Cairns, located on the door-step to one of worlds’ iconic natural wonders of the world is considered the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is a city in tropical Far North Queensland filled with endless list of natural attractions, including the World Heritage Listed rainforest – Daintree Rainforest. Its Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with music and dance. Cairns Esplanade, lined with bars and restaurants, has a swimming lagoon. Northwest of the city, Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches.
With endless lists of attractions, amazing world class restaurants, laid back cafes, pubs and bars, great shopping, amazing views of the Great Barrier Reef and gorgeous backdrop of lush tropical mountains and rainforest makes Cairns city a perfect location and a spectacular place to visit.
This city of Cairns, surrounded by natural backdrop of lush tropical mountains and rainforest that meets the sparkling Coral Sea, is a city of extremes and a magical place.
This city is a spectacular place to visit with lots of wonderful things to do. Cairns has a culture of luxury and leisure – endless opportunity for outdoor where you can enjoy a cool drink and some great shopping to hiking trails in the rainforest and outback or swimming in the sparking Great Barrier Reef.
Living in this tropical paradise city, it is a dream and many times I still try to come to grips with it. With the Daintree Rainforest to the north, the Great Barrier Reef to the east and the Atherton Tablelands to the west, Cairns location is spectacular. From lush bush lands to spectacular sparkling sea, this small port city is the gateway to tropical north Queensland. With its breathtaking scenery of where the rainforest meets the reef and the outback gives a vibrant flavour makes Cairns a regional city that never sleeps.
The city known for photographers paradise and its magnetic attraction, push and pulls millions of tourists to the city all-year round. With its friendly and helpful locals, makes visitors keep coming back to the region again and again. Cairns is a vibrant city with vibrant celebrations and Australia’s most popular destination. There is always something new to see and do in this tropical paradise city. Cairns, is one of the only place on the planet where you can swim in one of the seven wonders of the natural world – Great Barrier Reef. You can swim the Great Barrier Reef in the morning and hit the outback and World Heritage Listed Rainforest the next in the afternoon – all in a day.
WHAT TO DO?
With Cairns city been accessible by road, train and air makes it one of the most visited place in Far North Queensland. This picturesque Cairns region offers a wide variety of things to see and do. There are endless activities and places to visit that suits your interests. Whatever you want to do, you will find it – from beaches and reefs to rainforest and outback. There is something for everyone no matter what age you are. The only best option is to drive around in the area if you have the time and see more of the area during your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the main centre of the city. It is the ideal introduction to the city area and Cairns life.
One of the most popular spot for tourists and locals no matter what age you are is the waterfront of Cairns, known as the Cairns Esplanade Foreshore and Lagoon.
The gorgeous lagoon is the place where you can swim all year round. It is the place to be with something for everyone, especially locals, visitors, backpackers and International students who are seen there either swimming, sunbathing or having barbaques. It has fun and fantastic picnic areas and a boardwalk to walk on at sunset or run on at sunrise. The promenade also host to weekly live entertainment so you can sit back on the grass and enjoy live music, fire twirling, animal shows and famed Cairns buskers. All this gives you a taste of what is to come in this tropical paradise.
Cairns Centenary Lakes – Botanical Garden
Just within 5 minutes drive from the Cairns city centre is the Cairns Botanical Gardens and Lakes. Here you get to take an easy stroll along with sights and adventure with gorgeous boardwalks to wander around surrounded by lush tropical rainforest gardens, flora and fauna, lake and parklands.
It is a rainforest within the city that you will get to experience. You will be able to have time to stop and smell many exotic and rare plants along the way that are only found in this part of Australia and probably the world. This parkland have some beautiful birds and other species that are frequently found in the area, which makes it a perfect place for bird watchers paradise. It is little known to many visitors but very popular among locals, joggers, walkers, families and photograhers.
For those who prefer a lay-back atmosphere, take a 3.5km walk along the Cairns waterfront and marina area. For gallery and art lovers, take a stroll around the city area and you will be surprised to explore some of the unique sculptures, galleries, arts and craft that reflect on the reef all within walking distance.
To be more adventurous, go on some of the most popular attractions found in the region that every visitor should include on their “What to see and do” itinerary. These attractions are “must see” and cannot be missed while visiting the area:
For those who want to just relax with a breath of fresh air, Kuranda Scenic Train is just for you. This is one of the most popular tourist train ride in Far North Queensland region that takes you through the heart of the rainforest.
It is one of the most unique train journey in the world. As you begin your train journey, so as the history of this railway. It is so fascinating to learn about the historical past and takes you back in time while enjoying the comfort of this train ride. You will be amazed with the stunning views of the landscape of the area as you slowly journey up the range.
You just have to sit-back and relax while enjoying the incredible views of the Barron Gorge, Cairns city and the Great Barrier Reef out from you window while the train winds up the McAlister Range through rainforest, waterfalls, tunnels along Barron Gorge and jaw-dropping cliff sides to the remote village of Kuranda located up in the mountains.
For those who want to see the rainforest and spectacular views from above, take a skyrail, which gives you a unique experience that takes you on an unforgettable journey through one of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Tropical Rainforest. It is the longest cableway in the world, spanning 7.5 kilometres and one of the most popular attractions in Cairns.
This cableway ride takes you over and above Barron Gorge and pristine rainforest, gliding just metres above the rainforest canopy is close as you can get. The skyrail journey will immerse you in an intimate rainforest experience and guarantees a rush of adrenaline and an unforgettable journey. The views from above are incredibly breathtaking as you look out towards the Great Barrier Reef, coastline, sugarcane fields and suburb of Smithfield.
Great Barrier Reef
Take a boat trip to the reef on shimmering clear blue ocean, swim with underwater sea creatures – fishes and marvelled at underwater sculptures – coral reefs. The iconic Great Barrier Reef is one of the most visited reef in the world and many visitors come to tick it off their bucketlist. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. However, if this is not your taste, there are endless hiking trails from easy to over-night trails.
Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of world is one of those places that you must visit in your lifetime. Whether you love the water or just want to see of the Great Wonders of the world, take a relaxing trip out to the reef.
It is home to diverse marine life and a great opportunity to experience marine life. From seeing some of the colourful corals, reef fishes to relaxing and swimming surrounded by unforgettable nature. Many visitors come to this region to stay and experience one of the many coastal getaways. It is an experience of a life time.
Daintree Rainforest – Cape Tribulation
For those adventure explorers, take a day trip up to Daintree and Cape Tribulation area to see one of the oldest rainforest in the world. Taking this road trip will take you along scenic coastal drive, sugar cane fields and rainforest passing through small townships and village – Port Douglas, Mossman and Daintree village. Here you get to experience nature at its best.
Take a journey into this dense rainforest and see the vast array of flora and fauna. Immerse yourself into one of the most spectacular, unforgettable and thrilling experience you’ll ever have as you drive through the rainforest. A place to come to this region to enjoy, relax, admire and appreciate this natural wonderland.
For those who prefer to experience indigenous culture, visit Cairns most popular Aboriginal cultural experience park – Tjapukai. Here you not only get to see the native people of Australia but to explore the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. This is the ultimate place to experience the rich, ancient and authentic Aboriginal culture lifestyle, dance, food and art unique to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Here you have the chance to talk to local indigenous people who call the surrounding rainforest their homeland and understand from their perspective.
RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS
Cairns is home to many iconic natural attractions. Driving around in this area is possible if you have the time and want to see more of the area on your visit. To fully enjoy your stay in this area and to make the most of the region’s attractions, I’d recommend staying right in the heart of Cairns city. This way, you don’t have to fight the traffic from locals on their daily commute and you get to sample the local areas within walking distances.
Cairns region is filled with endless list of activities and attractions. Travellers looking to get active can enjoy an exhilarating kayaking or rafting excursion along the Tully River. You can check out the dramatic . For hikers and birdwatchers, visit Atherton Tablelands and scenic drive, a thrilling destination for hiking and birdwatching.
- Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure
- Paronella Park
- Cattana Wetlands
- Copperlode Dam
- Atherton Tablelands
- Kuranda Markets
- Crystal Cascade
- Bungy Jumping
WHERE TO STAY?
Cairns is very attractive for those who are on a budget, especially for those who have families and backpackers. It is a very popular spot for both domestic and international all year round, this city provides various types of accommodations in the area to suit all budget. The accommodation range from resorts, backpacker, holiday houses, apartments, B&Bs, caravan parks and campings nearby. Also, the area offers a range of properties throughout the region to fit most holiday styles and budgets.
EXPLORING THE AREA
Cairns region, with its famous and world renowned natural and man-made attractions and attributes, makes this city a popular destination to explore. It is the gateway north to the top of Australia. Many come to indulge themselves in this tropical paradise lifestyle of sun, sea and sand.
It is entirely possible to get around and visit many attractions and places in this area with the help of public transport. However, my recommendation would be to hire a car and do a self-drive tour and explore the area on your own time. Driving in this area is straightforward as long as you keep your wits about you and don’t mind the locals who drive much faster than vary tourists. When visiting new areas, be aware of no-drive zones and one-way streets. Sometimes, you will save yourself a few headaches when it comes to parking or driving around places to locate the area. It is best to go on a tour and get away with less stress.
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