How many days do you need in Cairns?

How many days do you need in Cairns?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/22/2021

Reading time: 4 mins

Cairns is a launchpad for some of Australia’s most astounding natural experiences.

Josephine Falls, Cairns

Cairns is a town that has a serious amount to offer. Experience the endless wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, the sprawling tropical rainforest of the Daintree, and the charming Atherton Tablelands, People who visit Cairns often end up saying they could happily spend their life there. They could enjoy both the city and its gorgeous surroundings.

If you’re short on time, three days is the perfect amount of time to experience this incredible city for all its tropical splendour.

Let’s take a look at what makes Cairns such a special place to visit, and how you can see it all in three days.

Visit the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef sailing

One of the main things that draws people to Cairns is the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. With thousands of kilometres of vibrant coral reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef serves as a home to a wide range of marine species. A visit to this natural wonder is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget.

There are so many ways you can enjoy the reef, that it’s easy to spend an entire day on the water. From swimming to snorkelling, scuba diving to glass bottom boats there are plenty of options for enjoying a day on the water. You can even get sky-high and fly in a helicopter above the Great Barrier Reef!

Traverse the Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest boardwalk

The Daintree Rainforest is an incredible landscape located just outside of Cairns. The Daintree has been growing and evolving for an amazing 180 million years and is home to some of the most unique wildlife found in the country.

Keep your eyes out for cassowaries, the tiger quoll and Bennet’s tree kangaroos. There are many critters unique to the rainforest, which makes for fascinating wildlife spotting. When you’re not hiking, relax on the white sands of one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches at Cape Tribulation. Then, when you feel like going for a swim, take a plunge in one of the many pristine swimming holes.

Enjoy a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands

Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tablelands may not be as instantly recognisable as the Great Barrier Reef or Daintree Rainforest, but they are as every a charming day tour in themselves. It has gorgeous savannas and tropical wetlands that form the backdrop of an awesome day trip from Cairns.

Be sure to head to Paronella Park to check out the ruins and vibrant gardens of the mansion that once stood there. There are also plenty of waterfalls and swimming holes to jump into and take a break from the tropical heat.

Join a Cairns tour

Day tour from Cairns

Cairns is one of Queensland’s top spots to explore the reef, with amazing tours running every day of the year. You can find day trips and even multi-day trips to many locations just outside of the city.

It’s worth exploring Cairns itself, checking out the esplanade, restaurants, and shops. Spend the day checking out the city, taking to the water on a Cairns Harbour dinner cruise. This is a great way to sit back and enjoy a delicious meal while admiring the coastline from a new perspective.

Spend a day on the water with a Great Barrier Reef tour. If you want to explore the reef and spend some time on land, join a tour of one of the nearby islands. Whether you choose to visit Fitzroy Island or Green Island, there is plenty to do for the day. With island hikes, snorkelling hires, a glass bottom boat and more, it’s impossible to go wrong!

As we mentioned earlier, Atherton Tablelands is one of Cairns’ hidden gems. Join our one day Atherton Tablelands tour to experience a true tropical paradise. Take a walk through the rainforest and spot the region’s native flora and fauna. Then, take a dip in the stunning waterfalls and swimming holes. There is even a natural slide made out of rock that you can glide down and into the refreshing water below.

There is plenty to see in Cairns and the surrounding region. If you have some time to explore, be sure to take a few days and experience this tropical wonder!

Related article: Our Other Awesome Cairns Tours Are Available Now

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.