Cairns is the well known gateway for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforests, Cape York Wilderness and of course the Great Barrier Reef.  However if you find yourself in town looking for something to do there are many options to choose from.




Cairns Esplanade

  • Lagoon pool - Popular with locals and travellers alike - Free
  • Free Grills/BBQ cookers - Bring a steak and cook up a picnic.
  • Muddy's Playground  - Popular Kids playground with water feature
  • Markets - Every Saturday near the Lagoon Pool
  • Free Exercise Classes - Timetable
  • Cairns Region Guide   

Rusty's Markets

 Free - Grafton Street. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 Local fruit and vegetable market. Possible to pick up some tropical fruits to sample in season.                   

Art Gallery

Corner Abbott and Shield Street. $5.00 entry.

Experience the vibrant visual arts of Tropical North Queensland in this elegant heritage building in the heart of Cairns.

Cairns Regional Art Gallery                 

Cairns Museum

Corner Lake and Shield Street.  $5.00 adults, $2.00 schoolchildren or 412 for a family.

This is a small museum that also sells books and other interesting souvenirs. Right in the centre of Cairns many are pleased they made a short stop to learn a little about the history of the region.

Reef Teach

Entry $15.00 . Evening presentation

2nd Floor, Mainstreet Arcade, between Lake & Grafton Streets, Cairns

Cairn’s unique education centre for The Great Barrier Reef 

“With learning comes appreciation“

The Reef Teach presentation is a very entertaining evening, full of amazing facts, beautiful images, and the opportunity to handle a wide range of corals and other marine specimens – including some of the dangerous creatures you wouldn’t want to touch if they were alive! It will amaze, inspire, and captivate you, and have you laughing about the funny facts and weird and wonderful ways in which the reef works!

Night Clubs

Cairns is home to some great nightclubs and regularly hosts visiting DJ's from southern cities as well as the rest of the world. The names change regularly, so I won't bother listing them, but try the clubs underneath the Casino and above McDonalds for some great dance music.

Rainforest Dome

The easily recognised Casino is located on Abbot  and Wharf Streets. Check for entry fees.

All weather wildlife exhibition on the domed roof of the casino. Animal shows and possibility of koala photo.          



Edgehill is a beautiful inner suburb of Cairns and can be reached by public bus, walking from some tourism accommodations or car. Some sections of the suburb have very good examples of the Queenslander style architecture of a bygone era.

Flecker Botanical Gardens and Centennial Parklands.

Free entry. Collins Street, Edgehill. .

Very beautiful tropical garden with unusual specimens, an orchid house and a fernery. Another highlight is the aboriginal plant use walk. A must see for visitors to the region. Enjoy a coffee, meal or ice cream from the on site cafe. Across the road enjoy the expansive parklands plus there is also a boardwalk through some remnant rainforest. Next door to Tanks Arts centre and adjacent to the red and blue arrow walks.

Red and Blue Arrow walks.

Mt Whitfield Conservation Park. These are walking trails that can be accessed adjacent to the Botanic Gardens and Tank Arts centre on Collins Street. Expansive views of Cairns are a highlight.. Red Arrow walk is 1.3km and one hour is recommended. the Blue Arrow walk is for those pf good fitness, is 5.4km and requires 3-4 hours. The humid climate dictates you will require more water than usual so please carry ample supplies if walking.

Tanks Arts Centre.

The tanks are relics of WW11. U.S army constructed huge fuel tanks into the rainforest for camouflage. Now converted into imaginative art and performance space. Please check their website to see if any events coincide with your visit.


Tank Arts Centre hold markets on the following dates throughout 2010. Combine with a visit to the Botanic Gardens for a wonderful tropical day out. Collins Street, Edge Hill.

Tanks Sunday Markets 2011

April -  Sun 17       9am till 2pm
May  -  Sun 29       9am till 2pm
June - Sun 26       9am till 3pm  Mind Body and Soul festival
July -   Sun 31       9am till 2pm
Sep -   Sun 4        Carnivale on Collins
Oct -    Sun 30       9am till 2pm
Nov -   Sun 27       9am till 2pm

 there is so much to see and do in Cairns make sure that you checkout the Cairns trips website 




Northern Suburbs. Most have public bus access. The most popular with tourists are Palm Cove and Trinity Beaches. Both offer ccommodation and choice of restaurants. Others are more residential though worth a visit. The Boathouse Club at Yorkey's Knob is also highly recommended. Lovely marina views while enjoying a drink or meal on the club deck. Holloways and Machans are residential and offer a climps of the life of locals who choose beachside living. Ellis Beach is the edge of the greater Cairns area and the start of the beautiful coastal Port Douglas drive. A car is required to reach Ellis Beach.

A J Hackett Bungy Jumping

Smithfield. Northern suburb of Cairns. A J Hackett offer free transfers several times a day. Check their website for further information

Various types of jungle swings, bungy jumps with expansive views of the Cairns Coast, Sunday sessions with live music, cocktails and chilling out. or

Cairns Cable Ski

Captain Cook Highway, Smithfield. Public bus maybe able to drop in general location.

Waterskiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding- anyone can do it. Cable wakeboarding is an extremely popular sport.

Cable Ski Website Link

Waterskiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding- anyone can do it. Cable wakeboarding is an extremely popular sport.

Cattana Wetlands

The Wetlands are situated off Dunne Road in Smithfield, accessed by either Yorkeys Knob Road or McGregor Road, approximately 20km north of the CBD. Picnic and rest areas provided.

Lake Placid/ Lower Barron Gorge and/or White Water Rafting

Scenic Drive

Own vehicle required. Nothern of Cairns CBD. Allow 1/2 hour driving time.

The Electrical sub station access road provides a scenic drive along the rapids section of the Barron River bordered by dense rainforest. Many, many waterfalls to be seen during heavy rain but major falls named Surpise Creek Falls are found next to the electrical sub station itself . Suprise Falls have a drop of some 240 metres. Backtracking to Lake Placid is a very scenic spot to take a walk, feed the ducks or take your canoe. There is also a quiet van park which is very well set up. See website for more details. 

White Water Rafting

Discover pristine rainforest surrounding Cairns. The Barron is a series of grade 3 rapids and great for everyone from ages 13 and upwards. It is fun, exciting and a great way to see the rainforest but be warned, you will get wet!!!

 For rafting please refer or

Crystal Cascades

Own vehicle required.

Popular swimming spot with a series of freshwater swimming holes surrounded by rainforest. Access is via the suburb of Redlynch , follow the sign and it is about 10km into the valley. This is a reat place to spot the electric blue Ulysses Butterfly.

Lake Morris Copperlode Dam

Own vehicle required. Twisting turning mountain road drive.

Cairns water supply up high in the rainforest clad hills, scenic drive that overlooks all of Cairns and offers spectacular views. Tea house and bushwalks available from the summit. No swimming or water activities allowed in the lake itself.