Michaelmas Cay, Cairns

4.3
#1 of 7 in Nature in Cairns Region
An important breeding site for terns, Michaelmas Cay is a protected area teeming with life. The terns are sometimes joined by turtle species that nest along the cays. These nesting sites are a vital resource for scientists studying these species, and you'll often see photographers snapping photos or scientists jotting down notes. The area where the birds live is densely vegetated due to the abundant bird droppings (an excellent fertilizer), in contrast to the rocky terrain of the rest of the cays. Make Michaelmas Cay a part of your Cairns vacation plans using our Cairns trip builder .
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Michaelmas Cay Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
532 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Lots of sand at the bottom of the ocean. It’s good that you can kneel in the sand, but I’d rather see coral. We did however see a sea turtle and giant clam.  more »
  • This cay is very unique for the birds. The island is fenced off for the protection of the birds. Only a small area is accessible by humans. Its fine to spend 5-10 minutes looking at the birds. The sno...  more »
  • Stopped by with the SeaStar cruise for snorkel and short island visit. The snorkling was quite murky and not as impressive as other sites we have been to (visited four others). We did get to see a few...  more »

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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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