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Cairns Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Cairns Family-friendly activities

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

1. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard a modern catamaran to sail into Green Island National Park on a beach and snorkeling cruise from Cairns. Discover a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and explore its coral reefs with snorkeling gear. Choose to enjoy a buffet lunch and go on a semi-submarine tour. Make your way to the harbor to meet your friendly crew for the day and climb onto your catamaran. Relax in the sun as you set sail towards the Great Barrier Reef. Experience picturesque views of the ocean as you arrive at Green Island National Park. Stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

2. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour

Discover Fitzroy Island on a day tour from Cairns. Enjoy a scenic ferry ride and explore the many hiking trails. Admire the marine life native to the coral reef as you snorkel or observe from a glass-bottom boat. Choose from a range of packages, including transfers for you to explore on your own, or a package including snorkel or glass-bottom boat activities. Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure. The fast catamaran departs from the Marlin Marina, with check-in directly on the vessel. Cruise south along the calm waters of the coastline to reach Fitzroy Island in just 45 minutes, giving you up to 7 hours to explore the tropical island.

Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

3. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

Climb aboard a catamaran cruise on a day trip from Cairns. Get a fish-eye view of Green Islands' reef from a glass-bottom boat. Explore the marine life with the snorkeling gear provided. Take a guided boardwalk stroll in the rainforest. Upgrade your experience with a lunch and submarine tour. Climb aboard a modern, air-conditioned catamaran to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a full-day reef tour, just a few minutes away from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens or laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun. Walk across the secluded island rainforest on a guided boardwalk stroll. Additionally, choose between a spectacular semi-submersible submarine tour or a glass-bottom boat tour to make the most of your adventure on the water. Book an option with lunch included and forget about packing your own food.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

4. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket

5. Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket

Cairns Aquarium is Australia’s newest and most spectacular aquarium. It is the only aquarium in the world to exclusively showcase the stunning aquatic wildlife from tropical North Queensland’s two World Heritage-listed areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Experience the spectacular diversity of the region without the need to get wet or even leave the city. Travel through ten amazing North Queensland ecosystems from the world’s most ancient rainforest to the world’s largest coral reef to discover 71 different exhibits showcasing the extremely rare and incredibly unique species of this region. See a panorama of wildlife and marine fish that create an underwater world filled with a kaleidoscope of colour. Enjoy daily talks and presentations by knowledgeable and entertaining educators, marvel at the animal feeding sessions and get a hands-on experience at the marine and reptile touch tanks. Complete your day at Cairns Aquarium with breakfast, lunch or dinner at Aqualuna restaurant.

Cairns: Guided Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner

6. Cairns: Guided Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner

Witness the setting of the sun on Tropical North Queensland’s mountain ranges and experience how steamy rainforests and shallow reef lagoons begin to stir with life. Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and nocturnal fish sense the onset of dusk and emerge from their day time lairs.  Get an insight into the unique changes of the region’s nocturnal creatures as they move in the shadows.  Complete your evening at Dundee’s Restaurant with a perfectly matched dining experience while you enjoy a stunning sea life backdrop.

Cairns: Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour & Lunch

7. Cairns: Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour & Lunch

Discover some of the finest scenery and fascinating culture of the Kuranda Rainforest on a guided tour. Visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, a Koala and Wildlife Park, and learn about about Aboriginal culture at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. Start your immersion into the culture and nature of the Kuranda Rainforest with a ride aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Wind through the mountains and rainforest to the village of Kuranda.  Upon arrival, experience Australia's largest butterfly aviary at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary with 1,500 tropical butterflies, including the vibrant green Cairns Birdwing. Next, travel by shuttle to the Rainforestation Nature Park for a barbecue buffet lunch.  After lunch, explore the rainforest by 6WD amphibious vehicle as you climb aboard a World War II Army Duck that can drive over land and in water. Search for wildlife as you learn about the plants and trees of the surrounding rainforest. Then, sample some exotic fruits and locally-made ice cream at the Tropical Treats fruit orchard.  Find out more about Aboriginal culture at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience and watch spear-throwing demonstrations and traditional dances. Try your hand at throwing a boomerang, and hear all about the didgeridoo. Then, get up close to Australian animals including koalas, dingoes and the endangered Cassowary and Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo. See typical Australian critters including wombats, crocodiles, lizards and birds. Feed the kangaroos and wallabies by hand. Then, travel back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and ride over the canopy of the pristine rainforest. Transfer back to your accommodation at the end of the tour services.

Kuranda & Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

8. Kuranda & Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

7.00 am - 8.00 am Hotel pick-up at Cairns & Cairns Beaches 8.50 am Kuranda Scenic Rail:  Board the famous train for an amazing journey, as you travel one of the world's most scenic rail routes, through hand hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges. 10.25 am Arrive in Kuranda.  You have limited free time (1hr) to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the heritage markets which operate daily. 11.30 am Skyrail:  Board Skyrail, an experience which takes you over the rainforest canopy with stops along the way allowing you to take a stroll or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre. On arrival at Caravonica Lakes, board the coach for your transfer to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. 1.20pm Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures:  Is the best place to see crocodiles in Tropical North Queensland. Highlights of the park include the Wetlands Cruise, Crocodile Attack Show and Snake Show. 4.45pm Coach departs for Cairns

Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Marine World Pontoon

9. Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Marine World Pontoon

Sail to the Great Barrier Reef on a catamaran from Cairns. Explore the reef in the way that suits you with snorkeling, diving, or admire it from inside a glass-bottom boat. Then, enjoy a buffet lunch. Depart directly from Cairns on a fast, stable catamaran providing a smoother ride and reduced travel time, leaving more of your day to experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef.  The all-weather Marine World platform caters to all activity levels. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, join a marine biologist on a guided snorkel safari, and try SNUBA, the latest activity on the reef, or a traditional scuba dive (no experience necessary). You can also select the option to try a Helmet Dive for a scuba-style experience without getting your hair wet. If simply relaxing and soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style then take time out the spacious sundeck. 

Kuranda Koala Gardens Entrance Ticket

10. Kuranda Koala Gardens Entrance Ticket

Enjoy entrance to the Kuranda Koala Gardens and meet an amazing array of Australian wildlife. For an additional fee, you can pose for a photo with a koala bear, or have your picture taken with a python. See wallabies, wombats, and freshwater crocodiles. Explore the nocturnal exhibit and visit the Aussie Bush Collection where marsupials and reptiles live in harmony. Get up close with Australia’s incredible animals.

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Frequently asked questions about Cairns

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Cairns?

The best day trips and excursions from Cairns are:

Port Douglas

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Other Sightseeing Options in Cairns

Want to discover all there is to do in Cairns? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cairns

This was one of the best experiences of my entire life. Not only was the island beautiful, the snorkeling was incredibly fun and (you could go at your own pace, go really far out or stay close to the shore), the staff were also exceptional, informative (lots of fun facts) and super friendly. I even dropped my icecream and a staff member had a laugh with me and then got me another. Food on the boat is also amazing. Overall 10000/10. I am going to book again!

Excellent trip and great value for a FULL day of entertainment. Boat and crew were very helpful, and gear supplied worked very well. Not a good swimmer no prob as they offer for very small fee an excellent intro to snorkeling course. Fitzroy Island such a beautiful place with plenty to do and explore. You will not regret this trip, I will be back.

They took care of everything. The equipment, information, option to go into the submarine (included in the cost), the time spent the water. The food. Everything was amazing. One the best days ever.

Friendly staff, nice buffet lunch, snorkeling was great, also did the semi submarine tour which was also good. A great family day trip. Would recommend very highly.

The staff very friendly and helpful the price for the tour food and all the gear was very reasonable