Lots of activities for the school holidays

Published: 19 Dec 2019

Cairns Regional Council is again hosting a range of activities to keep kids occupied these school holidays.

From workshops to reading activities, traversing walking tracks and learning about our native flora and fauna, there are host of facilities and activities to keep the whole family occupied.

Here are a few ideas for parents these school holidays:

Cairns Libraries

For those wanting to be creative indoors, Cairns Libraries is offering a host of programs and events to suit children of all ages.

Children can get involved in the Summer Reading Club’s 40 Days in 40 ways Reading Challenge either at a Cairns Libraries branch or from home via the online website (www.summerreadingclub.org.au).

The Summer Reading Club is a free online and in-library holiday program, run in partnership with State Library of Queensland, the Australian Library and Information Association, and the Australian Public Library Alliance.

Also at Cairns Libraries:

  • S.T.E.A.M LEGO WeDO – Explore the world of robotics and coding with LEGO
  • The White Wizard – A hilariously, light-hearted magic performance to celebrate our Summer Reading Club Program with the White Wizard.
  • Recycled Christmas craft workshops
  • Zoo to you – An exciting wildlife experience with Zoo to You. Get up close to Australian animals and learn about their habitats.

Check out the Cairns Libraries website for details of all the events, activities and programs.

Cairns Botanic Gardens

Explore the beauty of tropical plant life at Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Renowned as one of the best exhibitions of tropical plants in Australia, relax in stunning surroundings and learn about local flora and horticulture.

Discover more about the plants and animals with a tour. The Friends of the Botanic Gardens conduct free guided tours of Flecker Gardens, or take advantage of the series of audio tours and become your own tour guide.

More information is available on the Council website.

Artistic fun for creative kids

Children are invited to contribute towards a jigsaw-esque botanical drawing in the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre these school holidays.

Chinese-born and US-raised painter, ceramic sculptor and digital designer, Jing Jin, has created a series of drawings using pencil and charcoal, and children of all ages are invited to add their piece to the puzzle.

The free interactive art display at the Visitor Centre, Collins Avenue, Edge Hill is open 8.30am to 4pm weekdays, and 8.30am to 1pm on weekends, excluding public holidays.

Esplanade and Lagoon

There is always lots to do and see for free at the Esplanade.

Swim at the Lagoon, play at Muddy’s Playground, go for a stroll or a bike ride, play at the pirate ship or fig tree playground, have a barbecue or enjoy live music.

Lifeguards are on duty while the Lagoon is open, and toilets and showers are located in the amenities block alongside the aquatic facility.

The Lagoon will be open every day from 6am to 9pm, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The Lagoon closure each Wednesday from 6am to midday for regular maintenance will be reinstated from January 8.

Bat chats

Learn from nationally renowned experts about the importance of flying-foxes in our natural environment

Bat Chats is an informal guided tour of the spectacled flying fox roost outside Cairns City Library and its vicinity.

Discover how the spectacled flying fox is a keystone species which has a vital role in seed dispersal and pollination around the region and other bat facts.

Bat Chats are held each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the school holidays from 6pm; meet at the corner of Aplin and Lake streets, outside the Cairns City Library.

Cycling tracks

Cairns is a great place to get outdoors and be active.

There are a range of paths and cycle ways that allow you to explore this beautiful region at your own pace.

Unless otherwise marked, the cycle ways are also walking paths. Detailed maps of the city’s cycling tracks can be found online.

Walking tracks

Get outside and challenge yourself and the kids on the popular Red Arrow, Blue Arrow, Green Arrow and Yellow Arrow walking tracks that wind through Mt Whitfield Conservation Park, behind the Cairns Botanic Gardens in Edge Hill.

The Park is a 300 hectare forested mountain range, home to rainforest, eucalyptus and grasslands.

The Arrow tracks vary in length and difficulty, from the 1.5km Red Arrow, through to the 6km, Grade 4, Blue Arrow. More details online.

Tobruk Memorial Pool

The region’s highest profile swimming facility, a $23.7 million redeveloped Tobruk Memorial Pool was officially reopen on 14 May 2016.

Facilities at the redeveloped complex include a 50 metre pool for lap swimming, 25 metre program pool for warm up/warm down (events), 25 metre pool for hydrotherapy activities and learn to swim, toddler water play pool, Flow Rider (artificial wave rider), and café and retail shop.

Along with Tobruk, other public swimming pools for use by the general public for a small fee are located at Babinda, Gordonvale, Woree and the Marlin Coast Bicentennial Pool at Smithfield.

Visit Council’s website for opening times.


Escape the heat at Cairns' coolest water park.

With gentle rides and slides for the littlies, shaded resort-style pools and heart-pumping waterslide action for the daring thrill seekers, Sugarworld Adventure Park is fun for the whole family.

The facility also includes a 9-hole mini golf course, resort style pools and a licensed cafe with undercover dining area.

Closed on Christmas Day, Sugar World is open 10am to 5pm every weekend, public holiday and school holidays.

Visit http://sugarworldwaterpark.com.au/ for more details.

Last updated: 19 December 2019