After our day at Airlie Beach, we were now anchored at Cairns; a place we had visited three years ago. It was interesting to revisit and remember some of the places we had been to.
We decided against doing any of the trips on the first day, as we had already seen most of the sights that they were going to. Instead, we caught the coach into town, after getting a tender into Yorkey's Knob, as there is no harbour in Cairns yet big enough for the larger cruise ships.
We were dropped off on the main road near the Lagoon. Again, the shoreline is quite poor when the sea is out and this bathing area is a superb amenity to make up for this. It also has some impressive fish sculptures on show.
We decided to walk along the seafront to enjoy the area before going into town. They are still developing the promenade and when finished, this area will have lots of amenities for families and will enhance the town as a tourist centre. A huge sea aquarium has been built since we were last here.
As we walked along, I quite liked the skyline and decided to paint this scene. A slight change for me as I normally like to include people.
After walking along the front, we crossed the road to have a look in the shops and to find somewhere to have refreshments.
Suitably refreshed and after buying a couple of souvenirs, we decided to have some culture and found the art gallery. As we entered we were drawn into the world created by the artwork below. This was a superb collaboration; resulting in some stunning artwork, and we spent ages looking around the exhibition.
Showcasing the hauntingly beautiful collaboration between acclaimed artist Del Kathryn Barton, celebrated director Brendan Fletcher and award-winning visual effects house Method Studios, this milestone exhibition traces the interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s 19th century classic through a sophisticated artistic lens. A shining example of multidisciplinary partnerships across the creative arts, Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose has its genesis in a commission by Art And Foundation (previously Art & Australia), who asked Del Kathryn Barton in 2010 to reimagine a timeless fairytale. Layered with a stirring score by Sarah Blasko and voiced by some of Australia’s most celebrated actors, including Mia Wasikowska, Geoffrey Rush and David Wenham, the film is an intense but remarkably ethereal gesture to the tragic earnestness of Wilde’s tale.
Featuring a selection of Barton’s evocative artworks, including never-before-seen handmade props, alongside material from the production archives and a screening of the short-film, ACMI’s Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose reveals the extraordinary workings behind this captivating animated picture.
By now we were getting thirsty again and remembering that the last time we visited Cairns there was a very reasonable eating place in the Casino, so we made our way there.
The first thing that met us was a new feature; an interactive sea scene on the floor. As you walked across it, the fish swam out of your way. We played here for a while and then went for refreshments.
We had been told about the small zoo on the roof and decided to visit that. Because it was getting late it had just closed; although we did get to see the Koala. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to abseil over the crocodile enclosure, although I'm not sure our travel insurance would have covered that!
We also missed a small rainstorm but had an excellent view of the rainbow over the bay.
An enjoyable first day in Cairns but one thing we won't miss, is the road where the trees are full of fruit bats. These made a hell of a noise and at sunset started to fly out looking for food.