What is the Cairns Esplanade and How Long is It?

By Josh •  Updated: 03/22/21 •  8 min read

Before you pack your bag for an expensive tour, what if I told you that at a recreational area you can have free access to tourist activities. Doesn’t seem feasible, right? But Cairns Esplanade is that destination cum savior to make it possible. Now, if you are curious to know what’s on Cairns Esplanade make it feasible then this article might answer your queries.

Cairns Esplanade is located in Cairns, northern Queensland. It is a boardwalk stretching over 2.5km along the beautiful foreshore of Cairns. The tourist activities at this Esplanade like rock climbing, aqua Zumba, yoga sessions, skating activities, BBQ, live concerts, swimming adventures are free to access. Also, you can wander the place at any time. 

According to your preferences and needs, you might like different activities to explore. Therefore, this virtual guide to Cairns Esplanade includes the necessary information regarding the activities and locations so that you know what’s on Cairns Esplanade awaits you.

About Cairns Esplanade  

Cairns Esplanade is a long and level area or boardwalk from the city center of Cairns located in North Queensland, Australia. Cairns Esplanade has been one of the most visited recreational areas since the 1800s.

Till now, skaters, backpackers, and visitors from all walks of life visit this place for its fun activity areas and serene views.

This Esplanade separates the marine life of Cairns from the human world. This place is ideal for joggers, cyclists, or any tourist wanting to spend some relaxed time along the beautiful Cairns foreshore. 

Though Cairns Esplanade is not much longer, this Esplanade is yet one of the happening Esplanades to spend some time at. Now you might be wondering “how long is Cairns Esplanade?

Is it too small to accommodate recreational facilities?” Well, the answer is, in length, Cairns Esplanade stretches over 2.5km along the picturesque foreshore of Cairns. 

Specifically, Cairns Esplanade boardwalk is 1.5 miles or 2500 meters long. The Esplanade or boardwalk is marked at every 500 meters so that you can understand how far you have walked along. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to walk around the whole 2500 meters Esplanade.

The Esplanade is lined with magnificent banyan trees, palm trees, gardens, and public arts. Also, Cairns Esplanade has some restaurants, cafes, a lagoon, and exciting recreational facilities for you and your family.


This Esplanade is managed by Cairns Regional Council, they are always one phone call away to help you with your all queries regarding Cairns Esplanade.

What is Cairns Esplanade like?

Cairn Esplanade is surrounded by Instagram-worthy and picturesque public arts, parks, and recreational facilities. The surroundings add life and beauty to the Cairns Esplanade.

The icing on the cake is you have free access to most of the recreational facilities of Cairns Esplanade. The brief descriptions below might help you picture the beauty of the Esplanade.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is a manufactured swimming pool that proves that the amalgam of the manufacture and nature does not always cease the beauty of a place. It is located on the Trinity Harbor foreshore. 

During the sunset and sunrise, the turquoise water of this lagoon emits a scarlet glow that can make your stroll along the Esplanade tranquil. This 4800 square meter lagoon on the Esplanade is lined with magnificent views of the Trinity Inlet, seabirds on the muddy beach, and Cairns Mountains.

The picturesque views of the lagoon make Cairns Esplanade one of the most visited recreational areas of Cairns. The lagoon is patrolled by lifeguards to make sure you do not face any danger while enjoying the surroundings.

Public Arts

The public artworks or sculptures are located along the 2.5 km stretched Cairns Esplanade. These public artworks are not there to only add beauty to the Esplanade but also, they have their significance as well.

While enjoying the scenic view of the artworks you can ask the locals or any Esplanade crew there to enlighten you about the significance.

The whole Cairns Esplanade is decorated with many artworks like windblown leaves, horizon lines, butterfly plates, and brass plates.

If you keep strolling along the Esplanade you would witness all the beautiful artworks that surround Cairns Esplanade. However, among all the artworks Telescopus and Woven Fish are most known and beautiful.


Telescopus is one of the most gigantic artworks located along the Cairns Esplanade. This sculpture has been created by sculptor Dominic Johns. This three-dimensional mud creeper gleams when sun rays hit it. 

This artwork symbolizes the mangrove mud creepers that can be found in Cairns mangroves and estuaries. If you are a travel vlogger or a tourist this sculpture is bound to captivate your attention because it is one of the beautiful artworks of Cairns Esplanade.

Also, The Woven Fish sculptures enhance the beauty of the views from the Esplanade. The Woven Fish are large sculptures that are located in Cairns Lagoon.

The sculptures are shaped in a way to look like woven fish made of palm leaves. The sculptures symbolize the ancient tradition of the weaving of palm leaves. 

The woven fish sculptures add an illusion to the Cairns Esplanade. To experience the illusionary view, you need to watch the sculptures from your resort or the landscaped gardens of the Esplanade.

Only then you can have this illusion that some fish are up in the sky flying- especially at night.


The Cairns Esplanade has many parks, especially at its southern and northern end. If you go to the southern end of the Esplanade you would find Sister Cities Park and Fogarty Park. At the northern end of the Esplanade, there are McKenzie Street and Healing Garden parks.

The parks at Cairns Esplanade are suitable for spending family time in a relaxed environment surrounded by trees. The banyan and palm trees in the Sister Cities Park compliment the Cairns Esplanade foreshore. And the Fogarty Park adds life and twinkling light to Cairns Esplanade nightlife by its sound shell events.

What Tourist Activities are Available at Cairns Esplanade?

Who wouldn’t love having free access to some recreational facilities available at Cairns Esplanade? Well, I would definitely. From free BBQ to fitness activities to fun activities- every activity at the Esplanade parklands is meant to make your cairns Esplanade tour memorable.

It feels surreal to listen to some live music at the Esplanade parklands while enjoying the serene foreshore of cairns along the Esplanade.

So, to experience this, head over to the southern end of the Esplanade – Fogarty Park. However, you should contact Cairns Regional Council to know exactly where the live programs are taking place.

If you want to enjoy some free BBQ at the Esplanade then I am gladly informing you that there are free 12 BBQ facilities available.

You can cook your meal there throughout the day and they are cleaned daily for your use. For a picturesque BBQ party, I would suggest you to go to Sister Cities Park- at the southern end of the Cairns Esplanade. 

For young visitors, Healing Garden Playground at the northern side of the Esplanade can be uplifting.

If you want to teach your kids the value of humility and strength then take them to the Healing Garden Park. Because the Bamboo sculpture there that sways with the breeze but does not break should be an uplifting view to teach so.

Also, Skate Plaza at the northern Cairns Esplanade is one of the best recreational areas. The innovative design of the Park makes skating more exciting here. And you can rock climb freely at Cairns Esplanade Bouldering Park every Monday. 

If you are not interested in any exciting tourist activity then you can just freely wander around the whole Cairns Esplanade.

Cairns Esplanade boardwalk and its parklands are ideal for any travel vlogger and tourists to take a stroll, or to jog, to cycle along the Coral Sea. You can wander around it at any time you want to explore the beauty of the surroundings.

Esplanade parkland activities also include fitness activities. To de-stress yourself, you should join the free yoga activity or Pilate’s classes hosted by Fogarty Park in the Esplanade.

If you are not comfortable with aqua Zumba then these activities might be a better choice.


Cairns Esplanade is not only heaven for individual backpackers but also for every tourist.

But before coming to the Esplanade, you just need to know what’s on Cairns Esplanade awaits you so that you would know what to see and what to do on your arrival there. And I’m sure after reading this article you have a basic idea on that. 

Thank you for reading till the end. I wish you all the best and hope your Cairns Esplanade tour becomes memorable.


Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!

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