50 Best Things to do in Cairns, Australia

An entire information to the very best issues to do in Cairns Australia! Discover Australia’s finest tropical journey vacation spot with these unmissable Cairns sights that includes epic waterfalls, untamed rainforest, and reef-lined islands.

Relating to the last word tropical journey expertise, Cairns, Australia is up there with the very best!

In case you didn’t know, Cairns is an especially distinctive place the place two world heritage websites collide– the Nice Barrier Reef and the Daintree Nationwide Park.

In consequence, you’ll discover a few of Australia’s finest out of doors journey excursions and nature day excursions in Cairns together with scuba diving reef journeys and helicopter rides, in addition to iconic locations like Nudey Seashore and Fitzroy Island!

So, after dwelling in Cairns and spending a number of months exploring the very best hikes and waterfalls, snorkeling and diving on the pristine coral reefs, crusing to tropical islands and looking for out a number of the superb pure wonders and iconic Cairns sights, I’ve formulated this detailed checklist of the highest 50 issues to do in Cairns, Australia.

What’s on this Cairns Journey Information?

50 Greatest Issues to do in Cairns Australia

Planning a visit to Cairns and wandering what to do? Skip the journey books, right here’s probably the most complete journey information to Cairns Australia that you simply’ll discover, that includes over 50 actions and locations to see!

1. the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

By far, one of the common issues to do in Cairns for guests is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This world-renowned gondola cableway spans 7.5 kilometres over World Heritage listed Moist Tropics Rainforest connecting Cairns (Smithfield) to Kuranda.

It’s a really distinctive expertise and one of many funnest methods to immerse your self in the fantastic thing about the world’s oldest rainforest ecosystem within the Barron Gorge Nationwide Park.

SKYRAIL RAINFOREST CABLEWAY EXPERIENCE FROM CAIRNS
Skyrail from Smithfield to Kuranda

One wonderful thing about this attraction is that you simply’ll get to tick off a number of Cairns highlights reminiscent of Barron Falls and a visit to Kuranda in an superior day journey.

Additionally, a brand new addition to the Skyrail system is a cease on the Edge Lookout, which provides you unimaginable views on a glass platform over Barron Falls.

Cairns journey tip: For those who’re trying to do each, it’s a good suggestion to buy a mixed ticket for the Skyrail and the Scenic Rail (which is able to take you again to cairns). That is probably the most cost-effective and best option to discover each sights (and it consists of resort transport).

SKYRAIL RAINFOREST CABLEWAY EXPERIENCE FROM CAIRNS, OVERLOOKING BARRON FALLS

2. Go to the Nice Barrier Reef (outer Reef)

Neglect the Whitsundays— Cairns is really Australia’s finest gateway to the Nice Barrier Reef. It’s probably the most intriguing attraction and the explanation why many individuals come to Cairns within the first place.

It’s truthful to say that in case you’re planning a visit to Cairns, then you must see the Nice Barrier Reef.

The Nice Barrier Reef is the world’s largest dwelling organism and a Unesco World Heritage Web site. The tropical coral reef spans practically 350 000 sq. kilometres up the Queensland coast and is a very unimaginable marine wildlife park that’s residence to ample marine life.

There are dozens of Nice Barrier Reef excursions working from the Cairns reef terminal. Nevertheless, after dwelling right here and attempting out a number of myself, the premium catamaran choice gives the very best worth for a fraction of the price of a number of the different Cairns day journeys.

Underwater coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef
Coral on the Nice Barrier Reef

Do you know? the vast majority of the coral reef is pretty far out to sea in different elements of the state. Nevertheless, Cairns in Tropical North Queensland is the very best place to base your self since this little seaside city is the closest coastal metropolis on the outer reef.

Great Barrier Reef near Cairns
Outer GBR from the Sky

3. Nudey Seashore & Fitzroy Island (Australia’s Most Stunning Seashore)

Out of the entire unimaginable islands off Cairns, Fitzroy Island is my private favorite. It’s bought a contact of all the pieces you’d anticipate out of an unimaginable Tropical Far North Queensland island.

You’ve bought rainforest hikes, unimaginable snorkeling and diving, white, sandy seashores, a turtle rehabilitation centre, an epic resort & campground and a number of the clearest water you would think about.

Guide the most cost effective fast-ferry ticket on-line: Fitzroy Ferry ($85)

Plus, It’s additionally the closest island to Cairns, which makes it tremendous accessible!

For those who’ve by no means heard of it, chances are high that you’d have nonetheless seen it in images and posters. Nudey Seashore, on the tip of the island, has been ranked as Australia’s most lovely seashore a number of occasions. It definitely doesn’t disappoint.

FITZROY ISLAND TOUR FROM CAIRNS
Nudey Seashore on Fitzroy Island

Tip: For those who’re solely in Cairns for a number of days and don’t know what island to take a look at, learn my information evaluating the very best Islands off Cairns.

4. Cairns Scenic Flight Over the Nice Barrier Reef

The true scale of the Nice Barrier Reef is troublesome to grasp. It’s a standard saying that one of the best ways to see the Nice Barrier Reef is from the sky— and never simply on the flight in.

GBR Scenic flights depart from Cairns airport, which is barely a fast 15 to 20-minute drive from city, and the identical distance in case you’re staying on the Northern Seashores.

Journeys often run between 30-40 minutes, which provides you loads of time to snap some epic photographs of the coral reefs from above. The perfect half is the planes can fly at a a lot decrease altitude than industrial jetliners, so that you’ll get the absolute best view.

Get a greater deal: Nice Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

Whereas I haven’t accomplished one but, you may also ebook helicopter excursions that are amongst one of the common sights over the reef.

If there’s one exercise you ebook, ensure that it’s a reef flight, one of many very best issues to do in Cairns!

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight From Cairns
View of the Nice Barrier Reef Sandy Cays from the Scenic Flight

5. Uncover 30+ Epic Waterfalls (Cairns Hidden Gems)

Certainly one of my favorite issues to do in Cairns is to go waterfall discover. In actual fact, I ended up visiting over 30 of the very best waterfalls on this area! These vary from jungle behemoths to quaint, remoted freshwater swimming holes.

The reality is, Cairns has a number of the finest waterfalls on the East Coast of Australia. Fortunate that, as a result of everyone knows that Cairns can get HOT, particularly in the summertime months.

Whereas one of the best ways to discover the waterfalls is to hire a automotive you may also ebook a guided waterfall day journey which visits a number of the finest.

The closest waterfalls to Cairns Metropolis are:

Getting round in Cairns: Okay, I’m going to be trustworthy, in case you’re right here for journey, there’s little on supply in Cairns metropolis. When you can ebook a great deal of day journeys and journey actions, having your individual automotive is one of the best ways to go! I like to recommend evaluating costs on DiscoverCars to search out the very best value throughout sellers in Far North Queensland.

NANDROYA FALLS, Waterfall Near Cairns
Nandroya Falls within the Wooroonooran Nationwide Park

6. Cape Tribulation (See The place the rainforest Meets the Reef)

I’d inform anyone that in case you’re coming as much as see Cairns, you merely can’t miss a visit to Cape Tribulation.

Referred to as the ultimate frontier, that is the spot the place the rainforest really meets the reef and likewise marks the beginning of really uncooked Australia.

Stepping proper onto a reef-lined tropical seashore from the rainforest is a particular form of expertise that’s exhausting to come back by. The varied pure magnificence with distinctive wildlife, wealthy historical past, and superb historical aboriginal tradition of Cape Tribulation make this a must-visit location close to Cairns!

You possibly can drive right here your self on the Nice Barrier Reef Drive (quantity 28). It is a good concept as a result of there are tons to do up right here, together with some distinctive excursions and delightful seashores.

Nevertheless, in case you’re quick on time, there’s additionally a extremely nice Cape Tribulation day journey that features the Daintree, and Mossman Gorge.

CAPE TRIBULATION TOURS ACTIVITES
Cape Tribulation

7. Walsh’s PyramiD – the World’s Tallest Pure Pyramid

For those who didn’t spot Walsh’s Pyramid on the flight in, then you definately received’t miss it when driving round Cairns. This mountain is called the most important freestanding pure pyramid on the planet. And, it’s positioned only a quick drive from city!

For those who’re fairly match, take the steep hike to the summit. On the high, you’ll get among the best unobstructed, 360-degree views on supply in Cairns. All in all, it takes roughly 3-4 hours to summit and return, so ensure that to plan forward.

WALSH'S PYRAMID CAIRNS HIKING. BEST HIKES IN CAIRNS
Walsh’s Pyramid close to Cairns, Australia

A shorter itinerary: If 50 issues to do in Cairns is simply too many for you, you may discover this shorter 5-day itinerary extra helpful.

8. Cairns Sizzling Air Ballooning Over Mareeba

Do you know that Cairns is the very best place in Australia to expertise scorching air ballooning? That’s as a result of the year-round heat climate and clear skies make for an ideal ballooning local weather!

Sizzling air balloon journeys depart from Mareeba, up within the Tablelands however included in a ticket are return resort transfers. For those who’re on the lookout for a option to expertise an extra-special dawn in Cairns, then I can extremely suggest these journeys by Sizzling Air – that is really a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.

Additionally, these journeys are additionally surprisingly reasonably priced since Sizzling Air has the most important fleet of balloons in Australia. Go test it out for your self.

Guide finest value on-line: Sizzling Air Balloon Journey from Mareeba (resort transfers included)

HOT AIR BALLOON EXPERIENCE IN CAIRNS
Sizzling Air Ballooning over Mareeba

9. the Atherton Tablelands – The Greatest Day Journey From Cairns

Simply behind the rainforest mountain ranges reverse Cairns are the excessive and flat areas generally known as the Atherton Tablelands. Most individuals don’t know this, however the very best rainforest hikes and waterfalls are literally discovered on this space.

Attending to the Tablelands would require your individual transport, nevertheless it’s well-worth planning at the least a day or two for the area. Most of the issues advisable on this Cairns to do checklist together with Millaa Millaa Falls and the Crater Lakes are literally discovered within the Tablelands, so don’t miss this little slice of heaven!

Millaa Millaa Falls in the Atherton Tablelands
Millaa Millaa Falls within the Tablelands close to Cairns

10. Inexperienced Island

Cairns, the place the rainforest meets the reef. There are various islands scattered across the shoreline from Cairns, however maybe none are as iconic as Inexperienced island.

Inexperienced Island is an unimaginable cay island with a fringing reef stretching far out from its lush shores. It’s even bought its personal distinctive rainforest wildlife and a few resident turtles that you simply’ll discover chilling within the shallows.

To get right here, you’ll have to ebook a ship leaving from Cairns Harbour. There are a number of day-trip excursions however beneath I’ve linked the best-rated and best-value journey to avoid wasting you time looking out.

Guide: Full-Day Inexperienced Island Catamaran Crusing & Snorkeling Journey for Underneath $100

GREEN ISLAND, CAIRNS AUSTRALIA
Inexperienced Island

11. White Water Rafting on the Barron River

Top-of-the-line half-day actions in Cairns is that this epic 2-hour white water rafting journey down grade 3 rapids on the Barron River.

The beauty of this journey is that it’s tremendous near city which suggests it received’t take up your complete day! The Barron Gorge can also be one of the scenic locations close to Cairns, which suggests that is at all times a whitewater rafting expertise to recollect!

$5 OFF: Barron Gorge Whitewater Rafting whenever you use code: OLLY5

Barron River White Water Rafting Tour Cairns
White Water Rafting on the Barron River

12. Mount Bartle Frere – Queensland’s Tallest Mountain

Do you know that Queensland’s tallest peak is only a quick drive from Cairns? Positioned within the historical Wooroonooran Nationwide Park lies Mt Bartle Frere, an epic rainforest-covered mountain with a devoted climbing path.

Reaching a complete altitude of 1611 above sea degree, it’s a steep and pretty troublesome hike, because you begin near sea degree. You possibly can try the climb in a day, nevertheless it’s higher to take your time and camp close to the summit for rewarding sundown views throughout Cairns and The Tablelands.

Based mostly on my expertise, climbing to the summit of Mount Bartle Frere was up there with my most satisfying moments in Far North Queensland. For those who’re eager to go outdoors of your consolation zone, climbing Queensland’s tallest mountain is among the funnest and most uncommon issues to do in Cairns.

MOUNT BARTLE FRERE CAMPGROUND, BARTLE FRERE EASTERN SUMMIT CAMP TENT
Tenting at Mount Bartle Frere
MOUNT BARTLE FRERE CAMPGROUND, BARTLE FRERE EASTERN SUMMIT CAMP TENT
Dawn at Mount Bartle Frere

13. Sightseeing & Mountaineering In Kuranda

Kuranda is Cairn’s very personal little hippy rainforest city. Though it feels remoted, after solely a brief 30-minute drive from Cairns, you’ll end up exploring distinctive market stalls, scrumptious road meals and a vigorous music scene amid the tropical rainforest.

For my part, a visit to Cairns Australia is simply not full with out first trying out Kuranda!

Under are a number of of the highest vacationer sights on supply on this quaint rainforest village.

THINGS TO DO IN KURANDA AUSTRALIA, ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Kuranda Scenic Rail Station

14. The Kuranda Scenic Railway – Greatest Cairns Exercise for Households

When you can to Kuranda from Cairns by highway, one of the best ways is to mix the Skyrail with the Kuranda Scenic Railway. This mixture journey is by far the most-booked exercise in Cairns and there isn’t a greater option to expertise the world’s oldest rainforest so near the small city of Cairns.

The Kuranda Scenic Rail tracks by means of pristine rainforest and beneath towering waterfalls within the Barron Gorge. There are a number of spots to get off and benefit from the view however the practice itself can also be a foremost attraction!

The mixed journey can also be probably the most cost-effective option to expertise each actions and lets you spend a complete day adventuring in Kuranda.

Guide discounted ticket: Scenic Rail ticket solely

KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY OVERLOOKING BARRON FALLS, CAIRNS
Kuranda Scenic Rail
KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY STATION PLATFORM 1
Kuranda Scenic Rail Station

15. the Daintree Rainforest

The World Heritage Listed Moist Tropics Space surrounding Cairns is listed because the world’s most historical rainforest. The Daintree particularly has existed as it’s for 180 million years. To understand simply how outdated that’s, the dinosaurs went extinct simply 65 million years in the past!

If a hike by means of the Daintree Rainforest is in your Cairn’s to do checklist, then you definately’re in luck. I’ve documented a number of the finest hikes within the area, from quick walks at Mossman Gorge, to strenuous climbs at Satan’s Thumb.

For those who had to decide on one in-land exercise or attraction from Cairns Australia, it’d need to be seeing the Daintree!

DEVILS THUMB HIKE QUEENSLAND
Satan’s Thumb within the Daintree Rainforest

16. Barron River Boat Tour

For those who make it to Kuranda from Cairns, I extremely suggest making time for a Barron River boat tour. These journeys are one of the underrated Cairns sights and in my view, are among the best methods to expertise the Kuranda rainforest.

A river boat journey can also be one of many most cost-effective issues to do in Cairns and the Tropical North so far as paid actions go. $20 will get you a 45-minute guided return journey up the Barron River, with loads of alternatives to identify native wildlife together with freshwater crocodiles!

Guide: Barron River Boat Tour From Kuranda ($20)

barron riverboat trip in kuranda, australia
River Boat at Kuranda

17. Spot a Actual Life Dinosaur – The Cassowary

Far North Queensland is residence to Australia’s personal, respiratory, dwelling dinosaur— the Cassowary. You may need seen them in wildlife parks earlier than however in Cairns and the Tropical North, they’re locals.

Okay, when you received’t see a cassowary on the Esplanade Boardwalk, you could be fortunate sufficient to identify one in case you head out to any of the waterfalls or hikes on this checklist of cool issues to do in Cairns.

Nevertheless, recognizing a wild cassowary is fairly uncommon nowadays. Land clearing, home animals and highway visitors have lowered the inhabitants to just about as little as 2000!

Nevertheless, if you need a 99% assure of a cassowary sighting, you’ll want to move to Etty Bay, the place a small inhabitants involves benefit from the tropical sundown every night time.

CASSOWARY AT ETTY BAY QUEENSLAND
Wild Cassowary in Far North Queensland

18. Scuba Diving on the Reef

For those who’ve ever wished to attempt scuba diving, then what higher place to do it than the Nice Barrier Reef? Whereas snorkelling journeys are at all times enjoyable, you simply can’t examine it to the immersion of diving.

Fortunately, a few of Australia’s best-rated scuba outlets run out of Cairns. Surprisingly, trial scuba is fairly low cost and gives you an important style of the expertise. However, for many who need to go deeper than 12 metres, you would get your PADI Open Water Certificates as properly.

What in case you’re already licensed? Diving day-trips function from Cairns Fleet Terminal daily and are one of many very best actions in Cairns to attempt!

Guide: Greatest-rated Scuba & Snorkeling Journey From Cairns

Most reasonably priced choice for 4-Day PADI Cert: Open Water PADI 4-Day Course on the GBR

Assessment: Greatest Nice Barrier Reef Tour – Dive Grasp Assessment

SCUBA DIVING ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF TOUR CAIRNS
Scuba Diving on a day journey from Cairns

Questioning what to pack? Be certain that to take a look at my complete packing checklist for objects you’ll need to have when you stand up right here!

19. Crocodile Recognizing Tour (photo voltaic Whisper)

Far North Queensland is residence to the world’s greatest (and most harmful) reptile, the saltwater crocodile. Locals will inform you to not swim within the estuary and river programs since you by no means know what will probably be hiding beneath the floor.

Honestly although, you’ll have a tough time recognizing a salty by yourself. However, belief me— they’re there. If you wish to see them within the wild for your self, you’ll need to go on a croc tour. These Cairns actions depart proper subsequent to the Daintree River ferry daily, so make a day trip of it!

The corporate I went with makes use of electrical motors that are a lot quieter than massive petrol outboards. They’re additionally the most cost effective at solely $30 a ticket! However, they typically refill as a result of individuals seize a ticket whereas ready for the Daintree Ferry. I like to recommend reserving on-line in case you’re set on a Daintree croc-spotting exercise from Cairns.

Guide: Daintree River Crocodile Tour (Electrical-engine: $30)

DAINTREE RIVER CROCODILE TOUR FROM CAIRNS WITH SOLAR WHISPER
Saltwater Crocodile noticed on the Daintree River

20. See the Wonderful Seashores Close to Cairns

Whereas the clearest water and finest seashores are out on the islands, Cairns nonetheless has some superior seashore spots price visiting. Don’t fear, most have a croc and stinger web so you’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in a swim with no fear! Going beach-hopping from central Cairns is among the finest free issues to do in Cairns.

A few of my private favourites embrace Trinity Seashore, Palm Cove and Ellis Seashore. However, in case you would like to discover some you may not have heard of but, then ensure that to learn my information to the very best Cairns seashores too.

ELLIS BEACH NEAR CAIRNS
Ellis Seashore close to Cairns

21. Seize a Chunk at Palm Cove

Top-of-the-line locations to remain and eat out throughout your go to to Cairns is on the Northern Seashores. Palm Cove has a tropical vibe with a number of the finest eating places on the town. This postcard seashore has been made well-known Australia-wide for its rows of coconut palm timber that line the golden shores.

Palm Cove can also be an important spot to base your self when visiting Cairns Australia. It gives a extra relaxed and tropical vibe than the downtown esplanade and has a great deal of sights and actions to take a look at close by.

Keep at Palm Cove: Excessive-end: Alamanda | Mid-range: Paradise on the Seashore | Finances: Flashpackers

Tip: For those who’re after a great chew to eat, you received’t discover a higher pizza than at Il Forno at Palm Cove!

Palm Cove between Cairns and Cape Tribulation
Palm Cove Close to Cairns

22: Frankland Islands Boat from Cairns

The Frankland Islands are a sequence of 5 islands simply outdoors the mouth of the Mulgrave River, south of Cairns. Whereas these units of islands aren’t as common as Inexperienced Island or Fitzroy, enable me to allow you to in on a neighborhood Cairns hidden gem secret.

In my trustworthy opinion, Franklin Islands has the very best snorkelling out of any of the islands off Cairns!

The coral reef right here is extraordinarily wholesome and ample with a various vary of sea life. For those who’re on the lookout for the very best snorkelling island day-trip, then that is your selection over Fitzroy and Inexperienced Island. Whereas I do like all of them, the reef right here is simply hands-down so much more healthy,

$5 OFF: Guide the one ferry to Frankland on-line with Backpacker Offers
Code: OLLY5

Frankland Islands Day Trip from Cairns
Frankland Islands

23. Lake Placid

Okay, not the lake from the film. There’s “PROBABLY” no crocs on this lake.

* Replace Jan 2021: An area resident and frequent swimmer at Lake Placid has just lately been attacked by a crocodile whereas swimming in Lake Placid. Far North Queensland is a wild place. Do not forget that crocs could possibly be hiding wherever, so at all times be croc-wise.

Lake Placid is a little-visited lake on the base of the Barron Gorge, only a quick drive from Cairns. For those who’re trying to escape the crowds, unwind and spot some vibrant rainforest birds, this can be a nice wager!

Lake Placid Cairns
Kayaking on Lake Placid

24. Lake Eacham & the Crater Lakes

For those who’re planning a visit to the Tablelands from Cairns, then don’t miss Crater Lakes Nationwide Park. Likelihood is, you’ll cross them on the best way, simply after Gillies Vary Highway.

Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine are two enormous, blue freshwater lakes Crater Lakes surrounded by cool rainforest. Right here, you’ll discover strolling tracks, uncommon rainforest birds, picnic areas and an superior freshwater swimming alternative.

Crater Lakes near Cairns, Australia
Lake Eacham

25. Hypipamee Crater & Dinner Falls – Volcanic Sink Gap

This specific vacation spot isn’t precisely on the town. Nevertheless, in case you’re wanting to discover the realm, visiting the Hypipamee Crater is among the finest issues to do round Cairns.

You’ll want your individual automotive for this one, because the journey requires a little bit of a drive. In saying that, it’s properly price visiting in case you’re planning a visit to The Tablelands!

Positioned excessive on the Evelyn Tableland is an superior little park with an epic volcanic pipe. That is known as the Hypipamee Crater. It’s mentioned that the deep sink gap was brought on by historical volcanic exercise within the area.

There’s a quick stroll to the crater, which additionally features a cease at Dinner Falls. Nevertheless, because of the altitude and dense rainforest, temperatures right here are sometimes a lot cooler than in Cairns, so that you may skip the swim within the cooler months.

THE CRATER TABLELANDS, MOUNTA HYPIPAMEE
The Hypipamee Crater

26. the Historical Curtain Fig Tree

Deep within the rainforest close to Yungaburra lives an unimaginable, historical tree generally known as the Curtain Fig Tree. This specific fig tree is so enormous that it has its personal nationwide park designation; the Curtain Fig Nationwide Park.

This spot is really a hidden gem unbeknownst to most guests however a proud icon for Tablelands locals. Don’t miss it and ensure so as to add it to your checklist of must-see Tablelands and Cairns sights!

CURTAIN FIG TREE YUNGABURRA NATIONAL PARK
The Historical Curtain Fig Tree

27. Canyoning at Behana Gorge

The Behana Gorge is an epic place to spend a day exploring, swimming, and having fun with the tranquility of the Tropical Far North’s superb rainforests. This gorge is positioned within the Wooroonooran Nationwide Park, simply south of Cairns.

When you can go to Behana Gorge and Clamshell Falls totally free, one of the best ways to expertise it’s on an organised canyoning journey from Cairns. This Cairns exercise is run by skilled native guides who satisfaction themselves on displaying you the fantastic thing about this unimaginable canyon sustainably.

CLAMSHELL FALLS, BEHANA GORGE WATERFALL HIKE, CAIRNS
Behana Gorge Waterfall (Clamshell Falls)

28. Cairns Highway Journey to Port Douglas

Port Douglas is one other must-visit city in Far North Queensland. Not solely will you’ve got quick access to the Low Isles, however the township itself can also be one of the iconic locations close to Cairns.

Highlights embrace watching the sundown on the well-known Port Douglas pier, crocodile recognizing on the creek and trying out the favored 4 Mile Seashore.

Port Douglas can also be among the best locations to base your self in case you’re planning journeys out to the Daintree. So, in case you’ve bought time, I’d suggest splitting up your journey to make extra time for this epic vacation spot.

Keep in Port Douglas: Excessive-end: Shantara Resort | Mid: Newport Resort | Finances: International Backpackers

Extra: Port Douglas Lodging Information

Learn: Final Journey Information to Port Douglas

CHURCH AT PORT DOUGLAS
Waterfront at Port Douglas

29. The Nice Barrier Reef Drive (Cairns to Cape Trib)

The Cairns to Cape Tribulation Drive is up there with probably the most scenic drives in Queensland, and maybe Australia. Taking the coastal drive is one factor you need to positively add to your Cairns to do checklist if you wish to see the very best of the Coral Coast.

It’s attainable to finish your entire journey in at some point. Nevertheless, it’s in all probability finest to take your time, spending an evening in Port Douglas to separate it up. Highlights of the journey embrace seeing the epic seashore roads north of Cairns, crossing the Daintree River by way of a automotive ferry and seeing the place the rainforest meets the reef at Cape Tribulation.

Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Queensland Australia
Nice Barrier Reef Drive – Cairns to Cape Tribulation

30. The Low Isles

One other island vacation spot a bit of nearer to Port Douglas is the well-known Low Island within the Low Isles. That is one other flat, sandy cay island with surrounding reef and its very personal resident lighthouse.

There are a number of boats that depart for the Low Isles from Port Douglas each day. Nevertheless, the island isn’t as busy because the islands nearer to Cairns like Inexperienced Island or Fitzroy. This makes it an ideal day journey for {couples} who would like a bit extra privateness.

Guide: Luxurious Catamaran Crusing Journey to the Lowe Isles

Low Isles, Snorkeling Port Douglas
Lowe Isles close to Port Douglas

31. 4 Mile Seashore

Additionally positioned close to Port Douglas, 4 Mile Seashore is among the widest and longest white-sand seashores close to Cairns Australia. Right here, you’ll have the chance to swim, calm down and even catch a wave on a day with good swell.

For those who make it to this iconic seashore, then I’d additionally suggest taking the coastal observe that wraps round from the northern level of 4 Mile Seashore to the township of Port Douglas. This observe results in an epic ocean viewpoint which additionally nearly practically made this checklist!

4 Mile Beach Port Douglas
4 Mile Seashore – Port Douglas

32. Babinda Boulders & Devils Pool

Roughly 65 kilometres southwest of Cairns is the quaint city of Babinda. Right here, you’ll discover among the best freshwater swimming spots close to Cairns.

That is the right spot to chill down by swimming in recent flowing creeks flowing from the foothills of the Bellenden Ker Vary. The beauty of this spot is that you simply’ll have the chance to swim within the clear water all 12 months spherical!

Whereas Babinda Boulders is often a fairly secure place to swim, Satan’s Swimming pools can get notoriously harmful within the moist season. Sadly, many individuals have died at this Cairns attraction and aboriginal legend claims the place is haunted.

BABINDA BOULDERS DRONE PHOTO
Babinda Boulders

33. Go Mountaineering Round Cairns (36+ Epic Trails)

As you’d have came upon by now, Cairns is understood for a lot of issues. One of many very best issues to do round Cairns Australia is to go climbing. There are lots of, if not 1000’s of epic rainforest trails within the neighborhood of Cairns, resulting in epic waterfalls, mountain viewpoints and epic sundown spots. For my part, going climbing is among the finest actions in Cairns to find the beautiful surroundings of the area.

For an entire information, take a look at my enormous checklist of the entire finest climbing trails in Cairns. In any other case, beneath are a number of of my favourites near city.

Hiking on Fitzroy Island, Far North Queensland
Mountaineering close to Cairns
HIKING IN CAIRNS, CAIRNS HIKES AUSTRALIA
Satan’s Thumb hike within the Daintree Rainforest

34. the Airplane Wreckage on Mount William

The Mt William hike is a really little-known path that branches off from Smiths Monitor close to Stoney Creek, simply north of Cairns.

On the high, you’ll discover the stays of a 1986 aircraft crash, which tragically claimed the lives of eight individuals when it struck the ridgeline 250 metres from the best level on Mount William. Evidently the wreck has been moved to the summit, the place there are actually prayer flags and a memorial the place one will pay respects.

Mount WILLIAM PLANE WRECK STONEY CREEK, CAIRNS HIKES
Airplane Wreckage web site on Mount William

35. Tully Gorge

Whereas the Tully Gorge waterfall lookout was as soon as a Queensland icon, its fame slowly dwindled to as soon as once more turn out to be a hidden gem, solely actually for many who really need to take the time to succeed in this unimaginable attraction.

Tully Gorge is a 293-metre rocky gully carved by the Tully River because it runs downstream from the densely forested Cardwell Vary. The quick stroll to the lookout gives a number of the most unimaginable, prehistoric views that need to be seen to be believed.

TULLY GORGE WATERFALL LOOKOUT INFINITY POOL
Tully Gorge

36. Cairns Bungy Leaping – Greatest Adrenaline Exercise

Do you know that Cairns has its very personal AJ Hacket Bungy exercise (bungee soar)? In actual fact, Cairns is the ONLY place in Australia the place you’ll be able to bungy soar! So, if leaping off a 50M+ platform has at all times been in your “bucket checklist”, then ensure that to ebook a large leap with this epic journey exercise on the coronary heart of the rainforest simply close to Cairns’ Northern Seashores.

Guide: Cairns Rainforest Bungy Leap

BUNGY IN CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA
Bungy Leaping web site close to Smithfield (Cairns)

37. Mission Seashore and Dunk Island

Are you road-tripping down the Queensland Coast? Maybe you need to department out and discover what else is on supply in Far North Queensland. In that case, then heading all the way down to Mission Seashore is a should do from Cairns.

When visiting Mission Seashore, I’d extremely suggest getting the ferry to Dunk Island. For those who do, you’ll depart many of the vacationers behind and get to discover one of many Coral Coast’s best-kept secret. There are hikes, snorkelling, an epic sandbar, and even an enormous deserted resort! In case you have time, then you would additionally spend the night time tenting on Dunk Island.

Top-of-the-line elements about visiting dunk Island is that it’s less expensive to get right here than the opposite Cairns Islands.

You possibly can ebook a return ferry ticket right here for less than $40.

Oh, and don’t miss neighbouring Mound Island, a tiny desert island reachable by boat or kayak.

MISSION BEACH FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND
Mission Seashore
DUNK ISLAND SUNSETS QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA, OFF CAIRNS
Dunk Island

38: the Innot Sizzling Springs

If you consider enjoyable issues to do in Cairns and the Tropical North, I’m positive the very last thing you consider is a heat thermal spring!

Positioned inland within the Atherton Tablelands are the Innot Sizzling Springs. These are heat springs heated by geothermic power. They’re free to enter, so in case you’re on the lookout for sights and journey concepts within the Tablelands on a highway journey from Cairns, go test it out!

Innot Hot Springs in the Atherton Tablelands
Innot Sizzling Springs

39: Day Journey to the Outback From Cairns (Chillagoe Caves)

Up for an epic 4WD journey out west throughout your go to to Cairns?

Billy Tea Safaris run superior guided excursions that actually go off-the-beaten-path. These journeys run to the volcanic area of Undara Volcanic Nationwide Park as far west because the Chillagoe Caves. This space is known for its unimaginable caves and lava tunnels.

For those who’ve bought your individual automotive and a little bit of time to kill, you definitely received’t remorse a visit out to Chillagoe Caves! On the best way, ensure that to cease by on the Granite Gorge as properly!

Billy Tea Safaris Bus
Billy Tea Safaris 4×4 Journey

40: Contemporary Produce at Rusty’s Market

Rusty’s Market is a Cairn’s native market with critical South East Asia vibes. Whereas it began off as a method for native farmers to promote their produce on to the general public, it’s shortly turn out to be one of many high Cairns vacationer sights!

Right here, you’ll be able to decide up something from domestically grown produce to unique fruits. For those who like spicy Thai meals, I extremely suggest the Thai papaya salad– the very best I’ve had outdoors Thailand!

You’ll discover rusty’s market on Grafton Avenue close to the Zoom & Wildlife Dome.

Opening days are Friday — 5am to 6pm, Saturday — 5am to 6pm and Sunday — 5am to 3pm.

Tip: It is a extremely popular spot on Sunday mornings the place you’ll be able to typically decide up nice offers on recent produce!

Rusty's Markets Cairns
Rusty’s Market in Cairns CBD

41: the Cattana Wetlands

Travellers staying on the Northern Seashores have shut entry to among the best nature and bird-watching reserves in Cairns. The Cattana Wetlands is a good spot to wander by means of and spot native birds and even the occasional crocodile!

You’ll discover this hidden wetland park close to the college suburb of Smithfield, simply 25 minutes north of the CBD.

Catanna Wetlands, Cairns Australia
Catana Wetlands north of Cairns

42: Cairns Botanical Gardens

The Cairns botanical gardens is a good place to go to and one of many high issues to do because it’s so near city and the worldwide airport.

When you’ll at all times discover an enormous vary of numerous tropical crops and luxurious rainforest on many of the climbing trails within the area, the Cairns Botanic Gardens comprises greater than 4000 completely different species!

Higher but, travellers will discover printed labels and brochures all through the park making it the right place for nature lovers to study native flora.

Cairns botanical garden Red Arrow Track in Cairns,
Mountaineering within the Cairns Botanical Gardens

43: the Night time Markets – What to do in Cairns At Night time

In central Cairns, you’ll discover the colourful Cairns night time markets beginning each night time after 4:30 pm. For those who’re on the lookout for what to do in Cairns at night time, this can be a nice choice!

You’ll discover the market at 71-75 The Esplanade and they’re open nightly till 11:00 pm. Right here, you’re free to browse seventy shops and a great deal of completely different meals choices. For those who’re up for a late snack or on the lookout for a cut price in Cairns, head all the way down to the markets, among the best free issues to do in Cairns!

Cairns night market
Cairns Night time Market

44: the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

Top-of-the-line-known landmarks in central Cairns is the well-known Cairns lagoon. The lagoon is roughly the scale of an Olympic swimming pool with a most depth of round 1.6 metres.

It’s conveniently positioned on the Cairns esplanade, and chances are high you’ll stroll previous it whereas wandering round city. There are bathroom services and alter rooms proper subsequent to the pool, making it an important spot to swim and funky down proper within the coronary heart of city.

Cairns lagoon on the Esplanade
Esplanade Lagoon at Sundown

45: Latest Attraction: Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome

The Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome is among the latest sights positioned proper within the coronary heart of city.

It is a distinctive exercise that is called the world’s first Problem Ropes Course inside a wildlife habitat. That is an superior adrenaline and journey exercise with a number of programs involving tunnels, climbing partitions, cargo nets, ziplines and even a 13 meter freefall drop!

Entry ticket: ZOOM & Wildlife Dome – 5x reentry allowed with on-line reserving.

Cairns Zoom Wildlife Dome
The Cairns Zoon & Wildlife Dome Exercise

46. Keep at The Fitzroy Island Resort

Okay, so I’ve already talked about visiting Fitzroy Island as one of many high issues to do in Cairns. Nevertheless, do you know that staying on the Fitzroy Island Resort is definitely among the best (and most reasonably priced) resort choices in Cairns?

There’s a lot to do and see on Fitzroy from superb seashores, tropical rainforest, coral reefs, hikes, and nice snorkeling! Due to this fact to inform you the reality, you’ll need to go to for greater than only a day!

The resort itself can also be nice, and relatively low cost whenever you’re wanting on the value of different high-end resorts on the town. I’d counsel allocating at the least an evening or two to staying right here in case you’re nonetheless planning your lodging.

Test value & availability on your dates: Fitzroy Island Resort

FITZROY ISLAND RESORT
Fitzroy Island Resort

47. Let a Native Present You The place to Go in Cairns (sightseeing)

Whereas most of the issues to see in Cairns are outdoors city within the surrounding space, generally all you need to do is take a look at and be taught concerning the metropolis of Cairns itself! One of the simplest ways to do it’s to leap on board a Cairns sightseeing tour.

One of the simplest ways to do that is to get proven round by a neighborhood. This half-day metropolis sightseeing tour is among the top-rated on the internet. This tour is run by an skilled information and consists of pickup in an air-conditioned automobile.

Tip: This one could be all the best way down the underside at quantity 47. Nevertheless, in case you’re staying close to city, reserving this half-day tour is a good concept because you’ll know precisely the place to go in Cairns by yourself afterwards!

Cairns city sightseeing tour
Native sightseeing journey

48: the Cairns Aquarium

If I’m being trustworthy, I hands-down favor animal interactions when they’re of their pure habitat, particularly whenever you’re visiting the Nice Barrier Reef!

Nevertheless, I do perceive that snorkeling or diving on the reef isn’t accessible to each customer. So, if you wish to be taught concerning the marine life and coral reef ecosystems, the passionate educators on the Cairns aquarium are world-renowned.

You’ll discover the aquarium proper close to the reef terminal, which is walkable from city. If you wish to skip the road, you’ll be able to ebook an aquarium ticket on-line upfront with Get Your Information.

Cairns aquarium
Cairns Aquarium

49: Assist the Reef Restoration Basis

For those who’re on the lookout for a significant option to give again to the planet in your go to to Cairns, think about serving to out the Reef Restoration Basis.

That is an organised staff of environmentalists with an intention to regenerate broken coral reefs in Cairns Australia. They’re supported by the James Cook dinner College and is a big staff of volunteers devoted to replanting coral reefs.

For those who maintain a Rescue Diver certificates or above, you’ll be able to contact the RRF on their web site to assist out with coral replanting. I just lately went out on a visit with the RRF to replant corals at Fitzroy Island and it was a really significant and academic exercise.

Scuba diving on a coral reef restoration project
Diving on Fitzroy Island

50: Spend a Night time on the Nice Barrier Reef Pontoon

Some say it’s well mannered to go away the very best ’til final. Properly, if I needed to decide one epic exercise to do in Cairns Australia that actually ticks off the Nice Barrier Reef bucket checklist, spending an evening on the reef pontoon must be it!

This once-in-a-lifetime vacationer attraction takes guests out for an superior snorkelling or diving journey on the outer reef. Then, guests will get to expertise the Nice Barrier Reef from dawn to sundown onboard a premier liveaboard!

Guide: Cairns: In a single day Nice Barrier Reef Pontoon Expertise

GREAT BARRIER REEF FROM THE SK=Y
Nice Barrier Reef from the sky

Cairns Lodging Information – The place to Keep

Planning a visit to Cairns and questioning the place to base your self? Under I’ve listed a number of the finest choices close to Cairns Esplanade. I’ve additionally written a complete lodging information to Cairns, in addition to a complete Port Douglas Lodging information too.

Crystalbrook Riley – If luxurious and site are what you’re after, you’ll be able to’t beat the Crystalrbook Riley. That is the very best 5-star resort in Cairns and options completely all the pieces you’d anticipate from a Crystalbrook resort.

Tip: Be certain that to move as much as Rocco’s Bar on the high of the Crystalbrook Riley for nice views over Cairns!

girl sunbathing at Crystalbrook Riley resort in Cairns

Rydges Resort – This resort gives glorious bang-for-buck when it comes to an epic keep for an honest value! The placement is ideal, near the esplanade and options embrace three swimming swimming pools, two tennis courts, a jacuzzi, a health centre and even an award-winning restaurant.

RYDGES ESPLANADE RESORT IN CAIRNS, WHERE TO STAY ACCOMMODATION

Fitzroy Island Resort – For those who’d fairly sleep out on one of many picturesque Nice Barrier Reef Islands, look no additional than the Fitzroy Island Resort. Whereas you will get out right here on a day journey, I extremely suggest spending the night time so that you get extra time to discover the reef, coral seashores and rainforest strolling trails.

FITZROY ISLAND RESORT

Gilligan’s Backpackers – The perfect backpacker choice for an important vibe in Cairns is Gilligan’s Backpackers. That’s as a result of this one has a swimming pool, AC, a whole kitchen and an important frequent space to satisfy different travellers.

GILLIGANS BACKPACKER RESORT

Learn how to Get Round in Cairns

Hopefully, this prolonged journey information helped you determine precisely what to do and see in Cairns Australia in your subsequent journey.

For those who’re questioning get to the entire Cairns actions and your new lengthy checklist of issues to do, I’ve bought you coated.

By far, one of the best ways to expertise Cairns and the Tropical North is to have your individual automotive. This gives you the liberty to discover the entire epic sights and issues to do in your individual time and at your individual leisure. For those who’ve flown into the Cairns airport, then your finest wager is to seize a rental.

Fortunately, there are a great deal of garages and rental corporations on the town that means you’ll be able to often get an honest value.

Nevertheless, to get the very best charges you must know the place to look. Under you’ll discover some hyperlinks to the very best sources for reserving rental automobiles in Cairns.

  • RentalCars.com or DiscoverCars – 2 rental automotive comparability websites. Nice option to examine charges and availability throughout corporations.
  • Automobile Subsequent Door – sharing financial system automotive rental app. I often use this if I have to hire a automotive wherever because it at all times finally ends up cheaper. Use my hyperlink for $15 off your first reserving.
  • Spaceships Vans – this one’s for the backpackers and finances travellers. One of the crucial reasonably priced camper van choices in Australia. I’ve had nice experiences with them in New Zealand and Australia and at all times suggest them.
rental van in cairns

Issues to do in Cairns With out a Automobile

After all, in case you don’t have your individual automotive, you’ll nonetheless have loads to do and see in your vacation. Nevertheless, as I’m positive you’ve seen on this journey information, many of the hidden gems and non touristy issues to do in Cairns are positioned fairly a distance from city.

Fortunately, there are a number of day journeys and excursions you’ll be able to take that take the fuss out of transport. Under are some suggestions in case you’re not too eager on driving.

  • Frankland Islands Day Journey
  • Fitzroy Island Day Journey
  • Inexperienced Island Day Journey
  • Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
  • Kuranda Railway & Skyrail (transport is included)
  • Rusty’s Markets
  • ZOOM Wildlife Dome
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Nice Barrier Reef Scenic Flight
  • Diving or Snorkelling Day Journey to the Outer Reef
HIKING ON FITZROY ISLAND AUSTRALIA

When is the Greatest Time to Go to Cairns?

Cairns is a Queensland vacation spot that may be visited at any time of the 12 months. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to know that not like the southern areas of Australia, Cairns has two seasons; moist and dry.

That’s as a result of Cairns and the encompassing space of Far North Queensland enjoys a tropical local weather.

In consequence, at all times get respectable climate, though it may get fairly scorching and humid within the moist season, with heavy rain frequent within the afternoons.

Dry Season: April to November
Throughout this time, climate is often dry and heat, averaging round 26-28 levels Celcius. It is a nice time to go to as there may be much less rain and there aren’t often any harmful stingers. That is the very best time to go to Cairns and discover the entire epic issues to do right here.

Moist Season: December to March
Throughout these scorching and moist summer season months, Cairns can see tropical rainfall nearly each day. Additionally, the climate is noticeably extra humid and averages round 32 levels. For those who go to Cairns in the course of the moist season, the waterfalls could have higher move and also you’ll usually have much less wind at sea, particularly round December time. Nevertheless, remember that tropical cyclones can happen, and also you’ll in all probability need to put on a stinger swimsuit when swimming.

How Many Days in Cairns is Sufficient?

After all, you could be questioning “What number of days in Cairns is sufficient? If you wish to see and do all of it, then I’d suggest spending at the least two weeks in Cairns. For those who’re dashing it a bit of and simply need to tick off a number of bucket checklist objects, then you’ll be able to select a number of the spotlight choices on your Cairns itinerary like a reef flight, scuba diving journey or a go to to Fitzroy Island and perhaps squeeze them into every week.

Cairns is the adrenaline and journey capital of Australia. It’s additionally bought a number of the most numerous pure wonders on the planet; specifically the Daintree Rainforest and the Nice Barrier Reef. Mixed with the entire hikes, waterfalls, seashores and islands on supply, you’d be foolish to hurry by means of this area.

If time isn’t a difficulty, then I imagine the optimum quantity of days to say in Cairns is a couple of month. This gives you loads of time to discover the very best issues to do in Cairns Australia and nonetheless have sufficient time to calm down and unwind.

Frankland Islands Coral Patch
car in the rainforest, rental car in atherton tablelands

How A lot Does it Value to Go to Cairns?

As you in all probability know by now, I at all times keep on with a fairly low journey finances. It is because I genuinely favor low cost issues to do, like waterfall hikes and reef adventures.

For those who’re like me, then anticipate to pay round $100 per day. Nevertheless, for days the place you select to do a number of the costlier issues to do in Cairns, this complete finances can get a lot larger.

I’d say the typical traveller visiting Cairns Australia might anticipate to pay between $150 to $300 per day. However, once more, this may rely on lodging choices, in addition to what you propose to do in Cairns.

The underside line is that Cairns prices roughly the identical as many different vacationer locations in Australia however is mostly cheaper than Sydney or Melbourne.

Sadly, many vacationers who go to Cairns are likely to rush by means of this unimaginable vacation spot. I can perceive this, since Queensland and Australia, basically, might be an costly place to journey to.

Nevertheless, as I came upon, many of the finest issues to do round Cairns are free. So, in case you’re on a finances, then there’s no have to rush. Take your time, and begin ticking these epic Cairns sights off your bucket checklist!

hot air balloon trip from cairns

Cairns Adventures: Extra Mountaineering & Waterfall Sources

For these trying to get off the crushed path and discover some superb tropical hidden gems, this weblog will probably be an important useful resource for you.

You’ll have already seen some climbing & waterfall articles linked on this journey information. Nevertheless, the reality is I’ve dozens extra! Listed here are some helpful guides for inspiration.

Extra Mountaineering Trails & Viewpoints

Under are hyperlinks to the hikes I haven’t talked about but on this Cairns to do checklist.

KAHLPAHLIM ROCK

Extra Waterfalls & Swimming Holes

Under you’ll discover much more waterfalls within the Far North Queensland area.

WEST MULGRAVE FALLS WATERFALL

Past Cairns: Extra Issues to do In Australia & FNQ

That wraps up the complete checklist of the very best issues to do in Cairns Australia. This publish has been up to date considerably since I first uploaded it three years in the past.

Since then, I’ve been again a number of occasions to discover much more unimaginable Cairns highlights, sights and actions. In spite of everything this time, I can lastly say that that is probably the most complete Cairns journey information you’ll discover on the web!

After all, there are issues that didn’t fairly make this checklist. You’ll discover a bunch of extra epic journey guides, climbing guides, waterfall and journey guides on my Cairns vacation spot web page. In order for you extra info for every Cairns attraction listed on this weblog publish, bear in mind to move again up and click on the hyperlinks for the entire guides too!

Additionally, in case you really feel like there’s an exercise or expertise that deserved a spot on this checklist, ensure that to let me know by leaving a remark beneath.

I actually hope these superb experiences have impressed you to go to!

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