Cairns is a joyous tropical city that is not only heaps of fun in itself, but also serves as the jumping point to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and Atherton Tablelands.
Whether you’re enjoying the city’s vibrant splendour or heading out to one (or all!) of these natural wonderlands, Cairns has plenty to offer in and around town!
There really is no “best month” to visit Cairns: it’s an amazing place to visit year-round. But if you want the very best of the tropical weather and want to avoid an influx of jellyfish in the reef, the best time to visit is in the dry months between June and October.
But if you’re looking to head to Cairns on a budget and with fewer crowds, the best time to visit is in the shoulder months (April/May or September/October), or the wet season from November to March.
However, the wet season is exactly that: wet, really wet, and the region is known to throw up some pretty wild tropical storms. So, if you are happy to brave the often-gnarly extremities and aren’t afraid of the odd downpour (they can actually be very refreshing), there is a chance you will have some of Far North Queensland’s most vibrant natural spots all to yourself!
So, it all comes down to a little travel dilemma: are you keen on gorgeous weather with higher prices and more crowds? Or, are you one that is not afraid of a little extra heat, tropical extremes, fewer crowds and cheaper prices?
The choice is yours, either way, you will be able to enjoy these most stunning Aussie wonderlands…
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s tourism gem: a giant 2,300km coral reef system that can actually be seen from outer space! It’s safe to say the reef makes Cairns such an incredible place, with countless tours leaving for the reef every day of the year.
Explore this incredible, surreal ecosystem via snorkel, diving, glass bottom boat, even helicopter! Whatever mode of transport you take, you will not be disappointed.
The Daintree Rainforest
Such a majestic oceanic reef has to be matched by something on its corresponding land, and the Daintree Rainforest is no expectation. This sprawling ecosystem is older than the Amazon itself, and is home to thousands of unique species, many ubiquitous to the forest itself.
The Atherton Tablelands
The Atherton Tablelands, whilst not as instantly recognisable as its reef and rainforest counterparts, is another incredible experience just outside of Cairns. See lush wetlands, giant savannahs and beautiful gardens dotting the landscape, as well as Paronella Park, the decaying ruins of a mansion that never quite came to fruition – it’s a beautiful, almost eerie experience!
Related article: Cairns is open and waiting for you!