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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Esplanade Lagoon

Relax after a day of sightseeing or cool down from the summer heat in this fresh-water lagoon, one of Cairns’ best city attractions.

The Esplanade Lagoon is a water feature in Cairns where you can relax, cool off and socialise with other travellers. The lagoon is on the waterfront on the Cairns Esplanade and is surrounded by tropical gardens. Spend an entire day relaxing by the water, join a fitness class or cool off in the midday heat. 

Situated on the beautiful Cairns foreshore, this man-made saltwater swimming lagoon looks out to the Trinity Inlet and the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the lagoon at any time of day. Watch the sun rise with an early morning swim, cool down in the lagoon in the afternoon heat or relax by the water after a day of sightseeing. There are timber decks to lie on and plenty of shade. 

For young families, Muddy’s further down the Esplanade is a fun and safe water playground. Splash about with the hand pumps, water channels and jumping water jets. Children can have fun on the flying fox, in the playhouses, on slides, rope bridges and more.

There is regular live outdoor entertainment on the Esplanade and free fitness and cultural activities for locals and visitors. Join an aqua aerobics class at the lagoon, do yoga on the foreshore or take a dance class in the parklands. Get fit with a boxing class or beach volleyball. 

Bring a picnic and relax at one of the barbeque areas or dine at one of the nearby cafés and restaurants.

Pick up a brochure from the Cairns Tourist Information Centre on the Esplanade to take the self-guided Cairns Esplanade Heritage Walk. See the historic buildings, sights and landmarks that are along the water. Every Saturday you can find locally made crafts, jewellery, pottery and clothes at the Esplanade markets. 

The Esplanade Lagoon is free to use but is closed every Wednesday morning for maintenance.  Llifeguards are on duty year-round. Amenities include public showers and toilets. The Esplanade is easily accessible by foot from the city centre. Check the Cairns Esplanade website for times and details about all the free activities.


Guide to Exploring Esplanade Lagoon


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See all 525 properties near Esplanade Lagoon
Pacific Hotel Cairns AU$125
Pacific Hotel Cairns

Pacific Hotel Cairns

Corner Esplanade And Spence Street, Cairns, QLD
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Cairns Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cairns Night Markets, Cairns Marlin Marina and Cairns Esplanade. Cairns Convention Centre and Cairns Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Cairns Station is 14 minutes by foot.

    Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina AU$225
    Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina

    Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina

    Pierpoint Road, Cairns, QLD
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Cairns hotel is located on the boardwalk, just steps away from Reef Fleet Terminal and Cairns Marlin Marina. Esplanade Lagoon and Cairns Night Markets are also within 10 minutes. Cairns Station is 17 minutes by foot.

      Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns AU$130
      Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns

      Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns

      209-217 Abbott Street, Cairns North, QLD
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Cairns North, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cairns Base Hospital and Cairns Esplanade. Cairns Marlin Marina and Reef Fleet Terminal are also within 1 mile (2 km). Cairns Station is 22 minutes by foot.

        Mantra Esplanade AU$164
        Mantra Esplanade

        Mantra Esplanade

        53-57 The Esplanade, Cairns, QLD
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Cairns Central Business District, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cairns Regional Gallery and Reef Fleet Terminal. Cairns Esplanade and Cairns Marlin Marina are also within 10 minutes. Cairns Station is 12 minutes by foot.

          Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort AU$239
          Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort

          Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort

          131-141 Esplanade, Cairns, QLD
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cairns Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St Monica's Cathedral, Cairns Esplanade and Cairns Marlin Marina. Reef Fleet Terminal and Cairns Central Shopping Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km). Cairns Station is 19 minutes by foot.

            The Sebel Cairns Harbour Lights AU$144
            The Sebel Cairns Harbour Lights

            The Sebel Cairns Harbour Lights

            1 Marlin Parade, Cairns, QLD
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Cairns hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Esplanade Lagoon, Cairns Marlin Marina and Cairns Convention Centre. Cairns Aquarium and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway are also within 12 mi (20 km). Cairns Station is 16 minutes by foot.

              Mantra Trilogy AU$138
              Mantra Trilogy

              Mantra Trilogy

              101 - 105 The Esplanade, Cairns, QLD
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cairns Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cairns Esplanade, Cairns Marlin Marina, and Reef Fleet Terminal. Cairns Central Shopping Centre and Cairns Convention Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km). Cairns Station is 16 minutes by foot.

                Pullman Cairns International AU$183
                Pullman Cairns International

                Pullman Cairns International

                17 Abbott Street, Cairns, QLD
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Cairns Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome and Cairns Convention Centre. Cairns Esplanade and Reef Fleet Terminal are also within 15 minutes. Cairns Station is 15 minutes by foot.