rezdy cairns

13 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

ThingstodoinCairnsBeaches

Beaches

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.


ThingstodoinCairnsGreatBarrier

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 making snorkelling and diving one of the area's main draws.

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.


ThingstodoinCairnsNationalParks

Explore the nearby rainforests and 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. Riding the iconic Kuranda Skyrail or train is an excellent way to see the area.

You can also explore the parks on your own as each park offers a variety of walks catered to various fitness levels and includes captivating viewpoints for those holiday snaps.


Learn about the local culture

Having lived on the lands in the Cairns and Tropical North Queensland area for about 40,000 years, no one knows the area better than the local indigenous population.

Take a day away from the beaches and reef and consider joining a local arts class, go on a coastal walk with locals or take a dip in the picturesque Mossman Gorge.

Visit Kuranda's village and rainforest

Arrive by train, cablecar or by road to this village tucked into the hills just 25km from Cairns' CBD. Surrounded by world heritage-listed rainforest, Kuranda's a relaxed town with a vibrant arts scene and offers natural attractions like the the nearby Barron Falls.

Other local attractions include the Kuranda Koala Gardens, a butterfly sanctuary, colourful markets and riverboat cruises through the rainforest.

ThingstodoinCairnsExplorePortDouglas

Get up close and personal with local wildlife

It's not too far from the pristine beaches and clear waters that you'll find damp rainforests teaming with wildlife. This area's home to plenty, including tropical birds and crocodiles.

Harley's Crocodile Adventures are one of the post popular ways to spot wild crocs in the area and even offer feeding cruises where you can watch the beasts put their giant jaws to use.


ThingstodoinCairnsWaterSports

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 to sea kayaking, 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.


ThingstodoinCairnsIslandHopping

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 Magnetic Island near Townsville, Dunk Island near Mission Beachand Green Island near Cairns, you can experience the absolute very best that the Australian landscape has to offer.


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

Japan flights from $340 return

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select 2018 dates. Sample fare is Cairns-Tokyo. Other destinations include Sapporo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Okinawa.

Last verified

Up to 20% off car hire

Deal expires

Valid on hire cars in Australia and New Zealand for pick up before 16 December 2018. Must book 21 days in advance.

Last verified

Australia + South Pacific from $69 each way

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select dates from July - September 2018. Destinations include the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hamilton Island, Fiji, Vanuatu, Bali and more. Sample fare is Ballina Byron-Sydney.

Last verified

Up to 50% off 5-star beach resorts

Deal expires

Valid on select hotel packages in Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Malaysia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Hawaii and Queensland.

Last verified

Up to $550 off Australia tours Valid on select 2018 departures. Destinations include Darwin, Alice Springs, Sydney, Cairns, Whitsundays and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

10% off domestic and international flights with code

Coupon code expires

Valid on select flights booked with Virgin Australia. Simply enter the code to redeem offer. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code KL****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$25 off each night + $1 breakfast

Deal expires

Valid for stays from 1 June - 11 November 2018. Redeemable at over 190 hotels across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

15% off base rate on 5+ days rentals

Deal expires

Valid at participating locations across Australia and New Zealand until 29 June 2018. Book 7 days in advance to redeem offer. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Up to 15% off parking Australia airports

Deal expires

Valid for use on select dates until 30 October 2018. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Ballina, Gold Coast, Cairns, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Get one day free on weekend rentals

Coupon code expires

Valid for pick ups from 15 April - 30 June 2018 across Australia. Minimum of three consecutive days including Saturday. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code 20****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$1/day one-way car hire Valid on select dates on select car hire relocations in Australia. Destinations updated regularly.

Last verified

Campervan hire from $5/day Offers and validity dates updated daily. Available on select routes in Australia and New Zealand.

Last verified

Australia-wide flights from $43.95 each way

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select dates from July - December 2018 with Tigerair. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Sydney.

Last verified

10% off Australia sun seeker tour

Deal expires

Enjoy a 10-day package tour travelling from Cairns to Brisbane with Contiki. Includes accommodation, transportation and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Up to 20% off Australia tours

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select dates from 9 June - 20 August 2018. Destinations include Cairns, Melbourne, Darwin, Port Campbell, Sydney, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

15% off Audi rentals

Coupon code expires

Valid for pick-ups until 30 June 2018 across Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code 20****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

10% off shuttle rides

Coupon code expires

Book now and save 10% off on shuttle rides all over 90 airports in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, and the Czech Republic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code MA****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

10% off private car rides

Coupon code expires

Book now and save 10% off on private car rides all over 90 airports in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, and the Czech Republic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code MA****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Room upgrade from just $100 with Princess + up to $200 onboard credit

Deal expires

Valid for cruises to the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, Alaska and the Americas. Onboard credit amount varies based on length of cruise and cabin type booked. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

All-inclusive luxury Bali escape from just $1,695

Deal expires

Valid for travel on select dates from May-December 2018. Includes return fare airfare with Virgin Australia and accommodation. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Up to 35% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Deal expires

Score up to 35% off on multi-day Australia and New Zealand tours when you book with TourRadar. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Queenstown, Auckland, Christchurch, Darwin, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Choice Hotels Choice Hotels
Up to 10% off stays Valid on select dates when booked between 2-30 days in advance and prepaid at time of booking. Available at locations across Australia and New Zealand.

Last verified

Fourth day free car hire

Coupon code expires

Valid on rentals until 30 September 2018 with minimum of four consecutive days rental across Australia. T&cs apply.

Last verified

Show code TP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Intro Travel Intro Travel
Australia 9-day coastal tours from $849 Valid on select dates. Sample price is for the "Oz Adventure" tour of Sydney and Port Stephens.

Last verified

Up to 33% off Royal Caribbean cruises

Deal expires

Valid on select dates until 18 April 2019. Sample itineraries include trans-Pacific to Honolulu, Tasmania, and Singapore-to-Sydney along Australia's southern coast.

Last verified

15% off car hire

Coupon code expires

Valid for pick ups from 15 April - 30 June 2018 across Australia. Minimum of seven consecutive days. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code 20****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Up to 67% off: daily experience deals Valid on select experiences across Australia including skydiving, driving, go karting, sailing, hot air ballooning, diving, and more.

Last verified

Free extras with P&O + Up to $300 onboard credit

Deal expires

Valid on select Tasmania, Queensland, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Vanuatu cruises. Get up to $100 GoCatch credit, New Zealand Natural ice cream and onboard credit.

Last verified

$20 off skydiving packages

Coupon code expires

Get $20 off skydives every Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, valid until 30 June 2018. Dropzones includes Sydney, Newcastle, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Fraser Island, Noosa, York, Rockingham, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Mission Beach. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code MA****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

2-for-1 experiences and activities Buy one get one free on a range of experiences across Australia. Offers change regularly, but often include sightseeing cruises, abseiling, dining, hot air ballooning, quadbiking, scenic flights, helicopter rides, flying lessons, classic car hire, driving and rally car experiences and more.

Last verified

Mission Beach skydive packages from just $199 Valid on select dates in Mission Beach (near Cairns). Choose your skydive package from Go Low 10,000ft drop for $199 or Go High 15,000ft drop for $299. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Free double upgrade on Queensland car hire

Coupon code expires

Rent an Economy (Group A) through to a Full-Size Elite (Group P) car for 3 consecutive days or more and enjoy a free double upgrade. Valid on rentals from 3 April - 30 June 2018. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code UP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Third weekend free car hire

Coupon code expires

Available for rentals from 29 March - 4 April 2018 and 14 - 30 April 2018 across Australia. Valid for 3 consecutive days over the weekend including Saturday. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code TP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$20 off SUV hire

Coupon code expires

Valid on rentals from 29 March - 4 April 2018 and 14 - 30 April 2018 across Australia. Minimum of 3 days rental. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code MP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Fourth day free car hire

Coupon code expires

Valid on rentals from 29 March - 4 April 2018 and 14 - 30 April 2018 across Australia. Minimum of 4 days rental. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code TP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

$20 off car hire

Coupon code expires

Valid on rentals from 29 March - 4 April 2018 and 14 - 30 April 2018 across Australia. Minimum of 5 days rental. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Show code MP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Up to $50 off group deals Enjoy up to $50 off each person when you book as a group with Skydive Australia. Minimum of 4 person. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz
Up to $90 off Skydiving across Australia Valid for use on select dates. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne and surrounds, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Up to 9% off Australia Zoo ticket Valid for 1-day or 2-day ticket. Includes free Wildlife Hospital entry. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Bali flights from $515 return + triple Velocity points

Deal expires

Valid for travel from 6 May - 8 June 2018. Sample fare is Sydney-Bali with Virgin Australia.

Last verified

20% off airport transfers Valid for use until 30 April 2018. Available on Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz
Up to $27 off Cairns sightseeing packages Valid select dates. Activity packages include options like Kuranda Skyrail, Great Barrier Reef cruises, diving and snorkelling trips, Kurana scenic railway, Hartley's Crocodile Park and more.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz
Up to $49 off hot air balloon rides across Australia Valid for travel on select dates. Enjoy the sighting of Yarra Valley and Australia's numerous wonderful environments. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Experience Oz Experience Oz
Up to $60 off bungee jumping tours in Cairns Valid for travel on select dates. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Australia-wide flights from $89: Early Bird Sale Valid for travel on select dates. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney. Destinations include Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Albury and more.

Last verified

DriveMyCar DriveMyCar
Car hire from $23 per day Hire cars across Australia from as little as $32 per day.

Last verified

Cairns skydive packages from just $199 Valid for travel on select dates. Choose your skydive package from 7,000ft drop for $199 or 15,000ft drop for $299. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Up to $3,000 off select sailings + up to $1,000 off airfares Valid for travel on select dates and sailings. Offer is valid on stateroom bookings only. Destinations include Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska, New Zealand, Australia and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

15% off 2019 car hire

Coupon code expires

Valid for rentals between 1 January 2019 - 15 December 2019 across Australia. Minimum of 5 consecutive days rental. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Show code 20****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Get one free day on 5-day rentals

Coupon code expires

Valid for pick-ups until 30 June 2018 any day of the week. Valid across Australia.

Last verified

Show code 20****

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 finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au 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, 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
Go to site