Diving in Cairns off the Great Barrier Reef


Pic taken by Colleen Mandris on Instagram

There is no question that the Great Barrier Reef; one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is one of the best locations for diving and snorkeling in the world.

Cairns is the gateway to many of these unique and beautiful dive sites, with some of the most amazing locations being anywhere from 90-minutes to 2-hours offshore.  We are so lucky to have this natural beauty at our doorstep.

A whopping 2,900 kilometers of reef stretches across 5,208 kilometers of coast, making it the only living thing visible from space.  Wow!!

Whether you are a keen, experienced diver or just starting out on your journey, the Great Barrier Reef caters for everyone.  For the beginner divers, there are well protected, calm and shallow coves rich in gorgeous fish and corals.  For the more experienced divers, there are deep ocean spots along the outer reefs, home to the most beautiful sea life imaginable.  You truly won’t want to resurface.

Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, described his experience of siting an eight foot wide manta ray off Hayman Island, really encapsulating the raw emotion felt when up close with these majestic creatures – ‘As it moved, shimmering and undulating its giant wings, folding itself through the water, I felt that I was looking at the single most beautiful and unearthly thing I had ever seen in my life.’

So we know it’s unique, large and magical and all accessible from Cairns.  But where are the best dive spots located?  This is a difficult question to answer because there are literally too many to mention?  However, to get you started, here are just a couple of great dive locations that are accessible from Cairns:

FLYNN REEF– If you’re looking for a variety of colorful and amazing sea life, Flynn Reef is a very popular diving spot.  There are excellent wall dives, swim-throughs, overhangs and night diving. Expect to see an abundance of marine life combined with plenty of corals.

THE COD HOLE – If you’re looking for big fish that aren’t going to eat you but look awesome in a pic right next to your face (let’s hope there’s no resemblance), the giant potato cod is a must see.  The perfect dive spot for these is known as The Cod Hole.  The location is quite secluded and is found on the northern part of the Ribbon Reefs.

OSPREY REEF – On the other hand if you are brave and thrive on fear, there’s the Osprey Reef dive where you’ll get up close and personal with lots of sharks.  Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies, it’s made for you.  So exhilarating and hair-raising and those underwater pics are going to be very impressive.  Your heart will almost jump out of your chest as you watch them devour a dead fish right in front of you.   

As your busy life on land powers on, and you feel the calling from the great ocean that lies beneath, take some time to book your experience, the magic of the sea will re-connect you with nature, revitalise your soul and leave you with the most amazing memories imaginable.

Do you need a holiday?

There are often many signs that alert a person to the fact that they urgently need to get away and take a break.  Here’s just a few of our favorite indicators:
1. You can’t seem to shake that annoying cold and it’s freezing outside
A dirty rotten cold could be the body’s way of saying ‘take me to the sunshine where I will soak up the Vitamin D and nourish my tired self.’  It is estimated that up to 90% of vitamin D comes from the sun, so it certainly makes sense that during the colder months this urge to escape becomes intensified as the body just isn’t getting what it needs.

2. When you are hitting that snooze button far too much and finding yourself running late every morning
There’s a point where everyone becomes jack of the daily routine of work..eat..sleep..work..eat..sleep.  Nothing like a holiday to break the monotony, reboot and bounce back with a new enthusiasm that will have you jumping out of bed at that first buzz.

3. When you find yourself being the gumpiest person at work, at home and wherever you go
It may take some time to actually realise that you are the grumpiest at this point, as you’re most likely looking at external causes to blame for feeling so crap.  However, something may happen that makes you conscious enough to see that you are really not coping with all those small things anymore.  That’s a sure sign that it’s time to escape and take a break from life’s many pressures.

4. When you have hit email overload, text fatigue and want to flush your mobile down a toilet
Sounds extreme but I think everyone has a moment (or many) where they need to shut down and almost hide from the electronic devices that seem to have attached to us all.  A good way to cope with this feeling is to do just that, take some leave – divert your calls and leave your computer behind as you go and get that rest and relaxation you absolutely need.

5. When your relationship with your partner, family or friend needs some new memories and bonding time
When you feel your closest relationships are flat and the laughter shared is dwindling away, it’s time to experience something amazing together, something that forms part of the many memories that keep you bonded for life.  That’s the time to book a holiday together not when the relationship is starting to break down.  So if you are experiencing any of these symptoms as you read this, a holiday may be the remedy for you!

Ten things I love about Cairns


Cairns is such a favorite destination for millions of visitors each year – and here’s just 10 reasons why – oh and they are in no particular order.

1. The feel of the air – I’m not sure what it is exactly but I suspect it’s the humidity that creates a unique feel in the air. I smell and feel it immediately after getting off the plane and long for it once I arrive back in Victoria.

2. The abundance of activities to do – from skydiving… scuba diving… jet skiing… abseiling… yachting… tree climbing… sky railing… sea walker helmet diving… fly boarding… paddle boarding… helicopter riding… snorkeling… sky walking… horse-riding… hot air-ballooning… and white water rafting.  I just feel like a kid in a lolly shop. I think the lolly shop may be that little bit kinder on my purse however.

3. The Great Barrier Reef – could there possibly be a more beautiful place than the Great Barrier Reef? With around 900 islands, including coral cays such as Green Island and Heron Island, along with the Whitsundays’ sand islands, it’s truly the most amazingly beautiful place I have experienced.  I can’t begin to describe the serenity that you feel when you dive off a boat and swim among these islands.

4. The sea turtles
are a favorite of mine; the sea turtles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef include the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, flatback turtle, leatherback turtle and the Pacific Ridley turtle. My favorite spot for this was Green Island, where they come up so close.

5. The presence of the crocodiles – although I have only seen these majestic creatures at the Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Park (thank god), and would only want to see them there, I love seeing them in real life as opposed to on some television documentary. They are eerily fascinating.

6. The Palm Trees – Palm trees are an instant connection to Tropical North Queensland for me.  They are everywhere in Cairns and make a stunning photo with the ocean in the background.  The locals who have them in their gardens however, say they are very high maintenance which surprised me.  There’s always a cost I guess.

7. Kuranda Village & the Tropical Rainforest – Every time I visit Cairns I love a ride on the Skyrail gondola up above the rainforest canopy to Kuranda Village. It’s what Cairns is all about to me, tropical natural environments.  I love a good amble around the market in Kuranda Village, it has some pretty unique things to buy and I like bringing back something as a memory of this gorgeous village.

8. Cairns Boardwalk – The Cairns boardwalk has such a chilled out, ‘I am on holidays’ feel about it.  People are scattered all around the beautiful pool and on the green grass just having fun times.  Restaurants and cafes are full of friendly staff and food options are abundant.

9. The Cairns Nightlife – Streets are always buzzing, the nights are warm and bars and eateries are plentiful. I love to go to the Pier Bar and Grill when I am in town, the view is amazing and food and atmosphere perfect for my taste.

10. The many events and markets to see – Cairns seems to be a hub for some pretty cool events and always has lots of markets on.  I’ve managed to be there for the Cairns Show, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Mareeba Rodeo, all usually held in July.   There are also many markets I love going to.  The Cairns night market is my favorite and it’s open every day of the year from 5pm.  I love the clothing, jewellery and food.  Again, it’s one of the many things that makes Cairns my favorite destination.

Pauline’s Blog on Cape York


My Cape York tour was amazing… I had to admit my husband was right, this hurt…

It is not often that I fess up to my mistakes, especially when it involves also admitting my dear husband was right.  In all our forty-two years of marriage, I would imagine this has only occurred a couple of times, so this revelation is BIG!!!

We are the kind of couple who spend way too much of our time bickering about the small things, so when we disagreed about going to Cape York, it was no big deal, just the way we ‘rolled’ – as my daughter Kylie would term it.  However, this time felt different.  Normally I could outsmart him with some real facts, and where necessary, some slightly twisted facts.  Combine this with some emotional outbursts and I’d come out getting what I wanted.  This time he seemed to have done his research and even pre-empted my response and gathered enough facts to combat me.  I was totally out of my comfort zone here.

Our discussion, bordering argument, about a trip to Cape York arose a month in to our trip up north.  We were just lazing about the beautiful Lake Placid Tourist Park when a bus arrived to take a group of guests from the park to Cape York.  The excitement in my husband’s eyes, as he began to tell me that he had discovered the Tourist Park could book us on one of these trips to Cape York, in just a couple of days, was quite infectious.

Having said that though, my image of Cape York was 4WDs going through lots of water, then driving up steep rocks only to nose dive down the other side.   I figured this type of travel was for the adventurous at heart, and definitely not for a sixty-three year old woman who had freaked out on a chair lift at the Melbourne Showgrounds only a few years prior.

I started with what I thought would be a definite road block, “we can’t leave the caravan and car, too costly to store.”  Immediately he fired one of his prepared facts – Lake Placid Tourist Park would store this for us, free.  Ummm that didn’t work so I proceeded by expressing my concern around us getting bogged off the beaten track in the middle of nowhere.  Surely he knew that I would not cope with that AT ALL!!  He then spent much effort assuring me that the tour bus drivers were all experienced and that being bogged would only be a problem if we attempted it on our own, which we both agreed was not an option for us.  After a few more unsuccessful attempts on my behalf, to convince him that Cape York wasn’t for us, he ended with a new tactic….he strategically brought up that my upcoming luxury spa booking was something I had wanted and how he had been happy to go along.  It was only fair that I accommodated his needs as he was doing for me, that’s what couples do apparently, it is called compromise.  I couldn’t argue with this.

So there I was two days later, savoring every last sip of my delicious coffee at the Croc Café in Lake Placid Tourist Park, reluctantly awaiting our bus to Cape York with my overly excited husband……..

And here I am now, passionately wanting to share with everyone, how much I genuinely loved our trip to the northern most tip of Australia.  It was such a unique experience enriched with history and natural beauty.  I felt more connected to nature than ever before in my life.  The land is unspoiled and diverse and the wildlife and bird-life seemed to follow us up close the entire trip.  It felt spiritual.  Actually walking out to the sign that says ‘YOU ARE STANDING AT THE NORTHERNMOST POINT OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINENT’, where the oceans meet and overlook the unspoiled Torres Strait Islands, was definitely something I will never forget.  The WW2 ruins were my husband’s favorite experience and mine would have to be the breathtaking Fantastic Fruit Bat Falls (shown in image).  Thank you to my dear husband for taking me out of my comfort zone and making me realise, I too am an adventurer at heart.  Cape York is now the beginning of many more of these types of adventures for us….that’s not to say that I am not also looking forward to my upcoming luxury spa experience, it’s all about balance hey!

Make the decision to go there, you won’t regret it!


The Whales Are Here


Have you ever taken the time to ‘whale watch’?  It’s by far one of the most impressive sights you will ever see.

Watching these massive, majestic creatures frolicking in the ocean as they migrate to warmer waters is absolutely breathtaking – and something the kids (and the big kids) will remember forever.

Naturally, whale season is one of our favourite times of the year in Cairns – with plenty of spectacular places to view these creatures.  Just another reason to visit Lake Placid Tourist Park.


By Day… Or Night… One Incredible Indigenous Experience For The Family


Cairns has a rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and connection – and often visitors want to immerse themselves in an authentic experience. Now, whilst theres a few different tours you can book on (ask our friendly team about them!) one of our favourites is the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, that offers two incredible experiences; one by day and one by night.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park celebrates Australia’s ancient Aboriginal culture. Located next to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, you will watch Indigenous performers bring the world’s oldest living culture to life through traditional dance, art, stories and interactive demonstrations.

By Day


Tjapukai by Day is a hands-on opportunity to gain an authentic insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture – in a hands on way. You can witness the ancient dreamtime story of the Tjapukai people, participate in cooking of bush foods and learn about the medicinal values of native plants before practicing your spear throwing and learning first hand about traditional hunting methods and tribal law.

By Night


As the sun sets, their Nightfire corrobboree incorporating music, dance and story-telling is held beneath a starry night sky – and accompanied by the warm flickering flames of a campfire. Suitable for all ages, it is an exciting and enriching way to learn more – and get connected with the region’s Indigenous culture.

3 Things We Love At Kuranda Skyrail Adventure

ButterflyKuranda Boat@splicecommunications

The Kuranda Skyrail Adventure has literally hundreds of options and activities to keep the family busy, but there are three things that our LPTP team think are absolutely worth doing on your next adventure…

1. The Diamond View Carriages
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway will leave you with an unimaginable view of the World Heritage listed rainforest… including some spectacular birds-eye views of the tops of local waterfalls. But the upgraded option to a “Diamond View Carriage” will be unforgettable. The Diamond View Carriages have a glass bottom, so you get complete uninterrupted views of this magical landscape. Oh – and of course you can take the hero shot of the feet with the rainforest underneath for bragging rights!

2. Kuranda Riverboat
The Kuranda Riverboat provides a personal and close-up experience of Barron River that takes about an hour! Fascinating descriptions of the rainforest and surrounding environments, loads of wildlife to discover – and the kids might even get a pic being the “skipper” of the boat. It’s fabulous fun – for the whole family!

3. Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Big kids and little kids feel the enchantment of this place! Butterflies are truly beautiful but to see them up close, watch them land on you and to see the sheer variety and colours of butterflies is pretty impressive. Plenty to keep the little ones entertained and wondering about how wonderful Australia really is!

Interested in booking one of these tours? Ask us how!

Bird Watching. Bike Riding. Bushwalking: 3 Easy Ways To Enjoy Your Stay


Cairns offers many places to explore and discover, but for those who are looking to just relax and unwind and not venture far – here are our three easy ways to enjoy your stay!

Spot an exotic species whilst birdwatching:  Not only does Cairns and surrounds have amazing bird watching… you don’t even have to leave our Park to spot them. (Image by @frankbuschetiphotography via Instagram)

Get your green on, with a bush walk:  Our Park is set amongst 14 acres of tropical rainforest. If you’ve got two feet and a heart beat, you’re ready to explore!  (Image by @kate_duffy via Instagram)

On your bike:  We’re perfectly placed to enjoy a family ride, to local waterways, nearby rainforest or the surrounding Cairns region. Don’t forget to pack your bikes!



What A Catch: Family Fishing in Cairns


With our pristine estuaries, fresh waterways and surrounding ocean – we are always welcoming families to Cairns who are seeking a fun family fishing adventure – and we love hearing their stories (and seeing their catches)!

From the majestic black marlin, the big barramundi or a prime-eating reef dweller from the Great Barrier Reef – it’s always great to see the kids reel in their own dinner!

Get in touch with us to learn more about local reputable fishing charters, or the local fishing hot-spots.