Cairns Itinerary

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3 Days in Cairns, Australia

A thriving tourist hotspot in the tropical North Queensland in Australia, Cairns is renowned for two of the world’s greatest natural attractions: The Great Barrier Reef 🚤🐠🐡🐬 and the Wet Tropics Rainforest 🏕.

Day 1 Highlights

Kuranda, Cairns

Sample picture of Airbnb: Botanic Retreat

Airbnb: Botanic Retreat

A beautifully furnished tropical holiday hideaway near the top end of Cairns City Esplanade.

This secluded property is set amongst your own botanic garden, with fish ponds, turtles & wildlife abound. The master bedroom, bathroom & private courtyard are completely your own & accompanied by a fully secure iron gate entrance from the street. The king sized four poster bed, with ample room to work, rest & play, will give you the best introduction to Cairns tropical living.

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Hot Air Balloon

Hot air ballooning is a romantic soft adventure experience which is considered by many to be the best way to see a gorgeous Tropical North Queensland sunrise. The hot air balloons gently rise from the ground at daybreak as the silence of night is interrupted by the first birds of the morning. The view from the balloon basket is undoubtedly spectacular, and the experience is one you will remember as enchanting and uplifting.

What makes hot air ballooning so magical is the balloons float gently with the wind, and for this reason ballooning is conducted at sunrise when the wind is at its calmest. The sensation of lifting off the ground is unusual and exhilarating, in many ways it feels like your body is flying by itself. Some guests have described their ballooning experience as "the best morning they've had in Australia" and the excitement of ballooning produces an unusually high number of marriage proposals!

Sample picture of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over and deep into Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that has survived against all odds to become the home of the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest.

Enjoy a truly unique perspective of this ancient landscape; glide metres above the pristine jungle canopy before descending to explore the rainforest close up.

Sample picture of Kuranda Heritage Market

Kuranda Heritage Markets

A visit to Tropical North Queensland isn’t complete without taking in the famous markets in Kuranda. The Kuranda Heritage Market has been established for over 20 years and is all weather covered meaning you can enjoy the picturesque rainforest surrounds at the Heritage Markets all year round.

There is also a variety of organic produce, locally sourced from the region, as well as mixed spices and healthy treats. The Kuranda Heritage Market is open Thursday to Sunday 10:00am to 3:00pm, with a wide range of stalls offering locally produced souvenirs, arts & crafts, jewellery, gemstones & clothing.

The market also features native wildlife attractions Koala Gardens and Birdworld, as well as a choice of tasty food from the renowned Frogs Restaurant. You will also get to see local Water Dragons when you visit the markets who are locals in our region.

Sample picture of Kuranda Rainforest Walking Trail

Kuranda Jungle Walk

Kuranda Jungle Walk is a 5.6 kilometer out and back trail located near Kuranda, Queensland, Australia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running.

Sample picture of Tjapukai By Day

Tjapukai By Day

By day, the park is filled with interactive experiences to give you an authentic insight into Aboriginal culture.

In the Cultural Centre, witness the ancient dreamtime story of the Tjapukai people's belief in the creation of the world through live performance and the world's most technologically advanced visual effects. Gain an understanding into the impacts of the stolen generation and be inspired by Indigenous heroes past and present as you wander through the History and Heroes walk.The Art of My People talk will guide you through a variety of art styles as you learn about the differences between the Aboriginal clans throughout Australia.

Sample picture of Kuranda Scenic Rail

Kuranda Scenic Rail

A famous railway that winds its way on a journey from Cairns to Kuranda, the village in the rainforest, with Freshwater situated along the line with views of the surrounding mountains. Rising from sea level to 327 metres, the journey to Kuranda passes spectacular waterfalls and into the stunning Barron Gorge.

Sample picture of Esplanade Lagoon

Esplanade Lagoon

The Cairns Swimming Lagoon on the Esplanade is a magnet for backpackers from around the world as a sunbaking and social gathering place, a place for locals to get fit on all the exercise equipment dotted thru the parks and the esplanade boardwalk, a place for little children and family to have fun on the play equipment and to learn to swim.

A short walk north along the beachfront boardwalk you will discover a world of fun for families at Muddy's Playground, along with a Skatepark, Beach Volleyball, Healing Garden playground and at the northern end the Funship Playground.

Sample picture of The Pier Bar

The Pier Bar

In a killer location right by the water, The Pier Bar is somewhat of an institution in Cairns.

Known for its delectable wood fired pizzas, peaceful Sunday Sessions, and huge party events, The Pier Bar is one of those places that you just have to check out and in no time, you’ll be a local!

With an extensive wine & beer list and a cocktail menu featuring delicious in-house creations as well as the classics, there’s something for everyone here. From the food menu, there are a wide range of pub classics including aforementioned, notorious wood fired pizzas, as well as burgers, fish n chips, steaks, seafood, pasta, and much, much more!

A great spot to catch up with friends, colleagues, family, and more, The Pier Bar is open from 11:30am until late every day, serving up sun, fun, lunch, dinner, or just drinks, and whatever your heart desires.

Day 2 Highlights

Green Island Full-Day Tour

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Green Island Reef Catamaran Cruise

Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned 35-meter catamaran “Big Cat” to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45 minutes from Cairns.

Sample picture of Green Island Snorkeling and Diving

Green Island Snorkeling and Diving

Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

Sample picture of Green Island Walking Trail

Green Island Walking Trail

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, you can immerse yourself in an adventurous trail depending on your physical ability.

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Buffet Dining

Enjoy a mouthful lunch while sailing over to the Island.

Vegetarian dishes are available on the buffet. These include a vegetarian pasta of the day, steamed jasmine rice, fresh salads, sliced white and multi-grain bread, tasty cheese, corn kernels, beetroot, and a seasonal fruit platter.

Day 3 Highlights

Fritzroy Island Full-Day Tour & Cairns

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Fritzroy Island Ferry Ride

Fitzroy Island was once part of mainland Australia, before being separated by rising waters. Over time a fringing coral reef surrounded the island, providing sheltered home to a variety of fish and coral species.

Explore this marine wonderland on a full-day tour from Cairns, crossing by ferry to enjoy the wilderness hiking trails, snorkeling adventures, and more.

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Fritzroy Island Snorkeling

Head to the beach hire hut to take advantage of a range of snorkeling gear and snorkel direct from the beach. Or go on a glass bottom boat tour to see the marine life in comfort. You can also hire a paddle ski to explore Welcome Bay.

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Wilderness Hike

Explore the Island's 339 hectares of lush rainforest that covers 94 percent of the island and is protected and managed as a National Park. Walking trails are suitable for all levels of fitness, allowing you to explore areas of the island at your leisure.

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Known as the ultimate backpacker venue, Gilligan’s is a one-stop shop to stay, play and party in style with budget accommodation, cheap eats and not one, but two nightclubs on site. Gilligan’s Bar offers seven nights of entertainment a week and by entertainment, think pure carnage in the form of jelly wrestling, pole-dancing and beer pong.