Cairns is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. From the city itself, you can pick up a cruise to take you out on to the calm lagoon of the ocean and spot mesmerising marine life and tropical island scenery.
But it’s not just the Great Barrier Reef that draws visitors in. In fact, Cairns city has plenty to offer tourists, from delectable restaurants and cosy cafes, to an array of boutique stores and fun activities.
Here are some of the best things to do in and around Cairns City.
1. The Great Barrier Reef
This list wouldn’t be complete without the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the main draw of the region, sprawling all along the tropical Queensland coastline. Here, you can dive, snorkel, or swim amongst the magical underwater world and learn more about this unique, biodiverse area.
2. Cairns Esplanade
In the city itself, you can get a different view of the water. At the Cairns Esplanade, Boardwalk, and Lagoon, you can kick back and relax with stunning views and take a dip in the man-made pool to cool off in the warm Australian sun.
3. Experience Aboriginal Culture
The Aboriginal history surrounding Cairns is fascinating, diving back centuries and weaving together a rich tapestry of stories, myths, and legends. At the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park (set just 15 minutes outside of Cairns), you can learn all about Indigenous experiences in the region through performances, storytelling, and eye-catching exhibits.
4. Flecker Botanic Gardens
For a natural encounter with Cairns City, head to the Flecker Botanic Gardens, where you can wander through lush greenery and soak up the delicious smells. Check out the selection of rainforest plants on display, and learn more about Aboriginal plant usage in the dedicated Indigenous section.
5. Rusty’s Market
Cairns city is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two at the many markets that open their doors on the weekend. At Rusty’s, you can stroll around stalls piled high with handmade goods and delicious treats whilst getting an insight into local life.
6. Rainforest Treks
Cairns’ close proximity to the rainforest makes it ideal for a hike through lush undergrowth. In the nearby Daintree Rainforest, you can spot exotic plants and native animals, while doing once-in-a-lifetime activities, like gently cruising down the picturesque Daintree River and crocodile spotting.
Cairns is a great place to soak up the different sides of Australia – from the gorgeous ocean, to the lush surrounding rainforests and bustling city life.