Located in Far North Queensland, Cairns attracts visitors from around the globe thanks to its tropical climate and access to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. The city also provides a number of wildlife and Indigenous culture experiences, along with a family-friendly waterfront esplanade.
Things to do in Cairns
For an unforgettable Great Barrier Reef experience, go on a diving or snorkelling cruise directly from Cairns. Looking for a reprieve from urban life? Take a day trip to one of the nearby tropical islands, such as Green Island or Fitzroy Island. Hot air balloon tours provide unparalleled bird’s-eye views of the cocktail-blue water, lush rainforests and intricate reef.
Cairns’ 26-kilometre-long stretch of beaches begins north of the city, but there is a charming esplanade near the centre of town. The Cairns Esplanade overlooks the Coral Sea and boasts a public swimming pool, barbecue areas, grassy lawns, weekend markets and diverse restaurants.
Several shopping centres speckle the region, highlighted by the Cairns Central shopping centre and Stockland Cairns. After a full day of leisure, be sure to sit back and enjoy the area’s mighty dining scene around the harbour. For a heaping of culture, check out exhibits at the Centre of Contemporary Arts or catch a film at the outdoor Starry Night Cinema.
Venture beyond the city limits to experience the world-famous Daintree Rainforest, home to ancient trees, unique Australian animals and cascading waterfalls. Embrace Australia’s Indigenous culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you can witness traditional Aboriginal singing and dancing, throw a boomerang and eat authentic bush food.
Getting around Cairns
The Cairns International Airport connects to many domestic and international destinations including China, Singapore and Indonesia. The area serves as the terminus for Queensland's North Coast railway line and is near the A1 Highway, known as the “Pacific Highway”, popular with road tripping families.