Leap from Cairns into the World Heritage wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Relax in the resorts of Port Douglas and Mission Beach or on Lizard Island. Take the old railway to Kuranda, or follow the Great Tropical Drive to white water rivers and the Atherton Tablelands. Head north to Cape Tribulation or take the Savannah Way for an outback journey.
What You Can See in Cairns
Explore the foreshore promenade and shop at local markets, eat tropical fruits and seafood in this gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.
Top 10 Things to Do in Cairns
Delve into rainforest and reef, ride train and cable, and find the hot spots for dining out with these top 10 things to do in Cairns. Stunning beaches, spectacular hinterland and renowned rainforests set the scene. Look deeper, you’ll find local and organic produce, brilliant cafés and bars, bustling markets and laid-back friendly people.
Three Great Days in Cairns
Cairns is the energetic heartbeat of Tropical North Queensland: modern, stylish and a renowned lure for sun seekers. It’s the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage site cited as one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Whatever your pace, you’ll have no trouble filling your days in Cairns.
Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town, located mid-way between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Overlooking the cobalt waters of the Coral Sea, Mission Beach has more than 14 kilometres of magnificent golden sandy beaches. Here two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest form a natural environment like nowhere else on earth. Mission Beach is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a perfect base for visiting nearby Dunk, Bedarra and Hinchinbrook islands. At Mission Beach, you can find either extreme adventure or an indulgent tropical escape.
North Queensland's Winter Sun
Want to make your friends jealous this winter? Tell them you're going to North Queensland, and casually mention the balmy weather, palm trees and swimmable seas. Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef, set sail in the Whitsundays and trek back in time in the primeval Daintree Rainforest. Drive the Savannah Way to the remote Gulf Savannah. This tropical paradise is truly at its best from June to September, when the temperature averages 25 degrees Celsius and the turquoise waters are stinger free.
The Daintree Rainforest
It's been spring more than 135 million times in the World Heritage-listed Daintree, which lies two hours north of Cairns. But the repetition certainly hasn't dulled nature's creativity. As well as the world's oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree is home to the earth's largest range of animals and plants. Experience them at their most vibrant during spring, when temperatures are pleasant and the wet season storms have yet to start. Hear migratory birds join the dawn chorus, swim at calm beaches and see orchids bloom on the forest edge.
Three Weeks from Cairns
From Cairns, the islands, rainforest and reef of tropical North Queensland are on your doorstep. Dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and spot the luminescent Ulysses butterfly in the rainforest village of Kuranda. Trek the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, four wheel drive to Cape Tribulation or raft the raging rapids of Tully River. Drive the Savannah Way into the Northern Territory and the outback town of Katherine, then glide through the dramatic sandstone walls of Katherine Gorge.
Port Douglas is a short one hour drive north of Cairns along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Home to golden beaches and some of Tropical North Queensland's most exclusive resorts, the quiet former fishing village of Port Douglas is both sophisticated and relaxed and the perfect place to escape and unwind.
Take a look at what's happening in and around Cairns
What you can see near Cairns
It’s a quick trip from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef and tropical islands. Find the beauty of the Daintree Rainforest.
Take a day trip from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef.
Head south down the coast from Cairns to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.
You're not far from the Great Barrier Reef and other natural wonders.
Fly from Cairns to Darwin or Alice Springs, or drive to Katherine.
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