The city of Cairns is an oasis of captivating natural harmony in Northern Queensland, Australia. The place is rightfully referred to as the tourist capital of the country, as many travellers from different corners of the world adore Cairns for its diversity, splendid landscapes, distinctive culture, and identity. The city is rich in beachside locations and entertainment; however, much more lies within its attractions – diverse in character and ways of spending time, yet capable of captivating and astonishing even the most seasoned wanderer.
In this article, we invite you to an enthralling tour of Cairns’ landmarks. By visiting these places, you will see the city from a different perspective – and you will enjoy it.
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Great Barrier Reef
Being one of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is a system of coral reefs consisting of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. The reef spans a length of 2,300 km — making it the largest natural formation on the planet. In its structure, the reef is a collection of billions of coral polyps, creating incredible underwater landscapes. Diving underwater here becomes an unforgettable experience: majestic coral walls, underwater caves, and unique reef inhabitants create a sense of harmony with the ocean. Thus, snorkelling, underwater swimming, and boat excursions with glass bottoms are essential options for leisure activities.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
A journey along the Kuranda Road is a remarkable voyage through dense tropical forests and the majestic mountain peaks of Cairns. The road stretches for 37 kilometres, allowing you to witness many captivating locations during the journey. As a portion of the road passes through the territory of the Barron Gorge National Park, you can directly observe rare exotic plants, stunning waterfalls, and formidable mountains from the window. Hundreds of shades of green form a unique palette of flora and fauna surrounding you.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Cairns continues to break records: Skyrail Rainforest is the longest cable car in the world, stretching for 7.5 km. In the city, it is perhaps the most popular attraction, as both tourists and locals alike enjoy the splendour of nature from a bird’s-eye view. In addition to the regular cabins, Skyrail Rainforest also offers its visitors Diamond View areas. Their distinct feature is the transparent floors, adding even more thrill to the journey. During the ride, there are two mandatory stops, during which tourists can stroll through the tropical forest, enjoy the landscapes, and take photos while being at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level.
Kerns Esplanade is a picturesque and unique locale that has become the heart of this city. Strolling along the Esplanade, you will immerse yourself in an atmosphere of tranquillity and serenity. Broad pathways, adorned with palm trees, provide an ideal setting for morning jogs, leisurely walks, and open-air relaxation. Along the Esplanade, you will find charming cafes and eateries, where you can sample local cuisine, unwind with a cup of fragrant coffee, or savour fresh seafood while gazing out over the ocean. Moreover, this area also plays host to frequent markets and festivals, adding a vibrant touch to the street.
The Daintree National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, further confirming the uniqueness and value of this location. In the Tropical Rainforest of Daintree, numerous captivating activities can be engaged in. Taking a stroll along the trails will allow you to observe a diverse fauna, including unique bird species, butterflies, and local inhabitants, such as cassowaries and tree kangaroos. For adrenaline enthusiasts, attempting canopying — descending on a safety rope from tree summits while relishing captivating views of the surrounding forest — is worth considering. Moreover, this place offers an opportunity to acquaint oneself with the culture and history of the Aboriginal people, exploring their ancient customs and crafts.
Cairns Botanical Garden
Over 38 hectares of the botanical garden’s area are occupied by diverse ecosystems, such as tropical forests, savannahs, and mangrove thickets. Around 4000 plant species are represented in several thematic gardens, including palm, bamboo, epiphyte, and xerophyte gardens. Colours, fragrances, and textures astonish with their multifaceted nature. Additionally, this place frequently serves as a platform for education and development. Engaging events, workshops, and lectures take place here, enabling visitors to deepen their understanding of nature and ecology.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
Tjapukai Park is a means to intricately delve into the rich history and culture of Australian Aboriginals. Visitors bear witness to vibrant displays showcasing traditional ritual dances, songs, and crafts of the Aboriginal people. Here, one can learn about the utilisation of natural resources for crafting tools, attire, and adornments, as well as deepen their understanding of the mythology and spiritual connection of this remarkable culture with the surrounding world. Exiting the trading gallery without an acquisition proves challenging, given the array of unique Aboriginal household items available for purchase: paintings, boomerangs, didgeridoos, and more.
Ultimately, each of Cairns’ landmarks is poised to transport tourists into an enthralling adventure brimming with vivid emotions and unforgettable impressions. Whether it is underwater swimming, hiking, visiting cultural sites, or simply relaxing on the beach – every form of leisure will linger in memory for a substantial duration.
How to Find the Time to See All the Sights of Cairns
Since practically all the interesting places to visit in Cairns present completely different ways of spending leisure time, there is a natural desire to explore as many locations as possible. To not miss the opportunity to enjoy splendid landscapes and entertainment, it is worth considering some useful tips for effective time management.
- Create a list of places to visit. Cairns is rich in diverse locations, including majestic beaches, waterfalls, national parks, and museums. Reflect on your interests and preferences to compile the most engaging and fulfilling itinerary.
- Plan your itinerary. Decide on the first place you would like to visit and then map out your itinerary in increasing distances. This approach will enable you to use your time most efficiently and avoid long travels at the end of the day.
- Book tours. If you prefer quality organisation, tours with experienced guides are an excellent choice. Excursions will help you learn about local historical events, culture, and nature. Booking tours will also spare you the need to worry about transportation, as it is already included in the cost.
- Rent a car. If you wish to maintain independence and plan to explore Cairns on your own terms, car rental in Cairns is the optimal solution. Numerous companies offer rental services, and it is significantly more cost-effective than relying on taxi services. Cars in Cairns can be rented on the website of LocalCarRents.
- Stay in Cairns. Do not rush to leave immediately after sightseeing. Cairns is a picturesque and hospitable city, offering its visitors a wide range of entertainment and relaxation opportunities. If you are considering extending your trip for a few days, undoubtedly stay to fully immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere, engage in shopping, and visit more secluded but equally amazing places.
The value of each location in Cairns is measured by the vivid impressions that remain in memory after the visit. A responsible approach to planning your journey will help you gain a multitude of enriching emotions, which will become warm memories of the time spent. You will surely feel the desire to return here again and again, as Cairns is a city that cannot leave anyone indifferent.