Chasing the Cairns Sunrise

Breana Wagner is a student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Cairns, Australia.

My last morning in Cairns began at 5:30 am walking down the Esplanade to catch the 6 am sunrise. As I was leaving the hostel, a young man greeted me at the gate, just coming in from the night before. I wandered towards the esplanade hearing someone say, “It’s going to be a good one today.” I was so excited to capture this sunrise.

Walking down the esplanade: approx. 5:35 am

There were people walking and running all around me getting their morning workout in before the far north Queensland heat set in. The ocean was at low tide creating a unique reflection on the pools of water left behind. It was unlike anything I had ever seen.

Esplanade pool: approx: 5:47 am

When I got to the pool I knew what shot I wanted to get, but my plans were ruined when I saw the pool cleaner doing his job. I was defiantly thankful that someone cleans the pool, but I was not excited in that moment. But that’s studying abroad in general: always have a backup plan, or at least pretend you do, fake it til you make it right?

Sunrise behind the hills: approx 6:01 am

While I was waiting for the sun to peek out from behind the hill, I sat next to a pigeon and listened to this cute couple. The wife went to swim and her husband was taking pictures of her swimming away towards the sunrise.

Sun rising, with no sight of the sun: approx 6:04 am

There were about ten elderly people in the pool getting in their daily morning swim. The sun was just about to poke over the hill as I captured my last photo before heading elsewhere.

Almost there but not quite: approx 6:07 am

I headed towards the Reef Gateway sculpture to catch a photo of the sun peeking out from behind the hills. So I went to this beautiful sculpture and waited for the sun to make it’s appearance.

More than just the gateway to the reef?: approx 6:09 am

After capturing the statue I went back to the esplanade and sat down to capture the low tide and the sun still peeking over hill:

Hello sun: approx 6:09 am

The clouds were so beautiful this morning and the decks from the esplanade were too beautiful not to capture.

The glorious golden hour: approx 6:15 am

Once I took all the pictures I wanted for the sunrise, I decided to walk to the nearby IGA and get some morning chocolate milk (yes I don’t like coffee, shocking right?) and sit to enjoy the sunrise. Next was the marina. There were so many people up and about getting ready to go on adventures of their own, but I was just looking for some good marina pictures.

Cairns marina, C finger: approx 7:21 am

I walked around for the marina for a bit and then decided to walk back towards the hostel. The sun rays were absolutely spectacular and created such neat effects on the marina, now in the distance, and the hills behind.

Cairns Marina: approx 7:48 am


Final photo: approx 8:05 am

By the time I made it back to my hostel to wake my sleeping friends, I had walked 6.5 miles in 2.5 hours, and It wasn’t even 8:30 am.

Moral of the story: if you are looking for something to do, go chase the sunrise, you never know what you will see.


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