Cairns city offers a wide variety of day activities and a large choice of accessible dining and entertainment options. From aquariums to markets, here’s two days of accessible activities in Cairns City.
This article was produced in partnership with Spinal Life Australia’s Accessible Australia
Meander along the Cairns Esplanade from the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre south towards the city centre to Cairns Aquarium (5 Florence St, Cairns) – a 2.2km journey along flat, paved walkways. Or, to save time and energy, catch one of Cairns Cabs’ fleet of maxi taxis (5 min drive).
Cairns Aquarium is Australia’s newest and most spectacular aquarium! Spend an hour or a day exploring the world above and below the water. The Cairns Aquarium is a fully accessible facility with elevators, ramps, accessible bathrooms and they welcome accredited guide/service dogs. Wheelchairs are available for loan, just ask on arrival. Please note the Marine life encounter is not possible for those with disability.
After enjoying seeing and interacting with the incredible animals and eco-systems within the Cairns Aquarium, continue your journey along the Esplanade toward the Cairns Lagoon and Marina, located 550m away.
Cairns Night Markets
Running between the Esplanade and Abbott Street is the Cairns Night Markets. In addition to a multitude of stalls, the market has a large food court with multinational cuisine for those looking for a quick and cheap meal. The food court is well laid out making it easy to navigate. The food vendors are all located against the southern wall. The market is a combination of souvenir, food and local craft stalls. The aisles are wide allowing easy access throughout.
Sleep soundly on the Cairns Esplanade at the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre. All apartments feature ceiling hoists in the main bedroom, an electric hi-lo bed, height adjustable benches and shower head and a smart tablet console to operate the doors, lights, blinds, air conditioning and TV.
Over the last years 30 years, Rusty’s Markets has earned a rightful place as the unofficial cultural heart of Cairns—a meeting place where people come together. Tourists from all over Australia and around the world visit the market as part of their Cairns ‘must do’ agenda. With the widest possible selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, step free entries, wide aisles and enthusiastic vendors, this is a must see for visitors to Cairns.
Rusty’s Market is one of the most successful and well-known markets in Australia and abroad. From modest beginnings in 1975 of only half-a-dozen stalls, Rusty’s has grown into a bustling three-day event, renowned for it’s carnival atmosphere and colourful stallholders.
The iconic Cairns Lagoon is patrolled daily by lifeguards. The depth ranges from 32 inches to 5 feet and the Cairns Lagoon features underwater seating benches making it easy for all to enjoy. At the southern end of the facility, the lagoon provides level entry into the water for beach wheelchairs. A beach wheelchair is provided in the lifeguard room. It can be obtained by contacting the lifeguards at the tower on the eastern side of the lagoon. The eastern side of the lagoon is beach, providing addition level access into the water. Shade is provided at regular intervals. The western side of the lagoon has a series of jetties with shade pavilions. An accessible toilet and a shower are provided in the main building, on the southern side of the lagoon. Access is via an MLAK key or by contacting the lifeguards on duty. Lifeguards are on duty from 6am – 9pm Thursday to Tuesday and 12pm – 9pm Wednesday.
Sundowner drinks by the Marina
On the inlet side of the point, the boardwalk continues along the edge of the harbour. It is a wide boardwalk made of recycled material. Access to each jetty is wide with the slope varying on the state of the tide. At extreme low tides, the ramps will exceed 1:14 and may provide difficult to navigate. The jetties give access to the charter fishing fleets, boat hire and water sports operators. Additional dining options are available on the outside of the nearby Reef Fleet Terminal.
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