Summer 2018

LUXLIFE MAGAZINE | 51 Summer 2018 For those interested in learning more about this vital work, there is a behind the scenes tour so that guests can see how the diverse range of species housed in the aquarium, which ranges from local fish such as clown fish, barramundi and Maori Wrasse through to crocodiles, sharks and turtles, all of which collective consumes around one ton of food per month. This impressive collection of animals, which is diligently cared for by an expert team of specialists, is a must-see for anyone visiting Carins. Following this fascinating journey through Queensland’s aquatic wonderlands, we were ushered through to our home for the night, the Pullman Cairns International, an exuberant example of classic style and hospitality, where attentive staff shepherded the weary travellers through to a sumptuous meal at Coco’s Restaurant. Having freshened up in hotel rooms designed with comfort and convenience in mind, LUXlife took a trip across town to the site which will shortly be transformed into the latest member of the Crystalbrook Collection, a range of distinctive luxury hotels which pride themselves on standing out in an industry renowned for following trends. As part of the first real investment in 5-star hotels in Cairns for the last 20 years, the latest addition, Riley, is due to be opened later this year, featuring the city’s first and only rooftop bar. Two other hotels are due to be opened over the next twelve months, offering visitors and locals alike a unique blend of style and technology. Each hotel will seamlessly integrated technology into every aspect of a guest’s stay, from check-in, which can be completed at a guest’s car by the reception staff and their mobile technology, through to room service, which can be ordered via the hotel’s iPad system, which will link everything together to create a hassle-free experience for every visitor. Creating a building that Cairns can be proud of, Crystalbook’s first hotel in the city will be a timeless hourglass shaped structure boasting incredible views over the beach and exceptional amenities including the aforementioned rooftop bar, the first of its kind in the city, bespoke furniture created specifically for the establishment, as well as restaurants, an infinity pool and state-of- the-art function rooms. When finished this phenomenal hotel will be Cairn’s bastion of decadence and luxury for travellers from far and wide. Continuing our tour of the best that Cairns has to offer we moved on to Ochre Restaurant, a modern eatery that prides itself on serving Australian classics with a vibrant flavour twist. Locally sourced seafood, tender meat dishes and inventive vegetarian options are all on offer, as well as a vast wine list featuring some of the region’s finest tipples. Throughout dinner we had the pleasure of speaking with Claudia McFadden from Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Andy Ridley from Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef ( ), two organisations that are committed to encouraging sustainable tourism. Andy discussed his unique organisation’s ideal, whereby data driven conservation techniques can support everyone in helping to keep the reef safe and healthy. From reducing the amount of plastics used to sustainable fashion, there is a takeaway for everyone from the work of this fascinating collective. A central aspect of the organisation’s work is advising on sustainable reef tourism, and among the activities that Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef endorses is Sunlover Reef Cruises, and as such the next day we arrived to board the Sunlover boat and journey out into the heart of this natural wonder. After being dropped off at Sunlover’s reef dwelling pontoon, visitors can experience the vastness of the reef by taking a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef, thanks to Nautilus Aviation, as well as explore it via Sunlover’s glass bottomed boat, or, for a more intimate exploration of the life on the reef, guests can take a trip on the semi-submarine, a unique glass hulled boat which allows passengers to see the true majesty of the reef. For the adventurous, Sunlover offers diving and snorkelling tours, as well as ‘Reef Walking’ tours, ensuring that guests of all abilities can enjoy the beauty of this magnificent habitat, and view some of the diverse range of fish, mammals and corals that call the reef their home. Sunlover’s experienced team, which includes a trained Marine Biologist, take guests on educational tours of the reef, showing them the best places to see turtles or some of the colourful fish that feed off the coral, including parrot fish, clown fish and butterfly fish. In the evening the boat left the pontoon, leaving us to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of spending the night on the reef as part of the firm’s Sunlover By Starlight experience. Sleeping in a Swag, a one-man tent with an open-air top that allows the user to repose with the stars in full view, we enjoyed the phenomenal delight of waking to the sunrise over the Great Barrier Reef. After