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Things To See in Cairns, Australia

Most visitors come to Cairns to do rather than to see because the simple truth is that the city has very few attractions in the form of monuments, buildings or the like. Instead, the city serves as a gateway to many of Australia’s top attractions as well as a prime location for every adventure sport that you can think of. Surrounded on three sides by rainforest and on the fourth by the Coral Sea, it is the major starting point for those wishing to visit the many natural attractions in the north end of Queensland.

The city itself is often referred to as the adventure capital of Australia due to the diversity of the region. From the natural attractions provided by the likes of the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of Cape Tribulation to activities including bungee jumping and whitewater rafting, it is easy to see that the description is justified.

Numerous adventure tour operators choose a selection of the various natural attractions and package them into challenging and stimulating holiday experiences which attract thousands visitors from all over the world on an annual basis. All you have to do when you get there is chose exactly which type of holiday suits you best.

Attractions in Cairns

  • The Chapel

    1/91 The Esplanade, Cairns, Australia

    This is one of the most popular spots on the Esplanade and provides excellent food as well as a good night out. With a relaxed Mediterranean theme, it is a little quieter than some of the aforementioned establishments so if you’re looking to unwind after a busy day, then you should consider coming here where you can enjoy your drink on the balcony overlooking the bay.

  • Undersea World Aquarium

    The Pier Market Place, Cairns, Australia

    On your visit to this Aquarium situated right in the heart of the city, you will be able to watch and listen to scuba-divers speak to you from under the water as they feed the sharks and other dangerous fish. You can also ask them questions as they feed. And you will be able to touch the spectacular marine life in the rock pool all by yourself. I don’t think you would want to do so with the sharks anyway. It’s a nice relaxing way to spend an afternoon and will provide plenty of photograph opportunities to add to your collection.

  • Cairns Night Markets

    54 - 60 Abbott Street, Cairns, Australia

    These are among Queensland’s most popular markets and take place daily from 5.00pm until 11.00pm. If you’re looking for some authentic Australian crafts to take home, then this is exactly where you need to take yourself. Or, if you’ve been promising yourself a didgeridoo since you arrived in Oz then you’re in luck. And, you get to see a lot of the crafts being produced there and then as you watch. It’s a fascinating experience and one you are going to remember for quite some time.

  • Cairns Regional Gallery

    Cnr. Abbott & Shields St., Cairns, Australia

    The largest regional galley in Queensland, the gallery contains a vibrant and colourful collection of art in elegant surroundings right in the heart of the city. The art on display is the work of Australian artists who submit from all over the world as well as the Tropical north itself. There are also regular open days, fashion parades and film screenings which you can find out about in any of the tourist information centres or at the gallery itself.

  • Cairns Museum

    Cnr. Lake & Shields St., Cairns, Australia

    One of the few attractions of its kind in the city, the Cairns Museum displays the history of the areas with sculptures, pictures and models. It takes the visitor right through from the city’s Aboriginal beginnings, on to the Chinese influence right up to the present day. All the artefacts are laid out in an easy to see fashion with many of the maritime and railway pieces displayed on spacious verandas. It’s the perfect attraction for those of you wishing to give yourself a rest before trying out yet another extreme sport.

  • Great Barrier Reef, Green Island & Fitzroy Island

    , Cairns, Australia

    Daily boat cruises run from Cairns to Green and Fitzroy Island as well as to the Great Barrier Reef. It is a good idea to shop around when deciding on a tour and keep an eye out for discount flyers either in your hostel or at various locations throughout the city. While the reef is widely known all over the world, the other two islands are relatively new on the list of things to see in Australia. Green Island is situated on the reef while Fitzroy, which lies twenty-two kilometres east of Cairns, is a true continental island covered with streams, waterfalls and dense rainforest. It is ideal for swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing.

  • Cape Tribulation

    , Cairns, Australia

    While you can take a day trip to the cape from Cairns, most would recommend that you stay overnight as it is quite a drive. Along with the Great Barrier Reef, this is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia and offers a multitude of things for the visitor to do. The best package to allow you to pack everything in is probably a bush safari where you’ll get to sail down the Daintree, participate in a number of different sports which include swimming in the Coral Sea, and get to see the amazing flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest which covers the cape.

  • White Water Rafting

    , Cairns, Australia

    One of the most popular locations for white water rafting in the region is the Tully River. With 45 rapids and located in a remote World Heritage Rainforest, you really are in for the adventure of a lifetime. Other rivers in the area include the Russell River and the Barron River, which are slightly less dangerous but just as much of a thrill. When booking your trip do try to get the best value. Many tours include free lunch, transport, equipment and a night’s entertainment in the local pub, many others don’t, so shop around.

  • Parachute Jump

    , Cairns, Australia

    If you fancy falling anywhere between eight and fourteen thousand feet out of the sky and you haven’t been classified as clinically insane in the recent past, then you may want to risk a parachute jump. A sixty-second free fall followed by up to five minutes of a view that you will never forget and it’s all over. But, it will be the scariest and most exhilarating six minutes of your trip. As well as parachute jumps, a lot of those who provide this service also offer tandem skydives which are equally if not more frightening and just as memorable. You should allow at least half a day for your jump as you will have to receive some training to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

  • Bungee Jump

    , Cairns, Australia

    Cairns is now one of the most popular locations in the world for bungee jumping. Those of you willing to check out this thrill seeking sport can jump from a tower in the middle of the rainforest in the Saddleback Mountains. So, if you have decided that you want to jump, what better place to do it than in idyllic surroundings with hundreds of fellow adrenaline junkies around you, crazy people.

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