Looking to cool off while visiting our beautiful city, head to the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.

The Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is ideal for soaking up some sun and meeting other travellers to catch up with friends.   Around the Lagoon are stunning views of the Trinity Inlet, and mountains line the horizon of Cairns city.

Locals choose to set up a picnic at one of the many tables in the surrounding park grounds under the massive Banyan Trees, even though there are several neighbouring eateries and coffee shops at and around the swimming lagoon.  There are 12 BBQ facilities scattered across the Cairns Esplanade promenade near the Swimming Lagoon that is cleaned daily and open for daily use.

Visitors worldwide are drawn to the Cairns Swimming Lagoon on the Esplanade as a popular spot for sunbathing and socialising.


Further along North of the Cairns Esplanade, there are many fun things to discover, including playgrounds, cafes, exercise equipment and a walking and bicycle track.

To the south, you will find the Marine Precinct, the Pier Shopping Centre, a host of fantastic restaurants, and the Cairns Marina.

Lifeguards are on duty to keep everyone safe, and the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is free to use.

About the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

  • How Deep?  1-2 metres.
  • How Big?  4800 square kilometres.
  • When did the Lagoon open?  2003.
  • How much does it cost to swim in the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon?  It is Free.

Where to Park?

Parking at the Lagoon is from Pier Point Road charges are $1.80 an hour from 6 am to 10 pm, seven days a week and free after 10 pm and on Public Holidays.

Are lockers available at the Cairn Esplanade Lagoon?  Yes, there are coin-operated lockers at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.

There are also toilets, showers and change rooms on the eastern side of the Lagoon.

Landscape architects, Tract Consultants, designed Cairns Esplanade Lagoon in 2003, and then Queensland Premier Peter Beattie officially opened it.

Around the Cairns Esplanade lagoon, trees are perfect for lying under and relaxing.

Interesting facts

The water used to fill the cutting-edge swimming facility comes from the Trinity Inlet and is filtered through a sophisticated filtration system before being pumped into the facility.

Art around the Lagoon

Woven Fish









Art at the northern end of the Lagoon is the signature art of the Woven Fish, designed by Brian Robinson.  There are five 2.5-high and 1.5-wide stainless steel woven fish reflecting the Torres Strait’s traditional practice of weaving palm leaves into the shape of a fish.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

At the southern end of the Lagoon

The Herd artwork is at the southern end of the Lagoon and mimics a herd moving towards the ocean.  The design, meticulously carved from granite, is reminiscent of the mud flats along the Esplanade during mid- to low tide.  This art is by Hew Chee Fong and Loretta Noonan.





Cairns Esplanade Rules

For everyone’s protection and enjoyment, there are a few guidelines to follow when using the Lagoon, which is as follows:                                         

  • No eating or drinking in the Lagoon, and there is no alcohol within the park                                
  • No diving or jumping allowed.
  • No running allowed.                                                                   
  • Adults need to supervise their children.                                                     
  • No inflatables are permitted in the Lagoon (they block the view of the lifeguards).     
  • Smoking is not permitted.                                                                                           
  • No glass
  • Dogs are not permitted in the Lagoon.


Next, discover our beautiful region.