Save with balance transfers, 0% deals & platinum perks exclusive to finder
Compare cards
rezdy cairns

14 things to do in Cairns for the holiday of a lifetime

The best activities to get stuck into on your upcoming Cairns and Tropical North Queensland holiday.

Now that you’ve got your flights and accommodation sorted, it’s time to book in some activities to keep you busy.

We've picked our favourites to share with you, as well as where to book them so you’ll get the best experience at the best price.

Top things to do



Cairns and Tropical North Queensland are home to some of the most picturesque and beautiful beaches across Australia, making for an idyllic getaway destination.

Popular beaches in the area include Palm Cove, Ellis Beach, Clifton Beach and Machans Beach. Surfers and beachgoers from across the globe visit these beaches for the great surf and incredible weather.

For those less experienced there is a huge range of fun day tours for a more calming look at the beaches.


Great Barrier Reef

Cairns and Tropical North Queensland are fortunate enough to be in close proximity to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: the Great Barrier Reef.

The spectacular blue water and incredible marine life make this the perfect holiday activity.

With an almost endless selection of Great Barrier Reef tours to choose from, including ones like the  Kayak Turtle Tour, there is bound to be one perfect for your holiday.


National parks

Teeming with wildlife and enchanting natural landscapes, Tropical North Queensland is home to a handful of rainforests and national parks.

The Atherton Tablelands, a world-heritage site, and the Daintree Rainforest are home to some of the most beautiful and picturesque natural landscapes and waterfalls in the world.

Visiting one of these national parks is the perfect activity for families or couples looking to explore and experience a nature-filled day. Plus, each park offers a variety of walks catered to various fitness levels and includes captivating viewpoints for those holiday snaps.


Explore Port Douglas

The resort town of Port Douglas is one that must be visited. It is a shopper’s paradise in Tropical North Queensland, with markets on every Sunday, and there is a range of tourist attractions including the wildlife habitat where you can take part in the crocodile adventure.

Port Douglas is also home to some great hotels and restaurants, so you won’t get bored.


Water sports

If you’re looking for some adventure on your trip to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland, try one of the many water sport activities. With everything from white water rafting on the Tully River to kayaking to whale and dolphin watching, Cairns and Tropical North Queensland have an endless number of options.

Whether you’re after fun and adventure or prefer to kick back and relax, there is an activity out there for you.


Island hopping

Cairns and Tropical North Queensland boast a great location with some of Australia’s most beautiful and famous islands just a stone’s throw away. With a huge selection of day tours to places like Moreton Island, Cape York and  North Stradbroke Island, you can experience the absolute very best that the Australian landscape has to offer.

Cairns Great Barrier Reef tours

Green Island Trip with Cairns City Tour...
Michaelmas Cay Catamaran and Snorkel Trip
Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

Cairns rainforest and nature tours

Kuranda Scenic Railway & Skyrail...
Cape Tribulation and Cooktown 4WD Adventure...
Outback Tour & Chillagoe Caves...

Cairns cultural tours

Full Day at Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park...
2-Day Cooktown Explorer and Rainbow Serpent Tour...
Daintree Dreaming...

5 things to do in Cairns for free

On a tight budget or looking for a few things to do between tours? Check out these ideas for three things to do while you're in Cairns.

  • Splash around in the 4,800-square-metre Cairns Lagoon at the Esplanade for worry-free swimming year round
  • Play at one of the Esplanade's playgrounds, there's three: Muddy's, Fun Ship and Healing Garden
  • Head to one of the northern beaches like Trinity Beach or Palm Beach
  • Window shop at the Cairns Night Markets
  • See some of the local plants without venturing to the rainforest and wander around the Cairns Botanic Gardens

Cairns and Tropical North Queensland deals

Great Barrier Reef cruises and snorkelling trips form $90

Book a cruise, snorkelling, or diving trip out to the Great Barrier Reef from just $90 per person.

10% off stays in Australia and New Zealand

Valid for My Oaks members. Membership is free and also entitles guests to late checkout and complimentary internet use. T&Cs apply.

Show code & visit siteMY****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question