Our most recommended things to do in Cairns
1. From Cairns: Private Rainforest and Nocturnal Wildlife Tour
You'll be picked up by your own private driver/tour guide from your accommodation in Cairns or Northern Beaches, before heading south to view the agile wallabies that live within the city limits. Make a second stop at the Cathedral Fig Tree, an 8,000-year-old Strangler fig with a giant root system. Enjoy afternoon tea at the world-renowned Lake Barrine, before taking a guided walk through the rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for musky rat-kangaroo, Boyd's forest dragon, rainforest birds, butterflies and flying foxes. After a quick stop at Lake Eacham, visit a platypus viewing area in Yungaburra for a high chance of seeing this unique mammal. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a restaurant in the township of Yungburra before your nighttime spotlighting adventure begins. Walk under the night stars and into the rainforest. Look out for Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo, northern leaf-tailed gecko, ring...
2. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Return Catamaran Transfer
Depart from Cairns Marina and visit Fitzroy Island, a national park covered in lush tropical rainforest and boasting granite outcrops, open woodlands, mangroves, coral beaches. Walk to the lighthouse, dine at the restaurant, or relax at the famous Nudey Beach, voted the best beach in Australia. This return catamaran transfer gives you 5 hours to explore paradise at your own pace. Check in at Cairns Marina is between 8:30 AM and 9:15 AM. Enjoy tea and coffee on board the vessel before your departure. At 9:30 AM, depart Cairns Marina for Fitzroy Island. Enjoy the ferry ride to Fitzroy Island on an air-conditioned catamaran. Travel for just 45 minutes until you are there. Arrive at Fitzroy Island at 10:15 AM. On arrival, enjoy over 5 hours on the island. With up to 5 hours free time you will be able to explore the island through self-guided rainforest walks to the summit, lighthouse, secr...
A great day at Fitzroy Island. Couldn't believe we saw a turtle up close in the ocean. Amazing.
3. From Cairns: Fitzroy Island Full-Day Adventure Tour
Fitzroy Island was once part of mainland Australia, before being separated by rising waters. Over time a fringing coral reef surrounded the island, providing a sheltered home to a variety of fish and coral species. Explore this marine wonderland on a day tour from Cairns, crossing by ferry to enjoy wilderness hiking trails and snorkeling adventures. Choose from a range of packages, including transfers for you to explore on your own, or a package including snorkel or glass-bottom boat activities. Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure. The fast catamaran departs from the Marlin Marina, with check-in at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal. Cruise south along the calm waters of ...
We had a great day. The crew were fantastic. Lots of fun. Def would recommend it.
4. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail
On this 7-hour excursion, you’ll visit the beautiful village of Kuranda, nestled in pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. You will be picked up from your hotel (in the Cairns city area) in a modern and comfortable coach and travel to the train station. Climb aboard the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and take in views of the surrounding mountains along the way to Kuranda. Rising from sea level to 328 meters, the journey to Kuranda passes spectacular waterfalls and then takes you into the stunning Barron Gorge. Enjoy 2.5 hours of free time to explore the markets, shops and walking trails or take a river cruise (seasonal). Discover the amazing array of food stalls and cafés or dine with the resident water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant, famous for their freshly made sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5 kilometers over the pristine rainforest canopy. This is...
A smooth and insightful journey. The contrast of industrial transport amongst the daunting natural landscape was thrilling.
5. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat Snorkel Tour
Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this full-day snorkel tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun. These are just a few of the many activities available at Green Island. The friendly crew will help you organize your day to make the most of your time at this stunning Marine National Park.
6. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran
Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life.
Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey.
Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff.
Great reef locations. Super friendly and professional crew. Safety was always their priority. Excellent equipment. Super chill vibe, great tunes and space to relax whilst travelling to and from the reef. Thoroughly enjoyed our day. Highly recommend this activity!
7. Kuranda, Skyrail and Scenic Rail Experience
The itinerary is as follows: Hotel pickups commence from Cairns Beaches at 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM from Palm Cove, and Cairns at 10:00 AM. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Transfer to Caravonica Lakes to board Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for your journey to Kuranda. Once aboard you will be amazed as you glide silently over the rainforest. There are 2 stations en route where you can alight and enjoy a walk through the rain forest to spectacular lookouts or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Center. Arrive in Kuranda. You have approximately 3 hours free time to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the Heritage Markets which operate daily. 2:00 PM: Kuranda Scenic Rail. Board the famous train for an amazing journey, as you travel one of the world's most scenic rail routes, through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges....
Would advise anyone to take this trip. Skyrail up and train back after spending 3 hours in Kuranda. I could have done with an extra hour
8. Kuranda: 1-Hour Rainforest ATV Tour
Explore a secluded estate atop the majestic Barron Falls on a personalized ATV tour with a friendly local tour guide. The estate, owned by a local family since 1969, is surrounded by a UNESCO World Heritage Rainforest and is home to the elusive cassowary and other Australian wildlife. You’ll feel secure and prepared after receiving a training session at the beginning of the tour. Confidently ride through the rainforest and take in the atmosphere of this vibrant flora.
Follow the ancient timber logger tracks and discover unique trees. As you venture through the forest, your tour guide will share amazing facts and stories from the history of the pioneers. Get your blood pumping as you ride through the water of a permanent creek crossing. Bite into a piece of fresh fruit straight from the tree. The property houses a gorgeous orchard of 600+ trees. If you're lucky, you m...
Excellent experience. We had so much fun and the staff were amazing! Thank you !
9. Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour with Cruise & Lunch
Start your adventure with a scenic coastal drive from Cairns to Port Douglas, the far north’s very own great ocean road with panoramic views of the sparkling Coral Sea. The first stop is Mossman Gorge, which is in the southern sector of the world-famous Daintree National Park.
The gorge has been carved out by the cold mountain waters of the Mossman River, which winds through large granite boulders, bordered by lush green rainforest. It’s a magical place and you’ll be welcomed by the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, who will also cleanse you of evil spirits during a smoke ceremony. Also, enjoy a refreshing swim in the cascading waters. Cross the mighty Daintree River and head to the beach for lunch. Experience waterfront dining and enjoy the sand between your toes. After lunch, it’s time to explore the ancient rainforest environment on an interesting guided ...
Amazing tour with a extremely knowledgeable and friendly tour guide in Johnny! Cant recommend highly enough !
10. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure
Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 3 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, o...
I really enjoyed the day out to Green Island. It's a small, quiet, relaxing place to be. All the stuff of restaurants, shops, the boat are very friendly and informative. If you want to meet up with turtles, this is the place to go.
Frequently asked questions about Cairns
What top attractions are a must-see in Cairns?
The must-see attractions in Cairns are:See all must-see sights in Cairns
What are the top things to do in Cairns this week?
The top things to do in Cairns are:Explore the best things to do in Cairns on GetYourGuide
Which tours in Cairns are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?
These experiences in Cairns are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:See all Cairns tours on GetYourGuide
Planning Your Visit
What should I wear?
Owing to its near-equatorial location, Northern Australia is very hot all year round. Make sure to wear cool, cotton clothing, stay hydrated, and definitely layer up on sunscreen and a hat.
Are there any health and safety tips I should be aware of?
Before your trip, consult your doctor about injections you may need to get. If you are walking around in the rainforest, be sure to bring mosquito repellent - ideally purchased locally, as creams from back home may not be suitable for the climate.
Do I need insurance for outdoor activities?
For extreme sports like white water rafting, it's essential. There can also be an age limit, so if you happen to be under 18, do check in advance if you need to have a parent or guardian with you.
Good to know
- AUD ($)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+10:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- August is the best month to visit, when the weather is warm and sunny, with low humidity, and the peak season is ending.
Other Sightseeing Options in Cairns
Want to discover all there is to do in Cairns? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Cairns
Fantastic. Whole experience was wonderful. Our guide (kye) was awesome as was all the staff. Stunning scenery and awesome rafting. Highly recommend
Excellent experience. We had so much fun and the staff were amazing! Thank you !
Great experience. Excellent communication and all staff were lovely.
Fantastic experience, great food and loved the local produce
Excellent experience. Staff and facilities were amazing.