Cairns is well known for being one of Australia’s most abundant adventure holiday destinations.
The all-year warm, tropical weather, the rich array of stunning natural wonders to explore and the friendly, laid back North Queensland hospitality, gives you an endless number of exciting activities to enjoy whilst holidaying in and around Cairns.
Below we have list some “Must Do” activities whilst staying in Cairns. Ok so let’s explore…
Fitzroy Island is a lush, tropical island located just 45 minutes by boat from Cairns. Fitzroy Island has long had a reputation as one of the favourite weekend getaways for locals so you know that you’re in for a real treat when you visit.
Fitzroy Island is also the home of Nudey Beach which was voted the #1 best beach in Australia by 101 best beaches.
You can enjoy Fitzroy Island on a one day boat trip or settle into the Fitzroy Island Resort for a longer stay and really get into the swing of island life amongst the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.
The island is teeming with options for adventure, entertainment and relaxation including:
- Numerous nature hikes for visitors of all ages and fitness levels
- Diving and snorkelling hire and lessons available from the Sports Hub, so you can explore the rich marine life that inhabit the islands clear blue coral waters
- Sea kayaking hire and glass bottom boat tours
- Rich, natural wildlife and the famous Sea Rehabilitation Centre
- Resort swimming pool, spa and swim up bar
- Foxy’s Bar and Zephyr Restaurant
Whether you go for a day or a week a visit to Fitzroy Island is one destination that must be one on your to do list. Check out other amazing things to see and do on Fitzroy Island.
The Great Barrier Reef
A visit to Cairns simply won’t be complete without spending some time experiencing the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system and is so large it can even be viewed from outer space.
The Great Barrier Reef is easily accessible using tour operators such as Quicksilver cruises which have Fast Cats leaving from Port Douglas for a variety of half day and day tours. Buses are available from Cairns and the trip takes around an hour and travel the picturesque Captain Cook highway where you’ll see some of the most breathtaking coastal views on your way to the Port Douglas Marina.
If you’d prefer something closer, Fitzroy Island is a 45-minute boat transfer by the Fitzroy Fast Cat (about 30kms) from Cairns and is surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, making it the perfect accessible base for snorkelling, diving and exploring the reef. Find out more about the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub.
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a unique experience that takes you on an unforgettable journey through the lush rainforest canopy. As you glide over 7.5km of pristine Australian rainforest in your world class gondola, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the amazing flora and fauna that inhabit this rich tropical habitat.
You can catch the Skyrail from either Smithfield or Kuranda terminal and trips are approximately 1.5 hours one way or 2.5 for a return trip. There are two stops along the way where you can explore and take in the sites from the viewing decks.
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is one of the world’s longest gondola cableways and remains most environmentally sensitive cableway project in the world.
The Daintree Rainforest is one of the world’s most unique destinations, combining ancient tropical rainforests of the Daintree National Park, the majestic Daintree River, and breathtaking mountain peaks from which you can take in the warm blue waters of The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s most extensive coral reef system.
It is also the only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites exists side by side – the Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.
Starting just an hour’s drive north of Cairns the Daintree Rainforest hugs coast where the rainforest meets the reef giving visitors countless options for adventure and exploration.
Some of the Daintrees main attractions include:
- Zip lining through the rainforest canopy
- Taking a boat trip down the Daintree River in search of saltwater crocodiles
- Relaxing on the pristine beaches of Cape Tribulation Beach
- Indulging in the sweet tropical fruits
- Taking in the scenery on the coastal drive from Mossman to Cooktown
- A visit to Mount Alexandra lookout for breathtaking views of the coast including the Daintree River mouth, Snapper Island and Low Isles
Cairns offers an array of great helicopter flight tours. Providing an unprecedented birds-eye view, you can indulge in a Great Barrier Reef flight which heads out past Green Island and passes over some of the most abundant coral marine life in the world.
Or for those with a little more time, and money, you can splurge on the hour long reef and rainforest flight that passes over Cairns City, the Barron Gorge and surrounding tropical rainforests, before heading east out over the Coral Coast and Great Barrier Reef.
This is an experience will not forget.
Image courtesy of Australia.com
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is a world class, award winning wildlife sanctuary located 40 minutes’ drive north of Cairns at Wangetti Beach.
This world heritage listed site takes you into the natural habitat of Australia’s most unique and awe-inspiring wildlife, including:
- Deadly Snakes
- The endangered Cassowaries
- Wallabies and Kangaroos
- Plus an array of birds, lizards, turtles and fish
Be sure to catch the crocodile feeding shows and take in a picture opportunity with a cuddly Koala.
White Water Rafting
Cairns is a white water rafting wonderland for all levels of rafters. There are various grades of rapids and courses available from relaxed family trips to challenging grade 4 rapids for experienced white water rafters. With the famous Barron, Russell and Tully rivers all within short driving distance of Cairns you’ll have the time of your life riding the rapids with your experienced guides.
The adventures continue with Australia’s only purpose built bungee jumping platform located just 25 minutes north of Cairns. Rising 50 metres high out of the rainforest canopy, you’ll take in spectacular views of the reef and the surrounding tropical rainforest before free falling on this intense adrenaline adventure.
Obviously not for the faint of heart this one experience that you won’t soon forget.
Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon
The Lagoon is a 4800sq m salt water swimming facility that is situated on the Cairns Esplanade just a small walk from the centre of Cairns. The lagoon offers an all-year round, safe, swimming location without stingers and crocodiles and the water on average is a comfortable 27 degrees.
The Lagoon is filled with salt water from the Trinity Inlet which is filtered through a state-of-the-art filtration system. With lifeguards on duty 7 days a week, parents can rest assured that kids are safe and supervised providing you the time for some much need rest and relaxation.
Something For Everyone In Cairns
As you can see Cairns is much more than just a relaxing tropical holiday destination. There are activities and sights to suit everyone from families, to backpackers and couples. So come and see what all the fuss and join us in warm, tropical Far North Queensland.