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When the Sun Goes Down: Cairns After Dusk

Being an adventure seeker is all part and parcel of visiting and living in North Queensland. But when dusk hits, the tropical temperatures drop and the adrenaline of exploring the reef, rainforest and natural beauty subsides, it can be mighty tempting to crawl into your pillow fort and binge on Netflix. Cairns is a city brimming with after dark entertainment, so take on that social coordinator role, get your friends and travel buddies up on group messenger and let everyone know you’re hitting the (palm leaf painted) tiles.

One way to end the perfect day in paradise (or get the party started) is to hop aboard a sunset cruise along the Trinity Inlet. Cairns Harbour and Sunset Cruises provide the most romantic setting with Cairns cityscape showing off her pretty lights alongside the magnificent mountains and brilliant colours of a tropical sunset. Stick a mini-umbrella in me - it’s so good someone should name a cocktail after it. Soak up the peace on the 90-minute cruise with a complimentary beer, glass of wine or bubbles in hand and enjoy the view before docking and heading off to enjoy the rest of your evening.

Each night after the sun sets, the Cairns Night Markets come alive! A perfect place to grab a bite and hunt for locally made bargains, this hawker-style market draws its inspiration from South East Asia with its hustle, bustle and open-air excitement of over 70 stalls selling their wares. With everything from tropical souvenirs through to local fashions, inflatable hammocks and emergency henna tattoos, the Cairns Night Markets will keep you entertained and stocked up with ‘wish you were here’ gifts for the fam.

For those who prefer fine food with a theatrical mood, give Netflix the night off and invest in the arts by rolling down to the Cairns Dinner Theatre for dinner and a show. Downright funny improv comedy, internationally touring cabaret acts, murder-mystery nights – this theatre has it all. Check out their website for all the razzle, dazzle, lights camera and action on stage each night.

For those who prefer a little adventure on top of their adventure, diving the Great Barrier Reef at night with Cairns Dive Adventures is certainly a not to be missed opportunity. Cairns night diving is an opportunity for divers to play Marco Polo with the fish by spotlight, as creatures that are normally night-time only come out to play. With the exception of evening coral spawning trips (a once a year phenomenon where the corals all get jiggy with each other to make baby corals), all night dives are liveaboard expeditions for up to a week with all the outer reef diving you can handle.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Cairns by night?

Top image courtesy of Cairns Night Markets