There is plenty to explore on the land and in the water from this popular travel destination.
The Tropical North Queensland city of Cairns offers travellers a myriad of options for exploring some of Australia’s best natural scenery. Whether you want to lay around on the beach, observe local marine life or explore the rainforest, check out the day trips on offer from Cairns to satisfy all types of travellers.
The World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef follows most of the coast of Queensland, but Cairns is the most popular destination from which to explore the spectacular underwater world. On offer are plenty of tour options to take you on the journey to the outer reef, where you can snorkel or dive to view the amazing coral formations and marine life that make up the largest living organism on Earth.
2. The Daintree Rainforest
The other World Heritage Listed destination in Cairns is the Daintree Rainforest, one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth. Once you cross the Daintree River by cable ferry you will be transported into a lush tropical landscape that goes right down to the white sandy beach at Cape Tribulation. Keep your eyes peeled for cassowaries as you explore along the walk tracks that snake through the forest. Enjoy a dip in some of the many freshwater streams that feed the rainforest or take a cruise along the Daintree River to spot some crocodiles and other animals native to the area.
3. Green Island
Just short 45-minute boat trip from Cairns lies Green Island, a tropical island that lives up to its name with lush rainforest vegetation and swaying coconut trees. On offer here is a variety of activities to explore the surrounding reef including snorkelling, glass bottom boat tours and the seawalker helmet. Or you can chill out on the sandy beaches and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
If you want to see turtles in Cairns, Fitzroy Island is your best bet. The island hosts the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where you can see the turtles being cared for by the local volunteers. If you are more interested in observing turtles in their natural habitat, you can snorkel, dive or kayak the waters surrounding the island to spot some as they feed on the seagrass.Beyond turtle spotting, Fitzroy Island is also home to some of the best beaches in Cairns. Nudey Beach, despite the misleading name, is definitely family friendly and well worth the short hike through the rainforest to get to it.
You are definitely going to want to bring your swimmers when you visit the Atherton Tablelands. Waterfalls, creeks, lakes and swimming holes dot the region and offer plenty of opportunities to cool off with a dip in the fresh, clear waters. Popular spots to visit include Millaa Milla Falls, Lake Eacham (where you might even spot a platypus) and the unique Curtain Fig Tree.
6. Port Douglas
Once an exclusive beach resort, Port Douglas now offers some slightly more affordable options for the regular traveller. But even if you don’t plan on staying here, Port Douglas is worth the day trip from Cairns for the sophisticated harborside eateries and stunning Four Mile Beach.
Explore Our Cairns Tours!
1 DAY ATHERTON TABLELANDS TOUR
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FULL DAY FITZROY ISLAND TOUR
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Great Barrier Reef Daytripper Snorkel & Dive Experience
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