Cairns is a tropical getaway to popular destinations like the Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns is a tropical city in North Queensland, close to many popular attractions that can make great day trips during your visit.

Four days in Cairns gives you plenty of time to see the city and the surrounding areas. You’ll be able to go snorkelling, walk through an ancient rainforest, and check out an island!

Day 1 – Explore Cairns

Cairns City itself has so much to offer! From the aquarium to the Botanic Gardens, as well as some amazing beaches, you’ll have plenty to do around the city. Some of the best beaches include Palm Cove Beach, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, and the Esplanade Lagoon.

You could spend a day doing some shopping at the DFO, Raintree Shopping Centre or the Night Markets.

Day 2 – Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a must when you’re in Cairns. There are plenty of tours that take you out to the reefs to snorkel, scuba dive, or helmet dive.

Some tours also have the option to go on a glass bottom boat if you’re not interested in jumping into the water.

A great day adventure with all kinds of upgrade options is the pontoon adventure tour.

Reef with fish and corals

Day 3 – Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation

On day three you can explore one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Queensland, the Daintree Rainforest.

Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world, and it’s about a two-hour drive from Cairns. You can begin the trip at Mossman Gorge, where you can do self-guided or guided Ngaduku Dreamtime Walks to learn about the land and culture of the Kuku Yalanji people.

Inside the rainforest, there is the Daintree River. You can go on a river cruise and spot some crocodiles and other wildlife.

There are different types of walks throughout the Daintree Rainforest. Cape Tribulation also has boardwalks to explore that side of the rainforest.

Cape Tribulation is the coastal part of Daintree with a beautiful beach. The area is rather unique as it’s between two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef.

You can drive yourself from Cairns and see the rainforest and Cape Tribulation. Or if you don’t have a car, jump onboard a guided tour and explore Daintree, Mossman Gorge, and Cape Tribulation all in one go.

Day 4 – Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is a tropical island that is about 30 kilometres from Cairns and takes 45 minutes on a ferry.

Fitzroy Island has a rainforest, beaches, and even views of the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel or swim on selected beaches throughout the island. You can relax on the beach, do self-guided walks, or explore the lush rainforest.

Cairns is the perfect destination for a four-day getaway. But there is always so much more you can do, so be sure to visit Cairns again after this short holiday!

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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