Cairns and Northern Beaches

Cairns

Famed for its first-class access to the nation’s biggest drawcards, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, these world-heritage sites stamp Cairns on the map as Australia’s nature capital with some serious adventure game.

No matter who you are or how long you’re there, Cairns is a bucket list destination that speaks for itself when it comes to flaunting its natural assets. You could be rubbing fins with Nemo while you snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, surfing your way through the jungle of the Daintree Rainforest or hammock-side on a tropical island all within a day. 

Things to do in Cairns

Whether you’re gliding above the rainforest, meeting the local wildlife or learning about the indigenous history of the region, Cairns is brimming with nature and adventure experiences for every sized explorer. See these top 10 Cairns experience to add to your itinerary.

  • Go White Water Rafting on the Tully River
  • Bungee jump on a bike with AJ Hackett
  • Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway before descending into the world-heritage listed rainforest
  • Learn about indigenous history with Walkabout Cultural Adventures, Mungalla Aboriginal Tours or Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk
  • Check out the Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome for some family fun
  • Go Croc spotting with Daintree River Cruises
  • Swim, socialise and let the kids run free at Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
  • Take a trip to Babinda Boulders and hire a kayak
  • Explore Josephine Falls and swim in the refreshing waters of this natural swimming hole
  • Take the family for a joy ride at the Smithfield MTB Park

Plan your holiday

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Cruisin Motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$45 - 500
Campervan Hire in Cairns, Queensland Hire a campervan in Cairns, Australia’s laid-back city in tropical North Queensland, and gateway to the world’s largest coral reef system – the Great Barrier Reef!

Skytrans Airlines

Aeroglen, Cairns Area
Skytrans Airline and West Wing Aviation, have a long and distinguished history in Queensland and take to the skies each day with pride and enthusiasm. Since January 2000 they have been operating as a leading regional passenger, mail and charter airline.

NQ Hire Boats

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$450 - 550
They provide self drive hire boats that you can either tow to your chosen destination or have them deliver it to you. Great boats to create memorable holidays and adventures. Explore the Great Barrier Reef and the islands around Cairns and Port Douglas away from the crowds and large tour operators, create your own holiday magic.

Cairns Dive Adventures

Cairns Area
Cairns Dive Adventures offer local knowledge of dive boats, liveaboard trips, learn to dive courses and expeditions, Cairns Dive Adventures can help you choose the best possible trip to the Great Barrier Reef, pending your itinerary, requirements and budget.

Apollo Motorhome Holidays Cairns

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$20 - 450
Apollo Motorhome Holidays has been helping guests make unforgettable holiday memories for 34 years. They offer a wide range of quality campervans, motorhomes and 4WDs throughout Australia, NZ, USA and Germany.

Britz Campervans and 4WD Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$69 - 426
Whether you're after an exciting family adventure or an intimate break for two, Britz Campervans and 4WD has the right vehicle for you. Britz campervan has the widest range of vehicles in Australia to suit your holiday needs and budget including four wheel drives for those who really want to get off the beaten track.

Enterprise Rent A Car - Cairns City

Cairns, Cairns Area
While Enterprise is new to Australia, they have been growing across the globe since 1957. Today, Enterprise is part of the largest car rental company in the world, with more than 1.5 million cars in service.

Cairns Luxury Coaches

Cairns Area
Cairns Luxury Coaches offers a reliable, punctual and friendly coach charter service for any occasion. They provide luxury chauffeur driven coaches including a range of Scania coaches that are environmentally friendly.

Mighty Campers Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$59 - 416
Mighty Campers is part of Australasia's biggest campervan company. At Mighty they help travellers kick start stories by providing the best value, low cost campervans that are simple to use. Combined with an easy self-service check in process that gets you on the road faster, convenient branch locations and 24 hour roadside assistance, they've got you covered.

maui motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$109 - 556
The maui experience is all about indulging yourself on a journey of discovery and authentic experiences in comfort and style. Indulge by taking the scenic route. Stay longer, because you can, and learn more about the world around you.
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Great Barrier Reef

Stretching over 2300kms, the Great Barrier Reef consists of 900 islands and 2900 individual reefs so as you can imagine, the ways you tick off this bucket list item is extensive, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

Whether you choose to sail, scuba, snorkel, cruise, fly, skydive or island hop, on, in or over the Great Barrier Reef, you can guarantee there is an experience for whatever floats your boat. 

Here are some of the best ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns:

  • Scuba or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and tick off the Great Eight marine animals to see
  • Take a scenic flight over the reef and witness the beauty from above
  • For the adrenaline junkie, skydive from the highest tandem jump in Australia
  • Go by boat or heli to Vlasoff Cay for the most picturesque picnic spot on the reef
  • Sail to Michaelmas and Upolu Cays
  • Swim and sleep on the reef with Sunlover by Starlight
  • See the reef without getting your hair wet and helmet dive with Seawalker Green Island
  • Take a day trip to a pontoon for reef-viewing and exploration

Cairns tours

Cairns is brimming with nature experiences, and tours are the best way to see as much as you can.

Deciding how you should experience the greatest reef on earth? Check out which Great Barrier Reef Tour is for you.

To learn about the fascinating indigenous history of Tropical North Queensland look at some of these indigenous tours.

The adventure capital will certainly deliver some of the best adrenaline experiences to really get your tummy turning with our guide for adventure packed things to do in Cairns

From the Blog

Cairns accommodation

Whether you are after budget accommodation or you can splash some cash on something a little la-de-da, Cairns has you covered. 

For an all-inclusive 5-star experience where kids under 12 can stay and eat breakfast for free, rest your head at the Pullman Reef Resort and Casino.  If your tribe is looking for a more resort-like vibe, you can’t go past the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort with its lagoon style pool and epic pool bar menu.  Enjoy views of the Coral Sea and stay at Waters Edge Apartments Cairns on the Esplanade. Other accommodation options include the Mantra Trilogy and the Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort.

For a true Great Barrier Reef experience, jump on a boat, switch your watch to island time and holiday in impeccable style on Fitzroy Island or Green Island.

If you’re coming to Cairns for a good time not a long time, there are a bunch of backpacker options to suit any budget. Check out Nomads Cairns or Cairns Central YHA for a central place to hit the sack and save your dollars for the more important experiences in the region.

How to get there

International airport

Cairns Airport is the fifth busiest airport in Australia and an international gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The Cairns Esplanade is just over 10 minutes from Cairns Airport and there are plenty of transportation options to get you from the airport to your hotel.

You can take the Airport Connect for $4 one way or $6 return which links Cairns Airport with the public transport network at the Sheridan Street bus stops. From here Translink offer services to Cairns City or Northern Beaches for a minimum of $2.20 for an adult single fare.

There are also a range of airport shuttle services, hire car options or ride share and taxi options if you prefer a more direct route into Cairns from the airport.

From Brisbane

If you are coming to Cairns from Brisbane, the drive along the Pacific Coast Way from Brisbane to Cairns will take you approximately 19 hours. This drive links coastal and hinterlands towns as well as major cities all along the east coast and is a fantastic way to experience Queensland at your leisure. Hire cars are available from Brisbane Airport and you can plan the ultimate road trip with this Brisbane to Cairns Itinerary.

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