Heading to tropical Cairns for a warm getaway? Chances are, you will want to enjoy some quality time outside in the beautiful sunshine.
Here are three of the best family-friendly activities that will allow you to top up your vitamin D levels and enjoy the best Cairns has to offer.
Nature lovers will relish the chance to head out to the Cairns Botanic Gardens during their time in this beautiful city, and one highlight to include in your day out is Flecker Garden.
This formal garden features a beautiful range of tropical flora that can be found across the globe, including parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and naturally Far North Queensland.
Keep an eye out for the insect-eating pitcher plants, exquisite orchids and bromeliads in the George Watkins Orchid House. Or head to the Munro Martin Fern House to escape from the heat. Here, you can see around 100 species of ferns as well as an example of Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse plant, that flowers around every seven years. If you're lucky enough to see it flower, guard your nostrils as this emits the smell of rotting flesh when it blossoms.
For something a little more palatable when you are in Flecker Garden, head to the Aboriginal Plant Use garden. Here, you can learn just how the Aboriginal people used plants gathered from the rainforest for food, medicine, shelter, clothing, utensils, weapons and tools.
While much of this knowledge has been lost as time goes by, there is a massive effort by Aboriginal elders, scientists and historians to regain and record as much traditional lore as they can in order to benefit future generations.
Cairns Tropical Zoo
Located on Captain Cook Highway, it is only just under a half hour drive from the CBD – so make sure you hire a car in Cairns to avoid the hassles of public transport! The zoo offers free parking to make this journey even easier.
Once you get here you will be blown away by this up-close wildlife experience where you can see reptiles, birds and mammals in the flesh.
All six hectares of tropical landscaped gardens offer something special for visitors and this zoo has the largest and most comprehensive wildlife collection in the entire Tropical North Queensland area.
Make sure you take time to look at the range of animals. You could also take up the wonderful opportunity to cuddle a koala, feed a kangaroo or even pole feed a crocodile.
Allow plenty of time to see all the action here and don't forget to take in a wildlife presentation or tour along the way.
Tjapukai Cultural Park
For a little snippet of Aboriginal culture, there is no better stop than this spectacular extravaganza, offering plenty of demonstrations and shows designed to give you a real appreciation of the Tjapukai people.
One of the highlights is the Creation Theatre, where you can witness the story of the planet's origins told through actors and giant holograms that are used to represent the spiritual world.
Curious about the Digeridoo? Here you can watch a unique one of a kind theatre experience featuring Australian music. Not only that but you can also learn how to both make and play one of these instruments.
Other skills you can pick up along the way include knowledge about traditional tools and weapons used around 40,000 years ago by Aboriginal people.
Choose to visit this park during the day or participate in a night session where you can partake in a four-course buffet meal as well as a lakeside ceremony. Here, Tjapukai Aboriginal warriors will use traditional fire sticks to create fire – witness as a spear is launched and a spectacular fireball explodes in the night sky.
After dinner you can also watch a live cultural performance with Tjapukai dancers and then ask them questions around an informal campfire.