Welcome to Cairns


Old salts claim Cairns has lost its soul, but it does have an infectious holiday vibe. The city centre is more boardshorts than briefcases, and you'll find yourself throwing away all notions of speed and schedules here, thanks to heady humidity and a hearty hospitality that can turn a short stroll into an impromptu social event. Fittingly, Cairns is awash with bars, clubs, eateries and cafes suiting all budgets. There's no beach in town, but the magnificent Esplanade Lagoon more than makes up for it; otherwise, the northern beaches are but a local bus ride or short drive away.


Top experiences in Cairns

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Cairns activities

$122.11 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Your Great Barrier Reef experience begins in the morning with one of the fastest trips to the reef from the Cairns mainland, covering the distance in a little over an hour. After checking in, step aboard your deluxe boat, which holds a maximum of 100 people, including expert guides who make sure that you are comfortable throughout the day. When you arrive at the reef, head to two prime locations to take in colorful schools of fish and coral gardens. Your guides help you to get outfitted with snorkel and scuba diving equipment, and provide instruction and encouragement to newcomers and experienced people alike. Your friendly and knowledgeable crew is always available to help nervous snorkelers or divers enjoy their time in the water. Marvel at the incredible richness and diversity of marine life as you snorkel at two prime sites on the Great Barrier Reef. If you prefer to stay dry, sit back and enjoy the new semi-submersible tour (payable on the day) with full commentary provided. Spend five hours at the Great Barrier Reef, with an excellent buffet lunch served on the boat. The spread features an Australian barbecue with fresh fish, steak, and sausages, plus a selection of pastas, salads, and prawns.The guides choose from 12 exclusive moorings at six reef locations based on weather conditions and water clarity, to ensure the best experience for all activities. Generally, the tour goes to one of the true Outer Great Barrier Reef locations in the morning (Norman Reef or Saxon Reef) then heads to North Hastings Reef in the afternoon for the helicopter flights and glass bottom boat tour.As you return to the mainland after a full day in paradise, snack on a cheese and tropical fruit platter while members of your talented crew provide live music and entertainment — a fun and memorable end to an amazing day!

$121.37 Day Trips & Excursions

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns

Discover Tropical North Queensland on a day trip from Cairns to Kuranda, a rainforest village known for its markets, wildlife attractions and lush surrounding landscape. In order to do what interests you most, you have your choice of the five tour options described below in the Itinerary section — make your selection when booking.All tours include a one-way ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and a one-way ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (direction of each depends on option selected), as well as hotel pickup and drop-off in Cairns and the northern beaches. All tours also include free time in Kuranda so you can explore the village however you wish. Shop at the markets, enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants, or checkout Australian wildlife at Birdworld, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or Kuranda Koala Gardens, where you can see one of nature’s cutest creatures (food, drinks and entrance fees are at your own expense, unless stated otherwise).Kuranda Scenic Railway: The one-way train ride is approximately 1.5 hours. Hear about the pioneering history of the region from the onboard commentary, and admire spectacular views of the landscape that includes mountains, waterfalls and rainforest. Pass through Barron Gorge National Park, stopping for a photo op at the gorge, and cross Stoney Creek Bridge. When you reach the Kuranda train station, notice its tropical gardens and heritage-listed building. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Glide over the rainforest in a 6-passenger gondola, admiring unbeatable views as you pass over the peak of the mountain range. During the 4.5-mile (7.5-km) ride, stop twice along the way to hop out and explore the environment. Walk along a boardwalk on the forest floor, take photos from scenic lookouts and visit the interpretive center.

$14.06 Transfers & Ground Transport

Cairns Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel

Start your holiday or business trip off right with a worry-free pickup from Cairns Airport (CNS) and transport by shared shuttle to most hotels in the area of Cairns city, the Northern Beaches, Port Douglas and Silky Oaks Lodge. Your driver meets you at the airport and welcomes you aboard the comfortable coach. After all passengers have boarded, your professional driver whisks you to your destination in Cairns city, the Northern Beaches, Port Douglas and Silky Oaks Lodge. When making a booking, please provide your flight details and the full name and address of your hotel. Once your transfer is confirmed, you'll receive a travel voucher to present to your driver—it's that easy. Remember to book your return transfer too.Hotel drop-offs in: Cairns City hotels Cairns South hotels including All Season Cairns Gateway, Trinity Links Woree, Cairns Reef Apartments and Motel, Cairns Tropical Gardens Motel, Cairns Villa and Cairns Sunland Leisure Park and Palm Royale Cairns, and other properties south of the railway tracks in the direction of Mulgrave Road Port Douglas hotels Northern Beaches hotels (Trinity Beach, Palm Cove and Ellis Beach) Silky Oaks Lodge (Mossman)—transfers only available between 8am and 5pm Please note: Transfers are not available to Cape Tribulation and Mission Beach

$71.78 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

The beautiful coral cay of Green Island is a protected Marine National Park, topped with emerald rainforest and surrounded by white sandy beaches and magnificent coral reefs. The marine life includes endless varieties of colorful fish, turtles, giant clams, shells, starfish and sea anemones. Green Island is 15 nautical miles (27 kilometers) from Cairns, and you'll cruise there aboard an air-conditioned catamaran with spacious, luxurious cabins and decks to enjoy Queensland's warm, tropical climate. En route to Green Island you'll see a snorkeling demonstration and an informative presentation on how you can make the most of your day on Green Island. There are so many activities to choose from: glass-bottom boat tours, semi-submarine coral viewing tours, scuba diving and supervised snorkeling trips. A buffet lunch is served aboard the catamaran for those who have chosen this option and a licensed bar offers refreshments throughout the day. You can also visit Green Island Resort to browse through the shops and use the facilities, including showers, change rooms and restrooms. canoes, surf skis, sailboards, shade umbrellas and beach lounge chairs are available for hire. The island also has short walking tracks through the national park. There are two departure times to choose from, 9am or 11am and different package options to select from. You have the flexibility to mix and match the inclusions to make this Green Island experience suit your needs. From a cruise only package that includes a glass bottom boat tour or the use of snorkeling equipment to the ultimate Green Island experience which is also inclusive of transfers from your Cairns hotel, a buffet lunch and semi-submarine tour, the choice is yours.

$132.47 Day Trips & Excursions

Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation Tour from Cairns

After pickup from your hotel, travel by comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle north along the coast, taking in rugged mountains to one side and miles of golden sand and crystal clear waters to the other.When you reach Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, disembark to explore the wildlife park, which features native Australian wildlife in rainforest, wetlands and grasslands exhibits. See the critters up close, including cassowaries, tree-kangaroos, crocodiles, koalas and a variety of birds. You can even hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies. Next, travel another 15 minutes north to Mossman Gorge, located in the southern section of Daintree National Park. Your guide shares informative commentary as you take a leisurely walk through the rainforest to viewing decks above the Mossman River. Learn about how local Kuku Yalanji people utilize forest plants for food, shelter and medicine and look for wildlife such as the Ulysses butterfly and Boyd's forest dragon.Continue up the coast to Cape Tribulation, using the Daintree River Ferry to cross the river. Stop at the Mt Alexandra Lookout for spectacular views that extend on a clear day from the Daintree Rainforest and Daintree River across the Coral Sea to the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.Arrive at Cape Tribulation and enjoy a delicious lunch at Cape Tribulation Beach House. For your main course, choose from locally caught barramundi (fish), steak or a vegetarian option, accompanied by garden salad, chips, fresh-baked bread and tropical fruit. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the white sands of the world famous beach. You can swim in the Coral Sea (in season), cool off in the rainforest pool at Cape Tribulation Beach House or stroll along the beach and boardwalk. Then return to the Daintree River for a 1-hour cruise in calm waters. Be on the lookout for birds, butterflies, reptiles and saltwater crocodiles, and marvel at the tall mangroves that line the banks.After the river cruise, your guide returns you to your hotel with a brief stop at Rex Lookout between Port Douglas and Cairns.

$273.07 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Choose from three options for your Great Barrier Reef experience. Fly by helicopter in and out of the reef for a 4-hour excursion; fly there and return by boat for a 4.5-hour round-trip. Or get the most time on the reef if you choose the full-day excursion, traveling to the reef by boat and spending five hours exploring there before returning by helicopter to Cairns in the afternoon. More details are in the Itinerary below.All options spend time on the Great Barrier Reef aboard a deluxe boat that holds a maximum of 100 people, with 18 expert guides to show you the amazing underwater world. If you take the boat from Cairns in the morning, when you arrive at the reef you stop at two prime locations to see multi-colored coral gardens and schools of fish. Your friendly guides assist you with your snorkel or scuba diving equipment, and provides encouragement and instruction to both newcomers and experienced participants.If you are a nervous first-time snorkeler or diver, your guides do their best to help you feel comfortable and enjoy your experience. Even non-swimmers can get in the water and see the reef!You have a choice of included and optional activities on this tour. If you want to learn to scuba dive, a 10-minute SCUBA demonstration is included, allowing you to try it out before purchasing the introductory dive course. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience one of the world’s top locations for diving! (Available only on the morning boat cruise)If you already have your scuba diving certification, you can scuba dive as many as three times at two different locations during the full-day excursion, plus have plenty of time for snorkeling or relaxation between dives. Simply book the dives when you are on the boat. All dive gear and dive computers are provided.Depending on the day’s weather conditions and water clarity, your guides choose from 12 exclusive moorings at six locations for the best possible experience for all activities. Generally, in the morning the boat visits one of the true Outer Great Barrier Reef locations (Saxon Reef or Norman Reef). In the afternoon you then head to North Hastings Reef for more snorkeling and helicopter flight connections.For lunch, enjoy a tasty Australian barbecue buffet served on the boat. Select from a spread consisting of fresh fish, sausages and steak, accompanied by a selection of salads, pastas and prawns.After a memorable visit to the Great Barrier Reef, return to the mainland by boat or helicopter in the afternoon. If you return by boat, snack on a tropical fruit and cheese platter while your talented crew provides live musical entertainment.