Explore some of Australia’s most popular natural attractions, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, via our online tour.

Located way up north on Australia’s east coast, Cairns is your gateway to many of the incredible natural wonders found in Tropical North Queensland. From the lush and richly diverse environment of the Daintree Rainforest to the enchanting underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns offers visitors extraordinary opportunities to interact with and observe nature at its best. As our tours to the region become available once again post pandemic, you can explore some of the top attractions via our virtual tour.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    The extensive Great Barrier Reef covers more than 2000 kilometres of Queensland’s coastline, and Cairns is one of the most popular locations for travellers to explore this incredible eco-system. The largest living structure on Earth is home to thousands of species of colourful corals, vibrant tropical fish and weird and wonderful sea creatures. Tours to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns will take you to outer reef locations where you can explore this astonishing natural wonder through a variety of activities including snorkelling and diving.

    Jump in the water and start discovering a bright underwater city, inhabited by thousands of interconnected organisms. Observe as vivid fish dart in and out of coral hiding spots or swim about in search of food. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles, reef sharks, giant clams and many other fascinating marine animals as you admire the diversity of the coral gardens. Snorkelling the reef is truly an awesome experience you won’t forget!

  • Daintree Rainforest

    Cairns is your gateway to not one, but two World Heritage Listed natural locations. After you have visited the first one, the Great Barrier Reef, head north to explore the second, the extraordinary Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth and is home to several important and rare primitive plants. Explore the rainforest to discover the astonishing biodiversity and history that makes this area so important.

    Start with a wildlife spotting cruise down the Daintree River where you can observe crocodiles in their natural habitat as they laze about on the riverbanks or lurk stealthily in the water. Once back on land, be on the lookout for another famous inhabitant, the cassowary. This large flightless bird can run at speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour and possesses large sharp claws for defence. But don’t be intimidated by its size and strength, the cassowary is a shy bird and won’t attack unless it feels threatened.

  • Cape Tribulation

    Despite the ominous name, given by Captain Cook after his ship ran aground on the nearby reef, Cape Tribulation is a picturesque promontory where the rainforest comes right down to the beach. You can admire this stunning part of the Daintree, and the reef beyond, from Alexandra Lookout or head down to Cape Tribulation Beach to relax on the soft sands.

  • Atherton Tablelands

    A short 45-minute drive heading west from Cairns takes you to the lush Atherton Tablelands. This plateau in the Great Dividing Range is home to a mix of fertile agricultural land, verdant rainforest and stunning freshwater lakes. Travellers flock to the area to bathe under the picturesque waterfalls, including the iconic Millaa Millaa Falls, splash about in lakes formed in dormant volcano craters and dine on the region’s delicious produce. Wildlife spotting opportunities include the shy platypus and the tree kangaroo. Be sure to enjoy a stop at the Curtain Fig Tree to admire this enormous strangler fig.

  • Fitzroy Island

    The outer reef locations are not the only way to appreciate the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. Take a boat to one of the islands close to the coast for a day relaxing on the pristine beaches, snorkelling the diverse fringing reef or wandering the incredible rainforest. Fitzroy Island, just 29 kilometres from Cairns, offers all these awesome experiences plus more. Relax on the famous Nudey Beach (don’t worry – it’s definitely family friendly) or explore the lush rainforest which covers 97% of the island. The island is also home to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where you can book a tour to observe the wonderful work by volunteers to rescue and restore sick and injured turtles to their full health. Snorkel the surrounding fringe reef to spot turtles in their natural habitat or take a kayaking tour to explore Little Fitzroy Island just off the north coast.

Related article: 6 Best Things To Do in Cairns

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.

Previous article: