Discover Australia’s tropical north by sea, by rainforest or by soaring above the canopy. A visit to Cairns and the surrounding regions is the perfect escape for nature-lovers looking to get away from it all.
The relaxed city of Cairns is the perfect jumping off point for exploring two incredible World Heritage-listed sites - The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Whether you plan to go island hopping or trek through a tropical rainforest, you’ll discover unique wildlife, luxurious resorts and the rich Aboriginal culture of this fascinating region. Certainly no visit to Cairns is complete without diving or snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef. But if you’re after a truly special experience, consider a trip with Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel for a reef educational experience with Aboriginal sea rangers who will share Dreamtime stories that have been passed down over tens of thousands of years. On dry land, you’ll find plenty of great opportunities to discover Aboriginal culture at Tjapukai Cultural Centre and Rainforestation Nature Park. Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to get a view of the whole region from above the rainforest canopy, visit the vibrant arts community in Kuranda or venture to Cape Tribulation where tropical lowland forest meets the white sand beaches. For something more relaxed, visit the quiet towns of Port Douglas or Palm Cove where you’ll find luxurious resorts, fabulous restaurants and indulgent day spas.
When to visit
The climate is one of the best things about Cairns, and there are benefits to visiting at any time of year. Different to Australia’s southern regions, Tropical North Queensland only has two seasons; a wet season (November to April) and a dry season (May to October). The wet season has warmer days but can also bring high humidity and rainstorms. However, it very rarely rains all day. During this time, the colours of the rainforest are incredibly vibrant while the waterfalls are full and spectacular. During the dry season, the temperatures still reach the high 20s Celsius (low 80s Fahrenheit) and rarely drop below 17 degrees Celsius (62 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall is low and you can expect gorgeous sunny days, making it the most popular time to visit the region. The ocean is free of marine stingers during this time, so you can swim almost anywhere without nets or suits for protection.
Find out more about seasonal weather in Cairns.
How to get there
A range of domestic and international flights arrive at Cairns Airport, a 10 to 15-minute drive from the city centre.
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