Expectations versus reality. The Esplanade Lagoon, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Most people who visit Cairns have no idea that although it is right on the coast, it doesn’t really have a beach. Cairns has dark, sticky, smelly mudflats instead. Not only do the mudflats only gradually slope off into the water, requiring a slog of hundreds of metres (yards)¬†through the stinking ooze to water deep enough to swim in, there are sometimes also salt water crocodiles (the worlds largest crocs) out there that think that people are on the menu.

Tourists fly in from all over the world to Cairns which is the hub for trips to the Great Barrier Reef and they come looking for what Australia is famous for; beaches. Trouble is that Cairns has no beach that anyone with any sense would swim at so the local council has built a large salt water pool that is known as “The Esplanade Lagoon”, which backs up to the seawall that separates the city from the mudflats.

The Esplanade Lagoon in Cairns

Although crocodiles are very dangerous and there have been a few attacks around Cairns there is usually only one death a year, on average, attributed to them nationally. To put things into perspective, bees kill three people a year here in Australia.

4 thoughts on “Expectations versus reality. The Esplanade Lagoon, Cairns, Queensland, Australia”

  1. When I visited Cairns I was disappointed when I found out that the local waterfront was a mudflat. I’m glad myself and my friends had a vehicle and could drive outside of the city to find a place to swim.
    As a side note, I’m always surprised to visit highly praised beaches only to find they are useless if you like to swim in more than 1 meter of water. Top disappointments: Jericoaracoara in Brazil, Koh Pipi in Thailand, and Broome in Austalia.

  2. To be fair, probably some of the best beach experiences I’ve ever had were in Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil; Koh Samui,Thailand, and Coral Bay in Western Australia. A few places in Indonesia come to mind too.

  3. What Razz didn’t say was that the Australian bees that kill three people a year are roughly the size of a small car and carry cricket bats. Tough Bastards.

    -Turkish Prawn

  4. Planetross

    It’s always interesting when one goes to highly hyped places. I’ve found a few to be very disappointing but the have been a few that were amazing. The Grand Canyon blew my socks off for instance.

    I’ve also learnt over the years, never ask a Pom where a good beach is or you’ll end up in crowed shit hole like Torremolinos.


    Dam those English supplying our bees cricket bats and steroids! What were they thinking?

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