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Top Spots

  •   Tropical North - For Kids

•   Muddy`s Play Park
Muddy`s is the perfect spot for the kids - a waterfront parkland area with several play areas, each appealing to a different age group.Part of the Esplanade redevelopment, there are water play areas with water jets, channels and hand pumps, and of course, a sculpture of Muddy the mud skipper. Other play areas include climbing nets, spinning toys, flying fox, rope bridge, play houses and puzzles. There are also BBQ and picnic facilities and a café.

•   The Lagoon
The enormous saltwater swimming lagoon is the centerpiece of the redeveloped Cairns Esplanade and Foreshore Promenade. Overlooking Trinity Inlet, the lagoon has shallow areas and sandy beaches, perfect for children. The lagoon is patrolled by lifeguards all year round. There are free BBQs, landscaped gardens and plenty of shade, and swimming in the lagoon is free.

•   Hartley`s Creek Crocodile Farm
At Hartley`s Creek Crocodile Farm there are literally hundreds of crocodiles, both freshwater and saltwater. It is also home to kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, cassowaries, snakes, reptiles and other native animals. The kids will love the crocodile show, for a close-up look at these remarkable creatures.

•   Cairns Tropical Zoo
Visit Cairns Tropical Zoo, Tropical North Queensland’s largest animal attraction. There is an extensive program of shows throughout the day, as well as opportunities to cuddle or be photographed with some of the zoo’s inhabitants.

•   Paronella Park
Paronella Park, south of Innisfail, is a romantic, fantasy garden set in 13 acres of creek-side tropical rainforest. There are rainforest walks, ornate buildings, bamboo gardens, a secret garden and a tunnel of love. Kids will enjoy exploring this unique setting.

•   Kuranda
For a great family day out, head to the rainforest village of Kuranda, where you can visit the famous markets. There are several popular attractions in the village including the Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld and Rainforestation, with its amphibious army duck and Aboriginal dance shows. Getting to Kuranda is half the fun – the best way is to take the historic Scenic Rail or the Skyrail through Barron Gorge and up the mountain, and then swap over for the return journey.

•   Cairns Rainforest Dome
Cairns Rainforest Dome is a spectacular all weather wildlife exhibit in the heart of the city centre. Encased by a 20 metre high glass dome on the rooftop of the prominent Reef Hotel Casino, approximately 60 species of animals are able to wander and fly freely throughout the enclosure that replicates their natural environment. Entry charges apply.

•   Daintree Discovery Centre
Daintree Discovery Centre is a great introduction for the whole family to the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest. At ground level, you’ll find the display centre and several boardwalks that wind through the rainforest. The aerial walkway has viewing platforms to see the rainforest close up. The canopy tower has viewing platforms with seating, for a unique view on the same level as the canopy.

•   Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary
Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Port Douglas features native animals in a natural setting. There are several habitats, including a rainforest, wetlands and the koala habitat and there are tours and photo opportunities throughout the day. Why not try Breakfast with the Birds in the morning, or Habitat After Dark in the evening, for a different take on the wildlife experience?

•   The Reef
Kids will be enchanted by their visit to the reef with its abundance of brightly coloured marine life. For a comfortable visit with younger children, remember to give them something for travel sickness before you leave, take some quiet activities for on-board entertainment, and if they haven`t snorkelled before or are too young, make sure you take a tour that includes a glass-bottomed boat so no-one misses out.

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