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.

Find What's Nearby

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Places to Visit
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Mount Cook National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This park features the rugged Mount Cook, which provides a scenic backdrop to the town of Cooktown. Rainforest and tropical woodlands with a heath understorey cover the upper slopes and sheltered gullies.

Cape Melville National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This beautiful yet rugged park features the rocky headlands of Cape Melville, massive tumbled granite boulders of the Melville Range, sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay, sandstone escarpments of Altanmoui Range and inland dunes.

Clump Mountain National Park

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
This park, on the scenic coast just north of Mission Beach, contains some of the few remaining patches of undisturbed tropical lowland rainforest in North Queensland. These rainforest remnants are important habitat for the endangered southern cassowary.

Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This island national park, located close to the mainland, is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. The island and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Millstream Falls National Park

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse.

Mount Whitfield Conservation Park

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The rainforest-clad slopes of the Whitfield Range form a dramatic backdrop to Cairns, offering bushwalking opportunities close to the city. Walking tracks through Mount Whitfield Conservation Park climb through shady rainforest gullies and dry open forest and grasslands with cycads to the top of Mount Lumley Hill.
Free Entry
In this park, an imposing mountain range of massive granite boulders is home to unique wildlife and rich in Aboriginal culture. Located near Cooktown at the northern end of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Black Mountain is imposing mountain range of black granite boulders, some the size of houses, stacked seemingly precariously on one another.

Blencoe Falls, Girringun National Park

Mount Garnet, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park features the stunning Blencoe Falls, where Blencoe Creek plunges 90 metres into a pool before cascading a further 230 metres to the bottom of Blencoe Gorge before joining the Herbert River in the spectacular Herbert River Gorge.
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, part of Michaelmas and Upolo Cays National Park, is one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Michaelmas Cay is a small, low sand cay, covered by grasses and low-growing plants.
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