Where is Cairns?
Cairns PortCairns itself is of modest size boasting only some 100,000 inhabitants but its compact nature fits in perfectly with its surroundings. The Esplanade is the heart of the city, stretching along the waterfront and lined with entertainment venues, hotels and cafés while its parkland offers some cooling shade from the sun that permanently smiles down on the city. The Esplanade is also undergoing major redevelopment, with a land reclamation programme that should provide an even more extensive recreation park for the citizens of the city.But people mainly come here to get away from it all and a few miles out of the city you can certainly escape the city as completely as you could wish. The Rainforest village of Kuranda is only a short train or cablecar ride away from the city, while a jaunt by boat out onto the azure waters of the Coral Sea will bring you to the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's most famous natural phenomena.
The Trinity Inlet makes a 90km incision into the interior, with mangrove lined rivers extending further inland. Anglers are common visitors to these fish-rich waters, with the native barramundi the most popular catch. And, of course, the same fish features on the local restaurant menus, an increasingly good selection of seafood and fusion restaurants, blending fresh local ingredients with East Asian flavors.
What’s the weather like in Cairns?Like the rest of Queensland, Cairns experiences two distinct weather seasons, the ‘wet’ season and the ‘dry’ season. Tropical Cairns has hot and humid summers and mild, dry winters. The average annual rainfall is around 1992 mm, mostly falling between January and March. The wet season begins building up around December, resulting in humid days and stormy nights. Typical daytime temperatures in Cairns are 23-31℃ in mid-summer and 18℃ in mid-winter. Tropical cyclones sometimes occur from November through May. Here you will find some information on temperature, rainfall and seasonal activities to help you plan your holiday in Cairns.
Green Island is a coral cay 27 km (17 mi) offshore from Cairns, Queensland, Australia located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage Area. The island is surrounded by coral reef and protected in the Green Island National Park.
The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef stretches over 2000km and has more than 1500 marine species and over 400 types of coral. As such, it is one of the world's premier diving locations. To come this close to the eighth wonder of the world and not to take the extra plunge would be to miss a great opportunity.
2.Great adventure CruiseOuter Great Barrier Reef Cruises and Green Island Cruises
The beauty of the Great Barrier Reef is yours to experience when you cruise to our multi-level reef activity platform. Situated on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, our spacious platform features undercover seating and tables to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, full bar facilities, change rooms with freshwater showers, sundeck, and scuba diving facilities with a semi-submerged platform.
Green Island is a beautiful 6000 year old coral cay located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park – a premier world heritage site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Aboard Great Adventures’ fast catamaran journey from Cairns, you can be there in just 45 minutes! Green Island’s unique reef and rainforest environment awaits to provide the one-stop tropical island experience.
Revel in an array of activities or relax and let your day unfold in this tropical paradise. Stroll through magical rainforest, laze on white coral sand beaches, swim, dive or snorkel ….
3.Ocean Sprits cruiseSet sail aboard the 32 meter luxury sailing catamaran, Ocean Spirit, for a day to remember with a wide range of activities to fully experience Michaelmas Cay's unique reef environment. Be active and enjoy all the included activities - snorkel and cruise in the semi-submersible for a diver’s view of the reef! Or if you prefer just relax and enjoy a leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef!
In addition to your cruise fare, you can choose to experience even more of the Great Barrier Reef with an exciting introductory scuba dive. The shallow waters off Michaelmas Cay offer a perfect environment for first time divers.
4.Kuranda MarketsKuranda is world famous for its markets. The Village in the Rainforest has two market locations, the Original Markets and the Heritage Markets, both of which are open every day of the year. Stalls offer a wide range of Aboriginal artefacts, handmade leather goods, wood and jewelry. Stall holders are happy to explain their craft and overseas posting is not a problem. Entertainment from wandering buskers may also be enjoyed.
Adjacent to the Park, both markets cater to the art lover. Opals, the finest in the world, and what a selection is here. Browsing at the bookstall while munching on fresh Queensland macadamia nuts does no-one any harm. A variety of delicious food staves off the hunger pangs. Surely your fortune reading will be favorable! Unusual souvenirs, made in Kuranda, are in abundance for young and old. Music is in the air, ask for your favorites, and watch the deft hand of the portrait maker working his magic. A taste of honey, tropical fruit juices and ice-cream are a great way to round off a pleasant market experience.
5.Rainforestation Nature Park, KurandaSet on 100 acres of World Heritage Rainforest, this unique tourist attraction is situated five minutes travel from Kuranda Village
Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience
Learn about aboriginal culture with this interactive experience. Watch a traditional dance performance depicting animals, food gathering, and hunting.On the guided Dreamtime Walk you’ll try your hand at boomerang throwing, and observe spear-throwing and didgeridoo playing. At the Cultural Centre, you can also purchase authentic artworks.
Koara and Wildlife Park
Join a guided tour on our covered boardwalks providing excellent viewing of native Australian animals, including crocodiles, wombats, dingoes, snakes, lizards, frogs, and the cassowary. Handfeed kangaroos and wallabies, observe the tiger quoll, or have your photo taken cuddling a cute koala, or holding a small crocodile (optional extra).
Army Duck Rainforest Tours
Experience the tropical rainforest from a totally unique perspective – aboard an amphibious World War II Army Duck. See fascinating plants and wildlife as you pass by, before splashing into the lake for a cruise. With propeller engaged, your Army Duck cruises up to the water’s edge whilst turtles, fish and eels swim up close.
6.Kuranda Scenic Railway
The original Kuranda Scenic Railway is a spectacular journey comprising unsurpassed views of dense rainforest, steep ravines and picturesque waterfalls. This famous railway winds its way on a journey of approximately 2 hours from Cairns to Kuranda, the village in the rainforest.
Rising from sea level to 328m, the journey to Kuranda passes through World Heritage protected tropical rainforest, past beautiful and spectacular waterfalls and into the awesome Barron Gorge. Upon reaching the village of Kuranda a rich assortment of interesting attractions and unique shopping experiences awaits you.
The Kuranda Scenic Railway can be joined at Cairns Railway Station or Freshwater Connection for morning departures to Kuranda. Journeys from Kuranda Station to Cairns run in the afternoon. The journey includes an English commentary and all passengers receive a commentary companion which includes information on the history of the railways construction, a trip map and a map of Kuranda.
7.Skyrail Rainforest CablewaySkyrail Rainforest Cableway, Cairns Australia, is a world first in environmental tourism taking you on an amazing experience over Australia’s World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforest canopy and deep into the forest.
The Skyrail experience, spanning 7.5kms over pristine rainforest, allows you to explore the wonders of an ancient tropical rainforest and learn about one of the most botanically fascinating and diverse areas on earth.
Gliding just meters above the rainforest canopy in comfortable six-person gondola cabins, the Skyrail journey immerses you in an intimate rainforest experience where you’ll see, hear, smell and become part of the tropical rainforest environment.
8.Daintree RiverThe Daintree River runs through the Daintree Rainforest in the Cape Tribulation region of Queensland in northern Australia. It is located about 100 km northwest of Cairns in far north tropical Queensland and drains an area of 2,125 square km. The river, along with the Daintree Rainforest encircled by it was given Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage listing in 1988.
The Daintree River is famous for its ancient vegetation, scenic surroundings and the vast array of native wildlife and plant species that inhabit the area. Currently, there is no bridge to enable crossing the river, so access is limited to the Daintree River Ferry, a commercial ferry that traverses the river for the purpose of tourism. The Daintree River is home to a dazzling array of tropical life. It supports saltwater and freshwater marine life, including the saltwater crocodile. The mouth of the Daintree River opens onto a giant sandbar that shifts with each changing tide. The river winds through thick mangrove swamps where the water remains very salty. As it progresses through the rainforest, the water turns fresh. At this convergence point, an abundance of wildlife congregate, particularly fish.
9.Tully Rafting & Barron RaftingThe Tully River is Australia’s most famous rafting adventure and a true highlight of any visit to Cairns and Mission Beach regions
Experience the natural beauty surrounding the Barron River, rafting through pristine World Heritage listed rainforest situated only 20 minutes North of Cairns.
Our experienced guides will educate you on the primitive plant life as well as the native wildlife that inhabit this incredible area.
10.Cairns Crabbing ToursThe popular mud crab is acknowledged as the best Queensland seafood, and catching it yourself makes it the freshest available anywhere. The mud crab (Scylla serrata) is a big, dark brown or mottle green crab that can grow up to 25 cm (about 10 in) and weigh up to 3.5 kg (almost 8 lb). Generally cooked with their shells on, when they molt their shells, they can be served as one of many types of soft shell crab. Some consider them to be among the tastiest of crab species. In the northern states of Australia and especially Queensland, mud crabs are relatively common and generally prized above other seafood by the general public.
11.Cairns Night ZooExperience some great Aussie culture and entertainment at the one and only Cairns Night Zoo, now in its 10th year of operation. The night includes a fabulous BBQ buffet including fresh prawns, delicious desserts, and complimentary beers, wines & soft drinks. Highlights include a spotlighting tour, billy tea and damper with the kangaroos and live Australian music.
Torches are handed out after dinner to assist you in spotting all the little and not so little nocturnal creatures you're about to see on your adventure through the night zoo. Make sure your camera is ready as there are plenty of photo opportunities to be had with these talented night predators and a lot to learn about how and why they can see in the dark and we cannot. This is a “Must Do” for any holiday itinerary! Cairns Night Zoo appeals to all ages and nationalities and is just great fun!
Cairns night zoo operates five nights per week – Monday to Thursday and Saturday nights, 7.00 to 10.00pm, and bookings are essential. Coach transfers are available for an extra cost. Vegetarian meal options are available with prior notice.
12.AJ Hackett Cairns/Bungee JumpingGet ready to push your limits and break the laws of gravity at the Cairns Bungee site - the home of Australia's first and only Bungee tower. With a world-first Jump Menu offering 16 different jump styles, there's a Jump for everyone. Whether you're a first-time jumper or a seasoned thrill seeker, we guarantee we've got a jump to take you out of your comfort zone and beyond! There's nothing like a little adrenalin hit to remind you you're still alive!!
Our purpose-built, hand-crafted site is located 20 minutes north of Cairns We're right in the middle of dense tropical rainforest and the mountains, trees and natural waterfall flowing into the pond onsite make for a lush oasis to kick back and relax in after getting your thrills Jumping from the tower.
From the top of the 50-metre tower you can see out over the Northern Beaches and out to the incredible Great Barrier Reef. So when you’re on the edge, ready to jump, suck in the views as it all looks quite different on the rebound!