Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

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

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Tropical North Queensland proves itself as a thrill-seeker’s hotspot with this list of adrenaline-pumping activities. The adventure activities near Cairns include skydiving and jungle surfing among many others, and the best part is that these are ... 

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gezkeller

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

MY daughter's favorite of ALL the things she did in Sydney and Cairns!
She climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, toured the Opera House, did a private tour
of Sydney Taronga Zoo, joined the Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife Park/Zoo,
BUNGY JUMPED and did the MINGY SWING at Cairns, snorkeled the Great BArrier
Reef and guess what, The TULLY RIVER WHITE WATER RAFTING WAS HER
MOST FAVORITE!!! She didn't want it to end!!! FUN FUN FUN!!! A MUST DO!!!

Doing what: Tully River Full-Day White Water Rafting from Cairns including BBQ Lunch

Gjermund Å

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Great trip out to the Great Barrier Reef.
Personally I liked the last reef best. Clearer water and more to see.
Fun to dive. However, as a certified diver, I would rather spend several days here. Next time I'm in Cairns maybe.
Personally I thought the snorkeling was nicer than diving. Mostly because this reef was much nicer to look at.
But advise everyone to try diving in any case. It's fun, and opens a whole new world.
Very good lunch.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

Melissa N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

What a great day. Had a fab trip with a great host Angelo who kept us amused and informed about the beautiful area we were rafting through. I bought pictures that their photographer took. A great reminder of our fun day. I would do again if I am in the area a must do while in cairns

Doing what: Tully River Full-Day White Water Rafting from Cairns including BBQ Lunch

Heather M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Worth it! We loved the package - we were well taken care of and exceeded our expectations. The heli ride back from the GBR was the highlight - definitely don't skip that.
If anything, I could have skipped the Rain Forestation - was very crowded and felt rushed and herded through a tourist trap. I read about more adventures through the tableland, and think we might have enjoyed that more.
Overall, I was pleased with the 2-day package and thought it was an excellent value for the cost looking at individual prices. It was nice to not have to spend time while in Cairns sitting at travel agents office and compare prices while there. Having it set up and taken care of ahead of time was the way to go!

Doing what: 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Bruce

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Best day of our lives! The most beautiful place with a wonderful and supportive crew on the boat. Even had prescription goggles for those with strong glasses. Plenty of food and drinks. Worth the price and would do again in a heartbeat. A definite must do in Cairns!

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

nayan m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Balloon ride kept going on and on as they couldn't find safe place to land. I was about to miss my flight but the team ensured I am at airport at earliest. Cheers to great effort from them ..

Must do if you are in Cairns

Doing what: Hot Air Ballooning Tour from Cairns

Milts

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Diving in the reef was a great experience and seeing the aerial view of the reef thru the helicopter back to Cairns was really just jaw-dropping! Will definitely come back and dive in the Great Barrier Reef!

Doing what: 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Adam C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Unbelievable! I've wanted to skydive for years and never quite got around it to it. I'm so glad my first jump was in Cairns with it's stunning scenery, and amazing weather. The team were an awesome bunch, too. Would do this again in a heartbeat!

Doing what: Reef and Rainforest Tandem Sky Dive in Cairns

Lucy United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Our tour guide Daniel was lovely. Picked us up from our Port Douglas hotel and drove us to the animal sanctuary. A nice touch when he gave us all a pack of biscuits to enjoy as we visited the sanctuary.
Mossman Gorge its beautiful and many of the tourist were swimming in the Gorge. Daniel gave us a guided tour of the area. He was very knowledgeable.
We then travelled to Cape Tribulation beach. The roads on this section of the journey are very uneven. Take travel sickness medication!
Cape Tribulation was a beautiful clean beach and the hotel where we had dinner was very casual. We both opted for the steak option and were very glad. It was delicious. All of the other food also looked lovely.
We then travelled to the Daintree River where we boarded a crocodile spotting boat,after getting some sweets from Daniel. Again the tour guide on this boat the driver was very knowledgeable and took us to see baby crocodiles and a very large male crocodile. We also saw many other creatures including beautiful blue Kingfisher birds and crabs.
Daniel and the bus were waiting for us at the other side of the river and we then travelled back to Port Douglas. He was also taking groups back to Cairns.
I would recommend taking this tour from Port Douglas if you are staying there as it is quite a long journey from Cairns.

Doing what: Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary Day Tour

LEE H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Excellent day out, great places to visit , good time levels out of the bus. Very good driver cum guide and really comfortable mini coach. Highly recommend this a tour to do if in cairns area.

Doing what: Daintree and Cape Tribulation Tour from Cairns

Art D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

This was the highlight of our time in Cairns. Paul was an excellent guide who is a fount of knowledge and very good at finding animals, both during the day and at night. It was fun to see animals in the wild and not just in the preserves. He showed us an amazing variety of plants and animals. This is an all day adventure that is well worth the time.

Doing what: Atherton Tablelands Rainforest Wildlife Tour by Night

Margaret C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

This place was the cheapest place we went to in cairns and it was the best. Excellent value for money.the staff were careing and helpful.

Doing what: Kuranda Rainforestation Nature Park

michele g

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

This was one of the most amazing tours i have had the pleasure to do. I learnt so much at the wildlife habitat and croc cruise. The young zip line instructors were extremely kind and informative. If any tourists are, at any time, in cairns, do it, I'm 60 and it was easy.

Doing what: Daintree Rainforest Zipline and Wildlife Habitat Day Trip

Josephine S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

This was a smaller ship and at first a little crowded, but very nice. The lunch was excellent and the crew was great! I would definitely go with Cairns Premier Reef and Island Tours on the Ocean Freedom again! It was a better experience than on the larger ships.

Doing what: Great Barrier Reef Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

JIAJUN GU G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

It was actually very fun!! Highly Recommended. You don't want to miss this when you are in Cairns.

Doing what: ATV Quad Bike Tour from Cairns

William O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Great, well worth the money. Best tour of the Cairns inlet you'll ever do.

Doing what: Cairns Jet Boat Ride

Margaret R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

Excellent tour of the area north of Cairns! The driver was very knowledgable and entertaining. The lunch was great and the scenery was beautiful. This is a good trip.

Doing what: Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary Day Tour

idemento28

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

Jason was a PHENOMENAL Tour Guide. He really cared about what he was showing us. It was very enjoyable, entertaining, and educational. I highly recommend this tour for anyone staying in Cairns.

Doing what: Daintree and Cape Tribulation Tour from Cairns

Michelle S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

We had a great time Horseback riding! The staff from Blazing Saddles was wonderful. They met us at our ship and pointed out all the sights in Cairns to and from our riding experience. We were very happy!

Doing what: Horse Riding Tour from Cairns

jvanderlaan

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2014

This tour was well worth the money, and I would recommend it to everyone visiting Cairns! It was a unique experience I've never seen anywhere else! Alex, the zookeeper, was friendly and very informative. I got a ton of great photos!

In addition to holding a koala, I also fed a lemur, a crocodile, and a cassowary. I also held a baby alligator and had a Burmese python around my neck. Despite being afraid of snakes, I loved it!

Doing what: Cairns Tropical Zoo Wildlife Encounter

Sarah O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

This was such a good time, I felt safe with all the instructors. I wish it was longer, even those there is six platforms I enjoyed each and every minute of this excursion. I also enjoyed the Wildlife Habitat I was able to hold a Koala and have my picture taken it definitely checked off from my bucket list! The Daintree was a great experience even our tour guide was the epitome of Australia, loved each and every minute of it, I def. recommend anyone who comes to Cairns to do this!

Doing what: Daintree Rainforest Zipline and Wildlife Habitat Day Trip

alison b

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE . MAKE SURE YOU DO OVER 2 DAYS THOUGH TO GIVE ENOUGH TIME IN KURANDA . WORTHWHILE WHEN YOU GET OFF THE TRAIN IN KURANDA GOING TO THE SKYRAIL TICKET OFFICE (ONLY 2 MINS WALK AWAY ) TO PICK UP YOUR TICKETS FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY LATER IN THE DAY TO SAVE QUEUING AS WAS QUITE BUSY GOING BACK DOWN . TRAIN RIDE PRETTY SPECTACULAR AND KURANDA VERY QUAINT . WE WENT END OF SEPT AND THE WATERFALL IS NOT IN FULL FLOW THEN . THE BARRIER REEF TRIP WAS EXCELLENT ALSO . THE CREW ON THE BOAT WERE BRILLIANT . WE TOOK HELICOPTER BACK TO CAIRNS WHICH GAVE SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE BARRIER REEF . THE WHOLE TRIP WAS WELL ORGANISED WITH NO PROBLEMS AT ALL.

Doing what: 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

JENNIFER E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

It was the most beautiful feeling floating along...serene ..spectacular...you must do it!!! This was mine and my daughter's "Welcome to Cairns " treat...the start of a stunning week in Cairns!!....The tour operator's were the best ...sooo fun and professional!....Tony was the best!!...thankyou so much !!!

Doing what: Hot Air Ballooning Tour from Cairns

Jenny H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

This tour was the highlight of my trip to Cairns. Our guide Paul was passionate and knowledgeable about the Tablelands rainforest and provided very personalised glimpses into the wildlife of the forest. Our twilight experience viewing a platypus in a forest pool was magical. Dinner at Nick's cafe was delicious and this was followed by a unique experience spotlighting nocturnal mammals. We were lucky to see several varieties of possums and bandicoots and experience the beauty of the forest after dark. Would recommend this ecotour to all who value the wonders of the rainforest.

Doing what: Atherton Tablelands Rainforest Wildlife Tour by Night

Angela R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Located on the top floor of the Cairns Reef Casino is the ZOOm and Wildlife Tour. ALOT of fun! The inside climb/ zipline was some times challenging; however, you are allowed to do the climb at your own pace. You are totally safe in that you are wearing a full body harness with "tie-off" at all times during this experience. Very good workout! I aslo did the outside climb (of the building) in which the view of Cairns was awesome. I'm alittle afraid of heights; however, I enjoyed this experience and the staff at the Dome were very friendly/ awesome! You also get to see a very large crocodile, birds, snakes, etc. as part of the Zoo part of this package. Highly recommend this package for anyone wanting to have fun, a workout, an adventure alittle outside the norm!

Doing what: Cairns ZOOm and Wildlife Dome

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