Explore our beautiful neighbourhood.
Cairns is a remarkable destination in Australia that you’ll absolutely love exploring. Nestled in the tropical paradise of Far North Queensland, Cairns boasts many natural beauties and exciting experiences that are perfect for any traveller.
Stand out Attractions in Cairns region
One of the standout attractions in Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This natural wonder is a must-see, where you can snorkel or scuba dive to witness the vibrant coral formations and diverse marine life that call this underwater world home. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of Mother Nature’s creations.
For those who prefer to stay on land, Cairns offers lush rainforests to explore. The Daintree Rainforest, the oldest tropical rainforest in the world, is just a short drive away. Here, you can take a guided tour and discover unique flora and fauna, including the elusive cassowary bird.
Cairns is also a gateway to countless outdoor adventures. Whether you’re into hiking, white-water rafting, or zip-lining through the treetops, this region has it all. Don’t miss the chance to visit Kuranda, a charming village in the rainforest, accessible by scenic railway or cableway.
To make your Cairns journey even more enjoyable, partner with local operators who can provide the best experiences and insights. They can arrange snorkelling tours, rainforest excursions, and other activities that will make your trip memorable.
Cairns is a gem in Australia’s travel landscape. With its stunning natural beauty and a wealth of activities, it’s a destination that will leave a lasting impression on any traveller. So, get ready to dive into adventure and discover the wonders of Cairns!
Meet some of the wonderful locals in Cairns region
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you’ll be thrilled that Cairns offers opportunities to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s iconic creatures. At Rainforestation, Koala Gardens, or Hartleys Crocodile Adventures, you can meet kangaroos and koalas and even hold a snake if you’re feeling adventurous. It’s a fantastic place for families and animal lovers.
For a dose of culture and history, consider visiting the Rainforestation. Here, you can learn about the rich heritage of the region’s indigenous people. Engage in interactive activities, watch traditional performances, and better understand their traditions.
Cairns also has a vibrant food scene. Be sure to try some fresh seafood at one of the local seafood restaurants or indulge in tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapples. And don’t forget to visit the Cairns Night Markets, where you can shop for souvenirs and enjoy delicious international cuisine.
If you’re seeking relaxation, Cairns has you covered. There are numerous spa resorts and wellness retreats where you can rejuvenate amid the tranquil surroundings. Imagine unwinding with a massage while listening to the soothing sounds of the rainforest—pure bliss.
The Cairns region has stunning beaches that let you relax and soak up the sun. Trinity Beach, Palm Cove, and Ellis Beach are just a few of the picturesque coastal gems. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil spot to read a book or a place to enjoy water sports like snorkelling and paddleboarding, these beaches have you covered.
The Daintree Rainforest, a short drive from Cairns, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a rainforest enthusiast’s dream. Wander through ancient ferns and towering trees, spot unique wildlife, and discover the breathtaking Mossman Gorge. Guided tours can take you on an educational journey through this remarkable ecosystem.
Great Barrier Reef Islands
Cairns is your gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, and the islands here are a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Fitzroy Island and Green Island are easily accessible and offer vibrant coral gardens with marine life. Imagine swimming alongside colourful fish and witnessing the beauty of the underwater world up close.
This quaint village in the rainforest is a hidden gem of the Cairns region. Accessible by scenic railway or cableway, Kuranda offers a unique experience. Explore the vibrant markets filled with local arts and crafts, dine in charming cafes, and visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. It’s a delightful escape into nature and culture.
Cairns, Marlin Marina
If you’re a fan of the ocean, a visit to the Cairns Marlin Marina is a must. This bustling harbour is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a waterfront dining and entertainment hub. Stroll along the marina, watch the boats, and savour fresh seafood at the waterfront restaurants.
The Cairns neighbourhood comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene when the sun sets. Plenty of pubs, bars, and clubs allow you to enjoy live music, dance the night away, or unwind with a cocktail. It’s a fantastic way to experience the local culture and meet fellow travellers.
Flecker Botanic Gardens
For a serene and educational experience, explore the Flecker Botanic Gardens. This tropical garden showcases an impressive collection of plants from the Cairns region and beyond. Wander through the themed gardens, including the Rainforest Boardwalk, and learn about the diverse plant life of the area.
Just a short drive from Cairns, Palm Cove is a picturesque beachside village that exudes tranquillity. The palm-fringed beach is perfect for a relaxing day by the sea, and the esplanade is lined with gourmet restaurants and boutique shops. It’s a charming escape from the city buzz.
Venture farther from Cairns and discover the Atherton Tablelands, a highland region filled with natural wonders. Explore waterfalls like Millaa Millaa Falls, dip in volcanic crater lakes, and savour fresh produce from local farms. It’s a day trip that offers a taste of rural Australia.
The neighbourhood around the Cairns region is a diverse tapestry of experiences, from the beaches’ tranquillity to the marina’s excitement and the gardens’ cultural richness. It’s a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the essence of Australia and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, get ready to explore, relax, and savour every moment in this charming corner of the world!
Smithfield Skyrail Terminal
For a thrilling adventure, hop on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway at the Smithfield Terminal. This unique experience takes you on a scenic ride above the rainforest canopy, offering breathtaking views of the lush landscape below. Along the way, you can disembark at various stations to explore the rainforest up close and learn about its ecosystem.
The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum
If you’re interested in history and military artefacts, this museum is a fascinating stop. It is located in Smithfield and boasts an extensive collection of tanks, artillery pieces, and military vehicles. It’s an educational and engaging experience for history buffs and families alike.
James Cook University
Cairns is home to James Cook University, a renowned institution known for its marine science research. While visiting, you can explore the campus and learn about the groundbreaking work being done to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Consider arranging guided tours or talks for visitors interested in marine conservation.
This charming coastal suburb is just a short drive from Cairns and offers a more relaxed atmosphere. Yorkeys Knob Beach is a popular spot for swimming and picnics. It’s an excellent place to unwind and enjoy the serene beauty of the Coral Sea.
Tropical North Queensland Military and Aerospace Museum
Located in Mareeba, this museum is a hidden gem that showcases military history and aviation artifacts. It’s a unique attraction that appeals to history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the evolution of aviation technology.
A short drive north from Cairns, you’ll find Mossman Gorge, a natural paradise in the Daintree Rainforest. Here, crystal-clear waters flow over granite boulders, creating picturesque waterholes perfect for a refreshing swim. Take a guided Dreamtime Walk to learn about the indigenous Kuku Yalanji culture and their deep connection to this sacred land.
Step back at Paronella Park, a unique heritage attraction near Innisfail. This enchanting place is home to Spanish-inspired ruins, lush gardens, and a fascinating history. It’s where dreams come alive, and visitors can explore the romance of a bygone era.
A scenic drive from Cairns takes you to Port Douglas, a charming coastal town with a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Explore the Sunday markets, indulge in world-class dining, or embark on a reef cruise from the marina. Port Douglas is the gateway to the stunning Four Mile Beach and the nearby Great Barrier Reef.
Mamu Tropical Skywalk Wooroonooran National Park, Josephine Falls is a hidden gem that boasts a cascading waterfall and inviting swimming holes. The lush rainforest provides a tranquil escape and is a popular spot for picnics and nature walks. Don’t forget your swimmers for a refreshing dip!
Mamu Tropical Skywalk
Located amid a World Heritage-listed rainforest, the Mamu Tropical Skywalk offers a unique perspective on the canopy. Walk along elevated walkways and observation decks that provide stunning views of the rainforest below. It’s an educational and immersive experience for nature enthusiasts.
For a tranquil escape, Kewarra Beach is a hidden gem. This secluded stretch of coastline offers a serene setting for beachcombing, sunbathing, or simply unwinding with a good book. The calm waters are perfect for a leisurely swim, and the palm-fringed shores create a picturesque backdrop for relaxation.
A short drive south from Cairns takes you to Babinda Boulders, a natural wonderland featuring large granite boulders and pristine waters. This spot is visually stunning and culturally significant to the local Indigenous people. It’s great for picnics, swimming, and exploring the surrounding rainforest trails.
Venture inland to the Atherton Tablelands, where you’ll discover rolling hills, dairy farms, and charming villages. This fertile region is known for its gourmet produce, including cheese, chocolate, and coffee. Take a scenic drive through the countryside and stop at the various food and drink establishments to savour local flavours.
The town of Atherton is a hub for exploring the Tablelands. Visit the Atherton Heritage Lodge & Museum to learn about the region’s history, and don’t miss the opportunity to taste tropical fruits like jackfruit and lychee at the local markets. It’s a welcoming town with a friendly atmosphere.
Lake Eacham is a pristine crater lake located within Crater Lakes National Park. It’s a haven for wildlife, and you can swim in its clear waters. Explore the walking tracks that encircle the lake and watch for the diverse birdlife.
Nestled on the Atherton Tablelands, Yungaburra is a quaint village known for its heritage-listed buildings and vibrant arts scene. Stroll along the charming streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and galleries. Don’t miss the famous Yungaburra Markets, held on the fourth Saturday of each month, where you can shop for local crafts and fresh produce.
Malanda Falls Conservation Park
Just a short drive from Yungaburra, you’ll find Malanda Falls Conservation Park. This serene park features a lush rainforest, walking trails, and a picturesque waterfall. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic, birdwatching, and getting in touch with nature.
This small town is famous for its stunning waterfall, Millaa Millaa Falls. The waterfall’s lush surroundings make it a popular spot for photographers and swimmers. Nearby, you can also discover Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls, forming the famous Waterfall Circuit.
Mossman Sugar Mill
Delve into the region’s history and heritage by visiting the Mossman Sugar Mill. Take a guided tour to learn about the sugar-making process and the role of sugarcane in the local economy. It’s an educational experience that sheds light on the importance of sugar production in the region.
A day trip to Chillagoe Caves is necessary for those with a sense of adventure. Explore limestone caves adorned with stunning formations and learn about the geology and history of the area. Don’t forget to visit the Chillagoe Smelters, a testament to the region’s mining heritage.
This charming town on the Atherton Tablelands is known for its vibrant agricultural scene, including coffee plantations and mango farms. Mareeba is a fantastic place to experience the taste of tropical Australia. Visit a local coffee farm for a tour and tasting, or indulge in delicious mangoes at a nearby orchard.
Kurrimine Beach is a serene coastal retreat located south of Cairns. It’s an ideal destination for beach lovers seeking tranquillity and natural beauty. The unspoiled beach offers long stretches of sand for leisurely walks and opportunities for beachcombing.
Mossman Gorge Wildlife Centre
Located near the entrance to Mossman Gorge, this centre provides an educational experience focused on the diverse wildlife of the Daintree Rainforest. Learn about the unique creatures that call the rainforest home, from colourful butterflies to elusive cassowaries.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
Just a short drive from Cairns, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures offers a thrilling opportunity to get close to Australia’s iconic reptiles. Take a boat cruise on Hartley’s Lagoon to see crocodiles in their natural habitat and explore the park to encounter other native wildlife.
Davies Creek National Park
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Davies Creek National Park, a haven for bushwalking and birdwatching. The park offers a range of walking trails, including the Davies Creek Falls circuit, which leads to a stunning waterfall where you can enjoy a refreshing swim.
Certainly, let’s continue our exploration of the captivating neighbourhood around Cairns:
Herberton Historic Village
Step back in time and explore the Herberton Historic Village, an open-air museum that transports visitors to the pioneering days of North Queensland. Wander through more than 50 original buildings, including a bank, a school, and a pharmacy, each meticulously restored to depict life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
If you’re looking for a picturesque escape, head to Copperlode Dam, a reservoir surrounded by lush rainforest and the backdrop of the Lamb Range. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic, fishing, or a scenic drive along the dam’s edge. The peaceful setting offers a serene escape from the bustle of the city.
Mount Hypipamee National Park
Discover the geological wonders of Mount Hypipamee National Park, where you’ll find the incredible Hypipamee Crater. This volcanic crater, the ‘Crater with the Boom,’ is a unique sight. Take a short walk to the viewing platform and marvel at the deep chasm below.
Barron Falls Lookout
Located just outside Kuranda, the Barron Falls Lookout offers a stunning view of the Barron Gorge and its cascading waterfall. The best time to witness the falls in all their glory is during the wet season, when the Barron River is in full flow. The lookout provides an excellent photo opportunity.
Undara Lava Tubes
For a truly unique experience, consider a day trip to the Undara Lava Tubes, one of the world’s longest lava tube cave systems. Explore these ancient geological wonders and learn about the fascinating history of these underground tunnels through guided tours.
Malanda Dairy Centre
Dive into the world of dairy farming at the Malanda Dairy Centre, where you can learn about the production of milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Take a guided tour to see the milking process, meet friendly cows, and sample fresh dairy delights. It’s an educational and tasty experience for visitors of all ages.
Known as the wettest town in Australia, Tully is a charming place to explore. Take a scenic drive through the lush Tully Valley, known for its sugar cane fields and banana plantations. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experience white-water rafting on the thrilling Tully River.
Paronella Park Twilight tour
For a magical evening experience, consider the Paronella Park Twilight Tour. Explore the heritage-listed park under the soft glow of twilight as you learn about the romantic story behind its creation. It’s a truly enchanting way to connect with history and nature.
Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park
Discover the subterranean wonders of the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park. Explore limestone caves adorned with stunning formations and take guided tours to learn about the geology and history of these underground marvels. It’s an adventure that will take you deep beneath the earth’s surface.
This picturesque town is renowned for its Art Deco architecture and lush gardens. Stroll along the waterfront, where you’ll find the striking Johnstone Shire Hall and the Innisfail War Memorial. The town’s tropical beauty and cultural heritage make it a charming stop on your journey.
Located between Cairns and Townsville, Cardwell is a coastal gem known for its stunning views of the Hinchinbrook Channel and the Coral Sea. Take a stroll along the Cardwell Jetty to soak in the coastal beauty, or visit the Cardwell Spa Pools, natural rock pools formed by the nearby Cardwell Range.
Just off the coast from Cardwell, Hinchinbrook Island is Australia’s largest island national park. It’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and hikers, with trails leading you through rainforests, mangroves, and pristine beaches. Explore Thorsborne Trail for a multi-day hiking adventure in this untouched wilderness.
Returning to the Cairns region, Josephine Falls is a true natural wonder located in Wooroonooran National Park. The falls cascade down a smooth granite rock face into a refreshing pool, making it a perfect spot for swimming or a picnic. The lush rainforest surroundings add to the allure of this beautiful location.
A short drive south of Cairns brings you to Mission Beach, where you’ll find 14 kilometres of golden sandy beaches. This laid-back coastal town is perfect for a relaxing getaway. Enjoy beachcombing, sunbathing, or a stroll along the shore. Mission Beach is also a launch point for adventure seekers for skydiving and white-water rafting.
Mossman is known for its proximity to the Mossman Gorge, but it’s also home to the Mossman Sugar Mill, where you can take a fascinating tour to learn about sugar production in the region. It’s a sweet experience that provides insight into an important aspect of the local economy.
Located in the Atherton Tablelands, Lake Tinaroo is a popular destination for water sports and fishing enthusiasts. The vast expanse of water is perfect for boating, sailing, and kayaking. You can also cast a line and try to catch barramundi, a prized sportfish in the region.
Mount Bartle Frere
If you’re up for a challenge, consider hiking to the summit of Mount Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest peak. The trail takes you through dense rainforest, offering a rewarding and challenging trek for experienced hikers. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Atherton Platypus Park
Glimpse one of Australia’s most elusive creatures at the Atherton Platypus Park. Join a guided tour to watch platypuses in their natural habitat as they swim and play in the pristine waters of Peterson Creek. It’s a unique and unforgettable wildlife encounter.
Boulders and Babinda
Explore the beautiful Boulders and Babinda area, which features lush rainforest walks and a series of natural swimming holes known as “The Boulders.” Take a refreshing dip in the clear waters or embark on a rainforest hike to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of this pristine environment.
Nature lovers will be delighted by the Cattana Wetlands, a serene haven for birdwatching and wildlife observation. This pristine wetland area features walking trails and viewing platforms where you can spot various bird species and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the natural surroundings.
For hikers seeking a challenging ascent, Walsh’s Pyramid is an iconic peak that dominates the landscape near Gordonvale. Climbing this pyramid-shaped mountain rewards you with breathtaking views of the surrounding cane fields and coastline. It’s a memorable adventure for those with a passion for hiking.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Experience a scenic journey through the rainforest on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. This historic railway takes you on a picturesque ride through lush rainforest, passing by waterfalls and dramatic landscapes. The final destination is the charming village of Kuranda, where you can explore local markets and attractions.
Escape to Fitzroy Island, a tropical paradise just off the Cairns coast. Here, you can snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, hike through lush rainforest trails, or relax on pristine beaches. The crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life make it an ideal spot for underwater exploration.
If you’re travelling with kids, Muddy’s Playground on the Cairns Esplanade is a must-visit. This award-winning playground offers a safe and fun environment for children to play and explore. With water play areas, swings, and climbing structures, it’s a delightful spot for families to enjoy quality time.
Cairns Birdwing Butterfly Sanctuary
Discover the enchanting world of butterflies at the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly Sanctuary. Walk through lush tropical gardens filled with colourful butterflies, including the impressive Cairns Birdwing. It’s a serene and educational experience suitable for all ages.
Hartley’s Creek Crocodile Adventures
Hartley’s Creek Crocodile Adventures is a must-visit for an up-close encounter with Australia’s iconic reptiles. Take a guided boat tour through crocodile-filled waters and learn about the conservation efforts to protect these ancient creatures. The park also features other wildlife, such as kangaroos and cassowaries.
Atherton Antiques and Australiana
If you appreciate history and antiques, don’t miss Atherton Antiques and Australiana. This charming store is a treasure trove of vintage items, collectibles, and Australian memorabilia. It’s a delightful place to browse and perhaps find a unique souvenir.
Dive into the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet at the Cairns Aquarium. This state-of-the-art facility showcases the incredible marine life of the reef, including sharks, rays, and colourful coral. It’s an immersive experience that offers a deeper understanding of this natural wonder.
Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour
For a unique adventure that combines adrenaline and nature, consider Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours in the Daintree Rainforest. You’ll glide through the treetops on zip lines, enjoying breathtaking views of the lush rainforest below. It’s a thrilling experience that also provides an appreciation for the area’s incredible biodiversity.
Rusty’s Market in Cairns is a culinary delight if you’re a foodie or love exploring local markets. Open on weekends, this vibrant market offers a wide array of fresh produce, gourmet treats, international cuisine, and artisanal products. It’s a fantastic place to sample tropical fruits and indulge in multicultural flavours.
Daintree Discovery Centre
Dive into the wonders of the ancient Daintree Rainforest at the Daintree Discovery Centre. This educational attraction provides interactive exhibits, elevated walkways, and guided tours that allow you to explore the rainforest’s ecology, wildlife, and history. It’s a fascinating and immersive experience for nature enthusiasts.
If you’re seeking tranquillity and natural beauty, the Cairns Botanic Gardens are a serene oasis within the city. Stroll through lush tropical gardens featuring an array of tropical plants and fragrant blooms. The gardens also host various events and workshops throughout the year, making it a dynamic destination for horticultural enthusiasts.
Barron Gorge National Park
A short drive from Cairns, Barron Gorge National Park is a haven for hikers and nature lovers. The park offers a network of walking trails that lead to viewpoints with stunning vistas of Barron Gorge and its powerful waterfall. It’s an excellent spot for picnics, birdwatching, and connecting with the region’s natural beauty.
Just a short drive north of Cairns, Palm Cove is a picturesque beachfront village known for its palm-lined esplanade and golden sands. It’s a perfect destination for a relaxed day by the beach, with opportunities for swimming, snorkelling, and paddleboarding. The village is also home to many exquisite dining options, making it a delightful place to enjoy a meal with an ocean view.
Don’t miss the Cairns Night Markets on the Esplanade when the sun sets. These vibrant markets come alive in the evening, offering various stalls selling local crafts, jewellery, clothing, and international cuisine. It’s a fantastic place to shop for souvenirs and savour diverse flavours worldwide.
The Crystal Caves
Delve into the enchanting world of gemstones and minerals at The Crystal Caves in Atherton. This unique attraction features a dazzling display of crystals and fossils from all over the world. Take a guided tour to learn about the science and artistry behind these natural wonders.
Kewarra Beach Resort
If you want a tranquil and luxurious retreat, consider staying at Kewarra Beach Resort. Nestled in a pristine rainforest setting near Cairns, this boutique resort offers bungalows and suites that provide a true tropical paradise experience. Enjoy secluded beaches, lush gardens, and a serene ambience.
Great Barrier Reef Tours
Cairns is the gateway to one of the world’s most renowned natural wonders—the Great Barrier Reef. Arrange a reef tour from Cairns to explore vibrant coral reefs, swim with marine life, and experience the breathtaking underwater world. It’s an unforgettable adventure that allows you to connect with the ocean’s wonders.
The neighbourhood around Cairns is a region of endless possibilities, where relaxation, shopping, and natural wonders blend to create a diverse and captivating destination. Whether you’re unwinding on Palm Cove’s beaches, shopping for unique treasures, or embarking on a Great Barrier Reef adventure, this area invites you to embrace the essence of Australia. So, get ready to embark on a journey filled with relaxation, exploration, and memorable moments in this enchanting corner of the world!