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Cairns

4.2
Scuba & Snorkeling · Hiking Trails · Water Sports

The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing. The city has an easygoing, unpretentious atmosphere that makes it easy for visitors to adjust to local life. Much of the appeal of Cairns comes from its backdrop of forested hills and flanked by attractive beaches. Our Australia tour planning app allows you to plan your trip to Cairns and a wealth of other destinations big and small.
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Popular things to do in Cairns

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4.2
Duration: 8 hours
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.7
Duration: 8 hours
4.8
Duration: 4 hours

Side trips from Cairns

4.8
Duration: 8 hours
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
4.4
Duration: 4 hours

Tours in Cairns

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4.3
Duration: 4h 30 min
4.6
Duration: 4 hours
4.1
Duration: 2 hours
4.8
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Cairns

4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.9
Duration: 8 hours
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
4.5
Duration: 2 hours

Adventure in Cairns

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4.7
Duration: 4 hours
4.7
Duration: 4 hours
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.9
Duration: 4h 30 min

Wildlife in Cairns

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4.4
Duration: 2 hours
4.5
Duration: 4 hours
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
3.8
Duration: 4 hours

Where to stay in Cairns

Though Cairns seems to offer an endless selection of cozy rooms, most budget-friendly options remain fully booked through the high season, stretching from June to September. Reserve early if you want a hotel room packed with amenities, or look for alternative lodgings in the city's smaller inns. As the backpacker capital of northern Queensland, Cairns features dozens of economical hostels providing comfortable beds and free Wi-Fi. For something far more luxurious, look for centrally located rental apartments with spacious rooms and harbor views.
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Places to visit with Cairns

Fraser Island BEST FOR: World heritage site, Water Body, Safari Port Douglas BEST FOR: Scuba / Snorkeling, Water Sport, Safari Brisbane BEST FOR: Park, Wildlife Area, Garden Airlie Beach BEST FOR: Scuba / Snorkeling, Waterskiing / Jetskiiing, Beach Gold Coast BEST FOR: Theme Park, Beach, Shopping Mall

Recently planned trips to Cairns

31 days in Cairns BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 3 days in Cairns & Daintree BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 22 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 22 days in Australia BY A USER FROM FRANCE July, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, teens, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 1 day in Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM HONG KONG SAR CHINA July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Cairns BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, popular sights Preferences: December Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 1 day in Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 16 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights Preferences: March, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Fast-paced 3 days in Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, teens, kids, popular sights Preferences: November, teens, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 11 days in Cairns & Port Douglas BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, teens, popular sights Preferences: January, teens Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
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Message from Tourism Australia
The gateway to Queensland's tropical north, Cairns is a laid-back city best enjoyed outdoors. Visit Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, but don't miss the great things to do in and around town. You'll find brilliant cafés, bustling markets and plenty of beaches nearby. Relax by a resort pool or spend your days exploring this tropical oasis. International flights arrive at Cairns Airport, a 10 to 15 minute drive from the city centre. In Cairns you'll find plenty of activities to get your heart racing.