Blog Post

An active traveller’s guide to Cairns

Danielle Spillett

TNQ Writer

Boasting nature’s ultimate keep-fit playground, nutritious local produce for those post-workout gains, and plenty of idyllic spots for some all-important recovery time, Tropical North Queensland is an active traveller’s dream.

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games coming to Cairns in just a matter of months, here are our top tips to exploring the region like a top athlete:

Don’t skip breakfast

Acai Bowl and Matcha Latte at Pantry 15

We’ve all been told that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’… and when it looks like this, it must be true, right?

With gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegetarian AND vegan options, there is a delicious and nutritious breakfast option for everyone at health food café Pantry 15 in the heart of Cairns CBD. Get your early morning superfood hit with an acai bowl and matcha latte. There’s even the option to boost your bevie with all sorts of nourishing goodness, including activated charcoal, spirulina, and pea protein for that extra kick.

Clear your mind

Crystal Cascades

In an athlete’s world, not only is it important to focus on your physical health, it’s essential to pay your psychological well-being some much needed attention, too! Boasting some of the world’s most beautiful natural assets – hello there, Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest – unwinding and decluttering your mind is pretty easy in TNQ.

Take some time out and get back to nature with a visit to Crystal Cascades, a secluded freshwater swimming hole hidden just under 30 minutes away from Cairns CBD. Enjoy a peaceful stroll under the rainforest canopy and embrace the tranquillity as you take in a series of waterfalls. Your mind will be as clear as the crystal waters in no time.

Take your fitness to the next level

The Red Arrow walking track at Mount Whitfield

Walsh's Pyramid

Kahlpahlim Rock (Lambs Head)

From the distinctive silhouette of Walsh’s Pyramid in Gordonvale to the forests of Kahlpahlim Rock and Lambs Head in Dinden National Park, there are mountainous walking trails scattered across TNQ.

Check out local hotspot Mount Whitfield, home to the Red Arrow circuit. Only ten minutes out of Cairns CBD, this is the perfect place to stretch your legs for a short but steep climb through the rainforest. And, if your legs are still hollering out for more, you’re in luck! There are three additional walking trails to tackle in the Whitfield Range; so, ramp up that incline for a next level workout with a view like no other.

Train with others

Yoga at Cairns Lagoon

Training in a group setting can do wonders for motivation levels. Join fellow fitness lovers in a free exercise class along Cairns Esplanade (yes, we did just say free). Offering everything from Zumba to Beach Volleyball, Boxfit to Yoga, and even Aqua Aerobics in the iconic Lagoon, there is something for every athlete.

Don’t forget your recovery time

Palm trees at Palm Cove

Relaxation time with a view at Palm Cove

Cool off at one of the resorts in Palm Cove

Rest and recovery is an important aspect of an athlete’s program; so, grab your beach towel and replenish your energy stores with a visit to Palm Cove. Find a shaded spot under one of the majestic palm trees that line the esplanade, stretch out and enjoy some down time.

And if you want to crank your recovery time up a notch, you’ll be pleased to hear that Palm Cove has been dubbed the ‘spa capital of Australia’. Relax with a massage or treatment at one of the many resorts and day spas in town.

Get a good night’s sleep

Harbour View Room at Pullman Cairns International

Getting good quality shut-eye plays an important role in both your physical and mental health. With blackout curtains for that much-needed lay in and the option of a Queen-sized bed to spread out and get ultra cosy, Pullman Cairns International has you covered!

Eat, sleep, workout, repeat

Whether you’re looking for more workout inspiration, places to refuel or idyllic spots for your recovery time, check out what else Tropical North Queensland has on offer.