Cairns is home to a startling array of beautiful sights, venture some activities and merriment events!

This iconic city offers a remarkable scope for many adventures – bird watching, bungee jumping, scuba diving, snorkelling and hiking, just to name a few! From the unceasing adventures of the Great Barrier Reef to the easy escapade and tropical Queensland – there are many things to do in Cairns located in Australia.

However, Cairns is not just about adventures; myriads of brilliantly shimmering natural and artificial marvels are enough to bewitch the beholders!

Vacation in Cairns

From awe-inspiring museums to lush parks, from aboriginal wildlife sanctuaries to excellent art galleries – there is no dearth of Cairns attractions in this picturesque city. No wonder many travel companies embrace vacationers with various affordable travel deals to behold its beauty and soak in Cairns’s activities. Read on to know about what to do in Cairns, Cairns a

Facts & Data

Attractions, and activities to heed while contemplating holidays here.

  • Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s largest coral reef systems and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Cairns was founded in 1876 as a port for the Hodgkinson River goldfield and was named after the Governor of Queensland at the time, Sir William Cairns.
  • Cairns has a diverse economy, with tourism being a major industry. Other industries in the region include agriculture, mining, and education.
  • Cairns is home to the world’s most dangerous bird.
  • Cairns is also home to the highest peak (Mount Bartle Frere) in Queensland.
  • The Cairns Esplanade is a popular destination for tourists and locals, with a swimming lagoon, playgrounds, BBQ areas, and a boardwalk overlooking the ocean.

Reasons Cairns should be on your next vacation

With its stunning natural beauty, diverse attractions and activities, and warm tropical climate, Cairns is the perfect place to visit for a holiday or a long-term stay.

There are plenty of things to do in Cairns, so you will never be bored while visiting this tropical paradise.

Tropical Climate

Cairns located in Australia enjoys a tropical climate year-round, making it an excellent destination for those seeking warm weather and sunshine. The wet season in Cairns typically occurs from November to May, with the heaviest rainfall between January and March. During this time, temperatures can range from around 24°C to 32°C, and the humidity can be pretty high.

On the other hand, the dry season in Cairns runs from June to October, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Daytime temperatures during this season usually range from around 21°C to 29°C, making it a great time to visit for those who prefer milder weather.

Overall, the tropical climate in Cairns is ideal for those who enjoy warm weather and outdoor Cairns attractions.

Pro tip

Travellers take precautions to protect themselves from the sun and stay hydrated during their stay.

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The Great Barrier Reef

A visit to the Great Barrier Reef is one of the prime things to do in Cairns. Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders.

The Great Barrier Reef is a vast system of coral reefs, islands, and cays that stretches over 2,300 kilometres (1,430 miles) along the coast of Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is home to a vast array of marine life, including over 1,500 species of fish, 600 types of coral, and numerous other species of marine creatures, such as turtles, sharks, and dolphins. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site protected by strict regulations and conservation efforts.

Things to do

Visitors to the Great Barrier Reef can engage in various activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, glass-bottom boat tours, and helicopter tours.
You can also travel by modern catamaran and explore the colorful world of fish and coral beneath the ocean.
Some locations also offer opportunities to swim with marine creatures like turtles and sharks.

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What are the 5 facts about the Great Barrier Reef?

  • The Great Barrier Reef is one of the World’s Seven Wonders.
  • You can see the Great Barrier Reef from space.
  • You can find more than 1625 types of fish in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The Great Barrier Reef holds over 30 species of dolphins and whales.
  • Finding Nemo was set in the Great Barrier Reef
    Rainforests in Cairns

Cairns is close to several spectacular rainforests, including the Daintree and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest in the world, with some areas dating back over 135 million years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site home to a diverse range of plant and animal species.
Daintree Rainforest in Cairns, Australia
The Wet Tropics Rainforest is another UNESCO World Heritage site located near Cairns. It is a vast area that spans over 450,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) and is home to over 3,000 plant species.

Pro tip

Guided tours of the rainforests are available and are a great way to learn about the forests’ ecology, wildlife, and cultural significance.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a popular Cairns attraction that takes visitors on a scenic journey through the lush rainforest canopy.The cableway spans 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) and takes visitors on a 90-minute journey through the rainforest canopy.

The cableway has two stops that allow visitors to get off and explore the rainforest. The first stop is at Red Peak Station, where visitors can take a guided boardwalk tour through the rainforest.
The second stop is at Barron Falls Station, where visitors can see the spectacular Barron Falls and learn about the local indigenous culture. The cableway has won numerous awards for its environmental and conservation efforts, and visitors can learn about these efforts through interactive displays and exhibits.

Pro tip

The cableway is wheelchair-accessible, and staff members can assist with boarding and disembarking.

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Outdoor Activities in Cairns, Australia

While planning your Cairns trip, these outdoor activities are unique things to do in Cairns. We have jotted down some best outdoor Cairns activities you can’t miss on your vacation.

Cairns Aquarium

Explore the outlandish world that exists underwater at Cairns Aquarium.

Located in the city’s heart, the aquarium has over 15,000 marine and freshwater animals representing over ten different ecosystems in the region. Some of the Cairns Aquarium highlights include the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, which features live coral and a variety of fish species found in the reef.
Cairns Aquarium
Other exhibits include the River Monsters exhibit, which showcases some of the largest freshwater fish in the region, and the Coral Sea exhibit, which features marine life in the Coral Sea.

The Cairns Aquarium also has interactive exhibits where visitors can touch and interact with marine life, such as starfish, sea cucumbers, and baby crocodiles.

Pro tip

Go for guided tours to know behind-the-scenes experiences. The feeding sessions are also available for visitors.

Head to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures 

Cairns’s tropical climate suits crocodiles and your Cairns trip won’t be complete without a close encounter with these ancient creatures.

You must visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures Park to see crocodile conservation. The park allows visitors to see these fantastic creatures up close in their natural habitat.

The park offers a range of experiences for visitors, including boat cruises on the wetlands, guided walking tours, and crocodile feeding demonstrations.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures 
During the boat cruise, visitors can see crocodiles in their natural environment and learn about the importance of wetlands in supporting the local ecosystem.

Travellers can also see crocodiles being fed during the park’s daily feeding demonstration, where experienced staff provide informative commentary on the behavior and habitat of crocodiles.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures also offers other experiences for visitors, such as the opportunity to hold a baby crocodile or to take a guided tour of the crocodile farm where crocodile eggs are collected and hatched.

Pro tip

Don’t provoke the crocodiles, or don’t touch them inappropriately.

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Golf Courses in Cairns

Cairns offers a great range of golf courses for golfers of all levels, from beginners to experienced players. Whether you are looking for a scenic or challenging course, you are sure to find a golf course that meets your needs in Cairns. Cairns Golf Club, Paradise Palms Golf Course, Half Moon Bay Golf Club, and Mossman Golf Club are some famous golf clubs that offer popular golf courses in Cairns.

Beaches in Cairns

Cairns has several beautiful beaches, including Trinity Beach and Palm Cove. These beaches offer white sand, crystal-clear water, and plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
Beaches in Cairns, Australia
Palm Cove Beach: This is one of the significant Cairns attractions, located about 30 minutes north of Cairns. The beach is lined with palm trees and offers a range of activities, including swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Trinity Beach: Trinity Beach is a famous beach about 20 minutes north of Cairns. The beach features a long stretch of sand and calm waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Yorkeys Knob Beach: Yorkeys Knob is a long, wide beach about 20 minutes north of Cairns. The beach is popular with kite surfers and offers plenty of space for sunbathing and swimming.

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Why can’t you swim in the sea in Cairns?

Swimming in the sea in Cairns is not always recommended due to a few potential hazards. Here are some reasons why swimming in the sea in Cairns may not be safe at all times.

  • Stingers: During the wet season (November to May), the waters around Cairns can have stinging jellyfish, known as “box jellyfish” and “Irukandji.” These jellyfish can cause severe injury or even death, so it is essential to be cautious and check for any warnings or advisories before swimming.
  • Crocodiles: Saltwater crocodiles can be found in some of the rivers and estuaries around Cairns. These crocodiles can be dangerous and potentially deadly, so it is crucial to follow warning signs.

Kuranda Scenic Railway

The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a historic train ride that takes visitors through the stunning rainforest and rugged mountains between Cairns and Kuranda. It is one of the significant Cairns activities you must incorporate into your itinerary.

The train journey takes passengers through some of the most spectacular scenery in the region, including dense rainforest, towering mountains, and cascading waterfalls.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The train makes several stops along the way, including at Barron Falls, where passengers can disembark and view the impressive waterfall up close.

Pro tip

The train journey is accompanied by informative commentary, which explains the history and significance of the railway and provides insights into the surrounding landscape and wildlife.

How much is the train from Cairns to Kuranda?

Two types of train tickets are available for travellers.

  • Heritage Class ($76 for adults)
  • Gold Class ($174 for adults)

    Adventure Activities in Cairns

Cairns is known for its range of adventure activities, from white water rafting to bungee jumping. There are plenty of options for those who want to get their adrenaline pumping.

  1. Scuba diving and snorkeling: Cairns is home to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most renowned diving and snorkeling destinations.
  2. White-water rafting: Cairns is surrounded by some of Australia’s best white-water rapids. Visitors can choose from various tours and experience the thrill of riding the rapids. It is one of the must-do things to do in Cairns.
  3. Skydiving: Cairns offers some of the most spectacular views for skydiving, with stunning coastal and rainforest scenery.
  4. Bungee jumping: Cairns is home to Australia’s only bungee jumping facility, with jumps available from a 50-meter tower over a rainforest lagoon.
  5. Ziplining: Visitors can soar through the rainforest canopy on a zipline tour, with several operators offering tours that take visitors on a thrilling ride through the treetops.
  6. ATV tours: Cairns offers a range of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tours that take visitors off-road and into the rugged countryside.

In a nutshell, plenty of Cairns activities cater to all levels of thrill-seekers.

Night Markets and Dining options in Cairns

The Cairns Night Markets are a must-visit for any visitor to the city. Open every night, the markets offer a range of souvenirs, clothing, and local crafts, as well as plenty of delicious food options.

The Esplanade Market, Tanks Arts Centre Market, Port Douglas Markets, and Kuranda Heritage Markets are popular and must-visited Cairns attractions.
Night Markets in Cairns
Cairns has a diverse dining scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for fresh seafood, Asian cuisine, or a juicy steak, Cairns has something to offer. The night markets are also a must-visit for those looking for a unique and lively dining experience.

Is Cairns a good holiday?

Yes, Cairns is a popular holiday destination in Australia and offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Located in tropical North Queensland, Cairns is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and numerous beaches and waterfalls.

There are also plenty of things to do in Cairns, such as snorkeling and diving at the Great Barrier Reef, taking a scenic railway ride through the rainforest, exploring the Cairns Esplanade, and visiting cultural sites like the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Whether you are travelling with friends, family, or as a couple, Cairns can be a great holiday destination.

Cultural Experiences in Cairns

Cairns is home to a rich indigenous and multicultural history and offers many opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in local culture.

Throughout the year, Cairns plays host to a range of festivals and events, including the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, the Cairns Festival, and the Great Barrier Reef Marathon. These events offer an excellent opportunity to experience the culture and vibrancy of the city.

  1. Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park: The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park offers visitors an immersive experience of Aboriginal culture, including traditional dances, storytelling, and demonstrations of hunting and gathering techniques.
  2. Cairns Indigenous Art Fair: Held every August, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture. Visitors can view and purchase artworks, attend cultural performances, and participate in workshops.
  3. Cairns Museum: The Cairns Museum showcases the history of Cairns, including its indigenous and multicultural heritage. Visitors can learn about the local culture, the impact of the gold rush, and the development of the region’s tourism industry.
  4. Chinese Temple: The Chinese Temple in Cairns is a historic building that was once a place of worship for the Chinese community in Cairns. Travellers can learn about the history of the Chinese community in Cairns and view the ornate decorations of the temple.
  5. Cultural Village: The Cultural Village in Cairns offers visitors a chance to experience the cultures of the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea through traditional dances, music, and arts and crafts.

Nature Walks in Cairns

Cairns offers many opportunities for visitors to experience the region’s natural beauty through nature walks. You can’t afford to miss these must-visited Cairns attractions on your trip.

Cairns has something to offer if you are interested in rainforest hikes, coastal walks, or tropical gardens.The Cairns Botanic Gardens is a tropical oasis just outside the city centre.
Nature Walks in Cairns
Visitors can stroll through the gardens, which feature a range of tropical plants and flowers, including orchids, bromeliads, and palms.

Crystal Cascades is a popular swimming spot located about 20 minutes from Cairns. Travellers can take a short nature walk through the rainforest to reach the cascades.

Being another popular Cairns attraction, Fitzroy Island is home to a national park that offers nature walks through the rainforest and the coastline. Vacationers can see a range of wildlife, including wallabies, lizards, and birds.

Barron Gorge National Park is about 20 minutes from Cairns and offers nature walks through the rainforest and along the Barron River. The park is home to a range of wildlife, including freshwater turtles, platypus and the rare Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo. The Cairns Esplanade is a popular waterfront area with a scenic walking path along the coastline.

Tourists can view the ocean and the nearby mountains while enjoying a leisurely walk.

Friendly Locals

The locals in Cairns are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, making it an excellent destination for solo travellers or those travelling with family.

Cairns locals are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature. They are often eager to strike up a conversation and offer recommendations for things to do in Cairns and other various Cairns attractions.

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These are some reasons you should choose your next vocational spot.

Conclusion

Entrancing Cairns is full of bewitching sights, unique sounds and heavenly smells. The unique culinary scene, pulsating nightlife, animated shopping, and enchanting sights exhilarate the senses, tempting tourists to choose Cairns as their next vocational spot.

Find the best deals for Cairns at Bookit N Go’s website. The company brings you the latest hot offers on Cairns, ensuring you get the best value for your money.

FAQs

What are some of the best tourist attractions in Cairns?

Cairns has much to offer visitors, from its stunning natural attractions to its cultural and wildlife experiences. We have curated some best Cairns attractions for travellers like you.

  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
  • Cairns Esplanade
  • Cairns Botanic Gardens
  • Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

What to do in Cairns?

Cairns is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty of things to see and do. Here are some ideas for unique things to do in Cairns.

  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef
  • Take a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
  • Walk along the Cairns Esplanade
  • Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens
  • Take a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest
  • Visit the Cairns Night Markets
  • Go on a wildlife adventure at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
  • Explore the nearby beaches

When should I visit Cairns in Australia?

The best time to visit Cairns depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to do. If you are looking for budget-friendly deals in Cairns, the best time to visit is in the shoulder months (April/May or September/October) or the wet season from November to March.