Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 29 Reviews

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  • Address: Lamb Range QLD 4870
  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Admission: Dependent on activity
Whether it’s hiking, boating or tracking wildlife, the lush hills and scenic passes of Barron Gorge National Park make up the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts to explore this natural Australian wonder, which lies just beyond Cairns city limits.

Overnight travelers can set up camp at nearby Speewah Conservation Park before setting out on one of Barron Gorge’s popular hikes, which range from an easy 1.2 kilometers to more challenging excursions between the park’s three main trailheads. Commercial rafting trips along the Barron River let daredevil travelers explore less accessible parts of the lower gorge, while wildlife lovers can find tree-kangaroos, flying foxes, spotted-tail quolls and even the endangered southern cassowary along the river’s edge.

Visitors often stroll along the banks of Lake Placid in the lower Barron Gorge, and the popular Skyrail Rainforest Cableway takes visitors high up into the park’s rainforest canopy.

Practical Info

The lower section of Barron Gorge National Park is located 18 kilometers northwest of Cairns, and the upper section is 27 kilometers outside the city. Rainy season lasts from December to April, so it’s best to travel between May and September to escape the downpour.

Tours & Tickets

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Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns

4.5 star rating: Recommended 309 Reviews

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: 7.5 to 10 hours

From USD $115.69

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Palm Cove

4.5 star rating: Recommended 25 Reviews

Location: Palm Cove, Australia
Duration: 7.5 - 10 hours

From USD $115.69

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Port Douglas

4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 Reviews

Location: Port Douglas, Australia
Duration: 7.5 - 10 hours

From USD $126.67
From USD $155.23

Barron River Half-Day White Water Rafting from Cairns

4.5 star rating: Recommended 32 Reviews

Location: Cairns, Northern Beaches, Australia
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

From USD $79.08
From USD $91.53

4-Day Cairns and Great Barrier Reef Tour

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: 4 days

From USD $483.26

Small-Group Cairns City Tour with Optional Green Island Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

Location: Cairns, Australia
Duration: Cairns half-day city tour: 5.5 hours
Cairns and Green Island full-day tour: 9 hours

From USD $54.92

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