Things to Do in Cairns

Top Things to Do in Cairns

Things to Do in Cairns

Here, the star is the Great Barrier Reef-take your pick of snorkeling tours by day. By night, stroll the Esplanade. For beaches, head north or to Green Island.

From quick jaunts to full-day outings.

Top Attractions in Cairns

These rankings are informed by traveler reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.






*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travelers are saying

  • Mark E
    Whitianga, New Zealand741 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a very safe place to swim in Cairns.

    The beach and bay is not the safest for swimming.

    There are lifeguards on duty.

    Sand is lovely white and manicured each day.

    Big pool and lots for kids to do.

    Large area in park like location.

    Enjoy.
    Written April 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mark E
    Whitianga, New Zealand741 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great walk, plenty to see.

    Nice views of the city and bay.

    Lots of places to rest and take in the sights.

    Heaps of activity.

    Lots of bird life.

    Take a walk past the lagoon as well.

    There is sometimes singers on the stage and buskers at night.

    Take the walk in both the day and night.
    Written April 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • kmcgra
    Batavia, IL1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The aquariums were so well kept and the scheduled talks amazing. We arrived when it opened at 9:30 a.m. and did all 4 scheduled talks between 10:15 - 11:30 a.m. about River Monsters, Denizens of the Deep, Life of Sharks & Rays and Curious & Coloured. The talks were all great!! We were there about 2 and a half hours. It was a great experience to learn about the great barrier reef from a local source.
    Written March 20, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • vickiebypass
    Stamford, CT249 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Cairns Botanical Gardens are big, but it was stultifyingly hot (at least to me) and a garden isn’t necessarily the best place to be unless you’re in the shade. But this garden has a rainforest boardwalk, which is just what it sounds like - a raised boardwalk through a mini-rainforest. Theoretically, it sounded humid and full bugs to me, but I was here, it was there so off I went. Another scenario where I had it all wrong – the rainforest was shady and the palms reached so high skyward. Sunlight dappled the floor of the rainforest, there were various birds and sounds of big leaves dropping, plus other noises. There were two types of palm groves and a boggy area. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed looking at the bark on the different trees, how the palm leaves/fronds grow, all the dead leaves on the floor and searching out any floral growth on the palms; it was very quiet, velvety air and warm, but I was glowing, not dripping with sweat. Three people passed me who were striding briskly on their way to somewhere – or just getting exercise. Although the Aboriginal Plant Use Garden is small, it was interesting to me, as was the Bamboo Collection (I had no idea there are so many varieties) and the Flecker Gardens.
    Written April 18, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mark E
    Whitianga, New Zealand741 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A huge facility with a huge range of military vehicles, armouries and much more from the 1800s and WW1 and WW2 from many different countries.

    Tanks, armoured vehicles, cannons, trucks, cars and motorcycles and much much more.

    You can take a ride in a tank, they have a large area out back for this.

    They have a shooting range down stairs.

    We had a bit of a giggle walking around guessing which country the vehicle came from before we got to it. My guesses were fairly accurate for the British vehicles as most had an oil drip tray under them lol.

    Well worth a wander around.

    Written April 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Alix V
    Sydney, Australia163 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An absolute highlight of one of our days chasing waterfalls. Josephine Falls is crystal clear, so unbelievably clean and has a safe and bigger swimming spot at the bottom. Set yourself up on the rocks and you can stay for hours in the shade. There is a fun natural rock slide into the pool as well as a rope swing.
    Written January 10, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Winter74
    Australia28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    10/10 place for kids! Bring bathers and change of clothes kids loved it. Water was cold but on a sunny day that wouldn’t be a problem and it didn’t stop our kids from getting wet anyway.
    Written August 12, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • John Turner
    Caulfield, Australia3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spent day visiting Fig Tree, waterfalls and lakes in Atherton Tablelands. Did a self drive from Cairns and everything well sign posted. An excellent day’s
    Written September 8, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mark E
    Whitianga, New Zealand741 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles