cairns botanical gardens

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A Green Weekend in Cairns

Let’s embark on a journey that not only fills our souls with awe-inspiring nature, but also leaves a positive mark on the environment. Get ready to explore Cairns and its surrounding areas with these exciting recommendations for sustainable travel.

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11.30AM- Turtle Rehabilitation Centre 

Kick off your Cairns adventure by getting up close and personal with some shellebrity sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital at Cairns Aquarium. This exclusive experience treats guests to a 30-minute tour of the hospital, where you can meet the turtles and learn all about their care. By booking a tour, you’re also contributing to the turtles’ wellbeing, with 100% of proceeds going towards their food, medicine, and care.

The Healthy Hub Cafe

1.30PM- The Healthy Hub

Admiring all those adorable turtles can really work up an appetite! Make your way to The Healthy Hub located in the city. They support local farmers who grow the freshest produce and they whip up some seriously drool-worthy plant-based creations. Their range of locally-sourced and organic produce will leave your belly happy and your taste buds dancing with joy. Eating healthy has never tasted so good!


Riley Pool

3PM- Check in to Crystalbrook Riley. 

Enjoy guilt-free luxury at Crystalbrook Riley, Cairns’ first five-star hotel in over 20 years. The property is committed to sustainability with paperless check-in, recycled wooden room keys, and a reduction in plastic waste.

Rooms have no single-use amenity bottles, and the restaurants do not provide drinking bottles or straws.

An EarthCheck certification has been awarded to Crystalbrook Riley and Bailey, this reflects their deserving efforts towards sustainability. Their partnership with EarthCheck has resulted in a significant improvement towards sustainable stays for guests, enabling them to travel with a lighter ecological impact.


6PM- Harbourside Bar & Kitchen

This renowned restaurant offers global cuisine with tropical flavours and locally sourced, eco-conscious ingredients. The restaurant has received awards for its sustainable practices, including an extensive list of organic, biodynamic, and ecologically sustainable wines, making it a top choice for environmentally-conscious diners.

Conveniently located along the esplanade, you can enjoy a scenic 15-minute walk or jump into the saddle of one of Riley’s hotel bikes (free to hotel guests) for a quick 5-minute ride.



Reef & Eat

Paper Crane at Riley

7AM- Breakfast at Paper Crane, Riley. 

Before you set sail for the day, head to Paper Crane where you can enjoy a full buffet breakfast. Bask in the morning sun on the deck whilst indulging in a variety of locally sourced appetising treats, including pastries, cereals, bacon and eggs, tropical fruits, and more.

Paper Crane (& other Crystalbrook restaurants) have introduced Climate Calories to their menu. This means you can quickly see which ingredients in your dish are locally sourced, are sustainably grown or caught, are made with native ingredients and which were delivered to the restaurant using eco friendly packaging.

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel

8.15AM- Great Barrier Reef

You’ve come to Cairns, we’re going to go ahead and assume the Great Barrier Reef is on your list. If that’s the case, Dreamtime’s got you covered! Join Indigenous Cultural Guides on a day tour to two stunning outer Reef sites. The Dive & Snorkel tours hold the highest level of Advanced Eco Accreditation and Climate Action Business Certification, making them one of Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products. Remember to be a responsible diver and pack a reef-friendly and natural sunscreen. Tours depart from Reef Fleet terminal- a 15 minute walk from Crystalbrook Riley.



Join Tusa Reef Tours for an informative and fun trip. They are dedicated to reducing its marine impact through low-impact diving practices, such as abstaining from reef anchoring, recycling waste materials, participating in the Containers for Change initiative, using plant-based wetsuits, and educating guests on responsible diving and long-term environmental preservation.

Ochre Tempura Gulf Bugs

7PM- Ochre

A day in the water will surely w(h)et your appetite for dinner. Ochre is a Modern Australian restaurant that offers innovative menus showcasing local game, herbs, and seafood, and a sense of adventure. They lower their carbon footprint and support the community through various initiatives, including sourcing wild-harvested meat and native bush foods from local suppliers.

Only a mere 15 minute saunter away from your hotel, an ideal opportunity to stroll back at a leisurely pace with a satisfied tummy.

Optional Detour – Lets Go Buggin' Photography and Nature Tour

Rather keep your feet on land? Join Bridgette from Aussie Macro Photos on a un-bee-lievable adventure through Cairns Botanic Gardens! With her camera expertise and insider tips, you’ll be snapping up mesmerising insect shots like a pro. Rather experience nocturnal critters?  Join the Lets Go Buggin’ night tour that runs 7pm- 9pm. Each nightly stroll is unique, as nature provides a thrilling and unforeseeable adventure brimming with unexpected surprises.

The Cairns Botanic Gardens are just a 15 minute scooter/ bike ride away from the city. Or, grab a coffee and take a leisurely 45 minute stroll along the beautiful esplanade.

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Day 3

Experience a rainforest village

Skyrail road view

8AM- Tropic Wings Kuranda Tour.

Get your adventurer hat on and join Tropic Wings for a Kuranda adventure that won’t leave a big carbon footprint behind.

Your guided tour includes a ride on their zero-emission electric bus, the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, a sustainable tourism leader that holds EarthCheck’s Master Certification. With elevated boardwalks and a low-impact design, everything has been thoughtfully crafted to minimise its impact on the rainforest and its inhabitants. Who says you can’t have your adventure and save the planet too?

As you leave Cairns, take pride in the environmentally conscious choices you’ve made and for helping us deliver on our promise of greater good.

Our promise is to ourselves, to each other, to country, to protect one of the most important and biodiverse natural regions in the world for current and future generations.

Optional Detour – Cairns Canyoning- Crystal Cascades

Jumping into the refreshing waters of Crystal Cascades is like hitting the reset button on your body, mind, and soul – it’s a natural, sparkling cleanse that beats any fancy spa treatment!

Want an adrenaline hit? Join Cairns Canyoning and conquer the cascades just like a true adventurer! You’ll navigate through beautiful waterfalls and pools, using rappelling, abseiling, traversing, exploring, sliding, and swimming techniques.

The shuttle bus leaves from the Allbout Cairns shop, which is conveniently located just a 15-minute walk away from Crystalbrook Riley.


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More ways to be eco-conscious