Cairns Attractions, Things To Do and Visitor Information

Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is one of Australia’s most beautiful destinations offering many attractions and things to do, boasting two spectacular World Heritage areas, Australia’s Tropical Rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns International Airport (CNS)

Cairns International Airport is one of Australia’s leading regional airports, providing air links to a range of domestic and international locations.  read more

Cairns Airport is the gateway to World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and Tropical Rainforests of North Queensland and is just 7 kilometres from the Cairns CBD. There are direct domestic flights to Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Townsville as well as to Alice Springs, Ayers Rock (Uluru) and regional centres across North Queensland. Cairns Airport is Australia’s seventh busiest for international passengers with direct flights from Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, Manila, Auckland and Port Moresby. There are also seasonal flights from Shanghai.

Find out more on the Cairns airport website »

Port of Cairns

The Port of Cairns is Australia’s busiest cruise port with over 200 international and domestic cruise ship visits a year.  read more

It is a picturesque port located virtually in the heart of the city with a Reef Fleet Terminal providing a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a 217 berth Marina accommodating a variety of cruising vessels, superyachts and reef vessels.

Cairns is Tropical North Queensland’s premier cruising destination, with access to the world famous Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests.  A stop over in Cairns is a must for any Australian cruise. Skyrail is the must do rainforest experience for your Cairns shore excursions.

Cairns is a vibrant tropical city featuring restaurants, cafes, galleries, shopping, markets and an abundance of sightseeing.

Skyrail is a must see experience for any shore excursion itinerary. Available in half or full day options, Skyrail can be combined with Kuranda Scenic Railway and numerous other attractions to create the perfect activity away from your vessel. 

Make sure you select a cruise itinerary that includes a Skyrail excursion on your Cairns, Yorkeys Knob or Port Douglas in port day.  Otherwise speak to your onboard activities officer for bookings or contact us directly.

Find out more on the Cairns port website »

Yorkeys Knob Cruise Ship Arrivals

Many large cruise lines visit the Tropical North Queensland region by being moored off Yorkeys Knob.  read more

Yorkeys Knob is a beautiful beach suburb just north of Cairns around 13km from the city centre. Large cruise liners anchor off Yorkeys Knob and the ships regularly ferry passengers to shore.

Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and Half Moon Bay Marina are located here with a multi-million dollar club house residing over the Marina. The view is magnificent, overlooking the Marina and out to the Coral Sea from the large shade sail covered deck and outdoor alfresco dining facilities.

Shore excursions are easily arranged from Yorkeys Knob and Skyrail is a must do Cairns tour attraction which should be included as part of your in port tour itinerary, speak to your onboard activities officer for bookings or contact us directly.

Find out more on the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club website »

Cairns Tourist Attractions

Cairns is home to many of Australia's best known tourist attractions and the premier regional city in Australia and the gateway to Australia’s Tropical Rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.  read more

The natural surroundings of the glistening waters of the Coral Sea and the rainforest-clad mountain ranges combine to make Cairns a truly stunning location. With a diverse range of leisure and adventure activities to suit all ages and tastes, Cairns is one of Australia’s top holiday destinations. Cairns city offers a thriving, relaxed tropical atmosphere with huge variety of shops, restaurants and facilities, including the Esplanade lagoon and children’s waterpark playground attractions located in the heart of the city.

Skyrail's Smithfield Terminal is located 15 minute drive from Cairns city. Skyrail operates a coach transfer service from most Cairns hotel, motel and camping sites.

Cairns & Port Douglas Accommodation

From caravan parks and budget hotels, to family apartments and five star luxury hotels, Cairns offers a wide variety of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets.  read more

As the central accommodation location in Tropical North Queensland, Cairns offers a wide variety of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets.  The Northern Beaches and Port Douglas offer a spectacular varitey of options including self-contained apartments, luxury resorts and secluded getaways.

To search for your Cairns accommodation options click here » 

To search for your Port Douglas accommodation options click here »

Cairns Beaches

Palm-fringed tropical beaches are scattered along Cairns’ northern coastline, providing the perfect retreat for an idyllic tropical holiday.  read more

The Beaches, including Yorkeys Knob, Trinity, Kewarra, Clifton and Palm Cove span over 26 kilometres of Cairns’ pristine coastline offering warm seas and uncrowded sandy beaches all set against a backdrop of rainforest clad mountains.

Skyrail is situated close to all of Cairns local beach locations and operates a coach transfer service from most beach locations.

Find out more about Cairns Beaches or Palm Cove

Cairns Shopping

DFO Cairns is the only Direct Factory Outlet in Tropical North Queensland. It is home to fantastic brands and bargains with many stores offering up to 70% off original prices. read more

DFO Cairns is located on Mulgrave Road, a short 3km from the CBD, just a 7 minute car ride. Home to international fashion brands; Polo Ralph Lauren, PUMA, Oroton, TK Maxx, Lorna Jane and Converse as well as a range of established youth fashion brands such as Cotton On, Cotton On Kids, Catalog, Jay Jays and YD. But DFO Cairns isn’t just about fashion; they have a range of national and local cafes & Food offerings like The Coffee Club, FNQ Local Produce, Subway, Brown & Co Bakery & Café Eatz. Plus, will be welcoming at the end of 2017 a brand-new dining/entertainment precinct home to local Cairns based restaurants. As well as fashion, food and bargain hunting, Cairns DFO is home to the top Medical Centre in FNQ, Laserfun, World Gym, Australia Post and much, much more. It is worth a trip down Mulgrave Road, to collect the brands and bargains you are after… Plus, will be welcoming a brand-new dining & entertainment precinct in 2018.

Find out more about DFO Cairns 

DFS Galleria Cairns provides a shopping environment which allows you to discover world-class services and international brands to complement every aspect of your lifestyle with the finest pieces from around the world - all in one destination.  read more

Located on Abbott and Spence Streets, in the heart of Cairns, DFS Galleria offers duty-free cairns shopping for international travelers and well as retail shopping for local residents. Across two floors, DFS offers an expertly curated assortment of more than 100 of the world’s most desired brands in beauty and fragrances (duty free only), watches and jewelry, fashion and accessories, and food and gifts. 

Find out more about DFS Galleria Cairns 

World Heritage National Parks:  Barron Gorge, Cape Tribulation, The Daintree and beyond

Cairns City is the gateway to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and situated in the centre of one of the planet's greatest and most diverse natural wonderlands - much of this area has been protected as National Park.  read more

From woodland, rainforest, reef and even volcanos, there’s so much to see in the spectacular national parks that surround the region.

The Wet Tropics World Heritage area covers about 900,000 hectares, included within are several world famous National Parks which are readily accessible from Cairns city.  At only a 15 minutes drive from Cairns, the most readily accessible, is the Barron Gorge National Park – home to Skyrail.   Other parks further afield include Wooroonooran [75 km to the South] and Cape Tribulation/Daintree [110km to the North].  All the Rainforest National Parks within the World Heritage area contain an amazing array and diversity of flora and fauna and share an ancient history of plants and animals that are found no-where else in the world.  For further information click here.

The Undara Volcanic National Park is 300km to the West and the offshore National Parks of Green Island and Fitzroy Island are just a short boat ride away.

Learn more about the National Parks in North Queensland »
Additional information about the World Heritage Wet Tropics area »

The Great Barrier Reef

The largest tropical coral reef system in the world, comprising of over 2,900 separate coral reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef is about 2300 kilometres long, stretching along Queensland’s coast.  

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Atherton Tablelands
The highland mountain region of the Atherton Tablelands west from Cairns features spectacular vistas, lakes, waterfalls and quaint country villages. Come and sample some of the delicious local produce on offer.

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This world famous tourist destination known as 'The Village in the Rainforest' has numerous spectacular attractions including a butterfly sanctuary, colourful bird aviary, koala park and a thriving market community.

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Port Douglas
Port Douglas located 60kms north of Cairns, has developed a worldwide reputation as a tropical oasis retaining its traditional beauty and charm of the old fishing village. 

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Barron Falls Estate
Explore the secluded property nestled atop the magnificent Barron Falls, surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest and home to the elusive cassowary.


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