Cairns is my favourite place in sunny Far North Queensland.
With so much to see and do in Far North Queensland, Cairns is truly one of the best bucket list destinations ever! A relaxed and casual place to visit, not surprisingly Cairns offers exactly what the travel brochures promise.
When you arrive, don’t be surprised to see some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia.
There’s a ton of great things to do in and around the city. You’ll find amazing cafés, great restaurants, busy markets, clear fresh-water rivers and swimming holes close to the city. Of course, there’s always the beautiful northern beaches.
- Visit Kuranda – take the Skyrail or Kuranda Scenic Railway
- Go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
- Visit the Daintree, the most ancient rainforest in the world
There’s so much to do in Cairns
You’ll never tire of this scenery!
You have choices! A short boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef so you can snorkel on the reef or around the islands, or choose a short drive north to be amidst the ancient Daintree rainforest with its rare plants, exotic birds and animals.
Want to do something different? Take a short drive up the mountain to the Atherton Tablelands with its crater lakes, quaint mountain villages and spectacular countryside or take an adventure on Kuranda’s Scenic Railway to see the magnificent Barron Falls and views down the Barron Gorge.
Get your Foodie Fix
With coffee and tea plantations closeby, it’s no surprise that Cairns has a thriving café scene. It won’t take you long to discover some of the best the best tea & coffee hangouts in town!
Take advantage of Cairns’ balmy weather and dine alfresco on The Esplanade, with ocean fresh seafood from Barnacle Bills which has been on the Esplanade as long as I can remember, or try some Asian fusion style menu from The Raw Prawn. A trip up the to the northern beaches will offer some great restaurants along the way!
Perhaps a visit to Rusty’s Markets for an opportunity to taste some of the locally grown exotic fruits and lots more. Step out and mingle with the locals at Rusty’s Markets.
Step into the Ancient Tropical Rainforest
The World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest is about two hours drive north of Cairns.
The Daintree is home to some of the most diverse range of plants, birds and unique animals on earth, including the rare tree-dwelling kangaroo and the endangered cassowary.
Visit the Daintree Discovery Centre where you can walk along the Aerial Walkway amidst the rainforest or take a cruise down the Daintree River to spot wildlife in its natural habitat, including saltwater crocodiles. Choose to do a day trip from the city or opt to stay overnight in one of the wilderness lodges.
The Great Barrier Reef
You simply can’t visit Cairns without visiting the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system. It’s made up of 3000 coral reefs and over 900 beautiful islands and coral cays. Take a day cruise with Quicksilver Cruises to snorkel in the stunning coral gardens and see the beautifully coloured fish to fully experience this remarkable treasure.
Discover the Islands
A short high-speed ferry ride will take you to beautiful Fitzroy Island. Explore the walking tracks through the natural rainforest, snorkel around Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach or see the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef by sea kayak.
Take day tour to Green Island, and explore this beautiful coral cay surrounded by sandy white beaches and sapphire blue waters, just a short hop off the Cairns shore.
Learn about Aboriginal culture
North Queensland is rich in history and is home of the world’s oldest living culture which dates back more than 40,000 years at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.
The cultural centre gives guests the opportunity to experience authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through theatre, guided bush walks and didgeridoo shows. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever!
Visit Kuranda’s Village in the Rainforest
The mountain village of Kuranda is nestled within the tropical rainforest, and known for its vibrant arts community. Local markets are open daily, selling a range of jewellery, leather goods and Aboriginal art, while cafes, galleries and boutiques line the village streets.
The journey up to Kuranda is half the experience! The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway takes you above the rainforest canopy and provides extraordinary views over the city, the beaches and the pristine rainforest. Take the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway when returning to Cairns. This old world train journey travels through the dense rainforest, winding down the mountain, past cascading waterfalls and the stunning Barron Gorge.
Looking for an adrenaline rush?
There’s lots to do to give you a little ‘extreme’ adventure!
HOW TO GET THERE
International flights arrive at Cairns Airport, a 10 to 15 minute drive from the city centre or fly into one of the capital cities such as Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney and catch a connecting domestic link.
There’s always an opportunity to take a road-trip up the Queensland coast and enjoy the changing landscape along the way. (Allow a good 3 – 4 weeks to see as much as you can)
Queenslanders often are heard to say “Beautiful one day, Perfect the next!” It’s true!