Cairns is one of Australia’s most vibrant cities, being the go-to locale for backpackers and travellers looking to head out to the marvellous Great Barrier Reef, tranquil Atherton Tablelands and stunning Daintree Rainforest!

Visit Cairns

This gorgeous, wonderfully tropical city has plenty of awesome areas for excited newcomers and weary wanderers to rest their heads, with each part of town offering its own unique slice of fun and revelry.

From the buzzing bars, cafes and markets of The Esplanade (great for Cairns newcomers) to the waterfront wonder of the City Centre (the best place to party), to the more budget-friendly Parramatta Park (still so close to town!), located just west of the City Centre, Cairns is home to plenty of spots where the times are good, the vibe is pleasant and the people are friendly.

Now that we’ve got stays out of the way, what are the absolute wonders that await you just outside of this legendary Aussie town, and why do they make Cairns such an important destination to any traveller’s itinerary?

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the true marvel of Aussie travel: a gigantic series of individual coral reef systems that stretch thousands of kilometres up the Queensland coastline!

The Great Barrier Reef, so easily accessible from Cairns, is home to thousands of wondrous, otherworldly fish, sea and coral species, all languidly inhabiting its vibrant blues, yellows, pinks, greens and golds.

Reef diving, snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours depart from Cairns on the absolute regular – all you have to do is book yourself a spot on a catamaran and you’ll be out there in no time!

The Daintree Rainforest

There is something truly special about the Daintree Rainforest, maybe stemming from the fact it’s one of the world’s oldest living ecosystems (a cheeky 180 million years old, in fact).

A journey through the Daintree is a mystifying, awe-inspiring experience, regardless of what activities you undertake to make it so. You can jump on board a croc-spotting river cruise, where a local biologist will point out the prehistoric beasts as well as other unique Daintree wildlife, before taking a guided tour with the Kuku Yalanji people, the traditional (and, happily, once again!) owners of the Daintree Rainforest.

Finish the trek by kicking back and having a dip at Cape Tribulation – easily one of Australia’s most spectacular beaches!

Related article: What is the best month to visit Cairns?

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