About Monica U
Lives in Sydney, Australia
Since Jan 2014
35-49 year old female
Globetrotter, foodie and lover of good festivals, digital marketing and writing. I have visited more than 80 cities around the world but have called Sydney home for the last 10 years. Previously , I lived in Cancun, Mexico and Playa del Carmen for 5 years and learnt to scuba dive. Having a partner that skies, Queenstown is one of our favourite destinations both in winter and in summer, and just a little "jump" from Sydney. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to cook a meal and share it among friends.
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Flea & Street Markets
Balloon Rides, Private Tours
Lillipad is one of those little cafes that is always full, and with good reason: It serves really big meals! It is a great spot for sharing, say, an Irish Breakfast or a Breakfast Burrito, and the coffee is always very good too.
When in Cairns, you simply have to visit the Great Barrier Reef. My tip: If you only have a few days, skip the Green Island tour and take the Outer Great Barrier Reef tour instead. Sure, it will take about 1.5 hours to get there, but the staff is wonderful, you get to have morning tea, and once you arrive both the snorkeling and diving are fabulous. This is exactly what you came to Australia for!
Located inside the Reef Casino, this award-winning restaurant offers delicious food, excellent service, and a dim-lighted, rattan-chaired, Asian-inspired theme that will transport you to another world...
The Reef Casino is a great place to end your day. Here, you can try your luck in the casino, kick back and be seen at one of the chic bars (like Vertigo!), or dance the night away at the nightclub, Velvet Underground.
If you only do one train trip in your life, get on board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for an amazing ride through one of the oldest rainforests in the world: the Barron Gorge National Park. You will pass amazing waterfalls as you trundle through tunnels and over picturesque bridges way up in the mountains.
Located right next to the Kuranda Heritage Markets, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary affords you the opportunity to see up to 1500 different varieties of tropical butterflies, including the Cairns Birdwing. It is an amazing experience to be able to see so many of Queensland's native beauties all in one place.
The Cairns Night Markets, located right at the Esplanade, are open from 4.30pm to 11pm, making them handy for early-night fans and night owls alike. There are a lot of local arts and crafts, souvenirs, and local soaps and candles to browse here.
In my opinion, Ochre is one of the best restaurants in Cairns. There are very few restaurants in Australia where you can taste authentic Australian food (such as emu, crocodile, and kangaroo) done as well as it is here. Come for the tasting or game platter, and sample all of the country's natives spices in one delectable and memorable meal.
Yes, a hot air balloon ride does mean an early start (pick-up is around 5am), but it makes for a magnificent way to start the day. Your hot air balloon will fly through the tropical Atherton Tablelands, and then drop you back at 9.30am, just in time for a hearty breakfast.
Located in the center of town, the 4-hectare Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon is the perfect spot to get a tan, lounge on the deck, gaze up at the magnificent mountains surrounding Cairns, or take a dip in the crystal clear waters. It is one of my favorite activities, any day of the year.
I come to Raw Prawn Seafood Restaurant for two things: the QLD prawns, served grilled with garlic (and sometimes combined with bugs if I am in the mood), and the view — perfect, placid, tropical Cairns-style. Whenever I suck the last bit of prawn meat from the juicy, garlicy head, all my troubles always seem far, far away...
It's your last day in Cairns, and what better way to end your tropical adventure than with a leisurely walk along the Esplanade Boardwalk. You will enjoy fantastic views of the lagoon and mountains, be serenaded by the local buskers, and even learn a little more about the history of the aboriginal people.