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Cairns

4.3

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. Cairns is in Cairns Region. Take a look at our Australia trip itinerary maker app to refine the details of your trip to Cairns.
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Popular things to do in Cairns

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4.3
Duration: 8​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h
4.6
Duration: 8​h

Side trips from Cairns

4.8
Duration: 8​h
4.9
Duration: 8​h
4.4
Duration: 4​h

Kids friendly things to do in Cairns

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4.7
Duration: 2​h
3.8
Duration: 4​h 30​min
4.2
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.5
Duration: 4​h

Hidden gems in Cairns

4.7
Duration: 3​h
4.3
Duration: 3​h
4.4
Duration: 4​h
4.8
Duration: 2​h

Shopping in Cairns

4.3
Duration: 1​h 30​min
3.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 30​min
4
Duration: 1​h

Tours in Cairns

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4.2
Duration: 5​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 5​h
4.2
Duration: 4​h

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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Recently planned trips to Cairns

11 days in Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Cairns BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, kids, outdoors, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, kids, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 30 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in Cairns BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 33 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Sydney & Cairns BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Australia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Australia BY A USER FROM GERMANY March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 39 days in Australia & New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Great Barrier Reef BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July 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.