Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of the indigenous Aboriginal people and is just 15 minutes outside of Cairns in a traditional rainforest setting. Using music, dance and storytelling it immerses visitors into the cultural history of Australia, leaving you feeling inspired.
Cairns Esplanade is the place to go for bars and restaurants at night, as well as its saltwater swimming lagoon with barbecue areas for the day. For nightlife lovers, visit the lively clubs and bars of Lake Street.
Explore the sea. Sign up to a scuba or snorkeling lesson and explore the amazing ocean life, which Cairns and nearby areas are renowned for.
With great sea life, comes great fishing spots! Cairns offers them in abundance. Many operators can show you the ropes and regulations when it comes to fishing in Cairns or for the inexperienced or new angler; there is plenty of Barramundi to catch!
Local markets offer local arts, crafts and produce. Visit Saturday Esplanade market for some great jewellery, beauty products and clothing finds. Other markets include Palm Cove, Holloway Beach, Tanks Market and Rusty’s. Get your retail therapy in.
It’s not just sea adventures on offer for the thrill seekers. Why not try out the white water rafting on the Barron or Tully River?
Still wanting more? There’s horse riding, quad biking, hang gliding, bungy jumping, to name but a few.
When to visit?
Cairns has a wet season and tropical monsoons from November to May and the best time to visit is June to October.
Getting there …
Cairns Airport is located 6 km from the centre. From Europe you can fly via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific directly into Cairns International Airport
It is also a base for far North Queensland bus links.
Reef boat trips depart from Marlin Wharf or Marlin Jetty.
Larger cruise ships dock at Cairns Cruise Terminal. The area is easy to get to by train and car.
With two of the world’s wonders – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest – on the doorstep, Cairns makes the perfect base for any explorer.
Here are just some of the places to visit nearby…
Fitzroy Island National Park is 29 km South-East of Cairns and a ferry ride away. The Park is perfect for hiking or kayaking and possibly the best way to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of unspoilt Australia.
135 million years old, the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest is a must see. The oldest lowland rainforest on the planet offers a great chance to see rare animals and is just a day trip away from central Cairns.
Waterfalls, bridges and tunnels through the rainforest … take a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a breath taking two-hour journey through Barron Gorge National Park.
For a different experience to Cairns, take a visit to the highlands – the Atherton Tableland. A journey here will see you set 1000 metres above sea level and exploring the cooler climate and the quaint town shops and local produce on sale.
Only an hour’s drive from Cairns, the mountain retreat of the Atherton Tablelands is well worth exploring for its unspoilt and natural surroundings and warm and friendly welcome.
Best visited in the low season (December to April), it offers freedom from the city and a refreshing climate. If you prefer the heat, visit from July to November (high season) for some tropical sunshine.
Tourism is an important part of the Tablelands, especially Tinaroo Dam and Yungabuura.
From ancient rainforests to volcanic lakes, national parks and waterfalls, revel in the natural beauty of the area and even try to spot a tree kangaroo!
What can you expect from a visit to Atherton Tablelands?
Gourmet food and wine – renowned for first class dining, this area offers a delight for the palate, with fresh produce and tasty accompanying wines.
Wildlife- Wonderful wildlife offers ample bird watching opportunity. Hastie Swamp or Crystal Caves (Atherton main street) is best for this.
The backdrop – breath-taking waterfalls and rainforest is the perfect tropical setting. Stay in a log cabin or camp to experience it to its fullest.
Quaint villages – dotted around the countryside, historic villages offer accommodation, shopping and dining options to fit all budgets. Enjoy arts and crafts, museums, studios and galleries for a cultural twist to your visit.
Top local attractions and must see places
Rainforestation Nature Park
Rainforestation Nature Park offers native Australian wildlife and conservation, indigenous cultural and a World Heritage listed rainforest on 100 acres (40 hectares of land. It’s not award-winning for nothing!
Located on 13 acres of rainforest, these heritage gardens are situated by Mena Creek Falls. It was built in the 1930’s by Spanish José Paronella and is a unique tourist attraction to the ruins and gardens that have lasted the test of natural disasters.
Granite Gorge Nature Park
Popular for campers and hikers, the park is privately owned and offers natural volcanic scenery and landscape to enjoy and explore.
Mt Mulligan Escarpment
A bit of history here. Mount Mulligan was once a busy coal mining town and home to a disaster in 1921, when an explosion killed 75 miners.
5000 acres of tropical savannah and wetland reserve, with its many wetland creatures and a unique conservation environment.
Yungaburra, a popular tourist destination, is one of the oldest towns in the Tablelands and a village full of charm.
Take a stop on your trip for a picnic and swim in Lake Eacham, situated in Lake Eacham National Park – made 12,000 years ago from volcanic magma.
Enjoy a full day including Green Island and the Cairns Wildlife Dome. Go with the modern catamaran "Reef Rocket" to Green Island where you have 2 hours to explore and enjoy. In the Afternoon you will be taken back to Cairns where you will have an amazing and educational tour, see koalas, barramundi, lizards, birds and crocodiles!