Are you planning to visit Cairns, Australia? Do you know what to do in this amazing city? What places to visit? If you want to learn about some of the most popular attractions in Cairns, keep reading. We have some great places for you to visit. Visiting these places and having some spectacular adventures will make your holidays more fantastic.
1) Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Have you ever seen crocodiles up close? If you want to see the native wildlife of Cairns up close, you must visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. It is a farm and sanctuary for crocodiles located in the town of Port Douglas, Cairns, approximately 40 km away from Cairns Airport. Based on 10 hectares of land, this farm was made in the year 1935, and its the oldest attraction in Cairns.
After arriving in Cairns, you can take a taxi from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is approximately 27 kilometers away from Port Douglas and it will take up to 30 minutes to get there. If you make a booking at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures beforehand, they offer pick-up service from some hotels in Cairns at appropriate prices. You just need to contact the operator after booking to confirm your pick-up location and time. The pass to the farm does not cost much and includes one twenty-minute boat ride. There are special passes available for couples and families as well.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures has five different ecological zones. There, you can learn about the farming of crocodiles, the evolution of Australia’s rare animals and birds, feed crocodiles, and take a cruise ride to observe crocodiles in a wetland. There are broad walks and pathways of 2500 meters which allow visitors to explore the farm and learn how these pre-historic creatures are bred and raised. You can find not only crocodiles but many other animals too.
This is the place where you can enjoy and learn as well about crocodiles and their farming. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure is family-friendly and can be visited by both adults and children.
2) Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Another adventure that must be on your list is Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Skyrail is one of the world’s longest cableways. It is more than seven and a half kilometers long. You must try Skyrail Rainforest Cableway if you want to witness the utmost beauty and serenity of the tropical rainforest. Here, you can embark on an extraordinary journey to view and admire the oldest tropical rainforest of North Queensland. It is located 15 minutes away from Northern Cairns. If you have just arrived at Cairns Airport, you can take the Cairns Airport shuttle bus to reach your destination. It is much cheaper than a taxi ride. You will get to the Skyrail Rainforest cableway in about 20 minutes.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has two stops. The first stop is in Red peak. You can explore the area by yourself or join guided tours. The tour guides share their knowledge about the area and you will get to learn a lot about this ancient forest. The second stop is Baron Falls. You can enjoy the spectacular view of the mighty Baron Falls over the lookouts of Skyrail Cableway.
You can book a trip for Skyrail Cableway online very easily. They offer one-way and return trips. If you are interested, you can also combine your trip with a train ride from Kuranda Scenic Railway. The railway was built some 130 years ago and its winds through the mountainous region of Cairns and Kuranda. You can listen to the serene sounds of the rainforest all through your ride and enjoy scenic views that you will not find anywhere else. You will remember this outstanding experience for the rest of your life.
3) Hot Air Ballooning
Enjoy a scenic view of the sun rising and shining in the sky over Cairns in a hot air balloon. Your visit to Cairns will be incomplete unless you take a ride in the popular hot air balloons. Balloon tours depart from Port Douglas, Palm cove, and Atherton Tablelands. A hot-air balloon trip lasts from 30 minutes to an hour. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should not miss. The rides are very affordable and are suitable for all ages including children over 4 years old.
Trips depart early in the mornings as the weather is most suitable at that time and it allows you to immerse in the beauty of Cairns as the sun shines its first rays over Cairns. The spectacular landscape of the countryside and the scenic views that you will see are extraordinary. You must bring your camera along with you to capture pictures of the beautiful views of tropical Queensland.
4) The Great Barrier Reef
The main and biggest tourist attraction of Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef on earth. It is situated off the coast of Queensland in the Coral Sea. It’s a must-visit place for experiencing fascinating oceanic adventures.
The Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea is composed of 2900 individual islands, stretching over 2300 kilometers. It is home to approximately 80 species of whales and dolphins and more than 155 species of fish. The Great Barrier Reef was declared World Heritage Site in the year 1981.
Cairns is the city where the rainforest meets the sea. There is so much to do for water enthusiasts in this fascinating place. If you are visiting from any part of the world, here’s how to get to the Great Barrier Reef. After arriving in Cairns, you need to take Cairns Airport Shuttle to Port Douglas. You can go to the reef directly from Cairns as well but by Port Douglas, the travel will be short and much cheaper as it is closer to the reefs than Cairns. The distance between Cairns and Port Douglas is approximately 66 kilometers and it will take up to 1 hour to get there.
5) Green Island
The magnificent Green Island sits in the Coral Sea approximately 28 kilometers away from Cairns. To access this beautiful wonder of nature, you can take a taxi from Cairns airport to the Marlin Jetty or you can use the Cairns airport shuttle to reach there. The taxi ride to the Marlin Jetty from Cairns Airport doesn’t cost much. It will take up to 15 minutes to reach the Marlin Jetty.
Once you reach the Jetty, you must look for the available trips to the island. There are several trips available that offer trip to the island with several activities. You can choose any trip, depending on your budget and the kind of experience you want.
It takes 45 to 60 minutes from Cairns to reach Green Island, depending on the type of vessel. Prices of the trips vary but most of the trips are affordable and very budget-friendly. If you want to experience the true essence of the magnificent reef, you must try snorkeling and scuba diving on Green island.
You should add the ride on Glass Bottom Boat to your adventure list. You can see the beauty of Coral reefs, marine life, and Sea-floor, without stepping foot in the water and getting wet. Glass Bottom Boats are available on the green island to provide you with this one-of-a-kind experience.
6) Palm Cove
Tropical North Queensland is the place where The Great Barrier Reef meets the dense rainforest. One of the many wonders of Cairns is Palm Cove. Palm Cove is a small beach village nestled between Cairns and Port Douglas. It is named after the rows of palm trees on its beach. The old paper-bark trees line the entire length of the cove. This small village with a gorgeous beach is close to many attractions in Cairns like Kuranda, Cairns Esplanade, Port Douglas, and many more. It is a great place for a tropical beach holiday. Palm Cove has many restaurants and cafes, it also has a park for children.
Palm cove beach with its clear waters and soft golden sand is perfect for a holiday. Its serenity, beauty, and calm atmosphere fill the soul with tranquility.
Palm Cove beach is very safe. Australian lifeguards petrol the beach 24/7 and swimming is safe here. There is Nipper Club in Palm Cove that teaches children to surf safety and rescue techniques.
Palm Cove is 26 kilometers away from Cairns Airport. If you are planning to go there from Cairns Airport, you can use Cairns Airport transfers to Palm Cove or book a taxi. If you are traveling there from Port Douglas, you can use the Port Douglas shuttle bus.
If you are a sports enthusiast, Palm Cove is perfect for beach games. You can also rent a Kayak for surfing the beach. If you want a more thrilling experience, you can rent a jet ski. The best time to visit Palm Cove is Spring.
7) Cairns Aquarium
Cairns Aquarium is the first public aquarium in Australia. The Cairns Aquarium was built in the year 2017 and has been a great success since then. It is home to more than 16000 specimens of marine life from all over the world and has become a popular tourist attraction.
In Cairns Aquarium, you can see and learn about crocodiles, sharks, snakes, frogs, stingrays, jellyfish, and various insects. Cairns Aquarium is in the heart of Cairns and is within the walking distance from most attractions in Cairns.
Cairns Aquarium is approximately 5 kilometers away from Cairns Airport. If you are going there from Cairns Airport, it will take you up to 7-8 minutes to get there. You can use Cairns Airport Shuttle for travel. It is located at approximately 66 kilometers from the town of Port Douglas. If you are in Port Douglas and want to visit Cairns Aquarium, you can take the Port Douglas shuttle bus to Cairns Airport.
Cairns Aquarium opens daily from 10 am to 3 pm. There are many activities there for both adults and children. You can learn a lot about marine life through a presentation given by guides, and enjoy live diver shows and marine animal shows. You can also get a 30-minute guided tour of their Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and get up close and personal with the sea turtles. You can also hand feed the Cownose Rays.
The ultimate way of experiencing the Cairns Aquarium is the exclusive guided sunrise tour of the aquarium called “Aquarium by Sunrise”. As the sea creatures stir to life at the dawn, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience for you to see the marine life emerging in the first light. You can book this exclusive tour online. You will get an entry to the aquarium before it opens for the public. The guided tour will be for 2 hours and you will explore all 10 ecosystems. This exclusive tour is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 08:15 am to 10:30 am.
8) Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
The Cairns Esplanade is the heart of the city. This is the ultimate place to go after a long day to relax and enjoy. Here you will find both tourists from all over the world and the local people of Cairns. Cairns Esplanade Lagoon features a safe and free-swimming pool for tourists and locals. This triangular swimming pool is 32 inches to 5 feet deep and is suitable for people of all ages.
Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is of the most popular attractions in Cairns and is a must-visit place. This place is a magnet for tourists and locals. People of all ages come here to enjoy a great and safe swim and to socialize. This area is great for picnics and BBQ parties as it has a good BBQ facility and plenty of space for any type of event. There are three playgrounds for children that are fun, safe, and full of entertainment. The playgrounds have play equipment for children, BBQ and picnic tables, seating areas, and cafes.
Cairns Esplanade also offers Active Living Fitness classes. From beach volleyball to Aqua Zumba, there are fitness activities of all levels available for people of all ages and preferences. Cairns has a rich history and once you’ve visited, you’ll want to explore more of Cairns’ many memorials and monuments. The Esplanade is a great place to start your exploration, take a stroll and see the public artworks along the esplanade.
9) Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Based on 25 acres of land Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is the place to learn about the 40,000 years old cultures of aboriginal people of Australia and Torres Strait Island. This cultural park provides fascinating insights into the ancient and rich culture and traditions of aboriginal people. Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park has been entertaining and educating people for 35 years. It is in Smithfield at the base of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. If you are in Cairns and planning to visit this educational park, you can use Cairns Airport Transfers to reach there.
Your experience in Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park will be delightful and you will get to learn a lot about the lives of aboriginal people. You can learn to throw a boomerang and spear and you can even learn to play a “didgeridoo. The displays and cultural shows here can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages in all weather conditions. This park also provides free wi-fi.
There are many live presentations and shows here that will teach you about the lives, ancient cultures, and traditions of aboriginal people through dance, songs, and, stories. The Magic Space Museum contains thousands of years old artifacts of the Tjapukai people. In the Creation Theatre, historical stories of the Tjapukai people are told. The stories are told in the Tjapukai language, but you can hear them in 7 different languages in your headset.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park opens daily from 09:00 am to 05:00 pm.
10) The Daintree Rainforest
Daintree is where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. This 135-million-year-old tropical rainforest is the oldest in the world. Daintree is a biologically diverse rainforest that has more than 60% of the animal population of Australia. It is home to million-year-old plants and exotic wildlife.
This ancient rainforest is in Tropical North Queensland between Port Douglas and Cooktown. You can take the Port Douglas shuttle bus to get there. It will take you 1 hour to get there from Port Douglas. From Cairns, Daintree is located at a two-hour drive. In Cairns, there are many trips available on the ferry to Daintree. You can do anyone depending on the budget and the kind of adventure that you want.
This rainforest, spreading over approximately 1200 square kilometers, is the perfect place for you to visit, if you are a nature enthusiast and love to explore the wonders of nature. The rainforest is full of s exotic fruits, you can taste and enjoy those fruits in the form of ice cream at the Daintree Ice-cream Company.
If you like camping, you should visit the Safari Lodge Campsite. It is the perfect place in Daintree for camping. There are some swim holes in the forest, that visitors can swim in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many days will be ideal to explore Cairns?
You can explore many of the popular attractions of Cairns like Daintree Rainforest, Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, and Palm Cove in 3 to 5 days.
What is Cairns mostly known for?
Cains is famous as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns has two world heritage sites The Great barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
How can I reach Cairns?
You can take a flight to Cairns Airport from any part of the world.
What is the best time to visit Cairns?
Cairns is most pleasant from June to August. The weather is usually dry and the skies are clear. Any activity from visiting the parks and beaches to sailing or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef is just perfect during this time.
Can I interact with aboriginals in Cairns?
Yes, you can interact with the aboriginals and learn about their ancient culture and traditions at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park.