Top 5 things to do in (and around) Cairns

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Winter is well and truly on its way, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably not ready to say goodbye to summer (queue violins). But the good news is that you don’t have to because we’ve found a place where summer never ends, a tropical paradise of white sandy beaches, emerald rainforests, stunning coral reefs and an emerging food scene that will blow your mind. Interested?

Well, read on to see why you should make Cairns your next holiday destination.

The promise of an endless summer and kicking back on a tropical beach with a frosty beer in hand may be reason enough to visit Queensland’s tropical paradise but believe us when we say that Cairns has sooo much more to offer. To make sure your holiday is unforgettable, we’ve compiled a list of our top five things to do in Cairns and its beautiful surrounds.

Whether you’re a southern iceberg looking to defrost, an intrepid explorer with itchy feet or a lady of leisure who just wants to relax in the sun, Cairns is where it’s at.

1. Cape Tribulation day trip

Contrary to what the name might have you thinking, Cape Tribulation has very few trials or… you get it. There are ancient rainforests, exotic birdsong, deserted beaches and crystalline freshwater creeks. For the budding David Attenborough’s out there, take a camera because this is proper nature-lover territory. If you’re more of a Steve Irwin, you may even get to see a saltwater croc (please don’t wrestle them, that guy was crazy). For the best way to get about check out Uncle Brian’s Tours (kudos for deciding on such a great name!)

2. Bungy Jump

Yep, bungy jump you chicken. Sounds scary? It is. But that rush! So worth it. Cairns is home to the ONLY bungy jumping tower in Australia. It’s 50 meters high and towers over the top of a beautiful rainforest. The AJ Hackett Bungy Tower is one of those things like going on the London Eye or up the empire state building in New York. It’s iconic, it’s breathtaking and totally memorable. You can get an all-day jump pass and try all the moves and styles – classic swan dive or perhaps backwards handstand? If heights ain’t your thing, there’s a bar. A very good bar. See you there 😉

3. Waterfall and Forest Tour

Grab your hiking boots and swim trunks (or bikini), because we’re off to explore to some of the most amazing forests and waterfalls that Australia has to offer. Uncle Brian’s have put together an incredible day trip that will see you sliding down a three-stage rockslide into a pristine water hole, swimming behind a 30-metre waterfall in the middle of a rainforest and exploring a volcanic crater. To top it all off, they’ll take you to a tropical tea house for an unforgettable lunch and you’ll even get to meet a platypus, one of the worlds cutest curiosities! Click HERE to find out more.

4. Dive, Sail and snorkel the great barrier reef

Sabastian the Crab was right when he said that everything’s better down where it’s wetter, and I think it’s safe to say that diving The Great Barrier Reef is one of the best underwater experiences you’re likely to have anywhere in the world. Leave the troubles of the surface behind, dive below the sparkling waves and spend the day just floating about with turtles, colourful fish, and placid little reef sharks.

Take a cruise on a classy catamaran and explore The Great Barrier Reef with an amazing team whose environmental credentials and love of their job (I’d love my job too if it was scuba diving every day) have earned many awards including the Australian Tourism Award for Adventure. Check out the Passions of Paradise Reef Tours.

5. Stay in the best location

There’s nothing worse than showing up to your holiday accommodation only to realise that you’re forty minutes out of town, on the edge of the train tracks. With Global Backpackers, you’ll never have to worry about location because, well, they’ve got some of the best locations in Australia. The exciting news is that Global Backpackers Cairns are just about to reopen the doors of the famed waterfront hostel to show off an incredible new fit out. Kick back by the sparkling lagoon pool and catch some rays, or retreat to the shade of your private balcony and let the sea breeze soothe that sunburned skin (should have packed the sunscreen). Oh, and did we mention there’s a bar, a very good bar at that (Rattle N Hum), where you can meet like-minded travellers from all over the world to share your adventures with.  Oh, and you get a cheeky discount on all tours too!


Join the discussion 53 Comments

  • Nowshad Ali says:

    This is an informative and useful article about the top 5 thing to do in Cairns. I want to spent my next vacation with waterfall and Forest tour. Thanks for sharing your article guys.

  • Jacob Hale says:

    Really good article! Excellent places to go and enjoy!

  • William says:

    That Bungee Jump feels way too fun yet crazy. Never tried though but if I can ever make it happen it would be a lot of fun. Waterfall and Forest Tour also feels awesome.

  • Tony Lars says:

    Cairns seems like a really nice place and never knew there was so much to do, need to visit here one day!

  • Bri says:

    These all sound amazing! Great job on the article 🙂

  • manu - sam says:

    Very useful article. Can’t wait to see all these places!

  • Anastasia says:

    That waterfall and forest tour looks like an amazing tour to go on! Especially with the pretty location. And a great article too. Thanks for the ideas, I hope I get the chance to travel to Australia one day. But for now, getting ideas is fun too.

  • sartle power says:

    Loved this place and eventually stayed here for two full weeks. Loved the vibe. It was such a relaxed place where you could go out and also have relaxed days!ideal destination for travel , tourism.

  • Quiana Acker says:

    wow wonderful article.i like this type of article.this article is so informative.every people will benefit from it.I will try spent my next vacation with waterfall and Forest tour.i will definitely share it with my friends and my family.

  • Ashley says:

    Cairns looks fun!! Often overlooked place to visit in Oz.

  • Sharmin Nahar says:

    This was really a great and detailed article. Among all the things I like Bungy Jump. Thanks for sharing your great thoughts among us.

  • Caroline K says:

    I think I’ll skip the bungee jumping, but the rest of it sounds absolutely amazing! And who doesn’t want to meet a platypus! That’s great!

  • Becky Brooks says:

    Looks like a lot of really fun stuff to do there!

  • Margaret Paylor says:

    Seems like a nice destination for my summer holidays and would certainly try bungy jumping and snorkeling. I hope to get a discount 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    I never knew there was so much to do in Cairns! I’m definitely going to check out Passions of Paradise Reef Tours for more information about snorkeling and divining in The Great Barrier Reef. That looked so awesome!

  • Abdulla Akram says:

    Nice article. Really helps me choose where to go for holiday in this freezing weather. I need a change thanks xd

  • Nesha says:

    These are really awesome things to do. If I ever go on vacation to cairns, I’ll be sure to do everything on here. This also gives me even more reasons to pack my backs and visit !

  • Carolyn H says:

    Loved your article – Cairns has to be one of my favourite travel destinations! Now it’s getting cold down here in Perth, I think that I should buy a ticket. The great thing about Cairns is that there’s so much to see and do for travellers on all sorts of budgets. If you love nature and / or want to explore Far Northern Queensland on a budget, you HAVE to visit Crystal Cascades as well as all the great spots mentioned in the article. This awesome natural swimming spot is situated about 20km from Cairns and is something of a local secret. It consists of a beautiful cascading waterfall and waterholes that you can swim in…magic!

  • Dan says:

    I will definitely do these things next time I go to Cairns, Great Blog!

  • Jenifer Lapinski says:

    This is very informative, well described, and professionally done. It’s easy to understand all the points being made about the top 5 things to do around cairns. I like how it goes into great detail because this is something that everyone should know about. I enjoyed it a lot and will share what I learned with all of my friends.

  • Beat King says:

    Cairns looks like a pretty cool place, the bungy jump seems a bit scary but i bet it would be fun!

  • clarence says:

    Looks relaxing ad full of fun activities, adding to list of must visit locations

  • janith says:

    This waterfall and forest looks like an amazing place to visit.and superb article.Hope to visit this destination for my vacation

  • Sue says:

    Thanks for these amazing ideas! I’d love to spend time in Cape Tribulation but there is NO WAY I could do that Bungy jump!!! Eeeeeeek

  • chris woakes says:

    All place here are mind blooming. I want to visit all place here have. A great article it is with some great places. Thanks for the article.

  • Kyle Howdyshell says:

    Cairns looks like a very awesome place. This is one place I would love to explore, the waterfalls sold me. Fantastic job on this article.

  • Md yeachin says:

    Nice article. Really helps me choose where to go for holiday in this freezing weather. I need a change thanks xd

  • Md yeachin says:

    Very useful article. Can’t wait to see all these places!

  • Chris says:

    Looks great. I’ve been meaning to visit Australia for a while now and from the looks of things Cairns is a must-see destination. Thanks for the informative article.

  • Mari Rios says:

    I never knew that much about Cairns before..sounds like a wonderful place to visit with my sons!

  • andy li says:

    Planning my trip to Australia now. This looks pretty fun and wild. Thanks for your guide.

  • Andrea says:

    As a total travel junkie, after reading this I’ve added Cairns with Global Backpackers to my bucket list for travel. Sailing and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef sounds incredible! The fact that I can trust I’ll get really nice hotel accommodations in a convenient spot is also appealing (nothing worse than having a hotel problem and far from home would only exacerbate that).

  • Prabodha Lahiru says:

    First of all thank you for this type of blog. this is a very useful article.Exactly That waterfall and forest tour looks like an amazing tour to go on! Especially with the pretty location. Again Thanks for the ideas, I hope to travel Australia. These ideas gives me cool tips. I will definitely do these things.

  • max smith says:

    wow!! very good and interest article.

  • Robert says:

    Very useful article. Can’t wait to see all these places!

  • chamath viduranga says:

    I will surely do these things next time I go to Cairns, Great Blog..

  • Kurt says:

    Cairns looks awesome! What do hotels run out there?

  • Edith says:

    This is a very well written article and I love how in depth it goes into with all the suggestions on where to go and what to do! Definitely helpful if you’re taking a trip to Cairns!

  • Ryan Jones says:

    Neat. I love this.

  • Josh says:

    Great Article. Informative with great suggestions for things to see and do

  • Alden says:

    Wow, all these activities look so fun! I’m planning my next summer trip to Australia and can’t wait to try out bungee jumping.

  • sylvester a Truitt says:

    Now this is right up my alley there is nothing like bouncing back after a cold winter, by indulging into summer adventures why because we deserve it .

  • Shivam Wormt says:

    Holieee… This place seems like heaven. I will definitely visit Cairns next year. This place amazing and you can’t stop having fun there.

  • Florante Alejo says:

    Really cool article. Thanks for posting this. Definitely need to check this place out.

  • Roger Leroy says:

    I can’t get enough of the great outdoors. I’d love to visit and explore this area one day.

  • Lazy says:


  • Dimi says:

    nice spots! would also recommend Cairns Botanic Gardens