The gateway to Queensland’s tropical north, Cairns has always been a crowd pleaser.

Easy-going vibes with a dash of urban chic, there is really no need to rush in this seaside oasis. Cairns City has always been a crowd-pleaser. Namely, for the Great Barrier Reef, lush rainforests and world heritage national parks that are a veritable playground for outdoor enthusiasts. But before you strap on your hiking boots or don your diving gear, take a moment to explore Cairns; Australia’s northernmost city that has a small-town feel with world-class facilities.
An in-demand holiday destination, Cairns City has a year-round summer vibe. Its ever-growing roster of foodie and bar hangouts take full advantage of its locale, from the fresh trawler seafood to cocktails made from tropical fruits. Cairns also keeps pace with its southern neighbours with on-trend kombucha bars, health cafés and quirky eats. As a hangout, the foreshore nails it with waterfront dining and bars as well as shopping, parklands, a walkway and the ever-popular swimming lagoon that is suited to Cairns’ year-round balmy weather.
And although there are no beaches in Cairns City itself, there are plenty nearby, like Trinity Beach. But the big attention seekers of Far North Queensland are the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest – the only place on earth where two world heritage sites collide. There is plenty of tour, cruise, diving and snorkelling operators willing to take you on an exploration unlike any other. And for those who want a jolt of adrenalin, there is white-water rafting, canyoning, skydiving, trekking, abseiling, bungy jumping and quad biking. 

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Cairns Beaches
Bounded by the Coral Coast, Cairns’ beaches are a wonder within themselves.
Even though you have to head out of the city centre to bask along the glorious sun-kissed beaches, when you do, you will be well rewarded with calm waters, stunning views and seaside towns. A standout is Trinity Beach, just 30-minutes north of Cairns City. It’s a laidback local hangout that caters well to the area’s growing tourism, with plenty of resorts, restaurants and bars.
Daintree Rainforest
A tropical rainforest that’s just begging to be explored.
A two-hour drive north of Cairns City, Daintree Rainforest makes for an incredible day-trip. Overflowing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and home to the most diverse range of plants and animals in the world. Spot Saltwater Crocodiles along Daintree River, hike the tropical lowland forest and marvel at Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef. Literally.
The Great Barrier Reef
A stunning reef system of epic proportions.
The Great Barrier Reef is Cairns, if not Australia’s, biggest drawcard. A reef system that traverses a whopping 2,300 kilometres, this gem of a place (that can be seen from outer space) has rightfully earned its place as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. There’s no need to hold back here, gear up and dive into one impressive underwater world.
Palm Cove
A slice of paradise along the shores of the Coral Sea
A relaxed seaside village with world-class facilities, this resort town (a short 25-minute drive from Cairns City) has it all – boutique shopping, global eats, a patrolled beach, revered fishing spots, and a palm-fringed esplanade. With access to Macalister Range National Park, and day-trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Palm Cove is an ideal base to explore Far North Queensland.
Food & Bar Scene
Brunch hotspots to late-night hangouts, Cairns City delivers in a big way.
Grafton, Spence and surrounding streets are a standout for the thriving multicultural café, bar and dining scene. South-East Asian cuisine is in abundance and locals rave about Rusty’s Market, Caffiend, Jafflehead and The Conservatory Bar. When you want to take it up a notch, the foreshore offers waterfront dining and bars (Raw Prawn, Rocco, Gin Social and Greenfields, to name a few).
Island Hopping
Why stop at one, when you can island-hop to many.
Cairns City is the launching pad for some seriously good island hopping. Head to Fitzroy Island for sea kayaking and snorkelling, Green Island for tropical beaches, Hinchinbrook Island for isolated beaches and Bedarra and Lizard Island for reef access.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture
Discover a culture that is at one with the land.
Discover Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture at the Tjapukai Cultural Centre in Smithfield, and nearby Rainforestation Nature Park in Karunda. At Tjapukai Cultural Centre you will learn all about traditional weapons, tools, bush tucker, song and dance.
A mountain village with an arty edge.
Head 30-minutes inland to Kuranda, a mountain village within a tropical rainforest. Known for its vibrant arts community, Karunda's markets (open daily) are the place to nab some locally-made souvenirs. Our advice? Stop at the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway on the way for some impressive views and a neat train experience.
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