Explore Cairns: The Ultimate Guide to things to do in Cairns.
Cairns, located in tropical North Queensland, is a vibrant and diverse city known for its stunning natural beauty and numerous attractions. Here are some of the best things to do in Cairns:
1. Great Barrier Reef Adventures
- Explore the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Take a snorkelling or scuba diving tour to discover the colourful coral reefs and marine life.
2. Sleeping on the Reef: Unforgettable Experience with Reef Encounter
- Immerse yourself in the magic of the Great Barrier Reef by sleeping on the reef with Reef Encounter. Explore vibrant coral gardens, encounter marine life, and enjoy a unique overnight adventure. Upgrade to Top Deck Club for the pamper experience.
3. Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail
- Experience the breathtaking beauty of the rainforest by taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway or Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Both offer stunning views of the lush landscape.
4. Rainforest Tours
- Ancient rainforests surround Cairns. Join a guided tour to explore the Daintree Rainforest or Mossman Gorge, where you can spot unique wildlife and learn about the region’s indigenous culture.
5. Cairns Esplanade
- Relax at the Cairns Esplanade, a picturesque waterfront promenade. Enjoy swimming in the man-made lagoon, picnic, or stroll along the boardwalk.
6. Cairns Botanic Gardens
- Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens, home to various tropical plants and gardens. Take a guided tour to learn about the local flora and fauna.
7. Wildlife Encounters
- Get up close with Australia’s unique wildlife at places like Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, where you can see crocodiles, kangaroos, and other native animals.
8. Atherton Tablelands
- Take a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands, known for its waterfalls, lakes, and charming villages. Don’t miss Millaa Millaa Falls and Lake Eacham for swimming and picnicking.
9. Cairns Night Markets
- Explore the Cairns Night Markets, open every night. Shop for local crafts and souvenirs, and enjoy a variety of international cuisines.
10. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Experience the thrill of a hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands at sunrise, offering breathtaking landscape views.
11. Fitzroy Island
Visit Fitzroy Island for a day of snorkelling, hiking, and relaxation on pristine beaches. The coral reefs here are perfect for snorkelling and swimming.
12. Fishing and Water Activities
Enjoy fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, or paddleboarding in the Cairns region’s pristine waters.
13. Butterfly Sanctuary
Visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda, where you can stroll through a lush rainforest and observe thousands of colourful butterflies.
14. Paronella Park
Explore the enchanting Paronella Park, a heritage-listed attraction with romantic gardens, waterfalls, and historic Spanish-style castles.
15. Fishing Charters
Cairns is a mecca for fishing enthusiasts. Join a fishing charter to catch some of the region’s prized game fish, such as marlin and barramundi.
16. Cultural Experiences
Attend cultural events and festivals to taste Cairns’ vibrant arts scene. Check out local galleries, theatres, and Indigenous art exhibitions.
Discover Cairns’ nightlife with bars, clubs, and live music venues. The city comes alive after dark, making it perfect for a night out on the town.
18. Waterfall Circuit
Embark on a scenic drive to explore the Waterfall Circuit, which includes Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, and Elinjaa Falls, among others.
19. Green Island
Take a short boat ride to Green Island, a beautiful coral cay within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Enjoy snorkelling, glass-bottom boat tours, and relaxing on sandy beaches.
For adrenaline junkies, Cairns offers the opportunity to experience the thrill of skydiving with stunning aerial views of the coast and reef.
Hike the trails of the surrounding rainforests and national parks. The challenging Hiking trails include the Bartle Frere Summit Track and the Crystal Cascades Trail.
22. Cairns Aquarium
Explore the Cairns Aquarium, home to a vast array of marine life, including rare and unique species in the region’s waters.
23. Cultural Markets
Visit Rusty’s Markets, a local institution featuring fresh produce, gourmet food, crafts, and live music. It’s a great place to experience the local culture.
24 Hot Springs
Soak in the natural hot springs at Innot Hot Springs, known for their therapeutic properties and surrounded by lush rainforest.
25. Helicopter Tours
Take a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests for a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscapes.
Cairns offers various activities and experiences for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking to immerse themselves in Indigenous culture. It’s a destination that truly showcases the natural beauty of Australia.