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Enjoy year-round tropical weather in this laid-back city, situated on the doorstep of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. 

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.

Where to stay in Cairns

Top hotels in Cairns

Hilton Cairns
Hilton Cairns
5 out of 5
34 Esplanade, Cairns, QLD
The price is AU$144 per night from 27 Jan. to 28 Jan.

Located in Cairns Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from Reef Hotel Casino and Reef Fleet Terminal. Cairns Esplanade and Cairns Convention ...

4.1/5Very Good! (997 reviews)

"Great staff and love the tropical feel of the hotel. Everything was clean and to a high standard."…"

Reviewed on 11 Jan. 2021

Hilton Cairns
Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns
Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns
4 out of 5
209-217 Abbott Street, Cairns North, QLD
The price is AU$119 per night from 7 Feb. to 8 Feb.

Located in Cairns North, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cairns Base Hospital and Cairns Esplanade. Cairns Marlin Marina and Reef Fleet Terminal are ...

4.1/5Very Good! (993 reviews)

"Tired old hotel, but the staff were nice, it was reasonably priced and decent location. I would suggest a newer hotel if you can pay the little extra, otherwise this place will do the job!"…"

Reviewed on 9 Jan. 2021

Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns
Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina
Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina
5 out of 5
Pierpoint Road, Cairns, QLD
The price is AU$215 per night from 27 Jan. to 28 Jan.

This family-friendly Cairns hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Reef Fleet Terminal and Cairns Esplanade. Cairns Convention Centre ...

4.3/5Excellent! (989 reviews)

"location was great. Modernized room ok . pool area fun"…"

Reviewed on 10 Jan. 2021

Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Holiday Rentals in Cairns

Imagine Drift Palm Cove
Imagine Drift Palm Cove
4 out of 5
Cnr Veivers Rd Williams Esp, Palm Cove, QLD
The price is AU$129 per night from 27 Jan. to 28 Jan.

Located in Palm Cove, this beachfront apartment building is in the entertainment district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Kuranda National Park and Palm Cove Beach. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (467 reviews)

"Lovely 2 bedroom and 2 bathrooms. Disappointed that we didn’t have a toaster as it said it was meant to. Also had a few cockroaches and ants. A can of insect spray would of been handy."…"

Reviewed on 14 Jan. 2021

Imagine Drift Palm Cove
Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore
Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore
5 out of 5
1 Veivers Road, Palm Cove, QLD
The price is AU$347 per night from 9 Feb. to 10 Feb.

Nestled on the beach, this Palm Cove aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kuranda National Park and Palm Cove Beach. Clifton Beach is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) away.

4.7/5Exceptional! (436 reviews)

"Another wonderful stay at Alamanda (3rd time here). Their beachfront apartments have the best and uninterrupted view of the beach. A truly magical place! Extra thanks to Daniel and Jess, who went out of their way to make our holiday even more perfect. Look forward to our next visit."…"

Reviewed on 23 Dec. 2020

Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore
Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort
Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort
3.5 out of 5
23-51 Anderson Road, Woree, QLD
The price is AU$129 per night from 9 Feb. to 10 Feb.

This family-friendly Cairns campsite is located in Woree, within 2 mi (3 km) of Cairns Golf Club, Wet Tropics of Queensland and Dinden Conservation Park. Stockland ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (499 reviews)

"Lots of activities to keep the kids occupied and plenty of family activities too."…"

Reviewed on 22 Jan. 2021

Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Cairns

Top activities in Cairns

Reviews of Cairns


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 50.32733224222586%
4 - Good
4 - Good 43.45335515548282%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 5.319148936170213%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.4909983633387889%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0.40916530278232405%

5/5 - Excellent


26 Mar. 2020

Cairns is a beautiful little city. So many outdoor things to do. Natural beauty.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

24 Mar. 2020

Good place to walk around very clean and tidy , the lido was excellent although we didn’t use it , an excellent sea front

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

20 Mar. 2020

Our first trip to FNQ & it exceeded our expectations. Sure it was hot & muggy but we sweated through it. Just loved the greenery, birds, butterflies, bats, flowers, smells, eateries, views, etc … We won't hesitate to return @ the first opportunity.

5/5 - Excellent


18 Mar. 2020

1 Word..... AMAZING..!!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

12 Mar. 2020

A visit to Kuranda is a must do when in Cairns

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

26 Feb. 2020

Able to see all I wanted to in 4 days. Great barrier reef was amazing

Cities near Cairns