Cairns and Northern Beaches

Cairns

Famed for its first-class access to the nation’s biggest drawcards, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, these world-heritage sites stamp Cairns on the map as Australia’s nature capital with some serious adventure game.

No matter who you are or how long you’re there, Cairns is a bucket list destination that speaks for itself when it comes to flaunting its natural assets. You could be rubbing fins with Nemo while you snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, surfing your way through the jungle of the Daintree Rainforest or hammock-side on a tropical island all within a day. 

Things to do in Cairns

Whether you’re gliding above the rainforest, meeting the local wildlife or learning about the indigenous history of the region, Cairns is brimming with nature and adventure experiences for every sized explorer. See these top 10 Cairns experience to add to your itinerary.

  • Go White Water Rafting on the Tully River
  • Bungee jump on a bike with AJ Hackett
  • Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway before descending into the world-heritage listed rainforest
  • Learn about indigenous history with Walkabout Cultural Adventures, Mungalla Aboriginal Tours or Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk
  • Check out the Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome for some family fun
  • Go Croc spotting with Daintree River Cruises
  • Swim, socialise and let the kids run free at Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
  • Take a trip to Babinda Boulders and hire a kayak
  • Explore Josephine Falls and swim in the refreshing waters of this natural swimming hole
  • Take the family for a joy ride at the Smithfield MTB Park

Plan your holiday

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Camperman Australia Cairns

Multiple Locations
From AU$690 - 1500
Diverse landscapes, unique wildlife, pristine white-sand beaches. Australia is travel heaven and the best way to take it all in is by Campervan. At Camperman Australia – a family owned business – we have over 20 years’ of Campervan hire (Campervan rental) experience to ensure your journey is not only hassle-free, but one of the highlights of your life.

maui motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$109 - 556
The maui experience is all about indulging yourself on a journey of discovery and authentic experiences in comfort and style. Indulge by taking the scenic route. Stay longer, because you can, and learn more about the world around you.

JUCY Rentals Cairns

Portsmith, Cairns Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. They pride themselves on offering unique and exciting solutions in every market they enter. Pick up your JUCY wheels in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane or Cairns and get amazing service before you get out on the road.

Cairns Luxury Coaches

Bungalow, Cairns Area
Cairns Luxury Coaches offers a reliable, punctual and friendly coach charter service for any occasion. They provide luxury chauffeur driven coaches including a range of Scania coaches that are environmentally friendly.

TransLink Cairns

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$2.40 - 8.20
TransLink, through the Department of Transport and Main Roads, together with Sunbus Cairns, the local operator, are responsible for managing public transport in Cairns and surrounding suburbs. Visit the website and use the online journey planner to help plan your trip.

Apollo Motorhome Holidays Cairns

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$0 - 0
Apollo Motorhome Holidays has been helping holidaymakers embark on unforgettable road trips for more than 30 years. They offer a wide range of quality rental vehicles throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and the UK.

Awesome Van and Camper Hire Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$40 - 150
Awesome Campervans - Budget Campervans. Awesome Campers is for the backpackers and budget travellers looking for a great way to travel Australia. There is no cheaper way to travel Australia than in one of their Awesome Campers.

Camperman Australia Cairns

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$57 - 199
Camperman Australia is an East Coast based campervan hire company with a depot network including Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Camperman provides independent travellers the opportunity to explore Australia from any of their eight depot locations on the East coast.

Cruisin Motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
Cruisin’ Motorhomes is an expert travel business with a personal touch and years of experience. We are a home-grown hire company offering a range of fully-equipped campervans and motorhomes – the ideal vehicles for self-driven adventures across Australia.

Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre

Cairns, Cairns Area
The Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre is located on 51 The Esplanade in Cairns. This accredited visitor information centre offers a one stop shop for travel information including maps, brochures, and itineraries.
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Great Barrier Reef

Stretching over 2300kms, the Great Barrier Reef consists of 900 islands and 2900 individual reefs so as you can imagine, the ways you tick off this bucket list item is extensive, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

Whether you choose to sail, scuba, snorkel, cruise, fly, skydive or island hop, on, in or over the Great Barrier Reef, you can guarantee there is an experience for whatever floats your boat. 

Here are some of the best ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns:

  • Scuba or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and tick off the Great Eight marine animals to see
  • Take a scenic flight over the reef and witness the beauty from above
  • For the adrenaline junkie, skydive from the highest tandem jump in Australia
  • Go by boat or heli to Vlasoff Cay for the most picturesque picnic spot on the reef
  • Sail to Michaelmas and Upolu Cays
  • Swim and sleep on the reef with Sunlover by Starlight
  • See the reef without getting your hair wet and helmet dive with Seawalker Green Island
  • Take a day trip to a pontoon for reef-viewing and exploration

Cairns tours

Cairns is brimming with nature experiences, and tours are the best way to see as much as you can.

Deciding how you should experience the greatest reef on earth? Check out which Great Barrier Reef Tour is for you.

To learn about the fascinating indigenous history of Tropical North Queensland look at some of these indigenous tours.

The adventure capital will certainly deliver some of the best adrenaline experiences to really get your tummy turning with our guide for adventure packed things to do in Cairns

From the Blog

Cairns accommodation

Whether you are after budget accommodation or you can splash some cash on something a little la-de-da, Cairns has you covered. 

For an all-inclusive 5-star experience where kids under 12 can stay and eat breakfast for free, rest your head at the Pullman Reef Resort and Casino.  If your tribe is looking for a more resort-like vibe, you can’t go past the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort with its lagoon style pool and epic pool bar menu.  Enjoy views of the Coral Sea and stay at Waters Edge Apartments Cairns on the Esplanade. Other accommodation options include the Mantra Trilogy and the Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort.

For a true Great Barrier Reef experience, jump on a boat, switch your watch to island time and holiday in impeccable style on Fitzroy Island or Green Island.

If you’re coming to Cairns for a good time not a long time, there are a bunch of backpacker options to suit any budget. Check out Nomads Cairns or Cairns Central YHA for a central place to hit the sack and save your dollars for the more important experiences in the region.

How to get there

International airport

Cairns Airport is the fifth busiest airport in Australia and an international gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The Cairns Esplanade is just over 10 minutes from Cairns Airport and there are plenty of transportation options to get you from the airport to your hotel.

You can take the Airport Connect for $4 one way or $6 return which links Cairns Airport with the public transport network at the Sheridan Street bus stops. From here Translink offer services to Cairns City or Northern Beaches for a minimum of $2.20 for an adult single fare.

There are also a range of airport shuttle services, hire car options or ride share and taxi options if you prefer a more direct route into Cairns from the airport.

From Brisbane

If you are coming to Cairns from Brisbane, the drive along the Pacific Coast Way from Brisbane to Cairns will take you approximately 19 hours. This drive links coastal and hinterlands towns as well as major cities all along the east coast and is a fantastic way to experience Queensland at your leisure. Hire cars are available from Brisbane Airport and you can plan the ultimate road trip with this Brisbane to Cairns Itinerary.

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