Best Things to Do in Cairns
Admire the Great Barrier Reef, Hop onto the Kuranda Scenic Railway, Explore the Cairns Botanic Gardens, Visit the Barron Gorge National Park, Relax at Palm Cove, Opt for chopper tour over Cairns, Hike the Daintree Rainforest, Hot balloon ride, Skydiving and many more.
Are you wondering about the activities to do in Cairns in your much-awaited holiday? Well, there is absolutely no need to worry. There are numerous things that you can do here, irrespective of your spirit. For instance, if you want to admire the unfiltered beauty of nature, you can visit the Great Barrier Reef or explore Green Island. However, if you are an adventure fanatic, you can opt for whitewater rafting in the Barron Gorge National Park. Moreover, you can also try horseback riding along the ocean or skydiving.
You can also choose Cairns as your honeymoon destination. There are several Cairns things to do for couples. You can watch in awe the butterflies at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or go on a surprise hot balloon ride with your beloved. Do you have a limited budget? In that case, you can opt for the numerous cheap or free things that you can do in Cairns. You can swim at The Lagoon or explore the different beaches such as Kewarra Beach or Trinity Beach. If you want to explore this magnificent city at night, you will not be disappointed either. There are numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs that are open till late at night.
Things to Do in Cairns
People Also Ask About Cairns Things To Do
What are the best things to do in Cairns?
1. Admire the Great Barrier Reef: Credited for being the world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef is a vision to behold. Extending to almost 350,000 square kilometers, exploring this gorgeous tropical reef is one of the best things to do in Cairns. With a rich ecosystem, you can observe numerous fish species, marine organisms, mollusks, and mesmerizing corals. Moreover, you can opt for scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming or visit the underwater observatory.
Location: Queensland, Australia
2. Hop onto the Kuranda Scenic Railway: With an impressive view of The Wet Tropics, one of the oldest rainforests on Earth, the Kuranda Scenic Railway is a must-have experience while visiting Cairns. The wide array of animals and plants that you will see aboard the train will provide unforgettable memories.
Location: Kuranda QLD 4881, Australia
Price: Heritage Class: AUD 76 per adult, AUD 38 per child
Gold Class upgrade: AUD 98 per adult, AUD 98 per child
Timings: Cairns to Kuranda – 8:30 am, 9:30 am
Kuranda to Cairns – 2 pm, 3:30 pm
3. Explore the Cairns Botanic Gardens: Opened to the public in 1886, the Cairns Botanic Gardens is one of the most diverse places in Australia. Here, you will find thousands of plant and animal species. Moreover, informative tours and leisurely walks along the trails will offer a mesmerizing glimpse of nature.
Location: 78-96 Collins Ave, Edge Hill QLD 4870, Australia
Timings: Monday to Friday – 8:30 am – 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9:30 am – 2 pm
4. Visit the Barron Gorge National Park: One of the best Cairns things to do is to explore the Barron Gorge National Park. It is part of the highly popular Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and offers gorgeous visuals. Apart from dense rainforests, you will also see cascading waterfalls. Moreover, you must view Barron Falls, especially in the wet months, as the vision will leave you mesmerized.
Location: Wrights Lookout Rd, Kuranda QLD 4881, Australia
5. Relax at Palm Cove: Known for the numerous palm trees that line the gorgeous beach, the Palm Cove offers a relaxed atmosphere. Here, you can simply sit and rejuvenate while embracing the gentle breezes. You can take a tour of the Cairns Tropical Zoo and enjoy the exciting Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Moreover, there are numerous cafes, restaurants, and spa resorts that you can visit.
Location: Queensland 4879, Australia
6. Opt for chopper tour over Cairns: One of the most exciting things to do in Cairns is to opt for a chopper ride over the district. You can observe the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, the mesmerizing Baron Falls, and the majestic Daintree Rainforest. Seeing them from the bird’s view will offer you memories that you are going to cherish for a lifetime.
Location: Depends on the operator
7. Hike the Daintree Rainforest: If you are interested in observing unspoiled natural beauty, then you must opt for visiting the Daintree Rainforest. Moreover, if you are an adventure fanatic, you can experience hiking through the dense green covers. Apart from the gorgeous collection of flora and fauna, you will also be awed by the coasts and waterfall views.
Location: 2333 Cape Tribulation Rd, Cape Tribulation QLD 4873, Australia
Price: AUD 28 per adults, AUD 14 per child, and AUD 68 per family (of four people)
Timings: 8:20 am – 5 pm
8. Swim at Green Island: One of the most enchanting islands that boast of fringing reefs in its sandy beach is the Green Island. With unique flora and fauna in the rainforest, the island has much to offer for different tourists. You can even swim in shallow waters with the resident turtles.
Location: Queensland, Australia
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What are the romantic things to do in Cairns?
1. Opt for a hot balloon ride: One of the most romantic Things to do in Cairns is to arrange a hot balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands. The beauty of nature as the sun rises will make the moment even more special.
2. Arrange a dinner cruise: Want to surprise your partner with an enhancing dinner cruise? You can choose the cruise that traverses the Trinity Inlet and enjoy the cozy vibe.
3. Explore the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary: What can be more romantic than watching 1500 butterflies dancing all over the sky? You can hold hands, gaze into your partner’s eyes and enjoy the fairy-tale vibe at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.
4. Ride bikes together along the beach: Bike riding along the serene Four Mile Beach is one of the most unforgettable Cairns activities to do. You can have a cozy adventure and spend some time with your partner.
5. Stroll along the Paronella Park: The wonderful lighting at night will offer you memories of a lifetime as you explore the park hand in hand with your partner.
What are the adventurous things to do in Cairns?
1. Partake in skydiving: Experiencing skydiving is one of the most thrill-inducing Cairns things to do. You can choose between 9,000 to 15,000 feet of diving.
2. Opt for bungy jumping: Want to experience the adventure of a lifetime? You can try bungy jumping from the well-known Bungy tower at the famous Skypark Cairns and have ethereal visions of the Great Barrier Reef.
3. Participate in horseback riding in the ocean: Can you imagine being on horseback riding while navigating the ocean lines? The horse will take you through the mangrove wetlands and the bushland.
4. Take part in whitewater rafting: If you are an adventure lover, then opting for whitewater rafting within the Barron Gorge National Park is one of the most exciting Things to do in Cairns. Here, the waves are Grade two and three and will offer you an immense thrill.
5. Try ziplining: With replication of an actual rainforest, the Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome offer an adventurous zip lining activity. You can soar through the canopy and explore the glass dome.
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How to reach Cairns?
You can reach Cairns through air, train, boat, and road. The easiest way is to opt for flights as the Cairns Airport is well-equipped to receive both domestic and international flights. You can also opt for the Sunlander that travels from Brisbane to Cairns thrice every week. The Cairns Seaport revives more than 200 domestic and global cruise ships every year. You can also opt for the road journey from Brisbane (1700 km), Melbourne (3100 km), Darwin (2800 km), and Sydney (2700 km).
What is the best time to visit Cairns?
The best time to visit Cairns is during the winter months of June, July and August. At this time, the temperature ranges from 17-26 degrees, and the weather remains pleasant. It is the perfect time to take part in various activities.
What is Cairns known for?
Cairns is known for the diversified flora, fauna, and mesmerizing landscape. It is also close to the Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Moreover, here you will also come across ancient rainforests such as the Wet Tropics.
What to buy from Cairns?
There are numerous things that you can buy from Cairns. For instance, you can shop for ceramics, jewelry, homewares, clothing, handicrafts, bags, food products, etc.
Is Cairns worth visiting?
Yes, Cairns is definitely worth visiting. Here, you can admire the ethereal beauty of nature in a wide array of attraction sites. Apart from that, you can also indulge in different exciting activities such as ocean horseback riding, whitewater rafting, skydiving, etc.
How many days in Cairns is enough?
Three days are enough to visit the main attraction sites at Cairns. You can visit Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, etc. However, if you want to truly explore the beauty of this enchanting city, you will need to extend your trip.
What are the things to do in Cairns in August?
1. Attend the Mareeba Multicultural Festival: One of the most exciting Things to do in Cairns is to visit Arnold Park to enjoy the Mareeba Multicultural Festival. Here, you can admire numerous multicultural performances.
2. Sea Kayak at Fitzroy Island: If you are interested in exploring an off-beat destination, Fitzroy Island is the obvious choice. You can rent a kayak and have an adrenaline-boosting experience.
3. Explore Mossman Gorge: Want to know the best Cairns things to do? Opt for a visit to the enigmatic Mossman Gorge and admire the ethereal views of the rainforest surrounding it.
4. Hop in the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: The best way to admire the ravishing beauty of the Barron Gorge National Parking is to opt for the Rainforest Skyrail. You can observe the stunning visuals of the magnificent rainforest along with the diversified ecosystem.
5. Be awed by the cultural performances at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park: Built with an aim to preserve the traditions and cultures of indigenous culture, the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park will mesmerize you with the performances.
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What are the things to do in Cairns at night?
1. Visit the night markets: One of the best things to do in Cairns at night is to take a tour of the night markets. Here, you will find a wide assortment of jewelry, clothes, and unique trinkets.
2. Participate in a wildlife spotting tour: You can opt for the night wildlife spotting tour to observe the nocturnal animal species. You can come across tree kangaroos, platypus, etc.
3. Go for a night dive at the Great Barrier Reef: Diving into the Great Barrier Reef in the dark is one of the most exciting activities in Cairns. You will be in awe of the mesmerizing world underwater.
4. Opt for a sunset cruise: Book a sunset cruise and admire the ethereal sunset as you traverse the Trinity Inlet National Marine Park. You can enjoy the delicious food and enjoy the scenic visuals.
5. Bar-hop across the city: Apart from the diverse ecosystem. Cairns is also known for its wild nightlife. You can visit different bars and have a great time dancing and sipping drinks.
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What are the free things to do in Cairns?
1. Tour the art galleries: If you have a passion for artistic tastes, visiting the art galleries is an excellent idea. You can check out the spectacular images and learn more about the country.
2. Swim in The Lagoon: Do you want to know the best things to do in Cairns to beat the heat? Visit The Lagoon and dip into the waters for a rejuvenating experience.
3. Relax at the swimming holes: There are numerous swimming holes in the Redlynch Valley. You can visit The Rocks or Gomorrah Park and enjoy swimming amidst nature.
4. Stroll along the Cairns Esplanade: One of the budget-friendly Cairns things to do is to walk along the 5-km Cairns Esplanade. Apart from the splendid view, you will get to admire the diversified birdlife here.
5. Rejuvenate at the beaches: There is no shortage of beaches in Cairns, and you can visit Kewarra Beach or Trinity Beach for a relaxed atmosphere.
What are the things to do in Cairns Australia in February?
1. Experience quad biking: If you are a thrill lover, then trying quad biking is one of the most adventurous things to do in Cairns. You can explore the areas while getting the much-awaited adrenaline boost.
2. Visit the Barron Falls: Watching the waters cascade from an altitude of 12 meters in the wet season is an unforgettable vision. The beauty around the area will leave you awestruck.
Explore the Rainforests: Admiring the unfiltered beauty of the ancient rainforests is truly one of the most popular things to do in Cairns. The sheer diversification in the flora and fauna will impress you.
3. Opt for snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef: The adventure lover within you will rejoice when you decide to partake in snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. With more than 900 islands and 3000 reefs, the site is simply magnificent.
4. Opt for a day trip to Green Island: This isolated island location at a 45-minutes boat distance from cairns offers an excellent opportunity to have fun. You can snorkel at the shore and then explore the island.
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- Gold Coast
Calling out all the adventure lovers, Daintree Rainforest is one of the best places to visit in Cairns. Surrounded by a lush green landscape, Daintree Rainforest is a place where you get to have a closer look at the most rare plants and animals that thrive here.Some of the most recommended activities to try here include a guided night walk that offers you a glimpse of Australian wildlife roaming fearlessly in the jungle. For some recreation try the cruise on Daintree river and go looking for the saltwater crocodiles. Another adventure activity to try here includes ziplining through the verdant green rainforest which is sure to get your adrenaline rushing. Highlights: It is the largest stretch of tropical rainforest in Australia and offers many adventure activitiesLocation: 2333 Cape Tribulation Rd, Cape Tribulation QLD 4873, AustraliaBest Time: May to September
Stretching from Lake Placid to Atherton Tableland in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Barron Gorge National Park is a superb experience for all nature lovers among tourist places in Cairns. Believed to be formed 400 years ago, the national park was a part of the supercontinent Gondwana. In the midst of verdant green mountains, cascading waterfalls and exotic wildlife, Barron Gorge National Park enchants everyone with its pristine natural beauty.The tropical rainforest is dominated by the Barron River that creates the beautiful Barron Falls. The park is renowned as one of the traditional lands where the local Aboriginal people known as the Djabagandi Bama used to live. Many of the walking trails that you see now are a part of the Bama trails which were developed back then.Highlights: It is well known for its tropical rainforests and the evolutionary history drawing in nature lovers and history buffs.Location:Wrights Lookout Rd, Kuranda QLD 4881, Australia Best Time: Throughout the year
Situated in the Barron Gorge National Park, Stoney Creek is where you can escape from all the hustle and bustle of nature. Surrounded by rainforests, this is one of the best places to visit in Cairns for all the nature lovers. A great place to beat the summer heat, this is the place where you can go for a cool dip and enjoy a nice day away from the bustling crowds.One of the astounding features of the waterfall is the curved lattice railway bridge which you can see passing near the waterfall. The glorious waterfall can also be seen from the Kuranda Scenic Railway.Highlights: The scenic waterfall is located amidst the rainforests and offers an ideal swimming experience. Location: Kuranda QLD 4881, Australia