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Posts in ‘Sport & Adventure’

By Land, Sea and Air: The Best Things to do in Cairns, Australia

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CairnsCairns, Australia is a magnificent fusion of sea, land and air. Its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest make it a fantastic destination for travellers from all over the world. There are plenty of things to do and after travelling to Cairns and being swept off my feet by its beauty, I’ve realised that the best way to get the most out of your trip to Cairns is by designating time for activities on land, in water and in the air.

Land

Cairns is nearby some of the most majestic rainforests in the world. Daintree Rainforest is the world’s oldest surviving rainforest and the largest continuous stretch of rainforest in Australia. Having said that, it only takes up about 0.1% of Australia’s land mass, yet is home to 30% of the country’s frog, reptile and marsupial population. Daintree is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site, in particular because some of the oldest species of plants grow here including 7 families of ancient fern. Daintree is also unique in that its dense tropic forest ends on the very edge of white sandy beaches leading to crystalline sea water. If you are interested in exploring this exotic and ancient rainforest, we offer a Cape Tribulation & Daintree Rainforest Tour From Cairns that takes visitors on a life changing trip through the primordial forest.

For those animal lovers out there, a trip to Cairns offers several opportunities to come into close contact with some of the strangest creatures in the world. The Cairns Zoo presents the unique opportunity to explore the zoo at night and meet its nocturnal residents. Late-night visitors are treated to a true Aussie barbeque and then led by torch through the dark zoo. It’s a spooky adventure that I would do again in a heartbeat. I even got to pet a koala, which made my night.

Petting a Koala

For those who want to see animals in the daylight, there are plenty of ways to do that too. The Rainforestation Nature Park is an excellent option because it combines exploration of the rainforest with Australia’s largest Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary. Rainforestation is part of a 100 acre World Heritage Park and offers visitors truly unique activities such as riding an army duck through murky rivers under the canopy of one of the most beautiful rainforests in the world. While I was there I held a koala, threw a boomerang (I ran away instead of trying to catch it when it came hurtling back at me) and tried my best to play the didgeridoo.

If you happen to have an unappeasable desire to see some crocodiles up close and personal, then head over to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure. At Hartley’s, you get the opportunity to see the terrifying head shake and death roll of some of the largest crocodiles you’ll ever see. You also get the chance to hold a crocodile (I opted to take a picture kissing the nose of a baby croc…of course, his mouth was rubber banded shut so it wasn’t the scary ordeal that it sounds like it could be.) You can also go to the Snake Show and discover some of the most deadly snakes in the world, including the Australian Brown Snake, one of which slithered by my foot while hiking in the outback on a separate trip to Australia. I highly recommend seeing one at the Snake Show instead… Crocodile

Sea

Underwater World
Of course, what Cairns is best known for is its location right on the Great Barrier Reef. Visitors from all over the world come to swim with the thousands of tropical fish, explore the islands just off the coast from Cairns and cultivate their tan in the hot Australian sun. The number one thing to do, at least in my opinion, is to explore the aquamarine depths of the reef. It is an entirely foreign aquatic world down there, just waiting to be explored. There are plenty of ways to get to the reef, one of which is by a Quicksilver Catamaran which boasts an impressive Underwater Observatory and acts a platform from which you can go snorkelling. The observatory is perfect for those wanting to see all of the brightly-coloured fish without getting wet (some of my friends staying on the boat and actually watched us swim up to the window of the observatory).

For those wanting to dive a bit deeper into the good ol’ ocean blue, diving expeditions are the ways to go. Whether you are diving at night, diving with sharks or just plain old diving, the experience is sure to be one you will never forget. Inky blue water below, turquoise water above and thousands of fish all around comprise the traditional dive. If you want to stay out on the water for longer than an afternoon, 3 and 4-day Diving and Marine Life Cruises are available. They are essentially aquatic hotels that allow you to get the most out what is sure to be a surreal diving experience. Boat

If you are simply looking for a romantic and relaxed time on the water, Cairns is the perfect place to be. There are a number of Evening Dinner Cruises that are perfect for a dreamy night with your beloved. Gaze at the mangroves that line the water as you sip on champagne, let the delicious food and gentle rocking of the boat lull you into contentment and gaze at the stars in the arms of your sweetie on the deck. It certainly will be a delightful evening not soon forgotten.

Of course, not all of the things to do in Cairns are stress-free. Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline pumping on a Tully River Rafting Excursion. The tour takes you on an incredibly fun white water rafting excursion through the rainforest. It’s led by expert guides and concludes with a delicious meal cooked on the ‘barbie’.

Air

Who doesn’t dream about flying every once in awhile? To be honest, I can’t imagine a prettier place to fly over than the emerald jungles and hypnotic turquoise waters of Cairns.

Plane

Now, there are two main ways of seeing Cairns from above. The first is with a Scenic Flight that takes you from the wild rainforests to the white cays and aquamarine ocean. The flight will take you over the Great Dividing Range in the rainforest near Cairns. You may feel like you are flying through a scene from Jurassic Park (I know I did). The rainforests really do look as ancient as they are. From the sky above the rainforest, you will travel to the coast. It is a surreal experience, looking out at the reef from your plane and seeing the shimmering colours of the coral refracted by the water above them. For those who, after seeing the water, need to be in the water, there are also flights that will then stop and allow you to go Snorkelling at Sandy Cay.

Another, more leisurely way to explore the sky space above Cairns is via Hot Air Balloon . Of course, in true Aussie fashion, the balloon flight isn’t entirely relaxed. While up in the balloon, you will get to experience a balloon chase, which is essentially exactly what it sounds like: Your balloon will chase another balloon across wide open country and vice versa. It’s a very fun time and not stressful in the slightest, but it does add a bit of pace to the otherwise lovely, leisurely and scenic flight.

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Customer review: ATV and Blue Lagoon, Iceland

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Amazing trip thru lava fields… As an ATV novice, I chickened out going up the second hill… but the guides made me feel OK about it! Great trip, highly recommend, and the suits they give you keep you very well insulated. I didn’t feel a thing!

Juliane, United States

Juliane booked: Atv and Blue Lagoon, Iceland

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An Evening Singaporean Safari

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bluesheep3
As the sun sets over the Singapore Safari, a four-legged creature stirs from its daytime drowse.  Although short and dense in stature, there’s something that makes this horned animal standout.  At first glance, its slate grey coat seems normal.  Upon a second look, however, a bluish tint shines through.  Can this be?

Inside Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari, the Himalayan blue sheep is one among the more than 1,000 animals that begin their day as the moon appears.

The world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, Night Safari houses 120 species of endangered wildlife.  The park is divided into eight distinct geographical zones, each of which is featured on the Night Safari tour.

As the open-air tram carefully maneuvers between the safari’s physical features—flowing rivers, lush trees, and dirt paths—its inhabitants remain undeterred.  The glowing moon illuminates the strong Cape buffalos that play in the fields, African bongos that feed in grassy fields, and striped hyenas that prowl within the 40 hectares of tropical forest.

Following the four-hour tour, the Night Safari continues with a guided trail walk.  Offering an in-depth look at these nighttime critters, the trip features flying squirrels and bats that glide from tree to tree, and leopards that stalk their intended prey.

What promises to be an evening adventure chockfull of awe and animals, Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari will be a memorable experience.

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Beautiful Barcelona

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We have recently released a page listing the top things to do in Barcelona – the best activities, sights, tours and excursions. Check it out and start planning your trip to Spain’s liveliest city!

The isango! team

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Diving – a reviving experience

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Take advantage of our Great Barrier Reef diving tours and have a once in a lifetime reviving experience!

The isango! team

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Have the climb of your life

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Don’t miss out on the Sydney bridge climb – it’s one of the top 10 things to do in Australia’s most visited city!

The isango! team

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Algarve Tours – Much more than just glorious beaches…

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Feel like a beach vacation, but don’t want to spend all your time lounging in the sun? Check out our Algarve tours and you’ll realize that the southernmost region of Portugal has a lot to offer besides gorgeous beaches, including sea cave cruises, wine tours and jeep safaris!

The isango! team

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Marvelous Malta!

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Check out our recently released page on the best things to do in Malta and pick from one of several Malta tours, including scuba diving, jeep excursions, and private sailboat tours!

The isango! team

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Uluru / Ayers Rock Tours

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We have just launched a page listing the best things to do at the Australian Outback’s most popular tourist attraction, including sunrise/sunset tours, helicopter rides, 4WD tours, even dining under the stars in the middle of the desert! Choose from one of many spectacular Uluru tours and start planning your trip to Australia.

The isango! team

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Best places in the world to go scuba diving

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Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef (Flickr by Simon Starr)

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef (Flickr by Simon Starr)

During the summer months a holiday to a tropical destination is quite popular.  There are several things to do while on holiday in paradise and one exciting activity to partake in in scuba diving.  Scuba diving is a wonderful way to see all that the ocean has to offer up close.  If scuba diving isn’t up your alley then perhaps just snorkeling would be better suited for you.  But one this is for certain; with these scuba destinations you are sure to see the ocean at its finest. continue reading

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