Tropical North Queensland’s Cairns is a bustling tourism destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The city has wonderful beaches, breathtaking landscapes, warm winters, a vibrant nightlife, and a ton of exciting things to see and do. Cairns is a must-see if you’re in Queensland!
- Best Things to Do in Cairns (Australia)
- 1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef
- 2. Visit the Daintree Rainforest
- 3. Take a scenic helicopter ride
- 4. Experience the Kuranda Scenic Railway
- 5. Explore the Cairns Esplanade
- 6. Discover the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
- 7. Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens
- 8. Take a hot air balloon ride
- 9. Go white water rafting
- 10. Explore the Atherton Tablelands
- 11. Take a scenic drive along the Captain Cook Highway
- 12. Visit the Cairns Aquarium
- 13. Go on a wildlife safari
- 14. Enjoy a sunset cruise
- 15. Visit the Cairns Museum
- 16. Go on a fishing adventure
- 17. Take a scenic hike to Barron Gorge
- 18. Explore the Crystal Cascades
- 19. Visit the Cairns Night Markets
- 20. Go on a horseback riding adventure
- 21. Visit the Flecker Botanic Gardens
- 22. Take a day trip to Fitzroy Island
- 23. Explore the Cairns Art Gallery
- 24. Go on a scenic drive to Port Douglas
- 25. Visit the Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome
- 26. Go on a river cruise
- 27. Visit the Rusty’s Markets
- 28. Go on a quad biking adventure
- 29. Relax at Palm Cove
- 30. Enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the rainforest
Best Things to Do in Cairns (Australia)
1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef
Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. Take a cruise or go snorkeling or scuba diving to experience the vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs.
2. Visit the Daintree Rainforest
Discover the ancient beauty of the Daintree Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a guided tour or hike through the lush greenery, spot unique wildlife, and swim in crystal-clear freshwater streams.
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3. Take a scenic helicopter ride
Get a bird’s eye view of Cairns and its surroundings by taking a scenic helicopter ride. Marvel at the breathtaking landscapes, including the rainforest, the reef, and the stunning coastline.
4. Experience the Kuranda Scenic Railway
Embark on a journey through the rainforest on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway. Enjoy panoramic views as the train winds its way through tunnels, across bridges, and past spectacular waterfalls.
5. Explore the Cairns Esplanade
Stroll along the Cairns Esplanade, a beautiful waterfront promenade. Enjoy the stunning views, relax on the sandy beaches, or take a dip in the lagoon. The Esplanade also offers a range of dining options and a vibrant night market.
6. Discover the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Learn about the rich Aboriginal culture of the region at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Experience traditional dance performances, try your hand at traditional art and craft, and learn about the Dreamtime stories.
7. Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Explore the various themed gardens, including the rainforest, the mangroves, and the tropical fruit orchard.
8. Take a hot air balloon ride
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Cairns from above by taking a hot air balloon ride. Watch the sunrise over the stunning landscape as you float gently through the sky.
9. Go white water rafting
For thrill-seekers, Cairns offers the opportunity to go white water rafting on the Tully River. Navigate through thrilling rapids and enjoy the adrenaline rush as you conquer the challenging waters.
10. Explore the Atherton Tablelands
Embark on a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands, a region known for its stunning waterfalls, lush rainforests, and fertile farmlands. Visit the Millaa Millaa Falls, Lake Eacham, and the Curtain Fig Tree.
11. Take a scenic drive along the Captain Cook Highway
Enjoy a picturesque drive along the Captain Cook Highway, which stretches from Cairns to Port Douglas. Marvel at the stunning coastal views, stop at beautiful beaches, and explore charming seaside towns along the way.
12. Visit the Cairns Aquarium
Discover the wonders of the underwater world at the Cairns Aquarium. Explore the different exhibits showcasing the diverse marine life of the Great Barrier Reef and the surrounding waters.
13. Go on a wildlife safari
Embark on a wildlife safari to spot some of Australia’s most iconic animals. Visit the Cairns Tropical Zoo or take a guided tour to see crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas, and a variety of bird species.
14. Enjoy a sunset cruise
Witness a breathtaking sunset over the Coral Sea by taking a sunset cruise. Relax on board, enjoy a glass of champagne, and soak in the stunning colors of the sky as the sun sets over the horizon.
15. Visit the Cairns Museum
Learn about the history and culture of Cairns at the Cairns Museum. Explore the interactive exhibits, discover the stories of the region’s indigenous people, and gain insight into the city’s development over the years.
16. Go on a fishing adventure
Cairns is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Join a fishing charter and try your luck at catching barramundi, coral trout, and other prized fish species in the waters surrounding the city.
17. Take a scenic hike to Barron Gorge
Embark on a scenic hike to Barron Gorge, located within the Barron Gorge National Park. Enjoy panoramic views of the gorge, spot wildlife along the way, and visit the impressive Barron Falls.
18. Explore the Crystal Cascades
Escape the heat and cool off in the Crystal Cascades, a series of stunning waterfalls and natural swimming holes. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
19. Visit the Cairns Night Markets
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Cairns Night Markets. Browse through the stalls selling local arts and crafts, sample delicious street food, and enjoy live entertainment.
20. Go on a horseback riding adventure
Explore the beautiful countryside surrounding Cairns on a horseback riding adventure. Ride through lush rainforests, cross clear streams, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
21. Visit the Flecker Botanic Gardens
Discover the beauty of the Flecker Botanic Gardens, located in the suburb of Edge Hill. Explore the various themed gardens, including the butterfly garden, the orchid house, and the tropical fruit arboretum.
22. Take a day trip to Fitzroy Island
Escape to the tropical paradise of Fitzroy Island, located just a short boat ride from Cairns. Relax on the pristine beaches, go snorkeling or kayaking, and hike through the rainforest.
23. Explore the Cairns Art Gallery
Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Cairns at the Cairns Art Gallery. Admire the works of local and international artists, attend exhibitions and workshops, and learn about the region’s artistic heritage.
24. Go on a scenic drive to Port Douglas
Take a scenic drive along the Captain Cook Highway to the charming town of Port Douglas. Enjoy the stunning coastal views, visit the famous Four Mile Beach, and explore the boutique shops and restaurants in the town.
25. Visit the Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome
Experience an adventure like no other at the Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome. Take on the challenge of the high ropes course, meet and interact with native Australian wildlife, and enjoy breathtaking views from the dome’s rooftop.
26. Go on a river cruise
Take a leisurely river cruise along the mighty Barron River. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding rainforest, spot wildlife along the riverbanks, and learn about the region’s history and ecology from knowledgeable guides.
27. Visit the Rusty’s Markets
Explore the bustling Rusty’s Markets, a vibrant hub of fresh produce, local arts and crafts, and delicious street food. Sample tropical fruits, browse through the stalls, and soak in the lively atmosphere.
28. Go on a quad biking adventure
Get your adrenaline pumping by going on a quad biking adventure through the rugged terrain surrounding Cairns. Navigate through muddy tracks, tackle challenging obstacles, and enjoy the thrill of off-road riding.
29. Relax at Palm Cove
Escape to the tranquil beachside village of Palm Cove, located just a short drive from Cairns. Relax on the palm-fringed beach, indulge in a spa treatment, and savor a delicious meal at one of the waterfront restaurants.
30. Enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the rainforest
Experience the beauty of the rainforest from a different perspective by taking a scenic helicopter flight. Soar above the lush green canopy, spot cascading waterfalls, and marvel at the untouched beauty of the ancient wilderness.
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Cairns offers a plethora of activities and attractions for every kind of traveler. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Cairns has something to offer. Explore the Great Barrier Reef, immerse yourself in the ancient rainforests, and indulge in the vibrant arts and culinary scene. With its natural beauty and diverse range of activities, Cairns is truly a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.