Cairns is hot, hot, hot – and we’re not just talking about the weather. 

Once considered little more than a convenient jumping off point for the Great Barrier Reef, the unofficial capital of Tropical North Queensland has become a bucket list destination in its own right. Take a boat tour to the outer reef or Fitzroy Island, go on a day trip from Cairns to the tropical rainforest at Cape Tribulation, take a full day tour to see native wildlife, visit Mossman Gorge, marvel at mighty Barron Falls or ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway then jump onboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the return trip to Cairns. This friendly tropical tourist town is ever-changing and offers something for travellers of all ages with loads of natural wonders to explore.

 

Our Cairns trips

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Explore the natural wonders of northern Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands on a 5-day...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

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Highlights of Cairns

Atherton Tablelands

Walk the Atherton Tablelands with Intrepid Travel and you’ll be introduced to a side of this beautiful destination that few get to see, from local legends to unique insight into the region’s flora and fauna. You’ll also have a friendly four-legged companion to carry your bags. 

Join a day trip

Take a day trip to see sights such as Millaa Millaa Falls, Mamu Tropical Skywalk, Josephine Falls, Paronella Park, Babinda Boulders or beautiful Lake Barrine. This deep rainwater lake is home to amethystine pythons, eastern water dragons and other native wildlife.

Explore the outer reef

Pack your swimmers and get ready for an aquatic adventure as you explore the outer reef on one of the many boat tours which include snorkelling. Sunlight sparkles on the ocean, the sun warms your back, and colourful fish tempt you to jump in the water.

See Mossman Gorge

Experience the beauty of Mossman Gorge in Daintree National Park. This wilderness area is home to the oldest, continuously surviving rainforest on earth and has a beautiful swimming hole surrounded by towering trees and bright blue Monarch butterflies. 

Spot native animals

Keep an eye out for native animals such as koalas high in the trees, rock wallabies which can often be seen at Granite Gorge, Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos and cassowaries which are regularly spotted around the ranger stations when you’re riding the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.  

Walk tropical rainforest trails

Grab a good pair of walking shoes and hit the trails in and around Cairns. Take a short stroll along the trail which takes you to Barron Falls, tackle the full day Mount Bartle Frere track or go wild in Cape Tribulation which has plenty of pristine rainforest walks to explore.  

Cairns Tour Reviews

Cairns FAQs

Cairns is the main airport for Tropical North Queensland with domestic flights flying to and from most major Australian cities. There is a train service from Brisbane to Cairns multiple times per week and regular long distance buses which travel up and down the coast. Driving is also possible if you enjoy spending time on the road and don't mind long drives.  

The areas in and around Cairns are well signed and easy to navigate. A local bus service is available although your options can be somewhat limited if you are hoping to travel further afield. Taxis and ride share options are also readily available. 

Any time of year is a good time to visit Cairns. Summer is hot and humid and perfect for swimming. Spring and Autumn are cooler and the region tends to be quieter. Winter is ideal for those who don't enjoy humid temperatures and the weather is typically good. If you are visiting between October and May and swimming in the ocean, it is advisable to wear a 'stinger suit' to protect yourself from possible jellyfish stings. 

Cairns tends to be a casual place so you can leave your fancy clothes at home. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, even in winter. If you forget any essentials, it is easy to pick up whatever you need in the Cairns CBD. 

Cairns is a laid back destination which means casual clothes or active wear are fine to wear during the day. Smart casual is the norm for restaurants including the more upmarket dining spots in town.

WiFi is readily available throughout Cairns. There can be limited or no WiFi available for a short time when you're on some sections of road in the Atherton Tablelands and other remote spots. There is no WiFi signal throughout most of Cape Tribulation. 

Mobile coverage is readily available throughout Cairns. There can be limited or no mobile signal for a short time when you're on some sections of road in the Atherton Tablelands and other remote spots. There is no mobile signal throughout most of Cape Tribulation. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Some of the hiking trails in Tropical North Queensland can make walking difficult for travellers who are less mobile on foot. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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