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

  • 80%


    Nice beach town

    Fun place to stay for a few days to dive the barrier reef, tour the tablelands and daintree areas. Lots of fun bars and good restaurants. No beach but there is a nice park with a man made beach of sorts that is fun during the day.

  • 60%



    not much to see or do here except visit the Lagoon and the shopping centre. lots of bars and clubs though for nighttime when Cairns comes alive! Very much a party town. Loved it here!

    Insider Tip:Keep an eye out for happy hours around all the bars - useful way of saving money whilst having a good night

  • 90%


    Omg Are you serious!

    I'm inlove with Cairns, I'll do anything to come back and live here !!! I wish it was that easy , but the location is great ...there's the rainforest , the great barrier reef! bars/club , market , beach , wildlife ! everything! Take me back! plssss

  • 50%


    cairns in the rain

    Having flown up from sunny Sydney, we were shocked to find cairns in a monsoon like season in March. Not a lot to do in the town aside from the GBR tours. We hired a car and drove North to port Douglas, then Kuranda where you can hold a koala :) and the daintree rainforest even further north at mossman gorge. Amazing day trip!

    Insider Tip:Book your great barrier reef trip via the hostel desk in order to get a discount. Hire a car and get out of cairns.

  • 80%


    The city of sun and party

    I loved Cairns. The weather was amazing (39 deg) everyday and the city has such a chilled atmosphere. There are lots of activities to do including scuba diving or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and visiting the waterfalls at the Atherton Tablelands. The city has lots of bars and clubs to go to in the evening which are all full of backpackers. If you fancy a chilled day, you can take your book and lie by the lagoon (which has free WIFI!).

    Insider Tip:Go for a walk along the esplanade all around the bag and up the river!

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