When people think Cairns they think the Great Barrier Reef, right?

Cairns Harbour at Night

Right. Yes, Cairns is the jumping point for this most spectacular natural wonder, the place where you can head out for some of the most awe-inspiring sightseeing extravaganzas you’re ever likely to see.

But Cairns is also home to a wealth of awesome activities that make it so much more than the gorgeous marine wonderland that lies off its coast.

But because you only have three days in this tropical jewel, let’s get started with the reef, shall we?

  • Dive, snorkel or glass bottom boat the Barrier Reef

    Yes, the Great Barrier Reef is Cairns’ main drawcard: a vibrant marine sanctuary that is home to thousands of species of unique fish and colourful coral as far as the goggled eye can see. Whether you’re snorkelling the inner reef, diving the outer reef or touring the whole sanctuary in a glass bottom boat, the Great Barrier Reef is on any nature lover’s to-do list and with fine reason. There are a range of great options for visiting the reef, from full day snorkelling adventures to magical cruises, island adventures and multi-day dives.

  • Experience the pristine beauty of Kuranda Rainforest

    Venturing out north-west of Cairns is the Kuranda Rainforestation Nature Park, renowned for its lush vegetation, steep ravines and jaw dropping waterfalls. Part of the joy of this experience is the trip out there, with the Kuranda Scenic Railway weaving and ducking through this ancient rainforest. You can even take in a Dreamtime Walk with local Indigenous guides, where you will be able to try your hand at boomerang throwing and test your musical ability on the didgeridoo.

  • Hop aboard a hot air balloon

    The Atherton Tablelands situated outside of Cairns are a beautiful, fertile region of the Great Dividing Range. The best way to see them? By hot air balloon, of course. Jump aboard one of these magnificent modes of transport and take in the Tablelands in the serene morning light (it’s cooler at the time of day, too).

  • Cool off in the waterfalls

    Cairns is hot and everyone knows it! Luckily, the city is not short of a few waterfalls just outside the city and waiting to cool off toasty travellers. Check out the Crystal Cascades for a peaceful swimming experience, or head out to Josphine Falls for a dip and a spot of sunbathing.

Related article: When’s the best time to visit Cairns?

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