In many resorts around the world, the pool is often the jewel in the crown. If built and landscaped correctly, the pool can be the centrepiece of the entire resort, the hub of activity where couples laze under umbrellas sipping cocktails and parents look on as their kids busy themselves in the water for hours on end.
It doesn't really get much better than this when it comes to a day of adventure on the Great Barrier Reef.
We were looking forward to getting away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life and headed off on our journey looking for smiles and relaxation at Cape Tribulation.
Our region is not known as the Wet Tropics for nothing: we receive a huge amount of rain, ensuring our rivers are the wildest in Australia. And no town in the nation is wetter than Tully, home to the "Golden Gumboot", with an average annual rainfall exceeding 4000mm.
The grand lobby of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort with its huge pillars and wide open-plan design with plenty of comfy places to relax, made a spectacular first impression on us.
We were a little flat when we started our adventure with Ocean Spirit, but there's nothing quite like an early morning cruise to sea on a five-star catamaran to give you a boost.
We often say in Cairns that we are blessed to have so many interesting, exciting, unique places to go and see.
Sometimes the real beauty of Cairns is found in places on its periphery. Lake Tinaroo, less than two hours' drive from the CBD via either the Kuranda Range to the north or the Gillies Highway to the south, is one such spot.
Do you want to see the world's oldest rainforest from the vantage point of the birds and butterflies that call it home? Do you want an adrenalin-fuelled experience that leaves your heart pumping and head spinning? Like the sound of jungle surfing? No surfboard or board-shorts are required, though you will get wet.
Off the beaten track and amid the pristine rainforest on the Tableland is the delightfully unique eco and wildlife retreat of Cedar Park Rainforest Resort. We'd been to Cedar Park Resort a few months ago to celebrate the wedding of close friends and decided to revisit it for a couple's getaway.
The historic Lake Eacham Hotel, known as the Yungaburra Pub, takes its name from the neighbouring lake and National Park.
In the steamy mangrove wilderness of Trinity Inlet, it wasn't too difficult to imagine, in some primeval time, boiling rivers of lava and a volcano, now known as Walsh's Pyramid, spewing blankets of smoke and ash over Cairns. This would have been the scene to greet us 200,000 years ago, Crocodile Explorer skipper Patt revealed on our morning tour to Cairns Crocodile Farm.
Why stop at one night at Foxy's Bar when there's so much to do on Fitzroy Island, writes Julianna Kerr.
While the coastal drive to Port Douglas is one of the most scenic routes in Australia, the drive to Cape Tribulation - where World Heritage rainforest really does meet the sea - is one of the most scenic roads in the world.
What with work and the pressures of modern-day life, it's all too easy to forget to take some time out for a trip to this stunning region's world famous backyard, the pristine Great Barrier Reef.
The second we entered Rivers Edge Rainforest Retreat's Cooinda exclusive hideaway, we knew we walked into the creme-de-la-creme of holiday retreats.
IF you don't go to Elandra Mission Beach for the stunning view, the beautifully comfortable and private rooms or the impeccable service, go for the food.
THERE'S just something so relaxing about floating effortlessly down a river, especially one edged on both sides by lush greenery.
It's only halfway to Cairns Airport that it hits me what I'm about to do.
Last week I enjoyed an extremely unusual night out. It was darker and more disorienting than any disco I have ever visited.
Everyone is a potential bird lover for the hosts of Red Mill House Bed and Breakfast, Trish and Andrew Forsyth.
Suspended hundreds of metres above the ground, an endless green canopy sprawled in all directions.
The minute we arrived outside our private pole home at Mt Quincan Crater Retreat and saw the rosebuds scattered by our front door we knew we were in store for a special weekend.
Gazing out at the trees and birds on the back deck of Julatten House is probably the most perfect synthesis of old and new a visitor to Cairns could ever hope to experience.
My toes are peeking over the board, my legs leaning back and my shoulders going forward facing a yawning abyss of net 50m below me.
This year's Carnivale street parade is set to soar with organisers releasing details about an extensive line-up of magic shows, barn dances and street performers.
Port Douglas' love affair with alfresco gourmet dining will be extended fully during this year's Port Douglas Carnivale with organisers announcing a a new cuisine event for this year's program - Palates of Port.
AN impossible dream has become a reality with the launch of a five-star theatre restaurant experience for Cairns.
WE wanted to find a quiet place to relax in the beauty of Tropical North Queensland that was close enough to home to be convenient but far enough away that we felt like we were going on an adventure.
CELEBRATING the return of an Aussie favourite, the "Hey hey it's time you got away" campaign is urging Australians to take life a bit less seriously ... with a trip to Cairns!
NEXT time you're after a magical night out, treat yourself to a little taste of Vegas right here in Cairns with Xtreme Illusions.
IT'S a calm and sunny day when we depart the Reef Fleet Terminal in Cairns for the Crocodile Explorer tour.
DID you know that living coral exposed to air oozes a gel-like substance to protect it from sunburn?
THE minute we arrived outside our private pole home at Mt Quincan Crater Retreat and saw the rosebuds scattered by our front door we knew we were in store for a special weekend.
THE alarm, rattling to life at 5am, woke me to thundering rains pummelling the road. Had a waterfall parked itself outside my window in the middle of the night, I wondered?
WE love the fantastic food in Tropical North Queensland and savour the meals created by some of the best chefs in Australia.
Jodie Higginson from Kanimbla says Cairns is the perfect place for kids.
THE quest is on to unmask this year's Port Douglas Carnivale ambassadors.
FOR years, Ernie Raymont, an Elder of the Ngadjon people, has been sharing his traditional knowledge with visitors, children and anthropologists on his walks in the rainforests of Malanda, southwest of Cairns.