Things to do
After you have explored the city centre of Cairns and the surrounding areas on land, there are several islands that border the coastline and offer fantastic day trips. Located only a 45 minute boat ride from Cairns, the unspoilt rainforests, stunning beaches and surrounding reef, which can be accessed off the beach, makes Green Island a local favourite. Fitzroy Island is another fantastic choice, sheltered by National Park and coral beaches where the white sand melts straight into the crystal-clear water, the island is only 30 minutes off the coast of Cairns by boat.
Great Barrier Reef
One of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the world with over 3000 individual reefs, 880 islands and an abundance of unique marine, bird and fauna life. The reef stretches for over 3000km and Cairns is lucky enough to have this spectacular and unique environment on its door step. Weather you’re exploring the reef up close by diving or snorkelling or taking an above water approach via a glass bottom boat or scenic flight, the reef and its crystal-clear waters will have you in ore.
Zipline through the lush rainforest, fly in a helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef, bungy jump into a pool of clear, crisp mountain water or feel the excitement by riding down a raging river with white water rafting. No matter the adventure activity you are looking for Cairns has something to get your blood pumping and to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure to drop into our reception to take advantage of the extensive tour desk and get some local knowledge of the best providers to book with.
Surrounded by lush rainforest and positioned 1,000 feet above Cairns, Kuranda Village may be small in size but it is packed full of fun. Float above the trees on the Sky Rail, catch the iconic Kuranda Scenic Railway, visit the arts and crafts markets or experience one of the many wildlife attractions and tours. The Butterfly Sanctuary, Koala Gardens and The Bird World and Aviary are all great spots to take the family or make sure to visit the Doongal Aboriginal Art and Artefacts centre. ATV rainforest tours are also available.
There are endless options to explore on foot around the city centre, surrounding areas and townships. The esplanade is an obvious choice but a must do while in Cairns. Enjoy a stroll at sunset and take in the many people, sights and sounds. The Marina and its pier is also a great early evening walk, allowing you to take in the changing colours of the mountains as the sun sets. If you’re looking to take a hike, the 1km red arrow and 12km blue arrow trails that wind up through the forests of Mt. Whitfield are a good starting spot. The more adventurous walk provides great views over Cairns and toward the airport.
There are several great spots for a dip or just to get your toes in the sand around Cairns. Though only small, Trinity Beach is a nearby favourite that also offers a swimming enclosure during stinger season. A little further away is Palm Cove and Ellis Beach. Palm Cove beach stretches for miles and has a quaint township that is a great lunch spot. Known as one of the most beautiful beaches Australia has to offer, Ellis Beach offers endless kilometres of white sand meaning you will have no problem finding a deserted spot of your own. Remember during stinger season it is important to follow the rules for your own safety.