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Vote forCairns, QLDTop Major Destinations Badge Which are Australia's must-visit destinations? You help us decide.


Cairns, Queensland


Cairns has fast become perhaps Australia’s most popular sunny getaway destination, and with its location on the northern Queensland coastline boasting universally warm weather and proximity to two natural wonders it’s not hard to see why. Both adjacent to the stunning Great Barrier Reef and a short drive from the likes of the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and more, Cairns is a haven for adventure on both land and water.

More on Cairns below...


Why Cairns?


State: Queensland

Why it's special: "Adventure capital" destination ideal for younger travellers and the affluent alike; one of the most popular springboards for the Great Barrier Reef; several viable island destinations just off shore; Daintree Rainforest provides a land-based wonder as well

Best time to go: August - September

It’s due in large part to its wide array of offerings that Cairns has grown both on the domestic and international stages as one of Australia’s most popular holiday spots; and with its warm weather making for a viable travel destination all year round, there’s rarely a bad time to visit Cairns – particularly if marine exploration is your main aim. The Great Barrier Reef is the obvious drawcard here with its immense range of colourful fish, hard and soft corals, and much more, however the surrounding islands including Green Island and Fitzroy Island also offer more easily-accessible enjoyment.

This spectacular section of ocean is the main reason why Cairns is Australia’s most popular spot for snorkelling and scuba diving, with the Outer Reef in particular boasting both a high degree of visibility and a greater degree of reef quality compared to those areas closer to the mainland. The beauty of the water can be enjoyed above the water as well – in addition to more typical reef tours, scenic flights offer the chance to get a birds-eye view of the sheer marvellous scale of the world’s largest living organism.

Stay on land, meanwhile, and the adventure opportunities in Cairns and surrounds continue unabated; the city itself is ever-growing and boasts both an upbeat and lively nightlife scene as well as an array of quality restaurants, bars and other culinary spots from which to sample some quality eats and drinks. Add to this the convenience of having full city-style facilities – such as shopping centres, a solid public transport system and even a casino – and Cairns offers all of the benefits of a big-city location with a resort-style atmosphere.


Perhaps Australia’s most up-and-coming city, Cairns has seen continued fast growth over recent years yet still manages to provide one of the best balances of urbanisation versus nature of any Aussie capital.

In addition, those with desire for more involved activities have plenty to do in the Cairns region with a little extra travel invested; altitude-seekers can take part in skydiving or hot air ballooning above the amazing tropical scenery, while some of Queensland’s best white water rafting is just a short trip away. And, of course, no talk of a visit to Cairns is complete without a mention of bungee jumping – the ultimate adrenaline rush of which the region is Australia’s original home.

Throw in the possibility to explore the lush rainforests of the Daintree and all of the adventure that such an ancient and beautiful part of the country entails, and Cairns becomes a destination that offers one of the most extensive “buffets” of things to do of any region in Oz.

What Cairns has to offer:


Highlights that set Cairns apart include:


Top Things to Do


Looking to pay a visit to Cairns but not sure what to do? Here are some of its most essential experiences.

What's new in Cairns in 2016/2017?


Articles on Cairns


Need more info on Cairns? Check out our detailed travel features on this top spot below.

Top 10 Things to do
by Experience Oz staff

Trendy and upcoming, South Australia's capital continues to revamp its city centre, while still serving as the ideal gateway to a number of top South Australian day trip destinations nearby.

Read More

Cairns vs. Port Douglas
by Experience Oz staff

Full of heritage both in its landmarks and architecture, Victoria's regional city of Cairns is both history-rich and home to a number of distinctive attractions that help set it apart.

Read More

The Best Time to Visit
by Experience Oz staff

Perhaps Australia’s most up-and-coming capital, Cairns has seen continued fast growth over recent years yet still manages to provide one of the best balances of urbanisation vs. nature.

Read More

Cairns in Pictures


Follow Cairns on Instagram at @tropicalnorthqueensland and Experience Oz at @experienceoz

Cairns in Motion


Is Cairns Australia's Top Major Destination to Experience for 2017? Vote now for the chance to WIN an epic trip to one of Australia's top destinations!

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