The Gateway to Queensland’s Tropical North
Cairns is the gateway to many of northern Australia’s natural attractions. Suit up and head offshore to explore the incredible world beneath the waves at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Great Barrier Reef. Filled with incredible beaches, coral reefs, and turquoise blue waters, you can swim, snorkel, dive, and enjoy a living masterpiece that is so big it can be seen from outer space.
Head inland to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Daintree Rainforest, the planet’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest. Or the tranquil village of Kuranda—which is home to colorful parrots, butterflies, platypus, and fresh water crocodiles—just a short, scenic railway journey from Cairns. If you’re looking to get higher, head to the cool, yet still tropical Atherton Tablelands, a mountain retreat with rolling plateaus averaging 700 meters above sea level.
But even though Cairns is so close to so many fantastic attractions, don’t be so quick to be on your way once you arrive. The city’s relaxed ambience, and year-round tropical climate means it’s a destination in its own right.
All aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway for one of the most spectacular journeys in Australia. Enjoy stunning views of the some of the world's oldest tropical rainforests as you make your way to the picturesque village of Kuranda—featuring the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Koala Gardens, Butterfly Sanctuary, and Barron Gorge National Park.
Head just one hour out of town and you’ll find the stunning Atherton Tableland. Drive the Waterfall Circuit to and view three fantastic falls, head to Platypus Park to see these unique creatures in their natural habitat, or simply discover quaint townships and lush farmlands.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
GREAT BARRIER REEF
Comprised of over 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays, hundreds of tropical islands, and some of the most beautiful golden beaches in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. This is a must-see (and explore, snorkel or dive) on every traveler's bucket list!
Featured Cairns, Australia Shore Excursions
Cairns, Australia At a glance