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Cairns Attractions

Visit all the best Cairns attractions and book online here! Cairns has a variety of family-friendly nature and wildlife attractions that are suitable for all ages. Visit the Cairns Aquarium to get a taste of the Great Barrier Reef, see crocodiles in the wild up close on a cruise, cuddle a koala at Kuranda Koala Gardens, hand feed birds at Birdworld Kuranda, see hundreds of butterflies at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or visit Tjapukai for a fun and educational Aboriginal cultural experience. Visitors and locals must also spend the day visiting Kuranda on the Skyrail and Scenic Railway to see waterfalls and the rainforest. View our range of tours below and book online to receive instant confirmation with ZERO booking fees!

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About Cairns Attractions

Attractions in Cairns are largely based on showcasing the best of Tropical North Queensland in a smaller, easy to navigate location ideal for families and those short in time. From tropical wildlife to indigenous culture and the sheer natural beauty of the rainforest, there is a range of attractions within easy reach of the city that each offer a specific focus.

While several of Cairns' top attractions are located within the city limits, for the majority you'll need to travel further afield as many of them are situated amongst the Daintree Rainforest or at destinations further up the highway such as the northern beaches Palm Cove or Port Douglas.

We highlight some of Cairns' top attractions in each category in more detail below.

Up Close & Personal With Native Animals

Those wanting to get up close with some unique native animals in the Cairns region have a surprising variety of attractions to choose from - within the city limits, the Cairns Wildlife Dome which sits atop Cairns' Reef Hotel Casino and its characteristic glass dome are home to a convenient wildlife experience with a particular focus on birds and reptiles.

It's a great and easy to access attraction in rainy weather in particular situated in the centre of Cairns and thus close to most Cairns accommodation and comes with some interesting activities - such as a flying fox over the top of a massive saltwater crocodile - as well.

The popular rainforest village of Kuranda is home to several wildlife attractions in itself - the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is Australia's most extensive showcase of these delicate insects with over 1500 butterflies on display; Birdworld Kuranda is home to an immense range of exotic birds ranging from smaller parrots up to big and beautiful macaws; and Kuranda Koala Gardens offers the chance to get up close with and hold one of Australia's most popular animal icons, the koala, along with numerous other native species.

Meanwhile, massive and powerful crocodiles can be encountered and seen leaping out of the water at the Hartley's Crocodile Adventures attraction situated in Palm Cove to the north of Cairns, with the opportunity to take a cruise through waters populated by these impressive reptiles and learn about their habits and environment.

Magical Dining & Cultural Experience

The indigenous Aboriginal Australian community has long had a strong presence in Tropical North Queensland, and those looking to learn more about this fascinating and ancient culture have several options to do so in the region. First and foremost is the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, located near the popular SkyRail Rainforest Cableway and a comprehensive yet respectful and interactive display of all-things-Aboriginal ranging from greetings, to dance, to song, storytelling and food.

Visitors can attend Tjapukai by both day and night, with each offering a slightly different emphasis - during the daytime, the emphasis is placed on participation and interaction with guests able to try their hand at throwing a spear or boomerang, educated about bush medicine and food, and enjoying a freshly cooked lunch.

At night, Tjapukai turns into an immersive experience where guests are painted in traditional fashion and treated to an evening of dance, firelight and food for a comprehensive mixture of cultural entertainment. Alternatively, Flames of the Forest - which lies 50 minutes from Cairns - provides a magical dining and cultural experience focused on the storytelling of two indigenous brothers all within an atmospheric and creatively lit rainforest environment.

It's an authentic and mystical venue that helps pull you back in time and comes with some excellent dining to boot all in an intimate setting. Both of these cultural attractions are well worth doing, and include the option for transfers to and from Cairns accommodation.