Tag Archives: Cairns

Cairns Wheelchair Access for Disabled Travel

Cairns Wheelchair Access for Disabled Travel

Cairns Wheelchair Access is fairly good for the disabled tourist. It does not have the cobblestone and heritage buildings that are the hallmark of so many European destinations. as a result the vast majority of the built environment in this pacific rim city has been constructed over the last one hundred years.

Cairns is a tropical city. People who have disabilities that affect their capacity to control their temperature would be best advised not to visit during the November to March period. Rising temperatures during this period combined with increases due to climate change make it hard to leave an air conditioned hotel.

These links will help you in planning your trip to Cairns.


Book a flight on Jetradar

Find a Hotel

Cairns Bus Service

Cairns Taxis


Cairns Aquarium

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Cairns Esplanade

Cairns Regional Gallery

Cairns Regional Council’s Access for All Directory has a comprehensive list of accessible accommodation, services and facilities. They hope it will make planning your trip to our region less stressful and more enjoyable.

For more information on Cairns Wheelchair Access and to plan your holiday to Tropical North Queensland, visit the official tourism website for Cairns and Great Barrier Reef. You can email the Cairns

Cairns Wheelchair Access
Cairns Wheelchair Access

and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre at info@ttnq.org.au or telephone them on (07) 4051 3588.

There are a great range of restaurants, shopping and level walkways to explore. Tours to the Great Barrier Reef and islands also depart from Cairns.

Cairns is level but if you are using a wheelchair as your main mode of transport I would suggest trying to book accommodation no further than 3 blocks back from the Esplanade. This will mean you are within a comfortable walk/wheel to some of the local attractions.

Wheelchair Access to Cities

Rob Pyne: A Far Northern Life 

A Far Northern Life

1. Sugar Town Life in Edmonton

2. Life on Main Street Edmonton

3. Finding Employment and Love

4. Spinal Cord Injury

5. Princess Alexandra Hospital

6. Bentley Park

7. James Cook University

8.  Mount Sheridan

9. Cairns Regional Council

10. Queensland Politics

11. Corruption

12.  Political Bullying 

13. Survivors of Childhood Abuse

14. Coal and Climate Change

15. North Stadbroke Island

16. A Woman’s Right to Choose

17. Stalker in Parliament

18. Allies in Brisbane

19. North Queensland State

20.  Rejection, Recovery and Vindication

Rob Pyne: A Far Northern Life 


The McMenamins (Our McMenamins) interviewed in Austin Texas!

[wpvideo QzuBA2Wl]

The McMenamins are a fantastic local duo, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

The McMenamins are a brother and sister duo, drawing on alt country and folk influences, using honeyed vocal harmonies with mandolin and violin driven instrumentals to deliver original acoustic music. Their unique style ranges from storytelling within intimate and sensitive soundscapes to high energy folk’n’roll which delights audiences time after time.

Visit their website: http://www.themacswebsite.com/

“Rock-solid folk debut  – Rolling Stone Magazine

  “Fleur possesses a pristine voice… stretching from sotto voce lullaby lilt to animated cowgirl… Long Time Gone merits a place in the record store racks alongside albums by acts such as The Greencards and Nickel Creek…”

The Australian

“Long Time Gone is a charming album from two brilliant siblings”

Capital News April 2011

“this is a record from two very talented players… It’s hard to believe this is a debut.”

Rhythms Magazine

“a must-have for summer… it is astonishing how accomplished and developed this

album is for a debut.” –  Rip It Up


“…this Aussie group have got big things ahead of them.” –  Woollpress


“…in the hand’s of the McMenamins, folk has never sounded like

so much fun.” –  Online Garage”


“The McMenamins have created an intricately woven pattern of real life which all

can relate to.” – The Dwarf Website.


Storm Tide Property Search NOW available on CRC Website for Cairns Region!

Just letting you know that the individual Storm Tide Property Search is now available on Council’s website – refer link  below.

Have a look when you get a few minutes – it is very easy to use for residents.

A big thanks to Council Staff for getting this up and running for summer!

LINK: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/cyclone-emergency-information/property-search


IHRD Celebrated at The Tanks on Sunday 4th December 2011

International Human Rights Day was celebrated at the Tanks on December 4  with guest speaker, Noela Davies, 2011 recipient of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) award, the Florence Nightingale Medal, following her humanitarian work of many areas of conflict around the world. McSkimming ICRC, in her praise stated “Noela is a credit to Australian nursing, an ordinary Australian who has made an extraordinary contribution to improving humanity and that making a small difference is a good thing.”

The international event included Our Living Books, seven special people there to tell their stories. Everybody found them very interesting and inspiring so I thought I’d share them with you.

Vang Yee Chang

Vang Yee was born in Laos into the Hmong community, an ethnic group displaced by war, political unrest & persecution. During the Vietnam War, his family lived in the jungle fleeing troops as they moved between the north & south. Leaving Laos, they crossed into Thailand where the family spent 10 years in a refugee camp. Vang worked in a medical centre & as a translator for the UN High Commission for Refugees, while hoping to return to Laos. The family were later sponsored to Australia & after originally settling in Tasmania, Vang soon found warmer climates more to his liking. Today Vang lives in Edmonton, is a much respected community leader, father of 8, a musician and very focused on assisting people to get a better life and helping young people to get a job!

Lizzie Jasperson
10 days after her birth, Lizzie and her siblings were placed in foster care. During this time, she experienced abuse and at the age of 4, she was returned to the care of her father, however his own struggles and challenges meant more difficult circumstances and Lizzie left home at 13 and lived on the streets, eventually leading her to sign herself over to the care of Child Safety. It was around this time Lizzie developed a strong religious faith and eventually a Samoan lady took Lizzie in for a weekend & she ended up staying 3 years. Lizzie has experienced many positive changes in her life since then, including completing several training courses, discovering singing & writing her own songs and later meeting her partner. She is now eagerly awaiting the birth of her first child in February and I have no doubt she will make an excellent mother.

Elverina Johnson
Elverina is a woman from Yarrabah, a writer, artist, curator, and researcher. She is committed to demonstrating leadership within Indigenous communities and is actively involved in the Dirringhi Aboriginal Corporation, has presented papers on Indigenous Issues to the United Nations, co-­ordinated the Black Women Strong Conference in 2011 & is President of the Yarrabah State School P&C. Elverina has received community recognition including a Highly Commended Award in the 2008 Smart Woman Smart State Awards, a Recognition Award for Cairns International Womens Day and was the first woman to receive a scholarship from Swinburne University. She is currently studying at Melbourne Business School. Elverina lives in White Rock where she is bringing up 4 boys and is a real powerhouse.

Aunty Evelyn
Born in 1941 in Darwin, Evelyn’s early years were spent with her family in Brisbane and later on a banana farm near Beenleigh. Schooling opportunities were intermittent, she was often the only black child and little was known by the white community about her Torres Strait culture. However, her parents worked extremely hard to provide for her and the family and now Aunty Evelyn is herself well respected leader in the Cairns community. A local radio icon in the region, she shares her message and her spirituality with a large audience of fans.

Mark and Lisa Garrett

Mark and Lisa decided to form a family by adopting a child from Ethiopia. They specifically chose an Ethiopian child as they were friendly with a Sudanese family and had many friends in the local African community. After lodging the first application in 2003, they began the long wait, often experiencing difficulties and numerous barriers due to rigid bureacratic processes. In 2006 they moved to Ethiopoa to live in the birth country of their intended child, taking jobs as teachers and administrators. Unfortunately poor health meant they had to relocate to Dubai and begin the adoption process again. In 2009 their efforts were rewarded and the people of Ethiopia entrusted Mark and Lisa with the care of a beautiful boy named Tewedros.

Kayko (Keiko) Berry

Keiko was born in Tokyo and spent time in Japan and the US before finishing school and moving to Australia in 1991. Keiko originally planned on a 12 month stay but met her husband here and has raised 2 beautiful children. After working in tourism for 10 years, she began working for the Qld Police Service and was later appointed as the Japanese Police Liaison Officer. Keiko is currently attached to the QPS Cross Cultural Liaison Unit which is rsponsible for improving relations between the Police Service and Indigenous and ethnic communities.

Robert Pyne

In 1991 Rob suffered a tragic diving accident that left him a quadriplegic. Although being in a wheelchair for the past 20 years, it hasn’t stopped him achieving, always putting the ‘ability’ in ‘disability’. He spent nine months recuperating in Princess Alexandria Hospital Spinal Unit in Brisbane, during which time he married his fiancé Jenny.

Rob had worked in various professions until breaking his neck, but post-injury, he decided to undertake tertiary study so he could re-enter the work force in a new capacity. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics at JCU and a Law Degree at QUT. “It’s important to increase your education because it widens your options,” he said.

The son of a former Cairns Mayor, Tom Pyne, Rob spent a number of years assisting and campaigning for the rights of other disabled people. He has had a number of roles, including the Regional Disability Liaison Officer at James Cook University, the chair of the Far North Qld Regional Disability Council, the president of advocacy group Rights in Action and a member of the Disability Council of Qld.

In his position at JCU Rob provided information and advice about post-school options, support and services and assisted people with disabilities move from school into training and education and then into their chosen career.

In 1998, Jenny gave birth to the couple’s only child Katherine. Named after Tom’s mother, Katherine now is entering her teenage years and is enrolled at St Mary’s Catholic College in Woree.

Rob was appointed to the Disability Council of Queensland by the then Disability Services Minister Warren Pitt. “Disability councils provide an opportunity for Queenslanders with a disability, their families, service providers and local community members to get involved in government decision making, particularly in regard to the delivery of quality disability services in the state,” he said.

Pyne also speaks out on behalf of people if they need assistance with government funding or housing. He said access and services for people with disabilities in Cairns had improved over the years. Footpaths and guttering have improved but we have a long way to go.

Rob decided to contest the seat of Division 3 at the 2008 council election after Councillor Jeff Pezzutti signalled his intention not to return. He won in a landslide and has since shown his passion and dedication for the local south side community.

He said one of his priorities was to stop rates increasing. “I just want Cairns to be a great place to live for all residents. I would like Cairns to become known for its tropical buildings, shady green spaces and healthy environment. Proper planning can ensure development is sustainable and enhances the character of neighbourhoods and suburbs, but life has to be affordable as well.

Rob hopes to continue as a Councillor, “This isn’t a stepping stone for higher aspirations for me – I don’t want to be Mayor or a Member of Parliament.

He concludes, “Local Infrastructure is my passion and I am always going in to bat for Cairns for better facilities and services. I do feel sad to see the loss of the semi-rural lifestyle, but it is most important to provide services and facilities for our young people, so they don’t have to move away to pursue their careers and their dreams.”



MENTAL HEALTH WEEK: Great Pictures on Cairns Esplanade!

October 2011: The March for Wellbeing (organised by Cairns Mental Health Promotion Committee) took place at 10.30am today on the Cairns Esplanade.

The March marked the start of Metal Health Week.

Below are some fantastic pictures and information about this great initiative!

Participants walked from the Skate Park to the Esplanade Lagoon.

Everyone was invited to join in the colourful celebration to think about community wellbeing and to connect with each other.

The March was organised by the local Cairns Mental Health Promotion Committee. At the lagoon a BBQ was hosted by Qld Health and Qld Police.

This is a community event aiming to celebrate life and to dispell the negative stereotypes about mental illness and to look to a new future of being active, getting connected with others and staying involved in life.

The March was joined by circus performers and colourful costumes. People were encouraged to put on a bright shirt and to join in celebrating wellbeing in Cairns.

For further details contact Gill Townsend 40519622

This event has been listed by Gill Townsend, you can contact them at gill@centacarecairns.or

Parking Laws (most don’t know) and School Zone Traffic Stress!


It seems frustrations over traffic issues in some school zones has reached breaking point, with some heated exchanges in South Cairns recently. Police and Council Officers are bound to follow the law. Two relevant sections of the Queensland Traffic Act are as follows:


Centre Medium: ‘Parking in a centre medium is forbidden by Part 12 of the traffic act’. A good example of a centre medium is the centre medium on Anderson Road in Woree.

Footpath or Verge: Under section 197 Stopping on a path, dividing strip, nature strip or painted island Is forbidden. A driver must not stop on a bicycle path, footpath, shared path, a dividing strip, or a nature strip adjacent to a length of road in a built-up area.

Driveway: Parking in any location that blocks entry and exit to a driveway or crossover is forbidden.

Signage may impose additional restrictions: Cars must not park on a length of road, or in an area, to which a parking control sign applies.

We may not like these restrictions but Police, Transport and Council Officers have to enforce the law.

We can all do something to address the problems we have with parking in our school zones.


Whenever there is anger and frustration, people look for someone to blame. However, the situation we have is the situation we have. Enrollments at many of our schools simply exceed the capacity for all parents to drop off and pick up their children.

The surrounding areas are now built out and even if we could find land for additional parking, in many cases we would not even come close to addressing the parking shortfall. There is no point blaming anyone, but by working together we can manage the situation. Schools, Parents, Council and Qld Transport can all help and do more.


Every school should have a SafeST Committee. The SafeST Committee provides an avenue to schools, parents, Council and DTMR to discuss and resolve any traffic safety issues around schools. SafeST Committees provide all stakeholders a voice and ensure advice from a traffic engineer is obtained in any decisions that impact on traffic flow and road safety. Once a decision has been endorsed by a SafeST Committee, it can be acted on.


Improving pedestrian and cycle access can promote active transport and take pressure off the road network. Council has spent several million dollars in Cairns over the last four years to enhance pathways so pedestrians and cyclists have safe and user friendly access.

Council can also work with the state to improve bus services, so public transport can offer an increasingly attractive alternative for commuters.


With so many good schools in South Cairns, people should consider the possibility that “the best school may be the closest school”. This enhances the opportunity for children to walk or cycle to school. This may not always be possible, but is something that parents should consider during the enrollment process.

Parents can encourage their children to walk or cycle to school. If possible, where primary school children are involved, at the start of the year, parents should walk their children to  school, the local shops or to a friend’s house so they can point out any dangers  to  them. While walking with them, they should talk about what they are  doing and  explain what they need to watch out for to remain safe.

The most important thing parents (or any motorist) driving in a school zone must remember is to be patient and stay calm. School zones are designed to be a low speed environment and people just need to be patient. Remember it is only 10-15 minutes out of your day, and getting upset or emotional behind the wheel never helps.


Murder in Cairns gives Local Talent Something to Sing About!

Murder Ballads was fantastic last night as part of Cairns Festival. Some pictures are below for your enjoyment.

The McMenamins
The McMenamins

This special Cairns Festival cabaret style show, featuring Roz Pappalardo and the Wayward Gentlemen, Lucy Star Satellite, The McMenamins and Jeremiah Johnson at the Center of Contemporary Arts. Firmly etched in the Brisbane musical

The McMenamins.
The McMenamins.

landscape, Murder Ballads shows have bought together lovers of the dark side, always featuring a stellar line-up of artists, locally and statewide, and some fabulously dark visuals. Each act will perform a selection of their favourite crime ballads from past and present, alongside their own original songs inspired by the dark side of humanity and its more nefarious nature.

Golden Ticket Event

To The Grave

Murder has worn a bangle
Murder has worn a brace
Murder has worn a collar and tie
And a smile upon its face

 – John Garth Raubenheimer

Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah Johnson
Lucy Star Satellite
Lucy Star Satellite
Roz Pappalardo and the Wayward Gentlemen
Roz Pappalardo and the Wayward Gentlemen

Click here to visit Roz Poppalardo’s website