Cairns is the jewel in Australia’s tropical crown, being a popular holiday location for locals & tourists alike. With its warm climate & amazing scenery, it is a fun & beautiful city to visit. Bordered by the Great Barrier Reef, the mountains of the Great Dividing Range and a number of nearby attractions, there is no shortage of things to do in Cairns. Cairns Australia.com is a complete online guide to Cairns.
Visit the following websites to discover the beautiful surrounding areas. And explore the sections below to learn more about Cairns.
Top Things To Do in Cairns
See the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of 3000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands and 300 coral cays.
This 2,300 km stretch of protected ecosystem encompasses thousands of individual reefs and hundreds of islands, making it an aquatic wonderland impossible to top. With an abundance of mesmerising marine life and coral systems that seem to blossom from the ocean floor, it’s very easy to see why this environment is a must for any aspiring diver. The Area is not only home to the beauty beneath the waters; it’s also paired with the glory of sun-touched beaches with glistening sand and crystal clear lagoons.
With all this staggering natural splendour, the Great Barrier Reef has certainly earned its reputation as one of the planets most pursed destinations. Once you’ve arrived, the only downside is finding enough time to spend as much of your day in and around the coastline as you can. From whale watching or interacting with the marine life, cruise ship tours, heli-tours and, of course – the pièce de résistance – snorkeling or scuba diving. If Cairns is your next holiday destination, make sure you spend at least a litte time on the Reef – otherwise you’ll miss one of the great wonders of the world.
Learn more here.
Learn About Aboriginal Culture
Explore the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture — dating back more than 40,000 years — at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. http://www.tjapukai.com.au/ Just 20 minutes outside Cairns, the centre gives guests the opportunity to experience authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through theatre, guided bush walks and didgeridoo shows. About 90 minutes north of Cairns is the Mossman Gorge Centre http://www.yalanji.com.au/arts/ , an indigenous eco-tourism development that allows visitors to explore the gorge while learning about the local Kuku Yalanji culture and traditions. https://www.mossmangorge.com.au/experience/dreamtime-walks Travel the Bama Way, http://www.adventurenorthaustralia.com/the-bama-way/ an Aboriginal journey from Cairns to north of Cooktown, and experience Queensland from a traditional perspective, from learning to throw a spear to hunting and gathering bush tucker in the mangroves.
Trek Through Tropical Rainforest
The World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest is about two hours drive north of Cairns and can be seen on a day trip from the city or over the course of two days, staying overnight in one of its wilderness lodges. http://www.daintreerainforest.com/daintree/accommodation.1/ The tropical rainforest is home to the most diverse range of plants and animals on earth, including the rare tree-dwelling kangaroo and the endangered cassowary. Start your day at the Daintree Discovery Centre http://www.discoverthedaintree.com/ where you can walk along the 125 metre (410 foot) long Aerial Walkway through the mid-level rainforest or take a self-guided rainforest tour. Join a gentle cruise down the Daintree River to spot wildlife in its natural habitat, including saltwater crocodiles. On foot you’ll find that rainforest meets reef at Cape Tribulation, where you can easily lose hours walking through tropical lowland forest or along stretches of white sand.
Nestled within the Daintree Rainforest, 110 kms north of Cairns, Cape Tribulation is one of the only places in the world where you can step out of a lush rainforest and straight onto a beach! This gorgeous headland offers visitors a number of accommodation options, from eco-lodges to resorts, hostels and camping sites, meaning that the wonders within this area are affordable and accessible to all.
From ‘Cape Trib’, you can explore the Daintree’s numerous hiking trails, walk along the sweeping beaches in search of seashells and driftwood or immerse yourself into the underwater wonderland that is the Great Barrier Reef. Jump on a boat and go diving on the outer reef or spend a day exploring the nearby islands. Visit local farms and markets to taste the surprisingly large range of tropical fruits or go on an interpretive rainforest walk to see some of these amazing fruits growing in the wild. There’s just so much to do at Cape Tribulation!
Experience It From Above the Canopy
The mountain village of Kuranda http://www.kuranda.org/ is tucked within the tropical rainforest, and is known for its vibrant arts community. Local markets are open daily, selling a range of jewellery, leather goods and Aboriginal art, while bookshops, galleries and boutiques line the village streets. The journey to and from Kuranda is arguably the highlight. The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway https://www.skyrail.com.au/cairnstours/skyrail-kuranda-rail glides above the rainforest canopy then descends deep into its heart. The 90 minute experience allows time at two rainforest stations, Red Peak and Barron Falls, where you can walk among lush palm and giant ferns. On your way back to Cairns, you can travel on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway http://www.ksr.com.au/ http://www.cairnsattractions.com.au/cairns-tour-info/kuranda-scenic-railway.32/ The two hour train journey traverses dense rainforest, winding past rugged mountains, tumbling waterfalls and the stunning Barron Gorge.
In Cairns you’ll find plenty of activities to get your heart racing. Find some of the best whitewater rafting http://www.whitewaterraftingcairns.com/ rapids in Australia on the Tully and Barron rivers or a half day of tubing on the Mulgrave River. Tandem skydives are available for true adrenaline seekers – with aerial views of the Great Barrier Reef an obvious draw – as is bungy jumping at AJ Hackett https://www.ajhackett.com/cairns/ (where you can also ride the Minjin Jungle Swing). https://www.ajhackett.com/cairns/activities/minjin-swing/ Other activities in the area include quad biking, horse-riding and hang-gliding.
Go Island Hopping
Discover some of the reef’s unspoiled islands from Cairns. Jump on the 45 minute high-speed ferry to reach picturesque Fitzroy Island. Here you can explore rainforest walking tracks, snorkel straight off the beach at Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach and see the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef by sea kayak. Book a to Green Island, a coral cay surrounded by sugar-white beaches and sapphire waters, just 30 kilometres (19 miles) off the Cairns shore. Go off the grid at Hinchinbrook Island, http://www.porthinchinbrook.com.au/hinchinbrook-island Australia’s largest national park island, and discover a landscape of mangrove forests, isolated beaches and sheltered bays. For a truly exclusive experience, book accommodation at reef-fringed Bedarra http://www.greatbarrierreef.org/islands/bedarra-island/ or Lizard islands. http://www.nationalgeographiclodges.com/lodges/australia-and-pacific/lizard-island
Fun Facts About Cairns
Here are some a few fun facts below to show you why the Cairns region is different to any other in Australia:
- The Cairns region is home to the world’s longest lava tubes – the Undara lava tubes are thought to be around 190,000 years old and stretch for 160 km in distance and are 20 metres wide and are located in the Undara National Park https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/undara-volcanic/.
- The Cairns regions is home to Australia’s largest moth – the Hercules moth is only found in Tropical North Queensland and measures a huge 25 cm in wingspan.
- The Cairns region is home to Queensland’s highest mountain – Mount Bartle Frere is located just south of Cairns and measures 1622 metres high.
- The Cairns region is home to the world’s longest fern – take a day trip to Lake Eacham where you will see a great example of the king fern which has fern fronds measuring up to 7 metres in length.
- The Cairns region is home to the world’s most dangerous bird – this is the Cassowary which is a large, flightless bird known for inflicting fatal injuries to dogs and humans when disturbed. You will not be meeting this bird.
- The Cairns region is home to the world’s longest, single day mail run – the mail run spans 1450km and takes over 9 hours with 10 stops flying between Cairns and Cape York.