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Cairns Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Cairns Safaris & wildlife activities

Cairns: Kuranda Day Trip with Kuranda Train and Skyrail

1. Cairns: Kuranda Day Trip with Kuranda Train and Skyrail

Explore the village of Kuranda in a pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

2. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

Explore the stunning biodiversity of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this diving and snorkeling tour from Cairns. Sail on s boat 3 sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy water access. Have drinks and a packed lunch. Depart Cairns in the morning for the outer reef on this 8-hour tour. Whether you are a snorkeler, first-time SCUBA diver, or already certified diver, join a once in a lifetime adventure aboard a luxury day trip to the great barrier reef. Enjoy a light morning tea and a delicious pre-packed picnic lunch. Complimentary tea, coffee, and chilled water are served throughout the day (snacks, soft and alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase). Discover the Great Barrier Reef in the easiest way possible: with a snorkel - it is as simple as breathing. If you have never snorkeled before, don't worry, a briefing is held on board, explaining how to put and use the snorkeling gear. The private reef locations are approximately 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) offshore, these unique sites offer superb coral formations and an abundance of coral and marine life including inquisitive Nemos, Turtles, Stingrays and Wally the friendly Maori Wrasse. Visit 2 different reef locations daily, these are chosen en-route considering weather and sea conditions to ensure the best in-water experience. Visit either Normank, Saxon or Hastings Reef.

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

3. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard a modern catamaran to sail into Green Island National Park on a beach and snorkeling cruise from Cairns. Discover a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and explore its coral reefs with snorkeling gear. Choose to enjoy a buffet lunch and go on a semi-submarine tour. Make your way to the harbor to meet your friendly crew for the day and climb onto your catamaran. Relax in the sun as you set sail towards the Great Barrier Reef. Experience picturesque views of the ocean as you arrive at Green Island National Park. Stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

Cairns: Outer and Coral Cay Snorkel and Dive Cruise

4. Cairns: Outer and Coral Cay Snorkel and Dive Cruise

Step foot on a super-fast, luxury 20m CAT, feeling welcomed and pampered, and embark on an ocean-filled journey of discovery. After your early boarding from Marlin Marina, breathe in the morning ocean breeze as you sail to one of two snorkel and dive destinations. From there, explore the ocean's brilliant fish and coral reefs. At the stunning Upolu Coral Cay Reef, learn about graceful blue-spotted stingrays, tenacious green sea turtles, bright damsel fish, and other amazing creatures that call this reef their home, as you observe them from a glass bottom boat. You’ll then have the chance to see these inquisitive creatures up close, while snorkeling within the incredibly clear, turquoise water. The second snorkel and dive site is the fascinating ‘Wonder Wall’, located on the outer edge of Upolu Reef. Enjoy snorkeling on the top of the wall for easy viewing of all the marine life and coral. Sign-up for the optional, certified or introductory guided dive, encountering a huge variety of aquatic flora and fauna, including hard and soft corals, giant clams, fans, turtles and a vast assortment of colorful tropical fish as you descend and meander along the side of the wall .  In between visiting these two sites, enjoy a smorgasbord lunch fit for a king. Savor smoked salmon, prawns, three types of cold meat, a chicken platter, three fresh salads and a variety of breads. After a relaxed six hours of diving and snorkeling, spend the trip home indulging in even more delicious food, arriving back at Cairns at around 4:30 PM.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

5. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hop aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive clear and concise scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared onboard. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

From Cairns: Full Day on Fitzroy Island, Return Boat

6. From Cairns: Full Day on Fitzroy Island, Return Boat

Leave Cairns for the day and explore the beauty of Fitzroy Island with a roundtrip transfer. Discover a national park covered in tropical rainforests and boasting granite outcrops, open woodlands, mangroves, and coral beaches. Explore at your own pace and travel back to Cairns at the end of the day. Depart from Cairns Marina on a spacious catamaran and admire spectacular views of the ocean. Once at the island, embark on a scenic rainforest walk, go snorkeling, visit the lighthouse, or relax at the famous Nudey Beach, voted the best beach in Australia. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase a delicious meal or refreshing drink from a restaurant just meters off the beach. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around and make sure to visit Foxy's Bar & Café, the Pacific Island Store, and the activities center for extra things to do before the ride back.

From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

7. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

Discover Fitzroy Island on a day tour from Cairns. Enjoy a scenic ferry ride and explore the many hiking trails. Admire the marine life native to the coral reef as you snorkel or observe from a glass-bottom boat. Choose from a range of packages, including transfers for you to explore on your own, or a package including snorkel or glass-bottom boat activities. Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure. The fast catamaran departs from the Marlin Marina, with check-in directly on the vessel. Cruise south along the calm waters of the coastline to reach Fitzroy Island in just 45 minutes, giving you up to 7 hours to explore the tropical island.

Cairns: Daintree & Cape Tribulation Guided 4WD Tour

8. Cairns: Daintree & Cape Tribulation Guided 4WD Tour

Explore Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. Ride a 4WD vehicle as you spot wildlife, catch incredible views, and try regional food along the way. After being picked up in a 4WD, make your way north along the Captain Cook Highway. Stop first at the Daintree Cruise Centre for a quick tea, coffee, and biscuits before setting out to explore the Daintree River on a 1-hour guided cruise. During your cruise, you may spot estuarine crocodiles, from youngsters to massive 4-meter adults. Learn about the birds and wildlife that make this area their home. Then, make your way to the Alexandra Range Lookout, located in the heart of the rainforest, to enjoy spectacular views of the rainforest, the ocean, its surrounding reefs, and the majestic Daintree River. At the Jindalba boardwalk, you'll go on an informative 45-minute guided tour to experience the Park's beauty up close. See ancient 900-year-old palms, and keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Boyd’s Forest Dragon. After exploring all morning, you'll be ready for lunch. Enjoy lunch with your fellow travelers. Your journey continues, heading further north along the Bloomfield Track to Emmagen Creek. Enjoy ample time for a refreshing swim in this amazing freshwater swimming spot. Head to Cape Tribulation beach itself for a leisurely stroll along the beach to admire the views. Those feeling a little more energetic can take the short botanical boardwalk to the Cape Tribulation beach lookout. After Cape Tribulation beach, if there's time, stop at Daintree’s hidden secret, the Daintree ice creamery. Your taste buds will be tantalized with exotic tropical fruit homemade ice cream. As the day comes to an end after taking the ferry back across, head back toward Port Douglas and Cairns, where you'll be dropped off at your accommodation.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

9. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Tour the Outer Great Barrier Reef by boat with time to snorkel and explore this world-famous National Park. Complement your experience with a gourmet buffet lunch, glass of wine, and a light snack. Board your high-speed vessel, and visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a seamless experience with knowledgeable staff to ensure a safe and fun-filled tour. Stop at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations and snorkel with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Later, sit down for a delicious barbecue lunch with salad before taking off for the second half of the tour.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

10. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

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Frequently asked questions about Cairns

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The best day trips and excursions from Cairns are:

Port Douglas

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What people are saying about Cairns

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 559 reviews

What a Great experience! Lovely boat, a very experienced and friendly crew, that set safety first. Since one of us two hasn’t snorkled before, we decided to go accompanied. Phoebe was supernice, very experienced and knowledgable, and we couldn’t have felt safer in the water. What a fine girl! Hope her salary is worth all her good work! :) Every crew member was very nice indeed, the food was good and we have already recommended the cruise for a friend. Thanks a lot Passions of Paradise!

We absolutely loved this tour and would recommend it to anyone. Stu went out of his way to make the day amazing and is definitely a bucket list destination trip. It’s adventurous and fun for all ages and pushes you out of your comfort zone. Our best day in Cairns!

Excellent experience. It was my first time snorkelling and the staff made it very easy to go through the whole activity. My 9 year old son had the most fun. Recommended for all..

Wonderful amazing and so many butterflies Issah our two year old grandson had the time of his life. Exceptional value for money

Worth the trip very friendly crew on board and very beautiful island!