Category: CAIRNS



No matter where you look, Far North Queensland is just beautiful! However, get up a little higher and you’ll see the region from a whole new, equally beautiful angle. There are some lookouts you simply have to check out in Far North Queensland.

So, pack up a picnic and check out some of the best views around Cairns.

1. Copperlode Dam, Brinsmead

Once a local secret, the Copperlode Dam lookout is now a popular but beautiful spot, especially at night when the city lights light up the region. Get onto the Western Arterial Road and turn off onto the Lake Morris Road. Drive up the road for about five minutes until you find a parking spot (and likely, a few other locals enjoying the view).

Hot tip: Bring some takeaway and some friends. You don’t even need to leave your car to enjoy this awesome view.

2. Henry Ross Lookout, Kennedy Highway

Many locals will be familiar with this one, and for good reason – it’s stunning. Start heading up the Kennedy Highway on the way to Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands, and you’ll see a lookout overlooking much of Smithfield and the rest of Cairns. You can see the airport in the distance, as well as Green Island on a clear day.

3. Cairns ZOOM, Cairns City

Atop the Cairns Reef Hotel Casino, you’ll find a dome filled with all sorts of critters and an exciting zipline adventure park called Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome. What some locals don’t know is that before heading into the dome, there is a beautiful view of the Trinity Inlet. Simply head into the Reef Hotel Casino and take a lift up, and enjoy the views.

Hot tip: Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome offers a Dome Climb experience for an even better view (if you’re not afraid of heights).

4. Earl Hill, Trinity Beach

Get your hiking gear on and get ready for a workout. Earl Hill trail starts in the Bluewater Estate with a steep but doable ascent. Many people do it with their kids. It’ll take you around 25 minutes to get to the top, and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the Trinity Beachfront and Yorkeys Knob Marina.

5. Wright’s Lookout, Kuranda

Just outside of the village of Kuranda along Wrights Lookout Rd, this gorgeous lookout looks right down the Barron Gorge towards Cairns and beyond. 

6. Rex Lookout, Wangetti

You’ll find this gem on the way between Cairns and Port Douglas, offering an incredible view of the seemingly endless unspoiled coastline. You may even catch some brave people hang gliding from the lookout down to the beach.

7. Crawford’s Lookout, Wooroonooran

You’ll find this lookout along the Palmerston Highway, offering incredible views down the mountain of the Johnstone River below. 

8. Alexandra Lookout, Daintree

If you’re heading up to the Daintree for the day, you can’t miss this awesome lookout. It sits on top of the Alexandra Range and looks down towards the mouth of the Daintree River. It’s a view straight from paradise (because it is)!

9. Gillies Range Lookout, Atherton Tablelands

This is a perfect one to stop at after a day of exploring the beautiful Atherton Tablelands. It offers views over the lush Mulgrave River Valley.

10. Barron Falls Lookout, Kuranda

Located a short distance from Kuranda, Barron Falls is a must-visit for both locals and tourists. It features a huge waterfall thundering down into the gorge, accessible by a raised walkway. 

Hot tip: If it’s safe to drive, check out Barron Falls after a lot of rain. It’ll likely be a spectacular sight to see.

11. Red Arrow Lookout, Whitfield

The Red Arrow is one of the many trails on Mt Whitfield, accessible by a trail starting on Collins Street (near Tanks Arts Centre). This steep walk winds through the rainforest, ending up with open views over Cairns City and the Cairns Airport. You can sit back and watch the planes take off and land.

12. Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island

Nudey Beach was crowned “Australia’s Best Beach” in 2018, and for good reason! Located on Fitzroy Island, 45 minutes from Cairns via ferry, it takes a 20 minute hike to get to the beach. Along the way you’ll find a lookout looking over the ocean back at the mainland and to Nudey Beach, making for a perfect photo opportunity.

13. AJ Hackett, Smithfield

While people go to AJ Hackett to bungy jump, not everyone knows that you can walk up the tower just to enjoy the stunning views. The bungy tower is situated in the middle of the rainforest, offering views over Smithfield, the northern beaches and Cairns. If you’re feeling brave, you can take a leap; or watch other adrenaline junkies jump.

14. Walsh’s Pyramid, Gordonvale

If you’re a fan of hiking, Walsh’s Pyramid makes for an awesome adventure. It’s a challenging 922m steep climb to the summit, but once you get there, you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of the rainforest and mountain ranges. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Hot tip: If you decide to take on the pyramid, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. This hike may not be suitable for children.

15. Millaa Millaa Lookout, Atherton Tablelands

You’ll find this lookout just outside the village of Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands. It offers views of endless rolling green hills similar to the English countryside. It’s a few degrees cooler than Cairns, so you may want to bring a jumper.

16 & 17. Trinity Beach Lookouts

Trinity Beach has not one, but two impressive lookouts. On the southern side of the beach, you’ll find a short path leading to a lookout up on the rocks with a bench. It’s suitable for children, but some terrain is uneven so be sure to keep little ones under close supervision.

The second lookout can be found on the northern side of the beach. You’ll find a tall staircase heading up through the greenery adjacent to Trinity Beach Bar and Grill. Climb up the staircase and follow the path for a few minutes, and you’ll come across some beautiful views over the beach. 

18. Palm Cove Jetty

Okay, this isn’t technically a lookout, but the views are amazing, so in my books it still counts. Head to the end of William’s Esplanade on Palm Cove and walk to the end of the jetty. You’ll have gorgeous views of the beach behind you and of Double Island and Scout’s Hat ahead of you.

19. Mount Hypipamee Crater, Atherton Tablelands

Mount Hypipamee is located south of Herberton and home to an impressive crater. The crater is almost 70m across, 70m deep and the lookout site 58m above it. It’s thought to have been created by a massive gas explosion many years ago, and is fringed by rainforest. It’s accessible by a 400m walk from the car park.

Hot tip: On your way back, take the other track (turn left when heading back from the lookout instead of right). This path is slightly longer but will take you to the picturesque Dinner Falls.

20. Lighthouse Lookout, Fitzroy Island

A 40 minute steep walk will take you up to Fitzroy Island’s lighthouse and offer awesome views of the greenery and beach down below. 

Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland. Photographer: Darren Jew.



Chillagoe is a town in Northern Queensland, within the Shire of Mareeba. It’s located 205km west of Cairns, making it a popular day trip or camping destination for North Queensland Families. It is known for its combination of a relic copper mine, historic town, Aboriginal rock paintings and limestone caves. Here are some free things to do in Chillagoe that are family-friendly.

1. Old State Smelters

The Old State Smelters are an interesting collection of ruins, where at one point in time, copper from surrounding areas as far south as Einasleigh were brought for smelting. The chimney stack is a prominent landmark that can be seen from kilometres away.

2. Bauhinia Cave 

This is one of the caves that can be explored on a self-guided tour. The Bauhinia cave is just 300 metres return, but the hiking grade is difficult. Make sure you notify the ranger before entering the cave and bring a torch, and exercise care. Can be accessed from Donna Cave car park.

3. Pompeii Cave

Pompeii Cave is another cave that can be explored on a self-guided tour. It is 600 metres return, but the walk is steep. Keep your eyes peeled for bats sleeping in dark crevices. Same as above, notify the ranger before you head in, and bring a torch. Can be accessed from Donna Cave car park.

4. Balancing Rock

A short circuit walk will take you to Balancing Rock, a large boulder precariously balanced on a hillside. It’s certainly a stunning natural marvel that are sure to provoke a “wow!” from the kids.

5. Stargazing

Because Chillagoe is in such a remote location, it makes it ideal for stargazing. If you’re planning to stay the night, stargazing should definitely be one of your planned activities. You can also visit the Chillagoe Observatory for an even better experience, although it’s at a cost.

6. Indigenous Rock Art

Indigenous people have been living in the Chillagoe area for an estimated 37,000 years. You can see art at both Mungana and Wullumba. Mungana is located 15km out of town and Wullumba close to the Balancing Rock. Just remember to enjoy the art with your eyes only; no touching.

Fun fact: It’s thought the origin of the town’s name is from an old sea shanty which went “Hikey, Tikey, Psychey, Crikey, Chillagoe, Walabadorie.”

Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.

Aussie Town of the Year Awards 2020

We love living in Northern Queensland for many reasons and it seems our choice to reside in paradise has been reaffirmed as a good one after leading online travel site Wotif revealed the winners of this year’s Wotif Aussie Town of the Year Awards. Unsurprisingly, Mackay, Airlie Beach and Cairns all got a nod, making the top five!

Running for the third year in a row, the awards recognise destinations that offer well-rated accommodation, great affordability and increasing travel interest on Wotif.Com; a popular travel site demonstrating the top Aussie travel destinations for tourists and locals alike.

2020 will be a big year for ‘staycationing,’ with Wotif’s research revealing one in three Aussies have “fallen back in love with travelling in Australia,” helping boost tourism when we need it the most- in the aftermath of the bushfires, ongoing drought and downturn in international tourism numbers since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Daniel Finch, Managing Director of Wotif, says, “During what is a tough time for many parts of the country, this year’s awards are more relevant than ever, as a way of recognising the hard-working tourism operators and local businesses who make up Australian tourism”.

Thank You Wotif for the recognition, and for adding our towns and cities to the nation’s travel bucket lists for the year.

Here’s the Top Ten Aussie Towns for 2020:

  1. Coffs Harbour, NSW
  2. Mackay, QLD
  3. Airlie Beach, QLD
  4. Batemans Bay, NSW
  5. Cairns, QLD
  6. Port Fairy, VIC
  7. Albany, WA
  8. Katoomba, NSW
  9. Margaret River, WA
  10. Maroochydore, QLD

With Mackay at number two on the list, Airlie beach coming in at third place and Cairns sitting at fifth, the beautiful state of Queensland really does get to shine – as it truly deserves to. Anyone who lives in these towns or has travelled to them knows how stunning they are. Backing up its 2018 win, Mackay’s lush rainforests, national parks and thriving public arts scene again earned its place high in the list. Cairns, as Australia’s nature and adventure capital, provides access to the world heritage listed Daintree rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, while Airlie Beach’s aquatic playground, stunning views and vibrant nightlife all offer so much to explore in our very own backyard. So, don’t forget to go out and get exploring, and remind yourself just how truly lucky we are to live here.

Help promote the region even more with Wotif’s latest Awards, searching for Australia’s most ‘Uniquely Aussie’ experiences. You can nominate your favourite experiences, clubs and attractions across the six categories that make classic Aussie holidays so great, by visiting By participating you go in the run to win $2,000 towards you next Aussie Wotif Holiday – so make sure to do before March 20, 2020!

Planning a trip? Don’t leave home without Tick Travel Insurance. Use the Code “PAKMAG5” to receive 5% OFF and kids are FREE when travelling with Parents




Most parents of teenagers know that they can be hard to handle and definitely hard to understand. It can be hard to find things to do with in Cairns with your teenager, because it seems they don’t even know themselves.

Although teens can be frustrating, they also have a lot of nice qualities far below the grumpy girl who shouts at you when you wake her up too early. Here are some fun things to do with teens that neither of you will be able to resist.

1. Food, food and more food

No teenager can resist the thought of eating any kind of food. Whether this be eating lunch with the family at the marina or a mother and daughter ice cream date on the esplanade, it is always great fun.

2. A trip to a waterfall

This is a great idea, whether you’re into swimming or sightseeing. There are a number of waterfalls to discover on the Atherton Tablelands. Some are easily accessible by car while others require a bit of a hike; plenty to suit all kinds of abilities and fitness levels.

3. The movies

Want to get out of the house, but don’t know where to go? The movies is always a great go-to. Check your local cinema’s website to see what’s currently showing, pick out a movie and get going. Who doesn’t love debating their opinions on a movie they have just watched?

4. Visit an island

In Cairns, we’re lucky that we have several islands nearby that are perfect to explore for a day trip, such as Fitzroy island, Green Island and the Frankland Islands. They all have a large selection of things to do to suit anyone, such as swimming, snorkelling, hiking and relaxing. Though teenagers might not admit it, they do enjoy a fun family getaway.

5. Hike a mountain

Although this may not be comparable to the average stroll in the park, it will be a fun, active way to spend time together. There are loads of great hikes around FNQ, some with awesome swimming holes as a reward too.

6. Game night

A good competitive game night is a great way to have a whole family activity without the hassle of travelling out of home. A friendly yet competitive game is always a lot of fun, even if you do end up losing.

7. Play a video game

When we think family video game day, we don’t exactly mean Fortnite or Call of Duty. No matter how old you are, you can always enjoy a fun game of Mario Kart. Why not have a game day and break out Wii Sports and Just Dance for a competitive day of family fun? Shouting at the TV may be a normal response. The stakes are high!

8. Cooking

Whether you bake a cake or a five-course meal, cooking with family is always a whole lot of fun (As long as the house doesn’t burn down).

9. Let them choose

Though they can be indecisive, it’s always a good idea to see what your teen wants to do. Asking what they would prefer may get them excited about spending time together, and you may even end up doing something more interesting than you had expected.



Dr Bobby Griffin – Sunbird Orthodontics

Dear Dr Bobby, can my daughter still play sport with braces?

In short – yes. However, in the early stages of treatment, the teeth are moving rapidly, so a mouthguard made to fit today may not fit tomorrow.
Therefore, your orthodontist can provide you with a pre-made double mouthguard which can provide good protection. A more robust mouthguard can be made once the teeth have aligned.

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, your orthodontist will provide you with a high-quality mouthguard. Dental injuries from sport are with you for the rest of your life, so not having a mouthguard is never worth the risk.

4038 1036

Dr Richard Thomas – Cairns Vet Clinic

Dear Dr Richard Thomas, our dog barks when we’re away. How can we get her to stop?

They think they’re doing a good job, but barking dogs can make you unpopular in the neighbourhood!

Firstly, you should remove her from areas where she’s exposed to barking triggers – such as keeping her from seeing cars, people, or other dogs. Exercise can help reduce anxious behaviour, particularly in active breeds. When you leave the house, avoid feeding them in a bowl and instead offer food in an engaging puzzle toy to distract them and create a positive association with you leaving.

If this fails, your vet may recommend treatment for anxiety or explore other options.

4032 9999

Matthew Calanna – Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy

Dear Matthew, why is it so important to choose one pharmacy?

By choosing one pharmacy, your family is in safer hands. Why? All of your medication data will be in one place, avoiding the risk of conflicting medications that could make you sicker.

We are able to learn about your medical history and make recommendations on the type of medicine you’re taking, as well as dosage amounts. It helps us to better liaise with your GP and we can provide advice in emergency situations, such as losing an important script or what to do if you have missed a dose. Just like you’d choose one doctor, we’d love you to choose Calanna as your number one pharmacy, so our family can get
to know yours.

Fb Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy

Dr Fay Callaghan – 1300 Smiles Dentists

Dear Dr Fay, is it true that pregnancy increases your risk of dental problems?

Yes, it certainly is true. During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque, which can lead to oral health issues such as gum disease and an increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness and eating sugary foods due to cravings can also contribute to these issues. However, being pregnant doesn’t automatically damage your teeth.

If you are pregnant, be sure to continue the regular check-ups with your dentist, and be sure to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant.

1300 764 537



Dr Phoebe Hong is a highly experienced and qualified specialist providing private obstetric and gynaecology services to the women of Cairns. She is driven to provide women in Far North Queensland access to the most up to date treatment options available.

As soon as you walk into her practice, you’ll be greeted by friendly and approachable staff. No matter your reason for making an appointment, you’ll immediately feel soothed and in good hands.

Pregnancy Care

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Pregnancy can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience; your body will go through a lot of changes, and there are a lot of things you will need to consider. Dr Hong provides pregnancy care throughout the entire journey, from the moment you decide to try for a baby until childbirth and beyond, including multiple pregnancy care and high-risk pregnancy care. She will provide you with an individual pregnancy plan with tests, treatments and suggestions (if applicable) to ensure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy, and address any concerns you may have.


The female reproductive organs are an intricate system, and it’s not uncommon for problems to pop up throughout a woman’s life. Whether it’s endometriosis, urinary incontinence, period problems, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts or another gynaecological issue, Dr Hong is more than happy to assist. She will discuss the best treatments for your situation, ensuring you are fully informed every step of the way.

Dr Hong constantly strives to learn more to deliver the best care to her patients. She is currently doing a Masters Degree on Sexual Counselling and has completed two years of additional fellowship training in advanced laparoscopy. This means she can deal with advanced endometriosis, hysterectomy involving an enlarged uterus, and complicated laparoscopy.

She speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin and can also converse in basic Japanese.

You can find Dr Hong’s practice on level 2 of Cairns Central Plaza with convenient parking nearby. The team responds promptly to emails and calls, and direct communication with Dr Hong is an option if preferable for your care.

If you’re after a soothing obstetrician to accompany you on your pregnancy journey or to help you with any gynaecological conditions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the practice on 4230 0030.