Blog Post

Uncovering Cairns’ Colourful LGBTQIA+ Scene

HannahStatham

TNQ Writer

A warm welcome is Tropical North Queensland’s trademark, and not just because of the year-round sunshine. This Pride Month (1 June – 30 June), come for pristine beaches and tropical rainforests and stay for the laidback lifestyle and inclusive communities.

Loud laughter, succulent sips, and relaxing resorts set the scene for Cairns’ LGBTQIA+ community, with the region rolling out its rainbow carpet for Pride Month and beyond.

With plenty of inclusive accommodation, events, restaurants, and bars, you’ll be greeted with open arms the second you step foot in Cairns.

Stay in style

If you like your accommodation child-free, secluded, and on a beachfront, check into Turtle Cove Beach Resort where vibrant pride events and pool parties punctuate your stay.

Though there are many accommodation options openly welcoming all communities, acceptance and celebration raise the bar at Turtle Cove Beach Resort as Australia’s only LGBTQIA+ (and allies) adults-only resort.

Situated between Port Douglas and Palm Cove, paradise has never been so accessible – though you can still arrive via helicopter if you choose to avoid the brief (45 minute) drive from Cairns Airport.

We recommend spoiling yourself with an Absolute Beachfront Suite for a private suite and deck opening out to views over the Coral Sea. Why stay at an isolated beach resort if you can’t see the breaking waves from your room?

By day, drive or organise transfers to and from all the region’s bucket-list activities – from luxurious spa days in Port Douglas to mouthwatering meals in Cairns CBD. By night, enjoy pride-themed pool parties, drag shows, and full moon parties celebrating individuality and joy well into the night.

As much as you don’t need to leave the resort, Turtle Cove’s partnership with Calypso Reef Charters makes sightseeing beyond the shoreline refreshingly easy and accessible with free boat transfers – handy if you’re feeling a little rusty after a Full Moon party the night before. Trade your thongs for flippers and leave reality on dry land as you head to the outer Great Barrier Reef to enjoy four blissful hours of snorkelling and diving amongst the likes of dolphins, coral reef fish, reef sharks, and even turtles (fingers crossed)!

Indulge your tastebuds and quench your thirst

 

To have your sun-kissed beach days melt into starlit evenings, make a beeline to Crystalbrook’s three hotels; Riley, Flynn, and Bailey. Not only will you find their signature five-star responsible luxury, but a variety of LGBTQIA+ inclusive bars and restaurants.

For an evening infused with zesty, spicy margs and innovative Mexican cuisine, visit Pachamama at Crystalbrook Bailey, where a food coma awaits underneath an open sky. If you can’t go past an Aperol Spritz and fresh bruschetta, book a spot at Flynn’s Italian and lean into their La Dolce Vita energy.

Make a night of it and hit up one or two of Cairns’ eclectic LGBTQIA+ inclusive bars and pubs, such as the intimate oasis of Flamingos Tiki Bar, the energetic haven of the The Downunder Bar, and the comforting Cock and Bull to drink and dance the night away.

Experience extravagance

Craving a splash of fabulous in your Cairns itinerary cocktail? Sync your trip up North with the Cairns Pride Festival in October for a kaleidoscope of parades, shows, art exhibitions, and pool parties.

If October doesn’t line up with your travel timing, no worries! Secure your spot for Drag Bingo at Palm Cove Tavern to experience regular performances, comedy, and free bingo hosted by special guest Drag Queens, ensuring your experience is completely fresh every time.

Take the party up to Port Douglas and catch a comedy show or cabaret at The Clink, where past performances have included the iconic Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Make sure to check what’s playing while you’re in town and secure seats in advance for front row views.

Unsure where to uncover more LGBTQIA+ magic while you’re in town? Look no further than Out! Cairns on Facebook. Dive into the digital realm to be in the know of all the local parties, social group meet-ups and festivals in and around Cairns. Prepare to embrace inclusivity at every event and take your pride along the journey with you as you go.

Find your bliss

Sailaway

Back Country Bliss

Reef House Adults Only Retreat

If you’re hunting for a holiday that’s as much adventure as it is refuge, stay at The Reef House Adults Retreat for accommodation and spa packages fit for a dream. Enjoy inclusions such as three-course chef-made meals, champagne on arrival, cocktail creation classes, and daily canapés at 5pm.

Inhale the salty air and exhale all your worries as you sail away for sunset. Enjoy the pristine ocean waters up close with Sailaway, on board a first-class sailing catamaran, complete with charcuterie and champagne.

Wanting to explore the rainforest behind Palm Cove’s reef? Book a tour with Back Country Bliss to try your hand at river drifting through Mossman’s clear streams or have a dip at the end of a Daintree Rainforest walk in waterholes amidst the lush greenery.

If spending the day out and about on boats, foot, and riverboards isn’t on your relaxing holiday, lay back with your better half at your pick of luxurious spas in Cairns’ Palm Cove to disconnect and rejuvenate with cucumbers on eyes and thoughts out of minds.

Revisit romance on the reef

Fitzroys Island

Experience Cairns past the cove with a night at Fitzroy Island Resort, a sustainable-tourism accredited business, famous for their reef-side relaxation.

During your stay, enjoy an Adults Sip and Clay Class to let your creativity come alive and take home a memento more meaningful than a palm tree keychain. Continue sipping after your clay is crafted at Foxy’s Bar & Café for cocktails served until late accompanied by unlimited good vibes.

Travelling with your other half? Book the Romance on the Reef Package to have love-filled gestures sprinkled throughout your stay from a bottles of bubbles on arrival to romantic private picnics.

Don’t have enough free days to fit in all your must-see locations outside of Cairns? Fly the rainbow flag high above sea level with a private helicopter tour with Zoom Helicopters to view the reef from above. If you’re looking for a luxury viewing experience complete with bubbles on your very own Sand Cay mid-scenic tour, make a booking for Coral Cay Bubbles to share the serenity with a special someone.

No matter what you choose, you’ll find Cairns’ welcoming, inclusive and ready for you.

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