Cairns Travel Guide
Cairns is the center of the tropical north. The city of Cairns in Australia is the pulsating heart of North Queensland tourism. Tropical Cairns attracts tourists with its year-round warmth and relaxed vibe. The city is a great base for exploring the area’s numerous natural sites.
Escape the Ausswinter north
Cairns, located in the state of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is an absolute destination for many because it is the best base for excursions to the Great Barrier Reef. However, with its vibrant tourism, lush tropical Cairns has become a vibrant city with plenty to do.
The heart of the city’s smaller downtown is the Cairns Esplanade, whose cheerful hustle and bustle of restaurants attract tourists. The nearby Cairns Marina harbor area offers high-end hotels, a casino and the modern shopping mall, The Pier.
The actual beach cannot be found in the center of Cairns. It will be replaced by Cairns Lagoon, a public swimming pool by the sea. There is no entrance fee to the pool area, and both tourists and locals are swimming, grilling and moving around.
Good to know about Cairns
Everyone in Cairns enjoys whatever their age. Young people gather in backpacker pubs, there is plenty to do and see for families with children, and peaceful Cairns with its stylish restaurants is also suitable for older travelers.
The rainy season in tropical Cairns runs from November to May, so the best time to visit the city is during the Australian winter months from June to September. Tourists flock north to enjoy the sun when winter prevails in more southern Australia. However, monsoon rains may also occur during the high season in Cairns. The temperature usually stays high all year round.
The lively city offers entertainment
Cairns has numerous souvenir shops for tourists, but the most interesting place to buy souvenirs is the night market. In the covered space you can go shopping, enjoy an evening snack or even have a massage. The best place to shop for clothes is the large shopping center on the outskirts of Cairns Central.
In the evenings, the Cairns Esplanade’s restaurants and bars are filled with people and a lively line of speech. You can go either in the casual pubs or even in the stylish casino.
Rainforests and mountains in the tropical north
Flecker Botanic Gardens is Cairns Botanical Gardens, where it’s nice to retreat to relax. On site you can admire the rainforest as well as various plants and flowers. Guided two-hour tours are also organized in the garden.
Sporty tourists should head for a hike to Mount Whitfield, a mountain by the airport lined with rainforest.
An easy day trip from Cairns goes to the idyllic little town of Port Douglas. About an hour’s drive along the boardwalk offers spectacular scenery, and in Port Douglas you will find sandy beaches, high-end boutiques and quality restaurants.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN CAIRNS
Long flights ahead
The best route from Finland to Australia is through Asia. A direct flight from Helsinki to Singapore can be supplemented with a connecting flight to Cairns. There are also plenty of flights to the city from all the major cities in Australia.
Cairns Airport is located about seven kilometers from the city center. The airport is served by both domestic and international flights and has good public access to Cairns.
Accommodation in all star categories
Cairns has plenty of accommodation options with all kinds of star ratings. Most Cairns hotels are located in the downtown area, next to the Cairns Esplanade and the Marina. More affordable motel-type accommodation can be found on the outskirts of the city center.
Cairns is also a favorite destination for backpackers, and there are several hostels in the city. Many of Cairns ’hostels are built in comfortable Queenslander-style wooden houses.
For working holidaymakers staying longer in Cairns, the Cairns Sharehouse is a good accommodation option.
My feet are doing well
Cairns is a fairly small town with good access to the city center on foot. If necessary, local buses and taxis take you to more distant destinations.
Car hire is a good idea if you want to explore the surrounding area of Cairns. In fact, navigating the city on a bicycle is a more convenient outlet.
ATTRACTIONS OF CAIRNS
Memorable Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. Cairns offers a huge variety of excursions to the Great Barrier Reef: in the scenery of the coral reef, tourists can dive, snorkel or just admire the view from the deck of the ship.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most popular attractions. It is listed both as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and among the seven wonders of the world.
The most famous landmark of the Great Barrier Reef is the heart-shaped coral formation of the Whitsunday Islands. It can even be admired from a helicopter flight.
The Great Barrier Reef has several tropical islands for guided tours. There are also some luxury resorts on the islands that are suitable for an unforgettable honeymoon, for example.
Aboriginal Tjapukai Cultural Park
The center, run by Australian Indigenous peoples, allows tourists to learn about Aboriginal culture. The place’s own theater presents the history and culture of indigenous peoples through drama, music and dance. The program also includes face painting and didgeridoo music. You can buy arts and crafts from the shop in connection with the center.
Tjapukai is Australia’s largest center of Aboriginal culture. The location is outside the city, but Cairns offers excursions both day and night. The bus, on the other hand, runs to the site every hour.
Cairns Tropical Zoo
While Cairns Zoo isn’t very big, you can find all the Australian animal favorites like Koalas, Kangaroos and Vompats. Cairns Tropical Zoo is less than half an hour’s drive from central Cairns. In addition to a rental car, the site can also be reached by bus or excursions organized by travel agencies.
Numerous presentations and performances are organized in the zoo – it is worth listening to the conversation of the animal keepers.
Train route to Kuranda
Cairns has a tourist train to the nearby village of Kuranda. In addition to the stunning scenery, passengers can follow the history of the route on each screen found on the trolley.
Just about 30 km from Cairns, Kuranda is a charming village next to the mountains and rainforest. Admire the shops, markets and natural places of Kuranda to easily spend the day. In Kuranda, it is also possible to experience the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, a glass cable lift that takes you high above the rainforest.
THE BEST OF CAIRNS
- Spend the sun on Cairns Lagoon – everyone else is there
- Take part in an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef
- Stroll around Cairns nightlife market
- Take a day trip to the cozy little town of Port Douglas
- Travel by rustic scenic train to the village of Kuranda