Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Head North for Winter; Cairns Offers a Warm Climate, an Even Warmer Welcome and All the Food and Activities You Could Possibly Want within Strolling Distance

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Head North for Winter; Cairns Offers a Warm Climate, an Even Warmer Welcome and All the Food and Activities You Could Possibly Want within Strolling Distance

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: ANN RICKARD

If someone had told me I'd hate winter in Southeast Queensland I would have scoffed.

In fact, I did scoff. Newly arrived from Melbourne in July of 1993, I found it difficult to believe anyone in this enchanting sub-tropical region would complain about a 9C start to a winter morning. I was used to a zero-degree wake-up.

But that was more than two decades ago and now I'm a local who hates the chill of winter in Southeast Queensland.

Escaping to Europe every Australian winter is the ideal scenario, but not so easy on the budget. Best alternative? Head north.

Cairns is beautiful in the winter. Gone is the hair-frizzing humidity of the summer months, finished are the heavy tropical downpours of January and February and over are the sweaty nights of restless sleep.

Ahead it is just blue skies and sunshine with average temperatures of 25C from June through to the end of August. Swimming every day, cool nights without need of heavy jackets, lush, tropical growth at every turn - there is a lot to appreciate in a northern escape.

Cairns seems to be booming now. Cranes dot the skyline along The Esplanade, the handsome Cairns Performing Arts Centre is just about completed and ready to open after the former lesser building was razed. The arts centre overlooks Munro Martin Park where the fairy lights in the trees twinkle magically at night. This restful park in the heart of the city is an oasis of tropical style with vine-covered walkways and lush lawns leading to an enormous stage, the place for free concerts and events throughout the year.

The reef might have had its unwanted share of bad publicity over the past few years but the boats are leaving the marina every morning loaded with passengers for a big day out - so something good still remains out there. …

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