Cairns

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Cairns, QLD. © Tourism Queensland & Paul Ewart

Cairns

The gateway to Queensland’s tropical north, Cairns is a stylish city, which is also renowned for its relaxed, tropical climate and laid back ambience. With islands, rainforests and reefs on its doorstep, from Cairns you can swim, snorkel, dive and sail the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in the World Heritage Wet Tropics Rainforest, or take the scenic railway to the tranquil, butterfly-fringed village of Kuranda and cruise amongst colourful parrots, platypus and fresh water crocodiles.

Don’t miss staying in an eco-lodge in the magical Daintree Rainforest, the planet’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest, which the local Aboriginal people have named ‘Wawu-karrba’, or ‘healing of the spirit’. A cruise along the mangrove-lined Daintree River will reveal crocodiles and turtles in clear, sparkling streams. Take the aerial walkway or one of the many hiking trails to experience the extraordinary diversity of life to be found here. Travel north to the remote frontier of Cape Tribulation and connect with Aboriginal culture.

The Pacific Coast Touring Route from Cairns to the capital city of Brisbane, travels through Townsville, Mackay, and Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. It features many of Queensland’s greatest coastal landscapes, pristine islands and World Heritage-listed national parks along the way.

If you are seeking thrilling adventures, looking to connect with aboriginal experiences or simply want to immerse yourself in an exotic tropical rainforest, Cairns has it all within easy reach.

Six things you should do in Cairns:

From this stylish international city, the islands, rainforest and reef of tropical North Queensland are on your doorstep. Snorkel, dive or do a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef – a World Heritage-listed spectacular of coral islands and marine life. Enjoy the oceanfront energy of the Cairns Esplanade and trawl the restaurants, shops and bars. Go white water rafting in the nearby rivers and take the scenic railway to the tranquil, butterfly-fringed village of Kuranda. Don’t miss a day trip to the magical Daintree Rainforest, thought to be the planet’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest.

It’s all action in sunny, sophisticated Cairns, gateway to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and international hub for tanned travelers. There so much to do here you might want to start slowly. Wander past the lagoon and picnic spots of the Cairns Esplanade, do an Aboriginal walking tour or bliss out on the white sands of Mission Beach.

You can swim, snorkel, dive and sail the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from outer space.

It stretches more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coast, from the mainland towns of Port Douglas to Bundaberg. Hop between the pristine, palm-fringed islands on top, then explore the rainbow-coloured coral islands and marine life below.

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.

Surrounded by World Heritage-listed rainforest, the picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda, 25 kilometres northwest of Cairns, is called the ‘Village in the Rainforest’. The Djabugay aboriginal people have lived in this region for more than 10,000 years and their culture continues to thrive today. They called the present Kuranda village Ngunbay, or place of the platypus.

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.

Capture some of Queensland’s biggest coastal attractions– from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef to the pristine islands and rainforest national parks. Four wheel drive Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and see manta rays and turtles at Mon Repos, near Bundaberg.

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.

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