Great Barrier Reef for kids Cairns Region

Cairns is a great place to base your family, given its fantastic transportation links and abundant activities on the reef and the mainland.

The city’s amenities, including the EsplanadeEsplanade and Lagoon, are near the Reef Terminal.  Make for easy and convenient tropical entertainment when you are not visiting the reef.

Here families can play, swim, eat and relax using the free public playgrounds, BBQ facilities and swimming lagoon.

It is also relatively close to other city centre attractions like the Wildlife Dome and the Kuranda Scenic Rail station.

A range of accommodation options in the city are reasonably priced and cater to families. Many are also within walking distance of the Reef Fleet Terminal, and some operators include a pick-up and drop-off service.

Cairns’ proximity to the reef means you don’t have to travel too far or long to reach the reef. Perfect if you need only a half-day option, although full-day and multi-day options are also available.

The inner reef locations like Green Island or Fitzroy Island are a quick ferry ride from Cairns.

They are great destinations for young children to splash in the shallow waters.  Play happily and safely on the family-friendly island beaches, or use the resort facilities, including swimming pools and restaurants.

They also offer a wide range of family entertainment activities, including rainforest walks, underwater walking on the seafloor for children over 12 years, and crocodiles at Marineland Melanesia.Marineland Melanesia.

Great Barrier Reef for kids Cairns outer barrier reef activities

Outer reef locations are also family suitable and offer protected waters and multi-level pontoons with waterslides. During the day,  glass-bottom boat tours, underwater observatories, and other activities.

Trips such as Quicksilver Cruise’s Squid Squad can include educational elements, which can be great options for kids.

While on Reef Experience, kids can join in the ‘Skipper for the day’s program, and there are reef pictures to colour in to keep kids entertained.