Cairns is a popular destination to explore Tropical North Queensland. The small, laid-back city has waterfront parks, shops and restaurants, is surrounded by rainforests and lies within close proximity to two World Heritage sites.
Cairns is the gateway city to the pristine 135-million-year-old Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the world and home to a colourful and diverse marine life. Admire the reef as part of a snorkel or dive tour organised in the city centre. If you would rather stay dry, many tour boats have a glass bottom so you can marvel at the view beneath you. A short drive north will take you to the Daintree Rainforest, where you can explore one of the most biologically diverse areas on the globe.
Just outside Cairns is Barron Gorge National Park. See the rainforest at ground level along the many footpaths or admire the deep gorges and waterfalls from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Glide over the forest canopy before arriving at Kuranda, known as the Village in the Rainforest. Include a visit to the nearby Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park where you can throw a boomerang, blow into a didgeridoo and watch a dance show.
Discover native Australian animals at Cairns Tropical Zoo, such as koalas and wombats. To see North Queensland’s native crocodiles, head to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, where you can get close enough to feed them.
The coastline around Cairns features many beautiful beaches. Drive north to get to the unspoiled Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach and stylish Palm Cove Beach.
Back in Cairns, round off your day with a dip in the Esplanade Lagoon, a stroll along the Marlin Marina and then join the locals at the city’s Esplanade, the perfect place for an evening barbeque.