Tropical, fun, exotic and vibrant. That's how I describe the city of Cairns. A gateway to many attractions, with so much to explore and see it's like a new found paradise.
I lived in Cairns for many years and something always draws me back. While I'm fortunate to work there from time time, I always make time to re-connect with friends and visit places I still hold wonderful memories of. There's something about the area that forever stays with you.
Ask the locals and they'll tell you that there's sunshine for most of the year. They'll also tell you that while people flock to the area to escape the southern winter between June and October, they're quite happy to claim their piece of paradise all year round.
A holiday doesn't mean you have to give up the comforts of home. It's about looking for the best option that suits. With more competition in the market place nowadays, you can still enjoy comfort and space, and the right location is a bonus. Photos on the internet can be deceiving and if you don't know much about the area, you can spend hours online trying to find out from other travellers where the best place is to stay.
Park Regis Piermonde Apartments Cairns. Photo: Management
So where do you start looking for accommodation in Cairns. A destination with so much to do is location really important? It certainly is.
I had my eye on the Park Regis Piermonde Apartments in the heart of Cairns for a while and glad I went with my instincts. The apartments are perfect for holidaying with a friend, partner and family. There's even a pull-out sofa bed in the living room for an extra person.
One block away from the vibrant Esplanade precinct everything is within walking distance from the apartment - Cairns Convention Centre, Reef Hotel Casino, Marlin Marina, shopping, chic restaurants, coffee shops and tour operators.
Management and reception staff went above and beyond to accommodate my requested dates, even check in was a breeze. The two bedroom spacious apartment is modern, tastefully decorated, with a larger than average balcony to take in views of Trinity Inlet, Coral Sea, endless rainforest mountains, and night city-scape.
The two bedrooms each have their own bathroom, and the shower pressure is heavenly! Lovely colour coordination with the linen, pillows and cushions, and the bed extremely comfortable for a restful night's sleep.
The Esplanade is walking distance from the apartment and one of my favourite places to take in a morning walk and have breakfast. Walking past Cairns' high end fashion boutiques felt as if I was on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills - both renown for palms lining the street. Cairns definitely has its own unique character.
Louis Vuitton Spence Street, Cairns. For a moment it reminded me of Rodeo Drive. Located around the corner from Piermonde Apartments, there's also other high-end designers such as Gucci, Bvlgari, and Coach in the same complex
Walking on the Esplanade would lift my spirits for the day. With a glorious lagoon area, water playgrounds for kids, exercise equipment, eateries, and a host of free activities, it's a buzz with people from all walks of life enjoying all it has to offer.
The area attracts people from all walks of life out and about walking their dogs, jogging, taking photos, even a group of retirees enjoying a game of bocce. Shrieks of excitement from children were heard coming from the playground as they ran through water fountains, clearly a popular spot for families. Everybody seemed to fit in somewhere - and most of all everybody was happy.
So many playgrounds, each different from each other for kids
I will always hold a wonderful memory of a little boy out with his grandmother climbing the naval gun flank outside the Cairns RSL Club. I thought how beautiful it would be to watch the sunrise over the ocean on Anzac Day, the service would be so moving. I believe this RSL Club would have to be positioned at one of the most enviable locations in the world.
Park Regis Piermonde Apartments are close to Rusty's Markets where you can stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, bread and local seasonal produce. Stall holders let you sample before you buy, much to my delight as I can be fussy when it comes to taste and quality. For groceries Woolworths and Cairns Central are nearby, as well as a BWS.
Close to the apartment is the Cairns Wildlife Dome situated on the rooftop of the Reef Hotel Casino. A must see, this spectacular rainforest environment houses different species of animals in a glass enclosure, replicating their natural environment in a wildlife exhibit. Fascinating.
There's a special energy about Cairns that will forever stay with you. I know you'll love this part of Australia as much as I do.
I've lived it, you'll love it.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Qantas, Tigerair fly into Cairns as do a few international carriers. From Cairns Airport transfers can be arranged, or hire a car and make your own way there.