Australia's adventure capital, Cairns is home to two of the world's greatest natural wonders: the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree rainforest. The dazzling natural environment shapes the region's stunning resorts, from secluded island hideaways to indulgent spa spots and eco-lodges. Be it white-water rafting or skydiving, walking and primeval ferns or cuddling Koalas, exploring the waterfall circuit & crater lakes around the Atherton Tablelands or feasting on Modern Australian cuisine, this Gold Rush city has something for everyone.
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Top Activities to do in Cairns:
1. Make a splash in Cairns City
Soak in the sun and take a dip right next to the sea in a 4-hectare outdoor swimming pool containing crystal clear seawater: Surrounded by beautiful mountainous scenery on 1 side, and retail buzz on the other - Cairns Esplanade is a hit with tourist and locals alike for its chilled out and accessible location. A must-visit in Cairns!
2. Helicopter Experience
Take a helicopter scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef for a spectacular bird's eye view of the Great Barrier Reef where you will have your breadth taken away. Be transported from reef to reef and spot coral cay from great heights. This is one experience that is second to none.
3. For the water-babies
Snorkel, dive or "seawalk" the magnificient underwater wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef. Non-swimmers can marvel at the marine life in glass-bottom boats and semi-submersible boats or hop onto a helicopter ride to enjoy a spectacular bird's eye view of the largest coral system in the world. If you are seeking quality retreats near Cairns City, be sure to check out Fitzroy or Green Island for a memorable time.
4. For the Adrenaline Junkie
From white-water rafting, bungee jumping, skydiving to hot air ballooning, the sky is the limit in Cairns for those who share the love for extreme sports. Cairns is also the host of the 2016 Cairns Airport Adventure Festival where the signature event is the Ironman Cairns held on the 5th June 2016.
5. For the Nature-Lovers
Explore one of the oldest rainforests on the Kuranda Skyrail whilst learning about the fascinating flora and fauna. Or "jungle surf" through the Daintree Rainforest and meet the local tree kangaroos or elusive cassowary. Self-drive through the varied landscapes of the Atherton Tablelands, follow the waterfall circuit, stop to swim in crater lakes or marvel at the majestic curtain fig and rolling farmlands.
6. Rent and drive
Rent a car, get a map and set yourself on a self-drive adventure to de-stress at eco-friendly luxury lodges like Thala Beach Nature Reserve or Silky Oaks Lodge where you can unwind and indulge in spa treatments. Or, simply chill out in the charming resort town of Port Douglas, favoured by A-list celebrities as the place to get away.
7. Food trail at Atherton Tablelands
The region is popular and well-loved for its gourmet food and wine trails that lead you from the dairy farm, to a coffee plantation, mango farm where you can shop for fresh mangoes to mango wine. The tablelands is also famous for its lakes and waterfall circuits with their stunning rainforest backdrops. Highlights include Malanda Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, LakeBarrine and the sprawling Yungaburra Curtain Fig Tree, LakeBarrine Tinaroo.