Discover the Best Things to Do in Cairns: Unleash Your Adventurous Side

Are you ready for an adrenaline-packed adventure in the tropics? Cairns is located in tropical North Queensland, Australia.  It is the gateway to the most awe-inspiring natural wonders and thrilling activities.  From exploring the Great Barrier Reef to immersing yourself in the lush rainforests,.  Get ready to unleash your adventurous side as we delve into the best things to do.

1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef: Dive into an Underwater Wonderland

Great Barrier Reef

No visit to Cairns is complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most remarkable natural wonders. Dive or snorkel among vibrant coral reefs teeming with colourful marine life, including tropical fish, turtles, and even reef sharks. If diving isn’t your thing, you can still marvel at the reef’s beauty by taking a scenic boat tour or embarking on a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view.

2. Wander through the Daintree Rainforest: Immerse Yourself in Nature’s Bounty

Daintree Rainforest

Just a short drive from Cairns lies the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery as you hike through ancient trails, encountering unique flora and fauna. Take a guided tour to learn about the diverse ecosystem and the importance of rainforest conservation.

Pro tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to spot the elusive cassowary, a rare and endangered flightless bird that calls the Daintree Rainforest home.

3. Take a Kuranda Scenic Railway Journey: Soak in Breathtaking Views

Kuranda Scenic Railway

Embark on a scenic railway journey aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway.  This historic railway winds through the rugged mountains and lush rainforests. Admire the breathtaking views of cascading Barron Falls and steep ravines.  Then, view the dense vegetation as the train makes its way to the picturesque village of Kuranda. Explore the village’s markets, art galleries, and wildlife parks before returning to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, a gondola ride offering panoramic views.

Pro tip: Consider upgrading to the Gold Class on the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a more luxurious and comfortable experience.

4. Visit the Cairns Esplanade: Relaxation and Recreation by the Water

Cairns Lagoon

Spend a leisurely day at the Cairns Esplanade, a vibrant waterfront promenade offering many activities for all ages. Take a refreshing dip in the lagoon, a saltwater swimming area overlooking the ocean. Enjoy a picnic in the park, jog along the scenic pathway, or relax on the sandy shores. The Esplanade also features a variety of cafes, restaurants, and bars, making it the perfect place to indulge in delicious cuisine.

Pro tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to witness a stunning tropical sunset over the Cairns Esplanade—a sight you won’t forget.

5. Experience the Pamagirri Aboriginal experience. Learn about Indigenous Heritage

Pammagirri dance show

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Aboriginal people at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Cultural Park. Engage in interactive experiences, traditional dance performances, and storytelling sessions that provide insights into the ancient traditions and customs of the indigenous communities. Participate in spear-throwing, didgeridoo playing, and bush tucker demonstrations, gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Aboriginal culture.

6. Embark on a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Soar Above Cairns’ Stunning Landscapes

hot air balloon Cairns

Experience the beauty of Cairns from a different perspective as you embark on a thrilling hot-air balloon ride. Drift gently through the sky as the sun rises, providing breathtaking views of the lush countryside and the surrounding mountains. Capture stunning photographs and create unforgettable memories as you float serenely above the picturesque landscapes.

Pro tip: Combine your hot air balloon ride with a champagne breakfast for a memorable experience.

7. Go Whitewater Rafting: Conquer the Rapids of the Barron or Tully River

White Water Rafting

Whitewater rafting is the perfect adventure if you’re seeking an adrenaline rush. Conquer the rapids of either the Barron or Tully Rivers as you navigate through thrilling twists, turns, and cascading waters. With experienced guides leading the way, you can safely enjoy the excitement of rafting while immersing yourself in the stunning natural surroundings.

Pro tip: Choose a rafting experience that matches your skill level, as both the Barron and Tully Rivers offer options for beginners and experienced rafters.

8. Discover the Atherton Tablelands: Waterfalls, Lakes, and Natural Beauty

Atherton Tablelands

Take a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands, a picturesque region known for its stunning waterfalls, tranquil lakes, and lush landscapes. Explore the Millaa Millaa Falls, plunge into the refreshing waters of Lake Eacham, and stroll through the charming village of Yungaburra. The Atherton Tablelands offer a serene escape from the bustling city and provide ample opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to sample the local produce, including tropical fruits, coffee, and dairy products, at the various roadside stalls and farmers’ markets in the region.

9. Dive into the Crystal Cascades: Swim in Pristine Natural Pools

Crystal Cascades

Escape the heat and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Crystal Cascades, a series of natural pools and waterfalls in the rainforest. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool waters, sunbake on the smooth rocks, or hike along the cascades’ trails. It’s a hidden gem that offers tranquillity and natural beauty, just a short drive from Cairns.

Pro tip: Take a picnic and spend a leisurely afternoon at the Crystal Cascades listening to the sounds of nature.

10. Take a Day Trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef: Dive into Marine Marvels

scuba diving Cairns

Consider taking a day trip to the Outer Reef for an extended and more immersive experience on the Great Barrier Reef. Explore pristine dive sites teeming with vibrant coral formations and a dazzling array of marine life. Swim alongside majestic sea turtles, encounter colourful reef fish, and marvel at the beauty of the underwater world. Snorkelling and diving opportunities abound, offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness the incredible biodiversity of the reef.

Pro tip: Opt for a tour that includes visiting multiple dive sites to maximise your chances of encountering diverse marine species.

Cairns is a playground for adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking cultural immersion. From exploring the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest to engaging in exhilarating activities like hot-air ballooning and whitewater rafting, Cairns offers endless opportunities for unforgettable experiences. So, pack your bags, prepare for adventure, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in this tropical paradise.

Take a refreshing shower under a beautiful waterfall in North Queensland