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Cairns

As the heart of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, Cairns pulses with energy. More than 600 tours a day make the most of the year-round outdoor lifestyle while world-class sporting events and festivals embrace the cosmopolitan city's vibrant tropical culture.

Energised by nature, Cairns is the place to soak up the tropical lifestyle. Discover an exciting city that takes pride in its cultural heritage and where time seems to last a little longer. Swim at the Esplanade lagoon, sample local produce at a farmer's market, enjoy free entertainment, shop for a summer wardrobe or cruise around the marina.

Take a tip from the locals for a cool dip at a secluded freshwater swimming hole, jump on a bike for a sightseeing tour along the city's network of cycle paths, marvel at tropical plants in the Botanic Gardens, browse the galleries or catch an act in a unique rainforest venue.

After dark choose a lively bar for drinks, taste local seafood at an award-winning restaurant, party on a dance floor, discover treasures at the markets or watch a local cultural show.

Choose from a wide range of accommodation including five-star international hotels, luxurious resorts, waterfront apartments, family-friendly motels and fun backpacker hostels.

The compact city is easy to get around and has the reef, rainforest and outback on its doorstep. With the Cairns International and Domestic airports only 10 minutes from the Central Business District, Cairns is the ideal entry point for a Tropical North Queensland adventure.

Travel from the city's Reef Fleet Terminal to the Great Barrier Reef and its islands, raft the white water rapids in the rainforest, step back in time with a train ride to Kuranda or treat your tastebuds to one of the many food and wine trails on the Atherton Tablelands.

Whether you want to flirt with adventure or be enchanted by exotic experiences, Cairns has it all.

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Places to Visit
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Simpson Desert National Park

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Spanning 1,012,000 hectares in the arid outback, this is Queensland’s largest protected area. Parallel wind-blown sand dunes dominate the striking landscape. Some extend 200 kilometres and reach 90 metres high.

Diamantina National Park Circuit

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Diamantina National Park has been named one of Australia’s top 10 national parks by the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The drive passes through a variety of landscapes, from the river channels and waterholes on the flood plains, to sand dunes, gibber plains and grasslands.
Free Entry
The landscape and scenery on the Winton - Boulia via Diamantina National Park journey will leave you awestruck. A challenging journey, this relatively isolated route will require the driver to be well prepared as there are no fuel or food facilities.

Diamantina National Park

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
In Diamantina National Park, the mighty Diamantina River, one of Queensland’s longest, cuts braided channels through gibber flats, sand dunes and red-capped ranges. The park supports a large number of rare and threatened plants and animals, including the greater bilby.

French Line - Simpson Desert

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
The Simpson Desert is undoubtedly Australia's most loved desert with large numbers of visitors each year accepting the challenge of crossing the Simpson. Winter rains carpet the desert in wildflowers and the night skies are a star gazers delight.

Birdsville Track

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
An Australian Outback Adventure, the well maintained, unsealed track links Birdsville in Queensland's south-west to Maree in the mid-north of South Australia. The Birdsville Track covers some of Australia's most beautiful and challenging country, passing through the Simpson Desert and Sturt's Stoney Desert.

Red Sandhills

Windorah, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
The Red Sandhills ten kilometres west of Windorah on the Birdsville Road are the reddest that you will find anywhere. They may not be very high, but they are worth stopping to admire, especially for photographers.

Waddi Trees

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
One of Australia’s rarest plants, the Waddi Trees (Acacia puece) have spiky, needle-like leaves and thick bark. The Waddi tree piqued early explorer William John Wills’ interest, with some samples of the seeds found buried in his diary after his death.

Cuttaburra Crossing

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Cuttaburra Crossing is a permanent waterhole and a renowned wetland on the Eyre Creek. It is located between Lake Koolivoo and Lake Machattie. Cuttaburra Crossing is home to many species of birdlife.

Big Red

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Standing at 30 metres in height, this awesome sand dune, Big Red, provides a challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast. The first of 1113 dunes in the Simpson Desert, the spectacular sunsets from the top of Big Red are an experience not to be missed.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).