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Life on The Road and Troy Cassar-Daley’s Insider’s Guide to Cairns

Cairns is brimming with great sights and attractions including notable musical acts like Troy Cassar-Daley’s current Greatest Hits Tour.

Capturing Cairns through Troy’s eyes, we chat to Troy about his Greatest Hits tour which just passed through Cairns, including what life has been like on the road as well as his top tips for travellers and favourite Cairns attractions that are a little off the beaten path.

Throughout his thirty years of making music, Troy has been awarded numerous accolades including 37 Golden Guitars, 4 ARIAs, 2 APRA Country Song of the Year awards, 9 Deadlys (Australian Indigenous Artist Awards), 4 CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards plus 2 NIMAs (National Indigenous Music Awards).  In 2017 Troy was honoured as the 50th inductee into the prestigious Australasian Roll Of Renown. 
Troy’s Greatest Hits tour continues throughout the rest of 2019. For show details, visit troycassardaley.com 

Question 1. You are currently rolling out your Greatest Hits Tour around Australia. What made you choose Cairns as a concert location?
I’ve been a fan of Cairns since 1990 when I first went through there, it was such an adventure for a 20-year-old, and I’ve loved every visit since.
Question 2. When touring throughout Australia, a lot of your concert locations are rural towns and cities scatted throughout the country. What is your favourite thing about visiting these smaller towns to perform your greatest hits?
I really love taking walks in these towns with my daughter Jem while she is touring with me - we’ve made a pact to get up early and breathe these places in. The biggest drawcard for me are the people, can’t beat the love and support they’ve given me.
Troy Cassar-Daley with his family in Cairns after performing
Jem with her Grandma in Cairns who flew up from Brisbane just to see her play

Question 3. You mentioned that your Greatest Hits Tour is an acoustic show mixed with stories of your life. Can you tell us a bit more about what attendees can expect?
Well, this has been one of my favourite tours to date simply because I’m delivering the songs the way I first heard them when they were written - and the stories that go with the songs are such a pleasure to share. It’s the most intimate show I’ve ever done.
Troy performing at the Novotel Cairns
Troy performing at the Novotel Cairns

Question 4. You recently performed to some lucky Accor Plus Members at the Novotel in Cairns. How was it performing your greatest hits at such an intimate concert?
It was very special to be a part of that day at the Novotel, singing songs and grabbing pics with them made me feel just as special as them and they all hopefully felt like VIP’s!
Question 5. What is the most unusual gift you’ve received on tour?
A laminated surfboard with a plaque with my name on it is right up there - and it took a bit of getting home on the plane I tell ya!!
The Tjapuki Cultural Park is an authentic Australian indigenous cultural experience
The Tjapuki Cultural Park is an authentic Australian indigenous cultural experience. Credit: Adam Bruzzone

Question 6. What does a normal day on tour look like for you? Did you get a chance to sightsee around Cairns or visit any of your favourite spots while you were there?
A normal day on the road is a big early morning walk around the town we’re about to leave,
Breakfast, then in the car for a few hours where I’ll try to write a song or get some work done - but I have to listen to music as it keeps me sane.
This trip we had very limited time but past trips have found me out on Green island snorkelling.
I really love the enthusiasm and energy that I get from Tjapukai Cultural Park. I met David Hudson years ago and he had a dream which came into fruition that is a ‘can’t-miss’ thing for me and many others now.
Troy Cssar-Daley fishing at the Mulgrave River
I also love to fish for Barramundi up there where the Mulgrave and Russell river meet – I’ve had a few amazing mornings there too.

Question 7. What do you typically pack when you are going on tour? Are there any essentials that you just can’t travel without?
A few Ariat shirts that don’t wrinkle - and jeans for each show to start,
The normal array of razors deodorant etc.
My water bottle (I hate plastic ones!)
My Bose noise cancelling earphones – I wouldn’t fly without them
My coffee keep cup
The show wouldn’t happen without my Takamine acoustic guitar and my Shure in-ear monitors
Question 8. A lot of travellers make a beeline for attractions such as The Great Barrier Reef when they visit Cairns. Do you have any tips for travellers who are looking to find something off the beaten path on their next trip?
Waterfalls and rainforest trails with Ingan Tours – this tour was awesome and so worth the drive.
The Mossman Gorge tour was also incredible. I did it four years ago and the sights and sounds of the rainforest were something that will never be captured in a photo, it has to be captured in the heart!

Question 9. Do you have any recommendations for great places to eat in Cairns?
 Yes, I loved the pasta and seafood at Bellocale Italian Seafood Restaurant. I also had some incredible chicken at a little Korean place called Happy 4 10 - amazing tucker!
Question 10. They say no one tells a tale like Troy Cassar-Daley. Do you have any great stories from when you’ve been in Cairns?
I fell in love with a young girl who was a chef in Cairns who had no interest in a bum musician that was just passing through! I invited her to our show we were playing up there with Brian Young. She came along and seemed to enjoy it, we then ended up at Johno’s blues bar, I was quite smitten, but she went home!
Ah the life of a broken-hearted musician, I probably wrote a couple of songs about her. That’s life. 
It’s been a pleasure touring with Accor hotels this year. The smiles on arrivals make the journey worthwhile.
Best regards,
Troy Cassar-Daley

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