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Runs in Cairns

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The Esplanade 5km

The Esplanade runs along the beach between the marina and North Cairns.

It is a pleasant flat run, popular with walkers and there are regular water taps along the route.

Starting at the lagoon in the centre of town:

Going South - West: the Esplanade goes behind the Pier One shopping complex and ends not far away at the Cairns Yacht Club. Turn right and then left you can then follow Wharf street going south past Trinity Wharf bus station, the casino and Cairns convention centre.

Going North: the Esplanade goes along a boardwalk. After a couple of kms, the boardwalk changes to a dirt compressed path which ends at North Cairns.

This route can be continued to the Airport mangrove run or Mount Whitfield run below.


The Cairns Roadies FREE Club Run

The Cairns Road Runners host a free run/walk along the Esplanade each Wednesday night. Choose your distance - 3k, 5k, 8k or 10k. Meet just north of Muddys Playground at 5:30pm.

Road Races, Trail Runs, Fun Runs

The Cairns Road Runners host various events throughout the year.

Want to head out on your own? Use one of our maps.

Mount Whitfield Conservation Park


Red arrow and Blue arrow circuits

The park is 4.3 kilometres north of the Cairns post office. The walking track entrance is off Collins Avenue. Approximately 500m west of Cook Highway (Sheridan Street). The entrance to the conservation park is just past the 'Tanks Art Centre' and before the Botanic Gardens. There are maps at the entrance.

This is a rainforest, hilly and with no water past the entrance. Take some water with you.

The first section of the park is the red arrow circuit, 1.3 km long. It is hilly but relatively smooth to run along.

The second section is the blue arrow circuit 5.4km long. This is hilly, and there is a lot of hopping between rocks and tree roots. It is slow trail running. There is a sign 'running prohibited' just after the start of the blue arrow circuit, this is due to the danger of Cassowary attack.

The two arrow circuits are joined by about 400m of path. The blue arrow path has a side path of 400m to a summit.

Total run time around both arrow cicuits is approximately one hour with lots of hopping between tree roots. The east side of the red arrow circuit and the south side of the blue arrow circuit are higher, running more along ridges, and slightly better for continuous running. Basically, follow the high road for better running.

Note: the red arrow track is the easier one, the blue arrow track deviates off the red track for an addditional loop - making the blue track harder.

Airport mangrove Board-walk Run

At the north end of the Esplanade where the dirt path stops, the road or the adjacent parks can be followed north and west to the airport road which starts at Cook Highway (Sheridan Street)not far after the Collins Avenue turn-off. The airport road has a parallel dirt track running on both sides of the road and it leads to 2 mangrove board walk paths. These are the highlights of the run, although the 3km of running to get there is uninspiring. The board walks are only approximately 400m and 600m in length. On the east side of the airport road is a car park, notice board with a map, and a shelter. The entrances to the boardwalk paths are at opposite ends of the carpark. The longer 600m path is an out and back route, and the vegetation changes so that for the last 100m I was running under a canopy of mangrove leaves - almost something out of film.

From the esplanade to the mangroves and back is 30 - 40 minutes. There are taps immediately after the Esplanade in the parks, but as I recall there is no water on the airport road or mangrove walks.


Other Running & Walking Tracks in the Cairns area

There are heaps of other tracks listed here

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