it is very hot here. The Southern Hemisphere is still in spring, though, so it will get hotter as we approach the beginning of summer, just before Christmas.

Cairns is the traditional jumping-off point for the Great Barrier Reef, and so marinas and boats are a big part of life here. We saw everything from small skiffs to tall ships, ready to sail into the reef. In fact we went out of this port in 2005 for a three-day tall ship cruise (the Solway Lass) through the reef. It was a spectacular way of seeing a small portion of the reef, while stopping at some amazing islands along the way.

We will be cruising through the Great Barrier Reef for a few days, on our way to Darwin, Australia. Our ship this time, Holland America’s Noordam, is many times larger than the Solway Lass and has about 2,000 passengers rather than 35. We won’t be stopping at any little islands, but cruising straight through to Darwin. So this will be a much different trip than last time.

A serene day in Cairns Harbor.
Standing proud – guarding the entrance to a store.
This beautiful Classical style building was used as the Cairns seat of government until 1998, when it was remodeled to incorporate the city library.
The city’s beloved Mud Flats, environmentally valuable for all the bird species that utilize them….
…like these! We aren’t birders, and so are unsure what type of birds these are, but they are beautiful.
The Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Since the mud flats mean that Cairns doesn’t have much of a beach, the city built this large swimming pool and even hauled in sand to create a beach! You can see the Ferris wheel in the back, with large gondolas to hold people – $10 per adult, or $50 to have the gondola to yourself!
These fish sculptures are also fountains, with streams of water falling on the children below.
This sign board was adjacent to the pool – don’t forget those swim nappies!
We loved this vibrant flowering tree, but since we also aren’t horticulturists, we do not know what kind it is.
A pretty esplanade walkway, roughly following the ocean.
What a glorious banyan tree! There are even benches under its spreading branches.
We loved that the city turned this banyan tree into a treehouse for kids!
Yo. Fill that waffle cone to the tippy-top and enjoy!
Yep. Always. Every day.
What a great advertising sign!
Saw this in the local grocery store. An unusual name for deodorant, no?
Sunset over Cairns.

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