The Cairns Esplanade, known fondly as 'the Nard' to locals, is now a world class recreational spot for visitors and locals alike. Since the 1800s, when the city was founded, the Esplanade has been a entertainment area for people from all walks of life. However, since works were carried away, the Esplanade has become a quintessentially Queensland space: resort tourist meets rainforest nature, a little Gold Coast glamorama, some backpacker chill and a significant amount of spectacle.
The Cairns Esplanade is approximately two kilometres long, overlooks the Coral Sea to the east and bars and restaurants, backpackers accommodation, shops and nighclubs to the west. Undoubtely, the gemstone of the Esplanade is the free and safe swimming pool known as 'The Lagoon', an amazing 4800 square metre saltwater lagoon, capable of accommodation up to 1000 swimmers at a time. Kids can enjoy the sandy edges, build sand castles and play in shallow water. On the other side of the lagoon, there are timber decks with moderate shade for others to lounge on.
The lagoon area extend over four hectares of land. It is a totally alcohol and glass free and dogs are not allowed. Swimming is allowed between 6:00am and 10:00pm daily. The depth of the pool goes from 80 centimetres to 1.6 metres and there is disability access at one end of the pool. Lifeguards are in patrol during the day and night. Two lifeguards are on duty at all times while the lagoon is open.
Apart from the lagoon, the Esplanade also features barbecue and picnic areas free of charge for public use, interpretive nodes or information booths that highlight cultural, heritage and environmental of the Cairns region, information touch screen with information regarding tours, accommodation, dinning and many other things to do in Cairns, and a 800 metres long Boardwalk equipped with 'fitness stations' which offers joggers, walkers and cyclists continous views of Trinity Inlet.
Every Saturday, between 8:00am and 5:00pm, the Esplanade Markets offer visitors a wide array of souvenirs, bric-a-bric and arts and crafts and bands and entertainers every market day. Of course, there are foods and drinks available.
Kids and not so young kids will really enjoy Muddy's Playground, a meandering maze of monkey bars, climbing gyms, softened surfaces and water fountains located north of the Esplanade. Muddy's also provides barbecue & picnic facilities, an events lawn to accommodate visiting attractions, and an on-site cafe 'Skippers', which offers tasty light meals and refreshments.
Landscaped gardens, open spaces and shady trees contribute to the laid-back atmosphere on the Esplanade. And they make the Esplanade a birdwatchers paradise as well.