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Cairns Part 1 - Top Tips from a Local

Cairns Part 1 - Top Tips from a Local

Local and Catfish Athlete Natasha Barlow has given us the rundown on the top tips when visiting and racing at Cairns IM 

What to expect

  • Cairns is a unique race with split transitions. You will get to see many areas of this beautiful city. Make sure you have transport sorted for your bag/bike drops and on the morning as city --> Palm Cove is about 20-25minutes drive. 
  • Expect amazing views throughout the cycle and run! 
  • There is always a great atmosphere around Palm Cove and all over Cairns City. 
  • Usually an unpredictable swim. Every year the swim seems to change. It can look calm on Friday/Saturday and end up choppy on race day, or vice versa!
  • Headwind once you turn around near Port Douglas and head back to Cairns is almost guaranteed. 


Best food spots

City food:

  • Rustys markets (Friday to Sunday) and Annes Vietnamese coffee 
  • Bury me standing (plant based bagels and treats)
  • Muddys - good for families and great food options too 
  • Hemingways and Salthouse for great drinks and atmosphere 
  • Bellocale, La Pizza and Piccolo Cucina for Italian (carb loading!)

Palm Cove food:

  • Nunus
  • Vivos 
  • Espresso and Co 
  • Il Forno pizza 


Training recommondations:

  • Copperlode = hills!!
  • From the city, cycle south to Second Beach (near Gordonvale) or cycle inland to crystal cascades 
  • Running along the esplande to become familiar with the course and feel the Ironman buzz starting! 
  • Post race walks allow our local trails (red/yellow/blue arrows) have some great views and a chance to see more of the landscape here
  • Beach yoga at palm cove or port douglas is a great way to relax 


Oher places to visit if staying for a few days:

  • Waterfalls: Crystal Cascades, Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, Waterfall circuit in Atherton Tablelands 
  • Visit the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit the Daintree Rainforest (north of Port Douglas)
  • Adrenalin junkies = AJ Hackett bungy jump, sky diving, white water rafting
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Mandy + Nicole
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