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25 Things to do in Cairns

 
  • For the taste of both cultural taste and some adventurous trekking in the vast wilderness, Crain is the perfect option for you. Either you are going for an adventure or sightseeing tour you will meet some like-minded people everywhere. If you are looking for eateries then this is another heaven on earth for those who love to eat and go out for clubbing during the night. You will never be disappointed while you are at this amazing destination. The best thing about this place is its tropical climate which ensures that you will enjoy a warm weather while you enjoy all the activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, bungee jumping etc. Experience the difference in this magical land as on this vacation.

    Here we bring you the list of Things to do in Crain for a memorable vacation along with your friends:

  • 01Fishing

    Image Credit : Google
    Fishing in Cairns is an absolute must and is a major attraction for the locals. Sporting Anglers are drawn from around the world during the sailfish and black Merlin festivals. You will find the biggest black Merlins in Cairns. Other prized catches include coral trout, flathead, mangrove jack, snapper, snooty grunter, sweet lip, red empower, jungle perch, Spanish maccarel, Barracuda and Barramundi. The biggest draws are definitely black Merlin and Barramundi. Barramundi was found initially in freshwater before moving on to seawater. The black Merlins is a major sport and a feather on the cap for any angler because it is equivalent to catching a lion in the wilderness as it will give you an exciting fight to the finish. Do find an ideal weather to fish and a friendly tour operator before planning a visit.



    Highlights: The tag and release system employed by the fishing boats ensures the continuance of the species.

    Cost: Between 90 - 400 dollars.

  • 02Parasailing

    Image Credit : luckyno3
    An exhilarating combination of parachuting and water skiing, para sailing is the ideal way to get thrills if you are not too great an adventurist. Here you will be swooshed 300 ft in the air with a very super fast speed boat driven by licensed trained drivers. You can go solo or tandem it if you are scared or unsure. This 10 minute ride is sure to make you go crazy. As you go up you can see the stunning Cairns beaches, Cairns island, the esplanade, and far into the green great mountains beyond. You can tell the driver to make your ride smooth or crank up the crazy level as they control your ascend and descend. As you come down don't forget to wiggle your toes in those cool clear waters. If you are a pure adrenaline junkie and would want to save or combo it up with jet skiing and a bumper tube ride. Para sailing can be enjoyed by every member of the family provided no one is afraid of heights. Do bring a change of clothes and a sunscreen.

    Highlight: Para Sailing is definitely one thrilling yet a safe adventure for the whole family.

    Cost: 90 dollars
  • 03Scuba diving

    Image Credit :  robinhogan1
    An intensely beautiful and enlivening experience to have in Cairns is to scuba dive. With the backdrop of the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest living thing in the planet, you can be assured of an experience of the natural wonders of nature. The highly qualified and experienced diving instructors who know every nook and cranny of the reef will accompany you and enlighten you on the diving procedure and process. You go to the diving spot in ultra luxurious high speed catamarans with a sundeck, a delicious buffer lunch, an open bar. One will be able to explore the most vibrant underwater coral gardens. There are various packages available catering to the non swimmer as well as the advanced scuba diver. The experience of closely watching the world’s largest living entity is a once in a lifetime opportunity definitely not to be missed.

    Image Credits : Dive Directory



    Highlight: One gets to dive into the Great Barrier Reef. This sets it apart from all other diving spots in the world.

    Cost: From 100 - 400 dollars.
  • 04Camping

    Image Credit :  summonedbyfells
    Camping with your loved ones can be a very emotionally bonding experience. Create memories to cherish at Cairns with camping overnight and going hippy with the various designated spots around Cairns.

    Here are some of the places you can accomplish that -

    Fitzroy island: This island is some 30 km from Cairns and is completely surrounded by a reef system that forms a part of the Great Barrier Reef. The white sandy beaches make it an excellent spot for swimming and surfing. There are also facilities to dive and snorkel as well as yacht and boating.

    Babinda: About 45 minutes drive away from Cairns is Babinda which has a lot of camp grounds. You can stay here for a maximum of three days.

    Cairns Holiday Park: This camp park has all modern amenities like Wi-Fi connection and laundry.

    Highlights: Live the Gypsy life disconnected from everyday life to make the most of your camping experience.

    Cost: Around 90 dollars
  • 05Hot Air Ballooning

    Image Credit : Google
    An uplifting and enchanting experience, hot air ballooning is a soft adventure best experienced at Cairns. The balloons rise in the morning just before the sunrise as you hear the birds chirping their morning call. It is the best way to witness the beautiful New Queensland sunrise. Since the balloons float smoothly in the wind, it is operated usually in the morning when there are gentle winds about. The exhilarating and unusual experience of lifting of the ground will definitely leave you spellbound. This adventure is perfect for marriage proposals. It is an experience most people have described as "the best morning they have had in Australia". After the flight you can indulge in a sumptuous breakfast to fill in your hungry belly.

    Image Credits : Google



    Highlights: Hot air ballooning takes place in the Cairns Highlands, known for its mangoes and coffee, west of Cairns CBD. The hot air balloon industry is regulated by CASA. Every balloon is fitted GPS and are operated by trained pilots.

    Cost: 250 dollars approx.
  • 06Mountain Biking

    Image Credit : probikerental - google
    Mountain biking is a brilliant sport to test your biking skills and while at it gain some more. Recently mountain biking has been experiencing renewed interest with its inclusion in the Olympics. It is a spectacular as well as challenging place to ride a bike. One of the best places to try out mountain biking is the world class Smithfield mountain bike park recently constructed by the Cairns mountain bike club.

    Image Credits : wikipedia - google



    There are three disciplines here at Smithfield -
    Cross-country: There are 5 different tracks looping around the lush rainforest. Every loop is graded for difficulty as the tracks range from novice to advanced.

    Downhill: Built purely for Adrenaline junkies and if you aren't afraid of gnarly rocks paths then this is the path for you.

    Mountain X: It is a race course which mixes the shoulder to shoulder madness of BMX with the thrill of downhill.

    Highlights: You would be surprised to know that the world’s best mountain bikers live and train here due to the diverse range of terrains available in Cairns.

    Cost: 100 to 400 dollars
  • 07Hiking

    Image Credit : clicliclic - flickr
    The perfect way to explore New Queensland's exotic tropical rainforests, hiking will take you to places that a conventional tourist wouldn't even think of. You will often bump into fitness freaks who readily would trade the gym metal bars for a jog at the red arrow walk amongst the trees and fresh air. It is behind the Cairns botanical gardens and is some 1.3 kilometers long. Whether you walk or run, red arrow is a perfect way to keep up in shape. The 100 plus stairs might get tiring for you, so you really would need to buckle up. Half way along the red arrow, the path splits and turns a steeper angle which runs for 5.4 km. This is called the blue arrow. If you are quite healthy and fit, then we would recommend Walsh's pyramid which is 922 m and very steep. It takes around three hours to get to the top. There a pyramid race is organized every August where participants run up and down with the winner bagging 5000 dollars.

    Highlights: It is one of the best ways to closely explore the Tropical rainforests.

    Cost: Free
  • 08Skydiving

    Image Credit :  Dalton Chuang - flickr
    Skydiving is probably the coolest of all adventure sports. Cairns is absolutely beautiful, and there are many places where you could relish the beauty of New Queensland. However nothing really beats the views you get while jumping out of an airplane. While your eyes will definitely be dazzled by the view, your entire body will be paralyzed with the joy as you experience immense thrill coursing through your veins. Skydiving in Cairns is a half day activity that takes place round the year. Come to Cairns, do your first skydive here and go back with an experience of a lifetime. The lush green scenery and the warm climate make for an extremely amicable weather for a successful jump. You could solo or tandem as you wish.

    Image Credits : Dalton Chuang - flickr



    Highlights: The experienced and highly qualified sky diving instructors prepare you for the jump and help assuage any questions or fears you might have. Also the view is unbelievable from such great heights.

    Cost: 200 - 400 dollars
  • 09Snorkeling

    Image Credit : pixabay - flickr
    Snorkeling is a great alternative to diving and is a must have experience in Cairns. The Great Barrier Reef is a snorkeler’s paradise with colorful fish and vibrant corals all around. One needs to be a fairly good swimmer and must possess a good level of fitness as snorkeling can be one strenuous activity. Many of the operators here offer guided tours and instructions as to how to go about navigating the reef. You can even go to one of the islands and simply walk off the beach and into the water. There are some operators which offer floating buoys placed around in short distances so you can rest in between. Floating coats can be used for extra buoyancy. Snorkeling in Cairns is definitely recommended as no other way provides an opportunity to observe the Great Barrier Reef in such close proximity. In the warm waters you are bound to lose track of time being mesmerized by your beautiful surroundings.

    Highlights: Try and be able to get a close look at the Great Barrier Reef.

    Cost: 100 to 300 dollars
  • 10Bungee Jumping

    Image Credit : flickr
    Bungee jumping is one purely exquisite activity for extreme thrill seekers. At Cairns the experience is increased multifold as one does in the lush green tropical rainforests of New Queensland. Just a short 20 min drive away is the world’s first purpose built bungee tower from where people take the plunge on this dynamic fall. If you're feeling a bit drab about life then bungee jumping is sure to make you feel more alive than ever before. Having 16 different jump styles there is a jump for everyone, from the new comer to the advanced bungee monkey. You can experience the advanced jump deck, music, bar and live entertainment on Sundays. From the jump deck one can view the northern islands and Far into the Great Barrier Reef. Take in this view all that you can as it will be very different when you come back rebounding. Push yourself and test your limits with this adrenalin filled extravaganza.

    Image Credits : eicheleadventures - google



    Highlight: Bungee jumping in the Tropical rainforests is sure to give you memories to cherish for a long long time.

    Cost: 150 – 400 dollars
  • 11White Water Rafting

    Image Credit :  garybembridge - flickr
    White river rafting is an intensely rewarding experience, especially in the serenity of this world heritage listed rainforest. Barron, Russell and Tully are the three main rafting rivers in Cairns. The tours vary from quarter to full day trips with the rivers and ranges varying in complexity and length. The Russel and Tully rivers are graded 1 - 4. The Barron is more suitable for families and beginners. All the rivers are Hydra controlled so there are waves all year round. Do not get your cameras or valuables on board as they will definitely get wet along with you. Bring a change of clothes to avoid inconvenience. Prepare to make some friends as white river rafting is an absolute team effort. All the guides are fun and also brilliant at what they do.

    Highlight: River rafting in the rainforest is an experience in itself, plus you end up making lots of friends.

    Cost: 220 - 290 dollars
  • 12Flyboarding

    Image Credit : flickr
    The flyboard is the latest in adventure technology wherein your feet are attached like a skateboard and the water that jets from in high speed propels you high upward. Anyone sixteen and above who is adventurous enough and has a knack for seeking thrill can do it. Once you get the grips of it, you could try various stunts and swim in and out of water like a dolphin. No stringent requirements for fitness and prior experience make this sport popular amongst many tourists. There will also be guides to help you along the way. After one is well acquainted with the flyboard they can move on to trying tricks like forward and backward dive, back flips, board grabs, dolphin dives, horizontal corkscrew, vertical twisters and power swimming. This new adventure will charm you accredited to its simplicity and thrill.

    Highlight: It is a very new adventure sport and there is a lot to explore in it.

     Cost: Around 160 dollars
  • 13Seawalking

    Image Credit : balihellotravel - google
    If diving and snorkeling isn’t your thing, no problem as sea walking is your answer to a convenient and a rather easy way of exploring the Great Barrier Reef and chilling out with colorful fishes. After you board your vessel, you are given a short drive minutes briefing and helped with your paperwork by the tour operator. Later on there is the much awaited boardwalk where the guides will help you with your suit. The suit will protect you from all underwater elements. Then you are descended 5 - 7 meter in the actual seabed water, free for you to play and explore. Your instructor will guide you through the fish and the corals on the flat seabed. You might even bump into the famous photo bomber Gavin, a parrot fish. Play with Gavin as you experience an actual ocean floor and walk on it.

    Image Credits : indochinavoyages - google



    Highlight: Most people do sea walking to play with Gavin. So, don’t forget to try that for yourself!

    Cost: 200 - 300 dollars
  • 14Jet Skiing

    Image Credit : wikimedia - google
    Jet skiing is famous amongst most advanced water sports enthusiasts as it is fun and easy to operate. The boat takes you from the Marlin Marina to the designated spot. Once there, briefing will take place on regarding the operations and regulations related to the sport. You will be provided with the Yamaha VX 1100 cc four-stroke. With its stability and comfort you can be rest assured of being in control. The 30 minute ride is supervised by professionals who stand by for any help. Since you are the one riding it, the experience can be as smooth and calm or even as insanely thrilling as you want it to be. Once you are well versed with it, you can practice your skills at the trinity bay jet ski circuit. Parents and kids can ride together for this joyride. One can chose to go solo or ride tandem.

    Image Credits : pixabay - google



    Highlights: It happens under the supervision of experienced professionals who use the latest bikes.

    Cost: Solo – 90 dollars
             Tandem – 160 dollars
  • 15Whale Watching

    Image Credit : wikimedia - google
    There is nothing like watching humpback whales in their natural habitat. It is an absolutely emotional experience and heart moving to the core. You should definitely take up on this opportunity to see the whales while away this holiday season. Available exclusively from July to August this experience is sure to change your perspective about marine life. Never again will you get to watch 4000 whales on their migration, so do make the most.

    The trip starts at 0930. As you board, the speedy catamaran you will be able to spot whales just 30 - 45 minutes after the departure. The trip lasts for 3.5 hours. In the event whales could not be sighted you can join your tour operator or guide on the next tour free of cost. As you see these monsters on the deep escape the frigid waters of Antarctica you will connect with the natural ways of marine life.

    Image Credits : staticflickr - google



    Highlight: There is no better treat than watching the humpback whales in their natural habitat.

    Cost:  Adults: $99.00
              Children (4-14 years): $79.00
              Family (2Ad,2Ch): $277.00
  • 16Zip Lining

    Image Credit :  keepitsurreal - flickr
    If you are tired of the city life and are an absolutely bored urbanite Zip Lining gives you the complete Tarzan experience. As you fly through the cape tribulation forest you can get to see many native animals and birds in their natural habitat. The award winning jungle surfing canopy will definitely test your bravery as you fly at unbelievable speeds.

    At The Daintree tropical rainforest you can fly with your entire family. From the age of three to your great grandma everyone can be an amateur adventurist. As you fly up high in the rainforest trees you will recount this story to your friends and colleagues for years to come. The Zip Lining is an absolutely safe adventure to embark upon as the ropes and lines are tested by the operators themselves everyday to make sure that the safety standards are up to the mark.

    Image Credits : whistler - google



    Highlights: A brilliant adventure for the entire family.

    Cost: 95 dollars.
  • 17Visit Cairns Botanic Gardens

    Image Credit :  rjcox - flickr
    The Cairns botanical gardens officially known as Flecker botanical garden is a botanic reserve in Collins Avenue. It is named after Dr. Hugo Flecker who is known for his immense botanical contribution to this place. Commenced on the 2 of February 2007, it has since become a world heritage listed site. It is also known as Fitzalan's Botanical gardens and Edge hill nursery.

    Having a special place in Cairns history this garden has its native sausage tree kigella pantana, hoop pines Araucaria cunninghamii and Cook pine Araucaria columnaris. Further down the Goodwin street are the damson plum and a blue quandong. There are rainforest understory plants along the creek with a paperbarks and a Leichhardt tree. Aroids and gingers are a part of the garden as well. The walking area is non slippery due to the use of exposed aggregate concrete.

    Image Credits : Robert Whyte www.arachne.org.au - flickr



    Location: Collins Ave, Edge Hill QLD 4870, Australia

    Highlight: The garden has its theme based on the botanical historical evolution of the new Queensland region.
  • 18Visit Trinity Beach

    Image Credit : staticflickr - google
    This beach is the favourite beach of a true Cairns local. Trinity beach is an amazing beach known for its clear waters. The beach offers a beautiful ambience which never fails to impress anyone. Even more so than the other beaches, the locals and tourists mingle here to give it a much friendlier vibe. This beach is not far from the Cairns International Airport so it is a preferred destination and usually the first beach tourists end up going to.

    The beach is cornered by two headlands which provides for an amazing Bay area for all popular activities to take place and thoroughly enjoy their varied pleasures. If you have come here with the sole intention of relaxing, the palm lined shores will just not fail to disappoint you. On the other hand, if adventure is what you seek, you should totally take up on the various tours on offer that leave from Trinity Beach at regular intervals.

    Image Credits : wherewerewe91 - flickr



    Location: It is situated 20 km from the centre of Cairns.

    Highlights: Various tours are organized to cater to different people and their budgets.

    Best time to visit: September to November, March to May.
  • 19Visit Green Island

    Image Credit :  David K Lam - flickr
    Most people come to Cairns to visit the Great Barrier Reef. There are many rainforests, white beaches, corals and an abundant and diverse marine life. You can do several activities here at the Green Island where the clear water invite you to dive, swim and snorkel to your heart's content. Also very famous here is the semi submarine ride and the glass bottom boat ride.

    Both of these are excellent options if you are a marine life enthusiast. Visit Green Island has live commentary, the hosts of which expound the wonders of the corals and live fish feeding. There are 3 tours departing at 9am, 11am and 1pm every day. The green island national park is also worth checking out. This is a once in a lifetime tropical island experience not to be missed.

    Image Credits : luckyno3 - flickr



    Location: It is situated 27 km off shore from the Cairns, Queensland in Australia.

    Highlights: Green Island is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest living thing on the planet and is even visible from space.
  • 20Visit St Monica's Cathedral

    Image Credit : Google
    The St Monica's Cathedral is a Catholic Church in Cairns. This nondescript Building which most people miss is a delight in itself. A witness to the battle of Coral Sea, this unknown building is a hidden gem and a wonder of architecture and interior design. There are a number of stained glass windows of which 24 depict the creation. It is a modern Cathedral which does not require any sort of religious affiliation.

    Visit this church on a sunny day to see it in its full glory. The interior of this church holds its own even in comparison with bigger churches. Here the friendly staff and the caretaker are more than happy to explain the illustrious history and architecture of the Cathedral. Do attend the church on Sundays at 10 AM to listen to the mesmerizing music of the church choir.

    Image Credits : Google



    Location: 181 Abbott St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

    Highlight: Come here for the stained glasses and the church choir.
  • 21Visit Gallo DairyLand

    Image Credit : googleusercontent - Google
    On the Atherton Tablelands housed in the red volcanic soil between Malinda and Atherton stands the Gallo Dairyland. It was founded by Giovanni Gallo who came to Australia from Italy in the 1920's. The farm has since been in the family after opening up in 1937. In 2007 Gallo Dairyland was opened to the general public so they could see what happens behind the scenes.
    You can go and sample various cheeses like Gallo Camembert, Gallo tillsit Swiss cheese, Gallo Zola, brie, Barron River French style Cheese, Gallo heritage cheese, Gallo yoghurt, Gallo silk Haloumi, Macadamia cheese and lots of lactose free products.

    Further visit the Gallo café/restaurant to try the complete Range of Gallo products. Here you can witness how the award winning cheeses by Gallo are manufactured. Apart from this you can bird watch and witness micro bats and sweet flying foxes at the bat hospital. At Malinda you can go for guided walks by the Ngadjon-jii people.

    Image Credits : departureoslo - google



    Location: It is hour and a half hour drive away from Cairns located at the Malanda-Atherton Rd & E Barron Rd, East Barron QLD 4883, Australia

    Highlight: Get an inside look at the manufacturing of award winning cheeses and chocolates.
  • 22Shopping

    Image Credit : businesseventscairns - google
    When it comes to shopping in Cairns, don't let the relaxed vibe delude you, because when it come to fashion Cairns has high end designer stores like Coach, Louie Vuitton and Gucci to plush shopping centres to fit every budget. If you arer looking to take some souvenirs home you can pick up fury koalas, kangaroos, Tim tams and macadamia nuts. Also on offer are Aboriginal paintings, didgeridoos, boomerangs, hand crafted toys, flags and printed t-shirts. The DFO's (direct factory outlets) located at Musgrave road which number over a 100 lets you buy brands at a discounted rate. When locals have to shop they head to Cairns central, the largest shopping mall in New Queensland, as it as almost every kind of shop available including Myers, Australia's biggest departmental store. It is a complete experience with a food court and cinema complex.

    Image Credits : cairnseguide - google



    Location: Variable depending on what exactly you are looking for.

    Highlights: There are over a hundred direct factory outlets that let you buy brands at a discounted rate.
  • 23Holloway's Beach

    Image Credit : wikimedia - google
    A Cairns residential beach, Holloway's is gaining popularity due to the establishment of a beach resort by the waterfront. It is an extremely narrow beach, with only two meters as its width. It is extremely apt for fishing as on a good day you can see many locals out with their fishing nets at Holloway's. There is also a popular cafe and hotel which makes Holloway's a brilliant destination. If you are looking for some privacy, turn right when you see the Holloway's beach sign.

    There is a quite little spot only frequented by couple and artists. A turn left ahead is a shack, easily recognizable with its bluish yellow interiors, which is famous for its local alcohol made from various fruits. The friendly staff is sure to please you with their wide smile and Pleasant demeanor. There is a safety net for you during the stinger season, please be within it to avoid unnecessary complications.

    Image Credits : staticflickr - google



    Location: Holloways Beach is north of Cairns City.

    Highlights: A small quite beach to explore your personal space.

    Best time to visit: September to November, March to May.
  • 24Clifton Beach

    Image Credit :  cogdogblog - flickr
    Clifton is a serene local beach lined beautifully by swaying palm trees. This beach is great for children with its swimming net and playgrounds. There are facilities for BBQ so that you wouldn't have to go away looking to eat. You can enjoy all of your time under the big rain trees right here at Clifton. You can take a walk for kilometers on end enjoying the sunshine, with beach on one side and the Rainforest Mountain on the other.

    You can walk right up to Palm cove and chow in its restaurants while laying around on a completely untouched natural environment that Clifton offers. Clifton rarely has tourists and is relatively undeveloped. Having no high risers, it is dotted with low lying beach front houses. This beach is great for family outings and privacy seeking lovebirds.

    Image Credits : teloro - flickr



    Location: Clifton is located 22 km north of Cairns.

    Highlights: Local beach with less people and undeveloped areas. It is an ideal spot for having a little quiet time.

    Best time to visit: September to November, March to May.
  • 25Cairns Colonial Club Resort

    Image Credit : cairnscolonialclub - google
    Cairns Colonial Club Resort is an award winning hotel. It has a children's playground and a 3 lagoon styled swimming pools. Housing 345 excellently styled rooms, it offers guests a wide range of accommodations. It is one of the most popular hotels in tropical new Queensland and is famous worldwide for its services. Combining the relaxed atmosphere of a tropical resort and the features of a mainstream hotel it provides all amenities to a number of guests staying at the hotel at any point of time.

    One of its features that appeal to families that come to the Cairns colonial is that they do not charge for children. The rooms are large and well lit with modern interiors. Most rooms have kitchenette for light cooking and a large flat screen TV. Some also have a private balcony or lanais overlooking a private pool or the oceanfront.

    Image Credits : cairnscolonialclub - google



    Highlight: Some rooms have a private balcony or lanais overlooking a private pool or the oceanfront. Further varied styles of accommodations are available here.

    Location: 18-26 Cannon St, Manunda QLD 4870, Australia

    Price: Rs 4,034 - Rs 6,387