There are not that many attractions in Cairns as you might think – it’s the gorgeous Great Barrier Reef which dominates it all, from helicopter flights to diving trips… venturing out and leaving the city behind is what most people will do when they are on holidays in Cairns.
However, on top of the Reef Casino you will find another exciting attraction, the Zoom. This zoo-cum-adventure-playground attraction is located in the glassed dome construct that tops the casino – just looking at this engineering feat it deserve a mention on this blog.
Zoom is two attractions in one: on the one hand a compact little zoo which houses some of the most iconic Australian animals, in particular birds, and on the other hand a collection of daring adventure challenges that will be a pleasure for any adrenaline junkie.
We are most certainly not interested in the adventure part of this attraction, but let me tell you, when looking at it from below this seems to be a very exciting construct that should be a lot of fun. You can, for example, try the PowerJump, which is basically a safe way of jumping off great heights without a parachute. If you ever wondered what free-fall would feel like, here’s the place to find out.
Plus, you can discover the upper parts of the dome via various rope courses and ziplines which also gives you the chance to get really close to resident birds that fly freely within the dome. One zipline will also get you really close to Goliath the crocodile, so you get an idea of how thrilling this might be.
And if you are absolutely crazy and don’t mind risking your life, you can also climb along the outside perimeter of the dome (it’s probably not that risky, but it looks very daring indeed!).
None of this appealed to us, cowards that we are, so we just bought tickets to see the animals. Which is fine, you don’t need to risk your life if that’s not your thing. The path leads you along the enclosures of reptiles, small macropods like possums and wallabies as well as lots and lots of birds. Seriously, if you have an interest in Australian native birds such as kookaburras, tawny frogmouths and cockatoos and budgies then this is the place to be.
This is certainly not a fully-fledged open-air zoo like you would get in Sydney or Melbourne, but it gives you a good glimpse into Australia’s unique nature, in particular that of the tropical north. Since it’s not the biggest of zoos it makes sense to time your visit to catch a show or two, such as the Python Talk in the morning or the Koala Talk in the afternoon.
If you are a visitor to Australia and will only stay in the north of the country, then this is good way of seeing the animals that Australia is so renown for. Other visitors might prefer to book one of the adventure challenges instead, as these are certainly unique to the Zoom Dome.
Cairns Zoom. Reef Hotel Casino. http://cairnszoom.com.au