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Cairns Beaches

Known for Family-friendly, Coral Reefs and Rainforests

With the Great Barrier Reef on your front doorstep and breathtaking tropical rainforest out the back, this laid-back city is where your adventures begin.

How do you get to Cairns Beaches?

Take the plunge into reef-marbled waters and dense tropical rainforests from Cairns, a major city in northern Queensland and a gateway to some of the country’s most famous World Heritage wonders. Cairns pulses with the life of its natural surroundings, while its cosmopolitan hum makes it a great spot to base your tropical north Queensland adventures. Embark on a tour of the iconic Great Barrier Reef, see the rainforests of the Wet Tropics or simply kick back on sandy white beaches fringed by palms at the Northern Beaches.

Linger a while in Cairns to discover the city’s local treasures. Take a dip at the Esplanade Lagoon, check out the marina or pick up regional delights from the farmers’ market. Cairns Tropical Zoo showcases the diverse wildlife that resides in Queensland’s tropical north.

Discover postcard-perfect waters along Cairns’ Northern Beaches. Trinity Beach offers family-friendly swimming areas, while Palm Cove is the ideal romantic getaway. Enjoy the seclusion of Clifton Beach beneath the shade of a coconut palm.

When you’re ready to explore a little further, head to the Reef Fleet Terminal for a wide range of coral-cay sightseeing and diving tours, or jump on board the historic railway that takes passengers through breathtaking rainforest to the town of Kuranda. Check out Barron Gorge National Park to soar over the Wet Tropics on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Book a white-water rafting adventure on the Tully, Barron or North Johnstone rivers. Explore ancient rainforests at Cape Tribulation and the Daintree or take a four-wheel drive journey through the hinterland savannah and fertile plateau of the Atherton Tablelands.

Cairns is located on Queensland’s northern coast and is accessible via its own domestic and international airport, as well as the coast’s major arterial highway. The Northern Beaches are about a 15-minute drive from the city. Accommodation options include island resorts and rainforest lodges. Chat to the lifeguards before swimming between November and May, as stingers can make the waters extremely dangerous. Peak visitor times are between June and August, when the climate is warm and dry.

Activities in Cairns Beaches

Located in between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, this palm tree-lined beach is an idyllic spot to take it easy or begin an adventure.

This quiet beach north of Cairns offers long stretches of white sand and clear water.

The largest coral reef in the world lies just off the coast of Cairns and offers thousands of kilometres of coral, marine life and untouched white sand beaches.

Soar above the treetops of the rain forest, gorges and mountains of North Queensland in a glass-enclosed cable car.

Stroll along the boardwalk surrounded by palms tree and landscaped gardens and watch the sun set over the Coral Sea.

Unspoiled white sand, crystal-clear blue water, swaying palm trees and stunning views of the ocean make this one of the most picturesque beaches in town.

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Cruise to Green Island, the only coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef with a lush rainforest. Spend the day exploring this protected Marine National Park—immersing yourself in its surrounding undersea universe teeming with technicolor coral and marine life.

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Spend a day soaking up the sun and sand on Fitzroy Island, an unspoiled outpost on the Great Barrier Reef covered in lush rainforest and surrounded by clear waters and coral reefs.

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Cut through the waves aboard a high-speed catamaran as you head to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Land at the permanently moored platform at Agincourt Reef, and spend some time exploring the crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life by diving, snorkeling, or staying dry in the semi-submarine.

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Choo-choo through one of the world’s most scenic train routes during this incredible full-day adventure across Aussie landscapes. Admire the sights from the Kuranda Scenic Rail, shop for local crafts at Kuranda Village, and board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for views of Australia’s Tropical Rainforests.

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The award-winning Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is one of the best places in Australia to get up-close to crocodiles and other local wildlife. Explore the timber boardwalks that lead you on a discovery of tropical birds, reptiles, insects, and the star of the show: the famous saltwater crocodile.

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Indulge in an unforgettable full-day premium small group tour of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. Soak up the breathtaking scenery and immerse yourself in the ecological history of the region as you cruise Captain Cook Highway, with stops for an electric boat ride and a stroll along the beach.