Cairns Pocket Guide

Images Of Cairns

For many people, Cairns is the last stop on their journey up the East Coast of Australia. There can be no doubt that during the day it has a laid back atmosphere, making it seem like the ideal place to slow things down and take it easy for a few days. But this isn't the case. Cairns may seem a little pedestrian when compared to the rest of the manic East Coast, but don't let that fool you. Look around and you'll see streets overflowing with tour operators offering a range of activities to rival any other destination in Australia. Right on your doorstep you've got skydiving, whitewater rafting, paragliding, hiking, wakeboarding and, of course, The Great Barrier Reef - the jewel in the crown of this Northern Queensland backpacker magnet.

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In The Guide

  • Cheap Eats Find out what restaurants are best value for money and what are the local specialties.
  • Don't Miss A list of the best local attractions and places worth visiting whilst in Cairns.
  • Budget Tips Insider tips on how to save money or what to do when you don't have any!
  • A day in Cairns... Only have one day to spare? We give you our ultimate day in Cairns.

Cairns City Reviews

  • 60%


    Touristy - there are far better beaches elsewhere in Oz

    Cairns is an alright place to arrive to tropical Queensland - yet there are far better beaches and jungles elsewhere in Australia... unless your aim is to make friends with the endless throngs of backpackers that seem to swirl around the esplanade at every hour of the day.

  • 60%


    Party place like any other

    For me Cairns was a party place like any other in Europe or the rest of the world. The main thing there are the bars, clubs and restaurants. Other than that there is really not much to see in the city which makes it boring pretty soon. You have to do trips there to make it worth. So go to Cape Tribulation and a Great Barrier Reef trip or flight! No beach or surfing.. so just the lagoon.

    Insider Tip:Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef Trip and Gilligans for Party :)

  • 90%



    Cairns is very much a party town with it's night life which is fantastic for any traveller. Plus there's plenty of tours to do and activities, you just can't get bored here.

  • 90%


    Best backpacker destination in Australia

    Plenty of activities and a chill vibe keep this town at the top of my list of destinations in Australia. While other places are overrun with miners or hipsters, Cairns keeps it real.

  • 80%


    Nice city

    Cairns is excellent for diving activities as well as just enjoying the nice weather. The beach in the city itself is not safe for swimming due to alligators. Lots of places to eat and hang out.

    Insider Tip:N/A.

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