My wife loves the Esplanade, the waterfront of Cairns City. I took this photo as we walked from the car to the RSL for dinner. The faint lights in the middle far right of the photo are from the airport.

A helicopter takes off from the Esplanade helipad.

A helicopter takes off from the Esplanade helipad.

At the far southern end of the Esplanade you will quite often see one of the helicopters that ferry tourists to the islands arrive and depart from a helipad there. The emergency rescue helicopter lands on a helipad outside the hospital further up the Esplanade.

In the middle area of the Esplanade you will often see Pelicans fly in and gracefully land. I find them quite amusing to watch once they have landed.

It was not long after these three had arrived that they decided it was all too much and settled in for a nap as the sun sets.

A bird viewing platform on the Esplanade just before sunset.

There are quite a few viewing areas along the Esplanade created for watching the birdlife on the mud flats. The above photo was taken as the sunset runners start to invade the walkway. Such a beautiful spot to exercise.

Qantas flight passing over parkland at the end of the Esplanade. October 2019

At the far northern end of the Esplanade there are parklands that flights fly quite low over as they approach the airport. Cairns has an extremely busy airport so if you want to see a plane fly low overhead you do not have to wait very long.

When I visited the parklands in October 2019 the birdlife were feasting in the trees that line the walkway. Above is a Rainbow Lorikeet feeding in the trees that I sat and watched for a while. One word of warning about the Esplanade, at sunset the sandflies are savage. Take insect repellent.

Red-tailed black cockatoo.

There were quite a few Red-tailed black cockatoos in the park that day and they are a very noisy bunch. I should have taken a photo of underneath the main tree they were gathered in. There were so many branch clippings that it looked like the council gardener had trimmed the tree.

A couple having a snack together.

I have read that the females have the addition of golden yellow tips to their feathers which would make the photo above of a male and female.

…and then they were all gone.

For some reason one particular airplane, one of many that had flown over, scared the birds and they all flew off up towards the hills.

David Taylor