Cairns Rainforest Dome
For some guests of Cairns, exploring the rainforest and its impressive wildlife doesn't even implicate leaving the hotel, thanks to one of the city's newest attractions. Around two hundred animals - including a huge saltwater crocodile named Goliath, are housed in a twenty meters-high (66-feets) glass dome on the rooftop of the Hotel Sofitel Reef Casino. One can get up close with various wildlife animals, such as koalas, frogs, pademelons, lizards, kookaburras, huge turtles, and snakes. The Rainforest Dome also provides wildlife presentations and free guided tours throughout the day.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Aboriginal Cultural Park is not to be missed if you are around, either choose the day or night experience, the Tjapukai (pronounced Jab-oo-guy) is one of the best opportunities one will have to discover the history and culture of the Aborigines without going to Central Australia. The dance show was founded in 1987 by the theater director Don Freeman and his wife Judy, working with local Aborigines, and featuring the acclaimed dancer and songwriter David Hudson. Today the spectacle is a sophisticated attraction with an international popularity.
Housed in a contemporary building that incorporates Aboriginal themes and colours, the Tjapukai experience needs to be given at least two or three hours. Start in the Creation Theatre, where performers apply the most modern illusions, theatrics, and technology to reproduce the story of the creation of the world according to the spiritual beliefs of Tjapukai. You will be amazed by the spectacular effects and holographic images to illustrate the legends; the performance is in the Tjapukai language, but translated through headsets.
Then go on through the Magic Space museum and gallery area of the complex to the History Theatre, where a twenty-minute film retells the history of the Tjapukai people since the coming of white settlers some one hundred and twenty years ago.
Outside, a suspension bridge links the main edifice with a cultural village where one can try boomerang and spear throwing; fire-making and didgeridoo; or learn about bush foods and medicines. The complex also includes a restaurant and coffee shop, an arts&crafts gallery and shop stocks the work of Aboriginal artists and crafts workers.
Tjapukai by Night tours run daily from 7:30 to ten pm., featuring interactive time in the Magic Space museum, a Creation Show spectacle, and an outdoor Serpent Circle.
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Hartley's is the original Australian crocodile show, and after a move to a new location and a serious and expensive redevelopment in 2002, quite possibly the best. What makes it different from others is the fantastic natural setting - a two-hectare (five-acre) lagoon surrounded by melaluca (Paperbark) and blood-wood trees and of course home to twenty-three estuarine crocs. The best time to come here is for the 3pm "croc attack" show, when one can see the saltwater crocodile "death roll" during the forty-five minutes performance. At 11am one can witness these monsters get hand-fed. There are also tours of the crocodile farm at 10am and 1:30pm; at 2pm - a snake show; and from 4:30pm is the koala-feeding time. Also not to be missed – the Cassowaries feeding at 9:30am and 4:15pm. This is an interesting attraction, which is a worth stop en route to Port Douglas.
Other tours in the nearby surroundings that are worth visiting include: Green Island (five-hectare (37-acre) coral cay, encircled by coral and marine life and located just 27 kilometers (17 miles) east of Cairns.); Fitzroy Island (a rain forested national park forty-five minutes from Cairns); Exploring the Rain Forest; Day Trips To The Reef. Also here one can practice activities such as Biking, Bungee Jumping, Fishing, White-Water Rafting. Worth visiting are and the Cairns Tropical Zoo and Royal Flying Doctor Visitors Centre.
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