If you didn’t already know, out of the short time we’ve been in Australia, we have spent the most time in Cairns. So I have to say, we do know a fair bit about what to do while you’re here. Here’s a list of the top things to do in Cairns.
1. Great Barrier Reef
If you’re not going to visit the reef, why are you even here?! Cairns is probably one of the best places to snorkel or dive the reef, and is only around a 45-minute boat ride away from the outer coral formations.
There are a number of companies you can choose from, and all cater to different budgets and experiences. I personally wanted to go out to a pontoon, which provides access to a large reef where you can generally snorkel and dive, along with a list of other optional extras – such as helicopter flights, “sea walker” helmets, as well as semi submersible and glass bottom boats.
Other tours provide multiple snorkel destinations, full and half day trips, or specific tours for diving. The trip you pick will be based on what you want the experience to be and your budget. We ended up going with Sunlover Cruises who were absolutely fantastic and made for an amazing day out. The best day in Australia so far!
Watch our trip to the reef here
Cost: between $150 and $200+
2. Fitzroy Island
This was just an incredible experience. It still feels like our time there was all just a dream. I constantly look back at the pictures
just to remind myself that I took those and yes, it really was as beautiful as I remembered. This is a trip I will never forget, and I still feel so lucky we got to stay there for 3-days. You can go for just the day, you can camp or stay in the resort. If you want to know more about our trip, you can watch the vlogs here
3. Hot Air Balloon Flight
When we found out about this, we knew we had to tick this off our bucket list. Seeing the sun rise over the Atherton Tablelands was just simply magical, and we still can’t believe that we got to witness these amazing views.
We went with Raging Thunder – from the bus driver to the balloon pilot, all the staff were great and helped to make our time with their company easy and carefree.
As your gondola climbs into the rainforest, you get 360 views of it all from above. See immense views of Barron Falls and stop off at the two rainforest stations for a guided tour and stunning lookouts along the boardwalk. Spend the rest of your day in Kuranda – an unexpected village in the rainforest full of cute cafes and shops full of souvenirs for you to forever remember your day.
Cost: $77 pp for a round trip
5. Babinda Boulders
Babinda is just under an hours drive south of Cairns. Looking at pictures from the Boulders, you can instantly tell that it is a beautiful place. However, they will not prepare you for how simply breathtaking this place is. Arrive early and go for a swim in the creek before the crowds get there. Settle down for lunch on one of the many picnic areas, or under the shade of a tree. Before you leave, take the short walk to see the Boulders.
See it for yourself here
Cost: Free, as long as you have a car.
Have I missed out some of your favourite things to do in Cairns? Let me know in the comments.