A wonderland bursting with sun, sand, and sea; it’s no surprise that Cairns is one of Australia’s most sought after tourist destinations. This tropical paradise boasts a perfect blend of city highlights and natural wonders, but with so many sights to see, where do you start? Have no fear, we’ve compiled our list of the best things to do in Cairns.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    Being one of the seven wonders of the world, it’s safe to say that the Great Barrier Reef is an essential destination for all travellers to Cairns. So grand it is visible from space, it stretches 344,400 square kilometres and is made up of almost 3,000 reefs and 900 islands. It is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, guaranteeing travellers plenty of sightings while visiting. Tour boats travel to the outer reefs every day, offering a range of opportunities to see the corals and marine life. Choose from a classic snorkelling or scuba diving adventure, or perhaps travel to one of the massive pontoons. No matter what you decide, rest assured you’ll enjoy yourself.

  • Daintree Rainforest

    Come face to face with spellbinding beauty at the iconic Daintree Rainforest. Home to an array of ancient plants and animals, the Daintree is one of the oldest rainforests on earth. Simply wander through the thick vegetation and marvel at the extraordinary plant life! Several tours are available to take you on an unforgettable journey through the rainforest, guiding you through the rainforest’s boarded walkways, cascading waterfalls, and ancient trees.

  • Fitzroy Island

    What better way to enjoy the summertime than by spending a day on an unspoilt tropical island? Fitzroy Island is nestled in the vast region of the Great Barrier Reef, offering snorkelling, kayaking, rainforest walks, and more! Tours to the island run daily from Cairns, giving you plenty of opportunities to explore the island. Regardless of whether you want to swim in the sapphire waters, immerse yourself in the lush greenery, or enjoy the Fitzroy Island Resort facilities, this attraction will leave you satisfied.

  • Atherton Tablelands

    Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Cairns city and drive out to the impressive scenery of the Atherton Tablelands. Dotted with waterfalls, ranges, national parks, historic landmarks, there is plenty to explore here. Plunge into the cool waters of Millaa Millaa, recreating Peter Andre’s iconic Mysterious Girl music video, or venture into the greenery, snapping a shot of the incredible Curtain Fig Tree, known as the biggest tree in Queensland. If you’re after a more relaxing journey, simply stop by Lake Eacham to soak up the sun and soothe all your aches and pains in the natural volcanic lake.

  • Port Douglas

    Get away from the crowds of Cairns and enjoy the small-town feel of Port Douglas. Known for being a small seaside town bursting with luxurious attractions and unforgettable experiences, it can be used as a base for your holiday, or as a simple day trip. Relax on the pristine beaches, spoil yourself at the spa, and enjoy a stunning sunset dinner!

  • Green Island

    Out of all the islands nestled within the Great Barrier Reef, Green Island is undoubtedly one of the best since it is the only coral cay that has an entire rainforest growing on top of it! Spend a day immersed in nature, dipping into the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef and wandering Green Island’s lush rainforest. The island is home to more than 120 native plant species and a plethora of bird and animal life-pretty impressive for such a small island!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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