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Top attractions in Cairns

Top Tours & Activities in Cairns

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Top 6 Essential Things To See Around Cairns

Cairns is in the north of the Australian state of Queensland. The area surrounding the city is a natural paradise - there's the Great Barrier Reef, for one thing - so here are a few exhilarating sights you can check out during a visit to the area.

Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Take a boat over to Green Island, where you can stop off and go swimming. Experience the unreal coral colors and stunning wildlife of the reef, illuminated by the sun.

Reef Snorkeling

You may not be able to delve 20,000 leagues under the sea, but you can go snorkeling, which is pretty close! Here's your chance to be a mermaid or merman for a couple of hours.

Kuranda Rainforest

Enjoy this lush tropical rainforest on the ground, or fly over it on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. You can also seamlessly glide from land to water in an amphibious vehicle!

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Experience the culture of the Aboriginal Djabugay people. Enjoy a didgeridoo show, visit a museum with ancient murals, try some Djabugay cuisine, and learn to throw a boomerang.

Undara Lava Tubes

Take a day to explore the Outback and walk around under a volcano - that's not something you get to do every day!

Tully River White Water Rafting

The Tully River hosted the 1991 Australian Canoe and White Water Rafting Championships. Don't worry, though, you're not alone, as each boat holds seven people.

Planning Your Cairns Visit

What should I wear?

Owing to its near-equatorial location, Northern Australia is very hot all year round. Make sure to wear cool, cotton clothing, stay hydrated, and definitely layer up on sunscreen and a hat.

Are there any health and safety tips I should be aware of?

Before your trip, consult your doctor about injections you may need to get. If you are walking around in the rainforest, be sure to bring mosquito repellent - ideally purchased locally, as creams from back home may not be suitable for the climate.

Do I need insurance for outdoor activities?

For extreme sports like white water rafting, it's essential. There can also be an age limit, so if you happen to be under 18, do check in advance if you need to have a parent or guardian with you.

Good to know

  • Language
  • Currency
    AUD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+10:00)
  • Country Code
  • Best time to visit
    August is the best month to visit, when the weather is warm and sunny, with low humidity, and the peak season is ending.

Things to Do in Cairns

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What people are saying about Cairns

This is an excellent tour, including service, activities and lunch.

Upon arrival at Green Island you have several optional activities available -- swimming, snorkelling, shopping, submarine, etc. It's up to you. The tour includes about one hour in a glass bottom boat -- excellent. Also, you can have lunch for AUD$20. A great experience!

Green Island Reef Full-Day Catamaran Cruise Reviewed by Allan, 03/14/2018

This was an excellent 2-day activity - well organised and well run.

We were taken 50k out to the Outer Barrier Reef for good snorkeling. The catamaran was well equipped with everything required and there were plenty of staff to provide support and guidance for snorkeling. I hadn't thought about a waterproof casing for my phone to take pictures while snorkeling but I was able to buy it on the boat - I recommend you go prepared as you will want to record the beautiful fish and coral that you swim around. When it came to the rain-forest trip the next day, we were surprised not to have a tour-guide accompany us on the train to get to Kuranda Village, they left us at the station and told us what to do. But we were fine without a guide. We were dropped at the station 1.5 hrs before time for the train, this seemed rather early. At the half-way station on the way down by SkyRail the whole system had to stop (for safety) due to a thunder storm with lightening. No-one was left dangling and we were kept informed and given bottles of water, it was well managed.

I would recommend it to my friends, without hesitation

Friendly and helping crew, an option for scuba experience for unexperienced (fantastic, thanks), expert knowledge what to look at on the Reef and plentiful food.

Such a great experience! Nice Crew! Nice food! Nice locations!

I dived adittionally at the first location. It was a very nice experience, because i did it for the first time. I felt always safe because the Crew introduced us nicely what we had to be careful about during diving. I did some great pictures, so I recommend you to bring your own underwater cam or just rent one for the day. At the second location i was just snorkeling and honestly this is sufficient, because you can see everything you need to see. All in all a great trip and I can strongly recommended when you stay in Cairns!

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef 1-Day Snorkeling Trip Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 02/21/2018

An AWESOME intro snorkeling tour with AMAZING guides

This was an awesome introduction to the reef for my family and I. The crew that we had (Lukas, Lou, Kat, and Rodrigo) were the BEST people to have around; full of energy, life, and smiles. They do their very best in trying to make sure you're having fun and and really try to get to know you, AND remembering your name. So much that my daughter left her camera on the boat and they knew exactly who it needed to be returned to. Again, thanks again for the amazing tour. Because of you guys, we left a big part of our hearts there with you.

Sail the Great Barrier Reef: Full-Day Cruise from Cairns Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 01/15/2018