The city that is located on the door-step to one of world’s natural wonders of the world – The Great Barrier Reef. A city filled with endless list of attractions and things to do.

Cairns in brief

The city of Cairns, surrounded by natural backdrop of lush tropical mountains and rainforest that meets the sparkling Coral Sea, is a city of extremes and a magical place. This city is a spectacular place to visit with lots of wonderful things to do. Cairns has a culture of luxury and leisure – endless opportunity for outdoor where you can enjoy a cool drink and some great shopping to hiking trails in the rainforest and outback or swimming in the sparking Great Barrier Reef.

The waterfront of Cairns, known as the Esplanade is a very popular spot for tourists and locals no matter what age you are. The gorgeous lagoon is a place where you can swim all year round. It has fun and fantastic picnic areas and a boardwalk to walk on at sunset or run on at sunrise. The promenade also host weekly live entertainment outdoors where you can sit back on the open grass and enjoy the live music, fire twirling, markets and fames Cairns buskers. All this gives you a taste of what’s to come in this tropical paradise.

Why Go?

With the Daintree Rainforest to the north, the Great Barrier Reef to the east and the Atherton Tablelands to the west, Cairns location is spectacular. From lush bush lands to spectacular sparkling sea, this small port city is the gateway to tropical north Queensland. With its breathtaking scenery of where the rainforest meets the reef and the outback gives a vibrant flavour makes Cairns a regional city that never sleeps. The city known for photographers paradise and its magnetic attraction, push and pulls millions of tourists to the city all-year round. With its friendly and helpful locals, makes visitors keep coming back to the region again and again. Cairns is a vibrant city with vibrant celebrations and Australia’s most popular destination.. There is always something new to see and do in this tropical paradise city. Cairns, is one of the only place on the planet where you can swim in one of the seven wonders of the natural world – Great Barrier Reef. You can swim the Great Barrier Reef in the morning and hit the outback and World Heritage Listed Rainforest the next in the afternoon – all in one day. 

This picturesque Cairns region offers a wide variety of things to see and do. There are endless activities and places to visit that suits your interests. Whatever you want to do, you will find it – from beaches and reefs to rainforest and outback. Take a boat trip to the reef on shimmering clear blue ocean, swim with underwater sea creatures – fishes and marvelled at underwater sculptures – coral reefs. If this is not your taste, there are endless hiking trails from easy to over-night trails.

Along the Cairns waterfront and within the city area, there are endless of cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and galleries. Take a stroll around the city area and you will be surprised to explore some of the unique sculptures and arts that reflect on the reef all within walking distance. 

Just a short 10 minutes drive from the city is the Cairns Botanical Gardens, parklands and Cattana Wetlands – teems with sights and adventure with gorgeous boardwalk to wander around. Both the parklands and wetland have some beautiful birds and other species surround by lush tropical garden. The entire experience is worth it.

Getting there?

Getting to Cairns is accessible by road and train. The city of Cairns also have direct international and domestic flights to the city. This makes this city one of the most visited place in Far North Queensland, if not Australia.

Where to stay?

Cairns is very attractive for those who are on a budget, especially for those who have families and backpackers. It is a very popular spot for both domestic and international all year round, this city provides various types of accommodations in the area to suit all budget. The accommodation range from resorts, backpacker, holiday houses, apartments, B&Bs, caravan parks and campings nearby. Also, the area offers a range of properties throughout the region to fit most holiday styles and budgets.

Popular Attractions

Cairns city is home to iconic natural wonders – The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, a World Heritage Listed rainforest. The list of popular attractions is endless. The only best option is to drive around in the area if you have the time and see more of the area during your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the main centre of the city. It is the ideal introduction to the city area and Cairns life.

The most popular attractions in the region that every visitor must do includes:

Kuranda Scenic Railway

For those who want to just relax with a breath of fresh air, take a ride on Kuranda Scenic Train. The most popular tourist train ride takes you through the heart of the rainforest. You just have to sit-back and relax while enjoying the incredible views of the Barron Gorge, Cairns city and the Great Barrier Reef out from you window while the train winds up the McAlister Range through rainforest, waterfalls, tunnels along Barron Gorge and jaw-dropping cliff sides to the remote village of Kuranda located up in the mountains.


For those who want to see the rainforest and spectacular views from above, take a skyrail, which gives you a unique experience that takes you on an unforgettable journey through one of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Tropical Rainforest. It is the longest cableway in the world, spanning 7.5 kilometres and one of the most popular attractions in Cairns. This cableway ride takes you over and above Barron Gorge and pristine rainforest, gliding just metres above the rainforest canopy is close as you can get. The skyrail journey will immerse you in an intimate rainforest experience and guarantees a rush of adrenaline and an unforgettable journey. The views from above are incredibly breathtaking as you look out towards the Great Barrier Reef, coastline, sugarcane fields and suburb of Smithfield.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of world is one of those places that you must visit in your lifetime. Whether you love the water or just want to see of the Great Wonders of the world, take a relaxing trip out to the reef. It is home to diverse marine life and a great opportunity to experience marine life. From seeing some of the colourful corals, reef fishes to relaxing and swimming surrounded by unforgettable nature. Many visitors come to this region to stay and experience one of the many coastal getaways.  

Daintree Rainforest – Cape Tribulation

Daintree Rainforest – Cape Tribulation is a natural botanical wonderland that many visitors come to enjoy. The place is richly blessed with nature, culture and history. Take a journey into this dense rainforest and see the vast array of flora and fauna. Immerse yourself into one of the most spectacular, unforgettable and thrilling experience you’ll ever have as you drive through the rainforest.  A place to come to this region to enjoy, relax, admire and appreciate this natural wonderland.

Other Attractions in the region

Cairns region known for its natural and man-made attraction includes:

  • Cairns Botanical Gardens
  • Centenary Lakes
  • Cattana Wetlands
  • Tjapukai Dance Theatre
  • Short full or half day reef  trips to Fitzroy and Green Islands
  • Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome
  • Hartley’s Crocodile zoo
  • Cairns CopperLo Dam

Exploring the area

Cairns region, with its famous and world renowned natural and man-made attractions and attributes, makes this city a popular destination to explore. It is the gateway north to the top of Australia. Many come to indulge themselves in this tropical paradise lifestyle of sun, sea and sand.

It is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport. However, my recommendation would be to hire a car and do a self-drive tour and explore the area on your own time. Driving in this area is straightforward as long as you keep your wits about you and don’t mind the locals who drive much faster than vary tourists. When visiting new areas, be aware of no-drive zones and one-way streets. Sometimes, you will save yourself a few headaches when it comes to parking or driving around places to locate the area. It is best to go on a tour and get away with less stress.

It is a great way to sample this beautiful city and countryside. Undoubtedly, this is where the true heart of the area shines.

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Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

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