Archive for August, 2008

Jump on - Jump off Cairns tourist bus

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Sometimes, you see a new business and you think “It’s about time someone started that”. This is one of those times. Countless cities around the world have an established ‘jump on-jump off’ bus route which takes visitors to all the major tourist attractions; I know London does this beautifully, and Madrid does as well, just to name a couple. And now… so does Cairns!

Although Cairns can’t quite be compared to London or Madrid, and the city centre is really quite compact, some of the popular attractions are located outside of the CBD and well beyond what most people would consider ‘walking distance’. The Flecker Botanical Gardens, for example, are 4.5 kilometres from the city centre. The popular Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre is a little further. Sure there are local buses, but who can figure out the bus routes and timetables?

With Cairns Explorer, you know that the bus does a continual loop every hour, so if you disembark at the Esplanade at ten past eleven, you know it will be swinging by again at ten past twelve to take you to your next destination. The route takes in Cairns Central Shopping Centre, the Esplanade, the Cairns Wildlife Dome, the Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk, the RFDS Visitor Centre, the Flecker Botanical Gardens, and … wait for it… even Cairns’ newest and tastiest attraction, the Blue Sky Brewery which Maria mentioned in her previous blog post.

For $20, it’s a great way to orientate yourself and see the best of what Cairns has to offer without wearing yourself out. Like I said, it’s about time someone started offering this type of service!

Cairns beer is back - Blue Sky Brewery

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Opened only a couple of weeks ago, Blue Sky Brewery is already attracting the crowds in search of home brewed beer.

I won’t be able to describe the beer at this new Cairns venue in depth, as I was the designated driver and was allowed to have only a couple of the lightest beer that they served. But from the amount of beers Steve and our others friends had, I think the experience they had must have been very good.

Apart from serving all the spirits you can think of and having an extensive wine cellar, the main attraction of this new venue is the handcrafted beer they brew onsine. Six different boutique beers, from the lightest one to the darkest variety, that will delight beer lovers. I started, and carried on with their lager, a really light but tasty and refreshing drink. Steve, even though he was determined to try each beer, only tried three different ones until he found the one he really loved: the blue sky pilsner, as he said that the taste was unusual although delicious. Our friend Dan started from the lightest one and finished with the darkest one, but I cannot say how many times he went over the menu, as we left around 11.30pm and he was still going back to the bar.

We also tried their food, as the Spaniards know very well, it’s not healthy drinking on a empty stomach. Most of us had pizza, and mine was delicious. Steve wasn’t as happy with his choice, Daintree pizza, it was a bit plain. Hehe, I don’t know why he keeps choosing his own food, more than frequently whatever I order is usually much better than his order. And this time it wasn’t otherwise.

All in all, we loved the place and we will definetely go back there again, hopefully very soon. We still have to try their ginger beer, so far the only ginger beer I have tried is the non alcoholic one, and I’m more than eager to try the real stuff. Only one little complain, the lights are too bright and it wouldn’t hurt to turn them down a bit after a certain time.

We’ve been busy these last days meeting with Spanish people. It’s great to know that more and more Spaniards are keen to travel to the other side of the world. Hopefully we will stop thinking that Australia is too far away and will be eager to discover this fabulous country. So we met up with Sonia and Javi, from Bilbao, with Monica and her group, from Madrid, with Isabel and Arkaitz, also from Bilbao, with Roger and Miriam, from Barcelona… I guess I cannot complain, I love meeting up with them and share a bit of our culture. I will never get tired of saying how small the world is, I knew one of the guys from Madrid from going to the same venues in the city.

But what’s news this week is that WE FINALLY HAVE THE TICKETS TO GO TO MADRID IN DECEMBER!!! I will try to keep it quiet from my family and surprise them. So shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh everyone!