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- As the heart of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest, Cairns pulses with energy. More than 600 tours a day make the most of the year-round outdoor lifestyle while world-class sporting events and festivals embrace the cosmopolitan city's vibrant tropical culture.
Energised by nature, Cairns is the place to soak up the tropical lifestyle. Discover an exciting city that takes pride in its cultural heritage and where time seems to last a little longer. Swim at the Esplanade lagoon, sample local produce at a farmer's market, enjoy free entertainment, shop for a summer wardrobe or cruise around the marina.
Take a tip from the locals for a cool dip at a secluded freshwater swimming hole, jump on a bike for a sightseeing tour along the city's network of cycle paths, marvel at tropical plants in the Botanic Gardens, browse the galleries or catch an act in a unique rainforest venue.
After dark choose a lively bar for drinks, taste local seafood at an award-winning restaurant, party on a dance floor, discover treasures at the markets or watch a local cultural show.
Choose from a wide range of accommodation including five-star international hotels, luxurious resorts, waterfront apartments, family-friendly motels and fun backpacker hostels.
The compact city is easy to get around and has the reef, rainforest and outback on its doorstep. With the Cairns International and Domestic airports only 10 minutes from the Central Business District, Cairns is the ideal entry point for a Tropical North Queensland adventure.
Travel from the city's Reef Fleet Terminal to the Great Barrier Reef and its islands, raft the white water rapids in the rainforest, step back in time with a train ride to Kuranda or treat your tastebuds to one of the many food and wine trails on the Atherton Tablelands.
Whether you want to flirt with adventure or be enchanted by exotic experiences, Cairns has it all.
[Things to do]
Cairns and Port Douglas
- Home to two World Heritage-listed natural wonders and boasting a unique environment where Australia's largest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns & Port Douglas are natural hotspots for tropical experiences and nature-based adventure. There’s enough reef, sun, and wildlife to keep you occupied for a lifetime.
•Get a birds-eye view and soar above the Daintree Rainforest and Ribbon Reefs before touching down on your very own sand cay in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef for a picnic lunch.
•For the adventure of a lifetime, join a minke whale research expedition and swim with dwarf minke whales.
•Go on a coral reef walkabout underwater and keep your hair dry! With tours available from Green Island and Moore Reef, it’s an amazing way to see coral creatures and critters up close.
•Take the plunge and learn to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. For the ultimate experience, combine your course with an all-inclusive liveaboard trip to the outer reefs and experience what rush hour traffic is like on the largest reef in the world.
Great Barrier Reef
- A trip to Tropical North Queensland wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef. From remote and unspoilt wilderness to unforgettable marine encounters, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
•Explore untouched coral cays and delve into Indigenous history in the Torres Strait Islands
•Swim with dwarf minke whales and maybe even learn some whale talk
•Visit the remote Haggerstone Island where you can snorkel and bask in the sun until your heart is content
•Take a walk underwater at Green Island whilst keeping your hair dry or experience the beauty of Fitzroy Island
•Snorkel some of the world’s most beautiful reefs at Lizard Island
•Dive the world famous Cod Hole and explore stunning ribbon reefs
•Enjoy a helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef to Vlassof Cay for a private picnic