Situated on the east coast of Tropical North Queensland, Cairns is a charming city that makes for a great destination for anyone wanting to explore the Australian East Coast. It is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef – the main reason why so many travellers visit Cairns.
The city, founded in 1876 as a frontier town during the Victorian gold rush, has so much to offer other than being a starting point to the Great Barrier Reef. Enveloped by lush rainforests and just a short distance from some of the world’s most beautiful and unique nature spots, plus the fact that it has a year-round tropical climate, Cairns offers access to a mix of exciting adventures, from snorkelling to scuba diving, zip-lining, and scenic cable car rides. It also provides for unique cultural experiences, a glimpse of the culture and way of life of the region’s aboriginal tribes.
Given its distance from Australia’s bustling capital cities, Cairns is perfect for travellers looking to relax in a place with friendly, laidback atmosphere. It is also a sought- after destination among tourists from Asia, especially now that there are direct flights to Cairns from major travel hubs like Guangzhou, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Phuket, and Shanghai.
Below are 10 stunning photos that will convince you to visit Cairns.
Great Barrier Reef
Spanning approximately 3,000 individual reefs and hundreds of pristine islands and coral cays, the Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s and the world’s most prized natural treasures. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest coral reef system in the world and also one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a must-try when in Cairns. Hop on one of its gondola cabins to sail above a tropical rainforest canopy.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is another can’t-miss activity when you visit Cairns. Pass through tunnels, see stunning cascades, and admire lush jungles and steep ravines as you embark on this unforgettable journey from Cairns to Kuranda, a village in the heart of a tropical rainforest.
Daintree National Park
The World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park is a tropical rainforest believed to be the one of oldest in the world. Featuring jungle-clad coastal ranges and gorges, roaring rivers, secluded beaches, a wide range of unique and rare plant and animal species, the Daintree National Park is famous for its biodiversity and tremendous biological significance.
If you are looking for the ultimate outdoor adventure, a trip to Cape Tribulation is hard to beat. This ecotourism destination and coastal area within the Daintree National Park offers an intoxicating combination of dense jungles and exquisite beaches, another compelling reason to visit Cairns.
Millaa Millaa Falls
Set in the Atherton Tablelands, the Millaa Millaa Falls is a plunge waterfall that’s inscribed in the Queensland Heritage Register since 2005. Undeniably the most beautiful waterfall in the region, Millaa Millaa drops into a swimming hole surrounded by tree ferns.
Green Island is one of the most beautiful islands within the Great Barrier Reef Marine World Park Heritage Area. Home to a lush rainforest and white sand beaches surrounded by vivid blue waters teeming with an astounding variety of coral reef and exotic marine life, the idyllic tropical cay makes for the perfect island getaway that you can easily reach from Cairns.
Fitzroy Island National Park
Less than 30 kilometres from Cairns, the Fitzroy Island National Park is one of the many islands within the tranquil waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Featuring diverse landscapes, stunning reefs, abundant marine and wildlife, gorgeous coral beaches, walking trails, and vast woodlands and rainforests, the island is an ideal camping and hiking destination for the whole family.
One of the most popular attractions in the Wet Tropics of Queensland Heritage Area, Barron Falls is a steep cascading waterfall that descends from the Atherton Tablelands. Set within the Barron National Park, the magnificent waterfalls is best viewed from the Barron Falls Station of the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Arguably the most popular social gathering place in Cairns, the Esplanade offers many fun and exciting activities for locals and visitors of all shapes and sizes. A major attraction at the Esplanade is the Lagoon. With features like a massive pool, park, picnic and barbecue areas, and sprawling spaces for children to play in, it is one of the most frequented family-friendly attractions in the city.
Planning to visit Cairns on your next vacation? Make the most out of your trip with these exciting adventures.
By: Brendelyn Balaga