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Cairns
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Top attractions in Cairns

See all tours & things to do in Cairns

Top 6 Essential Things To See Around Cairns

Cairns is in the north of the Australian state of Queensland. The area surrounding the city is a natural paradise - there's the Great Barrier Reef, for one thing - so here are a few exhilarating sights you can check out during a visit to the area.

Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Take a boat over to Green Island, where you can stop off and go swimming. Experience the unreal coral colors and stunning wildlife of the reef, illuminated by the sun.

Reef Snorkeling

You may not be able to delve 20,000 leagues under the sea, but you can go snorkeling, which is pretty close! Here's your chance to be a mermaid or merman for a couple of hours.

Kuranda Rainforest

Enjoy this lush tropical rainforest on the ground, or fly over it on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. You can also seamlessly glide from land to water in an amphibious vehicle!

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Experience the culture of the Aboriginal Djabugay people. Enjoy a didgeridoo show, visit a museum with ancient murals, try some Djabugay cuisine, and learn to throw a boomerang.

Undara Lava Tubes

Take a day to explore the Outback and walk around under a volcano - that's not something you get to do every day!

Tully River White Water Rafting

The Tully River hosted the 1991 Australian Canoe and White Water Rafting Championships. Don't worry, though, you're not alone, as each boat holds seven people.

Planning Your Cairns Visit

What should I wear?

Owing to its near-equatorial location, Northern Australia is very hot all year round. Make sure to wear cool, cotton clothing, stay hydrated, and definitely layer up on sunscreen and a hat.

Are there any health and safety tips I should be aware of?

Before your trip, consult your doctor about injections you may need to get. If you are walking around in the rainforest, be sure to bring mosquito repellent - ideally purchased locally, as creams from back home may not be suitable for the climate.

Do I need insurance for outdoor activities?

For extreme sports like white water rafting, it's essential. There can also be an age limit, so if you happen to be under 18, do check in advance if you need to have a parent or guardian with you.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    AUD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+10:00)
  • Country Code
    61
  • Best time to visit
    August is the best month to visit, when the weather is warm and sunny, with low humidity, and the peak season is ending.

Things to Do in Cairns

Top Attractions in Cairns

Cities in Australia

Other Sightseeing Options in Cairns

Want to discover all there is to do in Cairns? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cairns

One of the best experiences of my life!!!!

The boat was comfortable, clean and luxury. The staff were the friendliest people who always checked you were ok and offered to take you on guided tour out on the reef to make you feel more at ease. The two reefs we went to were breathtaking with wildlife out of this world. I honestly was so taken aback by what I saw it was truly amazing!! The lunch and food throughout the day was so tasty I even had a second helpings. There was a guided talk from a marine biologist on board which was so interesting. The staff I cannot talk highly enough of, they were so considerate to everyones need and as we disembarked the ship they all came out to personally say goodbye and shake your hand. This shows just how much this Staff care about their passengers and also the Reef itself as they showed it and us the utmost respect. Thank you for one of the most amazing, humbling and out of this world experiences I have ever had. Stay amazing!!!!

Fantastic experience. This cruise met every expectation. Perfect day!

The crew were wonderful. I especially appreciate the diving instruction and photography. Thankfully Jess found me a properly fitting suit. Morgan ensured the tank was topped off and the weight belt snug. Kristy was an amazing scuba tutor gliding over the reef like manta ray. On my second dive my mask was not fitting well. My face was flooding with salty water. My instructor pulled his mask off and switched with me while out on the reef, a genuine and thoughtful gesture. On the return the crew raised the sail. This an an amazing experience. If you are looking for ecotourism, this is it!

Great Barrier Reef: Premium Catamaran Cruise from Cairns Reviewed by Jonathan k., 09/23/2019

Such a beautiful island with stunning beaches and turtles!

I had the best day - the island is wonderful. Nudey beach is a must see and one of the most relaxing places to chill and read a book. Personally, I’d just opt for the snorkelling rather than the glass bottom boat as you can see more. I was lucky enough to swim with a turtle and some of the corals are incredible. I’d bring my trainers next time too so I could hike more of the island. Staff were super friendly and helpful and the journey over was good. I definitely recommend visiting Fitzroy Island!

Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour from Cairns Reviewed by Scarlett, 10/09/2019

Snorkelling and Fitzroy Island were awesome

Booking and boarding were great, except for the fact that you can't get seating for a family of 5 because people put their bags on seats or sleep across 4 seats!!! Don't sit on bottom level, everyone gets sick. Fitzroy Island was great for swimming and snorkelling. Saw beautiful coral, fish and swam with turtles. Food is really expensive on island and not that great. Overall an excellent adventure, 3 kids aged 15, 13, 11 and mum and dad loved it. Heaps better snorkelling than Green Island.

Absolutely incredible to see the reef! Friendly, fun staff!

This was a great trip - the staff were thorough but not too serious and the made the day really enjoyable. Great spot to see the reef and good snorkelling equipment. Two great spots to see the reef which is an absolute must see - breathtakingly beautiful and would highly recommend. Lunch was yummy. My only concern was the sea sickness but the staff were really lovely and there’s not much that can be done about this! Such a wondrous, memorable day!