Cairns is a departure point to several exciting attractions. The most famous is the Great Barrier Reef, but the city also has easy access to beautiful waterfalls, rainforests with abundant animal and plant life, and mountains with spectacular views.

The town has an entertainment centre with a casino, restaurants and top-quality hotels.

Cairns Museum

This museum is situated at the 1907 School of Arts, and is a good example of the old architecture that can be found in the city. Among the objects exhibited here are Chinese artefacts, and works by local artists.

Cairns Museum Website

Open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Entry fees: $5 adults / $3 children

Atherton Tablelands

This plateau region rises 1200 metres above sea level. The pleasant climate, rainfall and volcanic soil make it one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the state. For decades, tobacco was the main product grown, but with the decline in the number of smokers worldwide, the farms began to diversify their crops and today, they also grow peanuts, macadamia nuts and avocados.

The town of Yungaburra has several historical buildings as well as good restaurants and bed and breakfasts for the local visitors. The region’s most beautiful waterfalls are located in Millaa Millaa. The same road leads to Zillie and Ellinjaa Falls, and Mungalli Falls are also nearby.

Atherton is the most important town in the Atherton Tablelands region. It was named after explorer John Atherton, who established his family in the land in the 19th Century.

Atherton Tablelands Website

Bellenden Ker National Park

This park is home to the highest mountains of the state, which are usually covered by clouds. Bartle Frere is 1,611 metres high and Bellenden Ker is 1,591 metres high. The endangered flightless bird known as the Cassowarie can be seen in the mountains.

The park has some walking trails. Its main attraction is Josephine Falls, located in the South of the park, approximately 8 km from the Bruce Highway.

Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest is to the North of Cairns, and is home to a wide range of animal and plant species. In fact, this World Heritage Listed rainforest is home to the highest number of species of rare and endangered plants and animals in the world.

Here, visitors can walk on trails, visit lookouts, have a picnic at one of the picnic areas, and enjoy the local flora and fauna. Visitors can stay at eco-friendly accommodation and eat in cafes and restaurants specialising in the local delicacies.

Daintree Rainforest Website

Address: 2333 Cape Tribulation Road
Cape Tribulation 4873 QLD

Great Barrier Reef

Listed as a World Heritage Site in 1981, the Great Barrier Reef extends over 2,500 km on the Coral Sea, in Queensland’s Northern Coast. The largest living organism in the world, it was considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world by CNN.

Part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps minimise the impacts of fishing and tourism activities. The Great Barrier Reef is also affected by climate change and coral bleaching.

The reefs are a popular destination among visitors. To get there, there are several companies offering boat trips and packages from Cairns, to the many islands in the region. They also offer equipment and arrangements for snorkelling and diving.

Great Barrier Reef Website