🇦🇺 Australia
Tropical Paradise on Australia's Northeast Coast

Cairns - Vacation Briefing

Located on the northeastern coast of Australia, Cairns is a picturesque city surrounded by tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. With its stunning natural beauty, Cairns offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, hiking, and wildlife spotting. You can explore the vibrant underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, visit the ancient Daintree Rainforest, or take a scenic cableway ride to Kuranda Village. Cairns also has a lively waterfront esplanade with trendy cafes, restaurants, and waterfront parks where you can relax and soak up the laid-back atmosphere.

Popular Sights in Cairns

Things to do during your Cairns vacation

Cairns is a beautiful city located in the tropical North Queensland region of Australia. With its stunning coastline, vibrant coral reefs, lush rainforests, and rich cultural heritage, there is no shortage of things to do in Cairns.

  • Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling: Explore the world's largest coral reef system and marvel at its vibrant marine life by snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters.
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway: Take a scenic railway journey through the rainforest to the picturesque village of Kuranda, enjoying breathtaking views along the way.
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Soar above the rainforest canopy in a cable car and witness the beauty of the lush tropical landscape from a unique perspective.
  • Daintree Rainforest: Embark on a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.
  • Cairns Esplanade Lagoon: Relax and swim in the popular public swimming lagoon located along the picturesque Cairns Esplanade.
  • Kuranda Koala Gardens: Get up close and personal with Australia's iconic cuddly koalas and interact with other native wildlife species.
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park: Immerse yourself in the rich Aboriginal culture with traditional dance performances, art displays, and interactive experiences.
  • Cairns Night Markets: Explore the vibrant night markets and indulge in shopping for local handicrafts, delicious street food, and souvenirs.
  • Cairns Botanic Gardens: Stroll through the beautiful botanic gardens and discover an extensive collection of tropical plants, including orchids and palms.
  • White Water Rafting on the Tully River: Experience the adrenaline rush by rafting through thrilling rapids on the Tully River, surrounded by stunning rainforest scenery.
  • Glide on the Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome: Challenge yourself with an exciting ropes course and zip-line adventure, while also getting the chance to meet and learn about native Australian wildlife.

Why you should visit Cairns


Cairns, Australia is a popular destination with a lot to offer, but it does have some drawbacks.


Cairns has a moderate safety rating. While it is generally safe for tourists, it is important to take normal precautions and be aware of your surroundings.


Cairns has a decent cultural scene with museums, historical sites, and a diverse food culture. However, it may not have as many cultural attractions as larger cities.


Cairns has a decent nightlife scene with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. However, it may not be as vibrant or diverse as some other major cities.


Cairns is a great destination for adventure seekers with activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, and water sports. There are plenty of thrilling adventures to embark on.


Cairns is known for its relaxing atmosphere with beautiful beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, and rainforests nearby. It provides ample opportunities for rest and relaxation.

Best time to visit Cairns

The best time to visit Cairns, Australia is from May to September. During this time, you can expect pleasant temperatures, low rainfall, and fewer crowds. It is the perfect time for outdoor activities such as snorkeling and exploring the Great Barrier Reef.

Good weather but crowded
24°C - 31°C
Warm weather but crowded
24°C - 31°C
Good weather with moderate crowds
23°C - 30°C
Ideal weather with fewer crowds
22°C - 29°C
Pleasant weather and fewer crowds
20°C - 27°C
Pleasant weather with moderate crowds
18°C - 25°C
Cool weather but less crowded
17°C - 24°C
Cool weather with moderate crowds
18°C - 25°C
Pleasant weather and fewer crowds
19°C - 26°C
Good weather with moderate crowds
21°C - 28°C
Good weather with moderate crowds
22°C - 29°C
Warm weather but crowded
23°C - 30°C
December offers warm temperatures and some rainfall. However, it is a busy month with higher prices and crowded tourist spots.

A guide To your first day of Cairns vacation


  • Start your day with a walk along the beautiful Cairns Esplanade, enjoying the stunning ocean views and fresh air.
  • Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens to explore the diverse plant species and learn about the local wildlife.


  • Take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef for an unforgettable snorkeling or diving experience.
  • Visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to learn about the rich indigenous history and enjoy traditional performances.


  • Indulge in a delicious seafood dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants overlooking Trinity Inlet.
  • Take a sunset cruise along the Cairns Harbour to admire the stunning views and relax with a drink in hand.


  • Explore the lively night markets of Cairns, where you can find unique souvenirs, local crafts, and delicious street food.
  • End your night with a visit to one of the friendly local pubs or bars to enjoy live music and mingle with fellow travelers.

How to get to Cairns

By Plane

Cairns Airport (CNS) serves as the main gateway to the city, with numerous direct international flights. It offers a hassle-free travel experience with efficient customs and immigration procedures. Located just a short drive from the city center, travelers can quickly reach their accommodation or explore the Great Barrier Reef. The airport also provides convenient connections to other Australian cities, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the diverse landscapes and wildlife of the region.

By other means

Cairns is well-connected by public transport, with the Cairns Railway Station serving as a central hub for trains and buses. The railway station offers easy access to popular tourist destinations like Kuranda and Port Douglas, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the stunning tropical beauty of the region. Additionally, the city's extensive bus network provides convenient transportation within Cairns and its surrounding areas. Travelers can also enjoy scenic cruises along the coast, with several ferry services available for exploring nearby islands.

Tips for Booking Your Trip

Planning a trip can get tricky, right? Don't worry, we've got some solid advice to make your life easier. Here's how you can find flights and accommodations without a hitch.

Flights: How to Score the Best Deal

First things first, check out Google Flights. Their price calendar and nearby airport options are really useful. Found a good deal? Great, but hang on a sec—make sure you compare it with prices on Kayak, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kiwi. A little research can go a long way.

Accommodation: Find Your Ideal Spot

For places to stay, start by scanning and Airbnb to get an idea of what's out there. Then, level up your search by looking at Hostelworld and Agoda. Oh, and a quick tip: the hotel's own website might have some special offers, so give that a look too.

Ready to make some moves? The links you need are right below. Happy booking!



Best for travelers who are ...

Nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those seeking relaxation in a tropical setting

How long to stay in Cairns?

To fully experience Cairns and its surroundings, a minimum stay of 5-7 days is recommended. This allows enough time for reef exploration, rainforest adventures, and relaxation by the beach or lagoon.

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