Exploring Cairns in Five Days (+ things to do!)

Cairns, considered the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is a city in tropical Far North Queensland. Its Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tells the stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with music and dance. Cairns Esplanade, lined with bars and restaurants, has a swimming lagoon. Northwest of the city, Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches. There’s just so much to do in Cairns and the surrounding area so I have whittled it down to the very best the region has to offer….

Things to do in Cairns Australia

Things to do in Cairns

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

7.5-km rides in enclosed gondolas over rainforest canopy, with walks at 2 stations along the way.

Kuranda Scenic Railway

Rainforest views aboard a historic train – Opened in 1891, this railway tour aboard classic cars travels through protected tropical rainforest.

Palm Cove, Queensland

Beach, coral reef, crocodile, rainforest and snorkeling – all things you will find at Palm Cove. Palm Cove is a beachside suburb of Cairns in the Cairns Region, Queensland, Australia. It is 27 kilometres north of the city of Cairns. It is named after the palm trees that line the beach.

Barron Falls

The Barron Falls is a steep tiered cascade waterfall on the Barron River located where the river descends from the Atherton Tablelands to the Cairns coastal plain.

Things to do in Cairns Australia

Dive the Barrier Reef

Take a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. There are hundreds, upon hundreds of cruising options, including visits to some of the best dive sites in the world. Sign up to do your PADI or simply go for an afternoon snorkelling, the choices are endless. Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is the only living organism that can be seen from the moon!

Visit the rainforest at Daintree Forest

Visit the rainforest with one of the dozens of tour companies that drive backpackers up to Northern Queensland. It is one of the oldest rain forests on the planet, and is one of the most beautiful. If you love it, stay a few nights in Cape Tribulation and really take in everything the rainforest has to offer.

Slide down a waterfall in Tablelands

Tour through the ancient volcanic Tropical Tablelands region where you can visit waterfalls, swim in lakes and get to see hundreds of platypus!

Things to do in Cairns Australia

Sunbathe on the lagoon

If you fancy a chill day simply take a bottle of water and a towel and head down to the Esplanade where you can relax by the lagoon and soak up the sun. Wear factor 50 though as it gets super-hot even in early summer.

Brave the rapids

The Tully river is one of, if not the best, rapids river in the world so take advantage.

Jump out of a plane

Skydiving is beautiful in this part of the world and you have many choices, from doing it in Cairns or taking a two hour bus journey down to the beautiful Mission Beach where you can jump out of a plane and take in the views of the Great Barrier Reef in your free fall.

The nightlife

Experience Cairns at night by grabbing a drink from one of Cairn’s funky bars, grabbing some food in a brilliant restaurant or dancing the night away in one of the many nightclubs. Also check out the market and the Fun in the Sun festival!


Heading to Cairns to check out some of the beautiful spots this area has to offer? The guys at RatPack Travel can help you choose tours and even better, get you 10% off all trips and transport using my exclusive promo code “SOPHIE10“! To book your next tour contact Sammy at [email protected].

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