Cairns is the Bustling Heart of Tropical North Queensland. Hop on a boat for the Great Barrier Reef, venture inland in search of lush rainforest or just kick back and embrace the laid-back tropical lifestyle.
Cairns has grown from ramshackle port town to stylish modern city – the erstwhile capital of Tropical North Queensland, with a year-round outdoor lifestyle. Here you can bar-hop, rock-hop or island-hop on the same day.
Welcome to Cairns. Welcome to the real urban jungle.
A TASTE OF THE TROPICS
But don’t let that small-town vibe fool you. With its distinctive multicultural mix, Cairns buzzes with innovative eateries, on-trend bars, stylish boutiques and galleries. Visit laneway bar Three Wolves to taste one of the 50 types of whiskey on the menu, or check out Prawn Star, a prawn trawler turned floating restaurant that serves up some of the freshest local prawns and seafood in the city – with a cold brew, of course!
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
The Tanks Art Centre hosts live music, comedy, contemporary art exhibitions, workshops and children’s theatre in an intimate venue. Walk through the leafy Botanic Gardens, along the shore of Lake Morris or tackle the winding steps of the Red Arrow track through the Mount Whitfield Conservation Park.
AT THE DOORSTEP OF THE REEF
The city is tucked between two of Tropical North Queensland’s greatest natural treasures – the marine playground of the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest, which means adventure is never far away. Almost 30 boats leave Cairns every day for the reef and in less than an hour you can be snorkelling or diving in Australia’s most spectacular underwater environment. Inland, hike through sun-dappled forest on the Douglas Track to Glacier Rock, swim in the cascading pools of nearby Crystal Cascades or glide just metres over the canopy of tropical rainforest on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
ON THE BEACHES
There’s no beach in Cairns, so locals and visitors alike cool off in the sparkling Esplanade Lagoon. This 4800 sq m saltwater pool is lined with parks, shady banyan trees, boardwalks and barbecues. If you need a beach fix, head for Cairns’ Northern Beaches, a string of sleepy seaside villages about 15 minutes from the city. They are a favourite with locals and each has its own unique character, like the family-friendly Trinity, the kite-surfing hub of Yorkeys Knob or the relaxed Holloways.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
If ever the statement “so much to do, so little time” rang true of a destination, Cairns would be it. With the Great Barrier Reef in its front yard and the Wet Tropics rainforest out the back, aside from your bathers, time is the best thing you can pack for a visit to Tropical North Queensland. If it’s your first time in the North Queensland capital, start with these 16 things to do in Cairns.
Want to dive into the iconic Great Barrier Reef? How about exploring the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest? Whether you want to get your heart racing with a skydive, or opt to while away the day on a tropical island, you don’t need to empty your pockets to enjoy the tropics. Explore Cairns & Great Barrier Reef with these fantastic offers.