A delightful evening: the Cairns Sunset Cruise

When Mum came to visit I knew that I had to treat her. She turned 35 *cough cough* in August but rather than spend it with her daughter selfishly chose to be on a boat sailing from Malaysia to Australia.

My clever birthday plans were foiled…for the time being. As soon as I knew she was coming to stay I immediately set about sorting things for us to do.

She arrived on the Monday and as soon as I finished work we ran home, popped the bubbly and put on our glad rags ready for that evenings activity: a sunset cruise!


Leaving from Cairns every day at 5.30pm the cruise takes you up and around the Cairns inlet. It’s not a river mouth as many think but a tidal estuary crammed full of mangroves with nooks and crannies. Most importantly of course, it offers amazing views of the city and mountains as the sun sets in the background.


I’m not going to lie, we did almost miss the boat… Sitting outside and having a lovely chat with our wine Mum suddenly sat bolt upright, “What’s the time???”. Oh shit, it was 5.10! Thankfully the staff were brilliant just laughing at us turning up flustered and out of breath with apologies tumbling from our mouths.


We definitely needed our complimentary glass of bubbly to calm our frayed nerves!


Loading up with nibbles we plonked ourselves upstairs and settled in to listen to the delightfully informative commentary and watch the sights slide by.

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It was a perfectly clear evening with only a few wisps of cloud hanging around, giving us some pretty special scenes to gaze at. Maybe it was the two glasses of bubbly or the fact that I was with my Mum but I got a warm fuzzy feeling as the sun dipped lower.

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The skippers commentary only lasted for a little bit, and while I did enjoy learning some facts about Cairns it was nice when he turned of the tannoy to give us some peace and quiet and simply enjoy the view.


I’m with the skipper, a picture speaks thousand words. Come on, how could I possibly describe what this looks like properly? So I’ll shush myself for a little while and let you enjoy the view too.

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Ok, it was hard to keep quiet for that long! Phew!

There are twenty or so crocs that live in the inlet and the boat made it’s way up the arm of a mangrove to try and spot one.




We lost the game “croc or log” quite a few times but did enjoy the feeling of being lost that comes with being surrounded by dense mangroves. You can see why this is where they bring boats during a cyclone!

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^^^How gorgeous is my Mum?!?

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As lovely as it was getting lost, the mangroves are so dense that we couldn’t see anything over them – and we wanted to see the sunset after all!


Thankfully the skipper obviously knew this and took us back out in to the main part of the inlet to watch the final bit of the sun’s show.

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The above is something of a Cairns legend, a literal houseboat! The guy who owns it used to live in the marina until it was refurbished and prices skyrocketed. Now he moors up here and had crocs for neighbours.



The Sunset cruise was a gorgeous way to spend a couple of hours and Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. If you’re looking for something for a special occasion, event or even if you just fancy a relaxing 90 minutes watching the sunset then I can’t recommend it enough.

DSC04724Thanks for having us Cairns Harbour Cruises! I think I may have broken my ‘photographs per minute’ record on this one!

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