Shopping The guide was updated:If by some quirk you tire of the natural abundance of beauty surrounding you, and you’re looking to splash some cash reveling in the pleasures of some serious shopping, then Cairns has a host of different consumer options.
The Central Business District is the major place to head for where you will find a number of boutiques selling that must-have outfit, through to the arts and craft shops selling local Aboriginal handcrafted works and other souvenirs.
For that air-conditioned shopping mall experience, head to Cairns Central which has 170 speciality shops and department stores. Look out for Aussie Bush Hats and Oilskins, where you can pick up all the equipment needed for a trek in the rainforest. Nearby, on the Esplanade, is The Pier Market Place, which also has a wide range of speciality shops but is particularly good for souvenirs and art.
However, if you prefer your shopping experience to be a little more real and wholesome then head to one of Cairns many markets. On the Esplanade there is a nightly market (4pm-11pm) and on Saturday there are stalls selling some wonderful jewellery. Be sure to save some money for Rusty’s Market held at Gilligan’s Backpackers Hostel every weekend, where you can pick up some of the region’s finest food.