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Cairns Tours & Day Trips

Book all the best Cairns tours here to see the best of Tropical QLD! Enjoy day tours to both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest from Cairns. Discover the rainforest village of Kuranda on the Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway journey or opt for great value coach tours to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. A visit to Cairns is not complete without a day tour or several to the Great Barrier Reef and nearby islands like Green Island or Fitzroy Island. Choose your Cairns tour below to complete your Tropical North Queensland experience today!

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About Cairns Tours

As one of Australia's most beloved travel destinations - both domestically and for those visiting from abroad - much of Cairns' and its surrounding region's charms come from the wide number of natural highlights that are all within easy reach for a day trip. Its tropical environment and positioning alongside some gorgeous natural wonders make it a great base to see some of Australia's most beautiful spots up close, and while some of these are within a mere half an hour drive, others require several hours out on the water in order to experience properly.

The most obvious Cairns tour spot from Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef, however, given its massive size and multiple individual spots within the reef like Green Island and Fitzroy Island to choose from, one Cairns tour to the reef can be vastly different to the next. Do you choose to visit a nearby island, or instead spend the extra time and money to head further out to the glorious Outer Reef? Are you travelling as a couple, alone, or with kids in tow? All of these factors will influence which reef tour is best for you.

The same can be said of the glorious Daintree Rainforest - one of the oldest of its kind on earth, and immense in size itself. Home to a diverse ecosystem that's wondrous to explore, tours of the Daintree can provide a great blend of both animal and plant life to observe, along with insider knowledge from a tour guide.

Add in other popular spots such as the picturesque Cape Tribulation, the rainforest village of Kuranda, tours oriented around food and culinary experiences and more, and you've got yourself plenty of Cairns tour choices to select from. Some of the most popular of these we outline in more detail below.

Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tours

The major reason Cairns attracts visitors from all over the globe is because of the Great Barrier Reef. This is because of the expansive and visually stunning showcase of marine life that's also become more and more accessible to the public over the years. As a result, those looking to book a tour of the reef from Cairns will be spoiled for choice, as there are now a wide variety of operators, cruise and tour itineraries, optional extras and much more to make for a truly customised experience.

The easiest and most accessible - and budget-friendly - of these Cairns tours involves taking a half or a full-day tour out to one of the nearby islands just offshore: Green Island and Fitzroy Island. Green Island is one of the most popular family tour options for those with kids, as not only does it involve a short travel time from the mainland, it's extremely well equipped with facilities and on-land activities to occupy yourself with. Fitzroy IslandFitzroy Island is slightly further out, and typically less of a crowded spot than Green Island, with a higher quality of underwater reef viewing experiences as a result.

To see the Great Barrier Reef in its best possible condition, however, you'll need to invest in a full day (or even multi-day) tour to the Outer Reef. These typically take around 2 hours each way from the Cairns marina, but the rewards for your time and money are wondrous: you'll have the chance to enter open water off the back of a vessel and see the corals, fish and other marine life at their best and brightest. Snorkelling, diving and marine exploration are thus at their best here.

Regardless of which Cairns reef tour you choose, the sheer beauty of the world's largest living organism makes it an essential visit during any trip around Australia, and a bucket list item for Aussies as well.

Explore the Magnificent Daintree Rainforest

Wonderful and ancient greenery. A dense array of fascinating native wildlife. Some excellent hiking tracks. A number of exploratory opportunities and activities. All of these and more can be found within the magnificent world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, and while it can be self-driven (it's a relatively short 20-minute drive from Port Douglas to the first of its major highlights, the renowned Mossman Gorge) for those wanting an extra level of independence during their travels, some of its most important highlights can only be experienced by venturing off-road.

Owing to its sheer scale - the Daintree covers almost 900,000 hectares of Tropical North Queensland - exploring its offerings is done by visiting a number of different "entry points" that are located as close as possible to key features and sights to be found within. Daintree tours from Cairns typically cover several of these in a single day, while aiming to give visitors the best possible cross-section covering the likes of its flora, fauna, and geographical highlights.

Some of the must-do experiences in the Cairns Daintree include taking a river cruise on the Daintree River that takes you on a serene journey into the heart of the rainforest, for a showcase of wildlife both in the trees and the water (notably crocodiles); taking a plunge in the waters of Mossman Gorge itself; taking in the spectacular panorama from atop the Alexandra Lookout; or exploring the winding and challenging Bloomfield Track which provides a number of visual delights for the effort.

The experience and knowledge of driver-guides on Daintree tours help greatly to add an additional layer of context to the environment and its inhabitants, allowing you to simply relax and absorb all the scenery along the way!

The Favoured "Village in the Rainforest"

The known "Village in the Rainforest", Kuranda has been a favoured spot for tourists for decades, with its charming boutique atmosphere, collection of family-friendly attractions, and immersive rainforest surrounds. It's home to an eclectic mix of galleries, cafes, restaurants and other stores that are a pleasure to browse both for retail junkies and those looking for a souvenir, while also serving as a launching point for a few rainforest adventures and some spectacular lookout points.

As it's perched high above ground level, tours to Kuranda can be conducted in a number of different ways, however, the most popular methods are taking some combination of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the Kuranda Scenic Railway up and back down. The SkyRail Rainforest Cableway is an enclosed cable-car type experience that allows travellers to climb inside their own cabin and be winched above the canopies of the Daintree's treetops, offering some spectacular views of the greenery and distant water along the way. Kuranda has its own station, and guests can then disembark here to explore.

The Scenic Railway, meanwhile, is an old-time journey harking back to the days of steam locomotion, offering a train ride that takes travellers on a winding, picturesque adventure through the midst of the Daintree. The SkyRail and Railway can be done in either order of up and down to Kuranda, and are key attractions of the Cairns region in and of themselves; combine them with time at Kuranda and you've got several hours worth of scenic entertainment to enjoy.

Visit Cape Tribulations Vivid Greenery & Reef

"Cape Trib" as it's colloquially known is simultaneously part of the Daintree Rainforest and a destination in its own right, and the concentrated point of this part of the mainland where the vivid greenery of the rainforest and gorgeous beach and seas collide. It's a largely deserted portion of the Tropical North Queensland coast that brings with it a truly escapist vibe and some wonderful, uninhibited views, with tours of Cape Tribulation providing a balanced approach to highlighting each of these in turn.

Situated up the Cook Highway from Cairns and Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation makes for some excellent exploration on foot and is home to a number of both short and longer walks highlighted by the stunning views of the surrounding ocean from atop Mt. Sorrow. Those wanting to laze on secluded beaches will also be in their element here, as Cape Tribulation's beaches are not only pristine but highly sheltered from the elements, making for ideal conditions for both swimming and lazing in the sunshine.

Staying here overnight is possible on tours that encompass multiple days and include return transfers, and the sounds of the rainforest of an evening make for a magical environment to which to fall asleep. Lastly, while here, be sure to try your hand at the iconic Jungle Surfing experience which allows you to soar through the treetops of the rainforest like an oversized flying fox!