30 September 2008

The Lagoon

In recent times, the Esplanade area has been completely made over, and as well as boardwalks, kids' playgrounds, large swathes of grass and shade trees, barbecues, there is this massive free swimming lagoon, complete with sand beach. It covers 4 hectares, and is open daily between 6am and 10pm, and patrolled by security guards outside those times to prevent damage.The water in the lagoon is sea water, but cleaned and filtered every few hours. No marine 'stingers' can enter the water, so it's safe for swimming all year round (you don't go in coastal water in northern Qld between November and April unless wearing a "stinger suit" to protect against deadly jellyfish). And the beaches and estuaries are crocodile territory as well.

Here's the lagoon throughout the day.

Below: Free fitness activities are held each day. On Thursday mornings it's Pilates

...and on other days, it's other things:

Below: Morning stillness

Below: Mid afternoon

Below: Late afternoon

Below: Night

The mud flats

For years I've heard people say "Cairns is boring; there's no beach, all that's there is mudflats." The messgae was that Cairns is a great place to arrive by plane and get out of, or from which to arrange reef and rainforest trips. Well, the latter part is true, but the movers and shakers of Cairns have been listening to what was said and decided to do something to shake up Cairns' image. We'll go there next!

But first, here's the mudflats as you see them right at the main waterfront of Cairns.

Below: Looking north

Below: Looking south

View from hotel

We're on the 11th (top) floor of the Pacific International Hotel on the corner of the Esplanade and Spence St. Great view; slow lifts!

Below: View along Spence St away from the water and intersection with Abbott St
Below: The casino, and beyond the ship passenger terminal - the Sun Princess was in port.
Below: The view along Spence St towards the water, the intersection with the Esplanade, and the Pier Point development.

Flying into Cairns

The prevailing wind was, apparently unusually, a north-easterly, which meant, also unusually, we flew into Cairns right across the city, rather than looping around and approaching from the north. Ben had a window seat and these pics are his.

Below: I think these creeks are part of the cairns crocodile farm.

Below: The cruise ship in Port was P&O's Sun Princess . The large corrugated roofed building is Cairns Convention Centre.

Below: Central Cairns, with the Esplanade Lagoon clearly visible. It covers 4 hectares. Much of "Old Cairns" has disappeared under concrete multi-storey buildings. How long before the low-rise shopping area in the middle is replaced?