Mention Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef immediately comes to mind. Not surprisingly actually, since it is considered as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO listed site. In fact, it is spans such a vast area that it can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms! So, is it any wonder that it is on the wifey's and my bucket list of places to visit?
|Photo courtesy of www.cairnsgreatbarrierreef.org.au|
But what I did not know that Cairns is also home to another UNESCO-liste site, the 170 million years old Daintree Rainforest which is the world's oldest surviving rainforest with examples of plant species that existed millions of years ago. And Cairns is the only place on earth where 2 World Heritage-listed areas meet!
So imagine my delight when SilkAir launched its inaugural flight to Cairns on 30 May 2015 - and invited my entire family to check out some of the most family-friendly activities in Cairns this June School Holidays!
Initially, I was planning to only let the monkies know at the last minute as a surprise (and also to spare myself of all incessant questions like 'Where will we be going on Day 1... Day 2... Day 3?' but that's besides the point). But then SilkAir had to let the cat out of the bag by sending them these goodie bags last week.
To say they were wildly excited is a severe understatement.
It certainly helped that the goodie bags came jam-packed with munchies, sweets, stationery, caps, sunglasses and this oh-so-cute turtle plush toy!
Guess who was immediately smitten with the turtle?
All three promptly declared the turtles - along with all of the other goodies - would be going into the their luggage. It is a good thing that SilkAir offers a 30kg check-in baggage allowance per passenger then! Especially since we have to lug jackets (multiply that by FIVE!) along too since it is Winter in Cairns now.
But winter or not, the monkies are definitely all pumped up for our visit to Cairns - for the simple reason that it is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the thought of viewing thousands of different species of marine life at the biggest coral reef in the world is simply too exciting!
But the more I researched on attractions in Cairns, the more I realised it is actually filled with tons of family-friendly activities!
One of the best free place to bring the kids is Muddy's Playground along Cairns Esplanade, regarded one of Australia's best kids playgrounds. Kids can run through ankle deep water and splash in the shallows or go crazy with the rope bridges, flying fox, slides, play houses, story-telling areas, and see-saws.
There is also the world famous historic Kuranda Scenic Railway which brings visitors up to Kuranda Village. This charming old train travels through the world heritage rainforest and winds its way through 16 tunnels and waterfalls. And if your kids are animal-lovers like my monkies, the Cairns Tropical Zoo and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures will definitely be a blast!
But looking at our packed itinerary - meticulously and awesomely planned by Tourism and Events Queensland by the way - there is so much MORE to explore in Cairns... and the best part is you can follow our journey as I - and maybe Ash and Ayd too - will be taking over SilkAir's Instagram account for the duration of our upcoming trip! So if you wish to know what sort of adventures the monkies get themselves up to, give SilkAir's Instagram (@silkair) a follow and LIKE SilkAir's Facebook page too.
And I assure you, Toty - the name given to the turtle plush toy by Ale - will be making a few appearances as well!
So do follow our Cairns journey... and who knows, you might just win something! *wink*
P.S. In case you are wondering, Cairns is pronounced as CANS (as in drink cans) NOT 'Canes' or 'Carns'.
SilkAir flies to Cairns thrice weekly on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, through a circular routing with Darwin. The Monday and Thursday flights will fly to Cairns via Darwin and then return to Singapore non-stop while Saturday flights will depart Singapore for Cairns non-stop and then return to Singapore via Darwin. For more information, visit www.silkair.com.