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Monday, June 18, 2012
‘Living the Dream’ in Cairns
I have spent the
last few days in Cairns, Queensland, Australia
where I have been ‘Living the Dream’.
I had the rare privilege of being part of
a small group of invited people to capture the flavour and feeling of Cairns
Festival’s 2012 program as well as the destination itself.
was provided for the three nights at the Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, Queensland
was an idealic base as it was right on the waters edge at the marina and close
to all the attractions and venues in Cairns
In the coming
days I will write about my experiences in Cairns
in detail. In the meantime, this is a brief rundown.
14 June, 2012
Caught the early
morning train from Muswellbrook to Newcastle.
Flew from Newcastle Airport to Brisbane
then on to Cairns
with Virgin Australia, arriving about 4.30pm, then transferred to the Shangri-la
Hotel. That evening we were welcomed by the Cairns Festival Team at Ba8 (pronounced
Bait), the restaurant adjacent to the lobby of the Shangri-la Hotel.
The day was spent
being introduced to Tropical North Queensland’s Cultural City. After having
breakfast at Shangri-La Hotel, we walked to Rydges Plaza Cairns for a hosted
RISE breakfast at LILO on level three. The Rise breakfast has just been
recently introduced as a ‘market fresh’ approach to what is the most important meal
of the day. We were greeted by Mr Fareid Taheri, General Manager, Rydges Plaza
We then walked
to Canopy Arts in Grafton Street
and met Hannah Parker who showed us printmaking techniques and learnt about Inkfest,
an innovative addition to Cairns Festival showcasing the fascinating and
diverse artform of printmaking, and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.
enjoyed at the Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club’s Restaurant 59.
In the afternoon
we went to James Cook
University in Cairns, which in 2012 is celebrating 25 years
and is in Gold partnership with Cairns Festival. We were greeted by host, Dr
Stephen Weller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor University Services Division and Head of
the Cairns Campus. We were then shown the Mosquito Research Facility by Professor
Scott A. Ritchie, the Marine Research Aquarium and natural history filming
studio by Associate Professor Jamie Seymour and the Australian Tropical Herbarium
by Professor Darren Crayn, Director, Australian Tropical Herbarium The Uni tour was rounded off by wine, cheese
and coffee on the Deck at the Boathouse at the University..
In the evening
we were entertained at the Tanks Arts Centre by Shaolin Afronauts.This is a 9-piece band
of young masked marvels from South
Australia who brought their bodacious brass and
electrifying guitar driven mix of afrobeat, funk and jazz to the Tanks.
16 June, 2012
The day was
spent being introduced to the Natural Wonders of Tropical Cairn
at the hotel we made our way to the Reef Fleet Terminal and boarded the ‘Big
Cat’ for a day trip to Green
included a buffet lunch, semi-submarine and glass bottom boat coral viewing
tours, and snorkelling.
That evening we
enjoyed a Dinner with Jimmy at the Hanuman Restaurant, Hilton Cairns
Sunday, 17 June,
After breakfast in
the Shangri-La Hotel, I enjoyed the morning at leisure exploring the Cairns
Esplanade and shopping areas, then went to the Cairns Airport
for the afternoon/evening flight on Qantas.
for more articles about Cairns
and the Cairns Festival.