Cairns in-depth: The Esplanade

Welcome to Cairns! If you are planning an unforgettable Australian holiday, then Cairns is one of those tourist destinations that just cannot be missed! What was once a sleepy, laidback little town of Cairns is now a lively and bustling city that never sleeps. 

Cairns is home to the stunning beauty of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the breathtaking Cairns Botanic Gardens, the excitement-filled thrills of Cairns Adventure Park as well as the grand experience of the prehistoric Daintree Wet Tropics Rainforest. However, few people know that Cairns is backpacker friendly in the truest sense of the word and offers more than its fair share of wildlife, natural attractions, serene beaches, cheap eats and the ultimate adventures for thrill seekers. 

As if that’s not enough, the famous Cairns Esplanade might just be the place you are looking for a peaceful stroll on the stylishly re-decked boardwalk by the coastline (you can jog or bike ride as well). The Cairns Esplanade is a splendid 2.5 km stretch of waterfront in Cairns under the direct supervision of Cairns Regional Council. It is an ideal picnic spot for backpackers on a budget as the playgrounds, barbecues, parklands, boardwalk, lagoon and other recreational activities on the Cairns foreshore are all free entry. 

On a hot, sunny day, get in your most comfortable pair of shoes, don a hat, sunglasses and shorts and set out on one of the most memorable walks of your life. Palm trees line the entire length of the Esplanade – heightening the tropical feel of this warm, welcoming city – while there are dozens of cafes, restaurants and trendy bars all along the walk. The Trinity Inlet, home to a wide range of native seabirds is a bird watchers’ paradise. Under huge Banyan trees, the well-shaded lagoon area offers unique family barbecue facilities and picnic tables. 

Although we have a great pool at Tropic Days, the Cairns Lagoon can’t be missed!

There are dozens of things to do for backpackers at the Esplanade Boardwalk. While locals are seen jogging along the footway regularly, Esplanade is the perfect romantic place, you are bound to spot many lovers taking slow walks near sunsets. The Swimming Lagoon at Esplanade is a magnet for backpackers visiting Cairns from all over the world. As a favourite sun-baking spot and social gathering place, the lagoon area is free to use, well protected with lifeguards on duty. An extremely family-friendly location, the swimming pool area is visited by throngs of tourists who relax on its grassy knolls or have fun splashing in the shallows. However, a word of caution for people who visit Cairns that there is a risk of crocodiles and stingers on the beach so best to stick to swimming in the Lagoon.

As you make your way further along the Esplanade Boardwalk, you will discover a water park that doubles as a children’s playground. The Muddy’s Playground features several fun activities for kids including rope bridges, slides, flying fox, playhouses and story-telling spots. A brand new addition to the lagoon development is the Cairns Promenade, offering fun recreational activities for the entire family. 

Saltwater crocodile spotted swimming along the Cairns Esplanade

Featuring parks, eateries, a marketplace and many opportunities for jogging, cycling, skateboarding, power walks and yoga, the Cairns Esplanade Boardwalk is an ideal tourist spot for backpackers visiting the metropolis of Cairns. The area is densely planted with shady trees, offering magnificent views of the ocean. From sunrise to sunset, the Esplanade Boardwalk provides the perfect atmosphere and a safe and friendly environment where backpackers flock year-round to enjoy the many attractions Cairns has to offer. Be sure to check it out during your visit.