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Things to do in Cairns

If you’re up for an adventure-filled holiday, then the city of Cairns is the place to go. Explore the stunning coral and sea life of The Great Barrier Reef, take a catamaran cruise to Green Island, explore the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest or for an experience that’ll really get the adrenaline pumping, book in a day of canyoning or white water rafting. Discover plenty of fun and exciting things to do in Cairns on RedBalloon.
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Cairns attractions

Cairns is a beautiful coastal city located in tropical Far North Queensland and is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. There is so much to see and do perfect not only for locals but also those travelling interstate or from overseas. Some of the best Cairns attractions to tick off whilst visiting include the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, Australia’s Natural Wonder – the Great Barrier Reef, pristine beaches, Skyrail, Zoom and Wildlife Dome, and so much more. There is no better way to discover these Cairns attractions than with an experience from RedBalloon. From flying experiences and getaway packages to snorkelling and outdoor activities, there are so many ways to explore this beautiful part of Queensland.

How many days do you need in Cairns?

If you’re visiting Cairns, we recommend allowing at least 2-3 full days to tick off all the amazing experiences and attractions. If you decide to make a trip out of it, why not book one of the RedBalloon getaway packages online as these are the perfect accommodation options for exploring the city and its surroundings.

What are the best things to do in Cairns?

There are so many amazing and fun things to do in Cairns perfect for locals, visitors and tourists. On RedBalloon you’ll find the best experiences for exploring the Cairns attractions and everything that makes this part of Queensland famous. Some of the best activities to do there include:

  • Tandem skydive over Cairns: Get ready to enjoy the experience of a lifetime! On this 7,000ft skydive, you’ll strap up with a professional skydive instructor and take in stunning views of the Great Barrier Reef from above. With return transfers from Cairns included, all you need to do is take the leap!
  • Shark dive at Cairns Aquarium: Conquer your fears and come face-to-face with a shark, one of the world’s most frightening creatures of the sea. Take the plunge in Cairns Aquarium’s reef tank and swim amongst a number of other marine animals like large stingrays and Queensland groupers. Dive in into one of the most daring Cairns activities on offer!
  • Minke Whale snorkelling expedition with meals for 4 nights: Be left in awe as you experience the thrill of swimming amongst majestic Minke Whales on this four night expedition on the Great Barrier Reef. With up to five snorkelling spots per day, you will experience a number of remarkable encounters in the magical underwater world. Experience one of the most memorable things to do in Cairns and tick snorkelling with Minke Whales off your bucket list.
  • Best of Cairns tablelands tour with tastings and lunch: Journey with a local to experience the region’s artisan food, wine and beer scene, as well as discovering the spectacular scenery, culture and wildlife. This full day tour of Cairns Tablelands will have you swimming in Millaa Millaa Falls, spotting native animals and sampling tasty local produce.
  • 5 night stay with breakfast, dinner and massage for 2 people: for the ultimate experience, enjoy an accomodation package that includes amazing things to do in Cairns. Soak up the tropical vibes during this five night stay, located in sunny Palm Cove. Immersed in lush gardens and only moments away from the Coral Sea, this boutique hotel oozes relaxation and luxury. During your stay, enjoy daily buffet breakfast, two delicious dinners and an indulgent massage.

Things to do in Cairns with kids

There are so many things to do in Cairns with kids that will keep them entertained for hours on end. Whether you’re looking for an experience the whole family can enjoy together or something to keep the kids out of your hair so you can explore, you’ll find the right activity on RedBalloon. We have made it easy to find kids activities in Cairns by creating a list of some of the top experiences.

  • Cairns aquarium VIP experience with lunch and souvenir: Gather the family together and delve deeper into the marine life of Cairns Aquarium as you’re taken on a behind the scenes tour. Visit the turtle rehabilitation centre where sick and injured turtles can be cared for, hand feed the gentle cow nose rays and feel their soft marshmallow bellies and end the day with a delicious lunch.
  • Cairns jet boat ride: let your kids experience Cairns at full throttle as they traverse across the waters at high speed on a jet boat! This 35 minute ride is full of non-stop excitement and thrills as their experienced captain surprises them with 360 degree spins, slides and power-break stops. Prepare to get wet!’
  • Wildlife and rainforest quad bike: Departing from Cairns, the kids (and adults) will head north and off the beaten track to visit the tropical rainforests of the Daintree. Riding your own ATV quad bike on 4WD tracks with your guide, you will all explore the local terrain and see unique flora like the famous Strangler Fig Tree’s.

What is the best month to visit Cairns?

There are plenty of months we recommend visiting Cairns in, especially between April and September if you want to swim in the ocean and enjoy the best weather. We also recommend travelling outside of school holidays to avoid the crowds and to enjoy cheaper accommodation as prices will drop outside the peak holiday period.

What months Can you swim in Cairns?

Some parts of Tropical Far North Queensland, including Cairns, are affected by stinger season which means there are certain months in the year that aren’t as safe to swim in the ocean. From November to May there may be stingers in the water, making it harder to swim (especially without a stinger suit). Therefore the best time to swim in Cairns is from April to October when it isn’t stinger season.

Can you swim in the ocean in Cairns?

Yes you can enjoy swimming in the ocean in Cairns, especially when it isn’t stinger season. However if you want to swim in Cairns during Stinger season (which occurs over summer), please take caution as you will need to know where and when to swim safely, what to wear and where the stinger nets are.

Things to do in Queensland

Discover these Cairns activities and more with the RedBalloon range of things to do in Queensland. You’ll discover a range of experiences all across the state from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Great Barrier Reef and plenty more destinations.

Things to do in Tropical Far North Queensland

If you loved our range of Cairns experiences, discover plenty more things to do in Tropical Far North Queensland. Home to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and pristine white beaches, we definitely recommend ticking off this part of Queensland from your bucket list. Discover cruises, snorkelling, bungy jumping and so much more.