Cairns Travel Guide

  • Beautiful Cairns Esplanade to play Bocce.
    Beautiful Cairns Esplanade to play...
    by tropicrd
  • Looking south from northern end of the Esplanade
    Looking south from northern end of the...
    by tropicrd
  • local prawn salad
    local prawn salad
    by tropicrd

Cairns Highlights

  • Pro
    vtveen profile photo

    vtveen says…

     Great Barrier Reef, the weather 

  • Con
    tropicrd profile photo

    tropicrd says…

     Extreme heat/humidity during the wet season. 

  • In a nutshell
    tropicrd profile photo

    tropicrd says…

     More than the gateway to the Far North. 

Cairns Things to Do

  • Great Barrier Reef

    We took a trip aboard the Falla while in Cairns last week and are so glad we did. It was great to have a reef experience that felt rustic and relaxing as apposed to an over-crouded frustration. We booked through bookme and got a great deal, but even at normal rate it would be a good price. Falla is a historic Pearl Lugger built in 1956, and...

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  • Kuranda Scenic Railway

    As I’m a volunteer conductor on Melbourne’s iconic Puffing Billy Railway, it was compulsory that I ride and enjoy the experience of the Kuranda Scenic Railway. I had pre-booked tickets from Melbourne, but judging on the number of people on the train, I didn’t need to bother – perhaps I was there on a quiet day. We decided to “lash out” and travel...

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  • Atherton Tableland

    This was actually a great day out. I went with a company called Northern Experience Eco Tours. The Tablelands area is very scenic and we visited some nice waterfalls that were tucked out of the way. Another surprise was Paronella Park, a Spanish Castle built here by one man, Jose Paronella, in the early 1900's.

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Cairns Hotels

See all 190 Hotels in Cairns

Cairns Restaurants

  • Good quality restaurant in Palm Cove

    Dropped in here for lunch when we visited Palm Cove, and it was a really nice meal. Seafood is understandably the main focus, and that's what we had. Much recommended.

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  • Pretty Decent Thai

    Excellent Thai food here. Really enjoyed our meal, even if it is a bit pricier than your average Thai place, the quality definitely made up for it.One of the best green curries I have ever had.

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  • Excellent Seafood Platter

    I don't eat in hotel restaurants that often, but I enjoyed this one.The cold seafood platter in particular is great, and I enjoyed the service here as well. Recommended.

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Cairns Nightlife

See all 41 Nightlife in Cairns
  • Pandamonium Live Bands

    The Cape York Hotel is a venue for live bands and is popular with the regulars and visitors alike.It gets a bit rowdy and loud but all good fun.The Pandamonium room is medium sized and has a real pub atmosphere.Some big local bands are playing on Friday 14th Oct.Doors open 7pm and there's a $10 entry fee.If you like really loud music then this is...

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  • LOUNGE BAR

    This a great Bar, it is on the waterfront at the Pier Complex.It's some where all ages can go and have a drink in great surrounds. It has lounge chairs with coffee tables, High tables with stools and an out door deck, all in a friendly decor.A lot of locals meet here for an after work drink.You can select drinks from the extensive wine list, to...

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  • Tropical Resort Style Backpacker Bar

    If you are looking for a nice place to unwind with a drink and conversation, then your best bet is to head off to the back bar of the backpacker resort called Gilligan's located in downtown Cairns. It is one of the more relaxed portions of the place, where there is the music of the inside dance club that comes through when the door opens, but just...

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Cairns Transportation

  • qconnect--new bus timetables

    qconnect is an initiative of QLD govt to meet the needs of Cairns.Sunbus has new timetables and route numbers which came into effect May 2011.Some of the routes have changed -- (please note:some streets are no longer in service.)Extra services are in operation after a survey regarding the demand for more public buses.For example: Inner Northern...

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  • Driving distances from Cairns

    Lots of people ask "how far is it to?"such and such a place so I decided to put up a few distances from Cairns to some popular tourist places. The driving speed on highways in QLD is 100klms an hour or 80klms an hour.In towns and city's it is 60klms an hour on main roads and 50klms an hour in residential areas and side streets.You will need to slow...

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  • Cairns new Cruise Liner Terminal

    Cruise ships and liners have a new Terminal in Cairns Trinity Inlet,finishing touches are still being done but servicable at this stage.When it is completed it will be a show piece for Cairns.Passengers will disembark from a modern tropical terminal with tropical gardens and seats and is only a stroll into the CBD or the Cairns Esplanade via the...

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Cairns Shopping

See all 37 Shopping in Cairns
  • Stop for fresh fruit and vegies.

    The Fruitbat van is iconic in Cairns,it has been around for many years and a favourite stop to buy fresh fruit and vegies for locals and tourists heading home and on holidays.Great local tropical fruit to eat as a snack or stock up for a few days.The council has tried many times to shut it down as they consider it to be road side vending,in a way...

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  • Back to the 60's

    If you want to purchase anything from the 6o's then look no further..Jason the owner will welcome you to his popular shop which not only sells womens clothes but mens too..if you want any hippie memorabilia he has got a lot of that.It is only a small shop but you can spend ages in here looking at everything. Alternative Clothing and gifts from the...

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  • Organic through and through

    Neil's Organics is the only 'all organic food' shop in Cairns..Neil opened his shop in 2002 after having a market stall at Rusty's Markets in Cairns.In 1988 Neil and his wife Norma bought a farm in Mareeba as a lifestyle choice,they grew their own vegetables and fruit with no chemicals used..they even picked,packed and marketed their...

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Cairns Local Customs

  • "Your shout mate"

    Be aware that it is 'normal' for Australians to get with a group of friends and 'shout' each other a drink. It is called 'a round' and when it is your turn you buy the drinks for whoever is in the group.Some people may invite you to join them in 'a round' and if you accept you are then expected to wait until it's your turn to 'shout a round'you...

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  • Walking in Bama rainforests.

    A lot of walking tracks in the Barron Gorge National park have culteral and historic relevance to Djabugay,they are a local Aboriginal tribe,known as Bama.The people say they use the name Bama to describe all rainforest Aboriginal tribes.These tribes created most of these tracks that are used today to enable them to move from the coast to the...

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  • Drink with your new Mates...

    If you are going to go to Cairns, then you will need to know what you are dealing with. First off, it is a requirement to spend at least one night living the backpacker lifestyle, which includes putting yourself into a 6-person shared accommodation room. Next, make friends with a couple of them by buying the first round of cheap beers. Then find...

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Cairns Warnings and Dangers

  • Take Care on Your Bike

    Hard to believe but Cairns is one of the most dangerous Queensland cities in which to ride your bike. Perhaps the statistics are weighted by the fact that the topography is relatively flat and traditionally most people own bicycles. However, of the 41 fatal bicycle accidents in Queensland during the five years to 2007, at least eighteen were in...

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  • Don't get stuck in the mud.

    Whatever you do please do not swim in Cairns along the Esplanade even if the tide is in and you think it is a swimming beach and you are hot and want to cool off in the water, don't do it.If you do then you will get stuck in the thick mud and will need to be rescued.Cairns has a swimming lagoon for swimming on the southern end of the esplanade for...

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  • Unsafe City

    Cairns has a huge problem with youth crime and drunken vagrants. Gangs of young people trawl the CBD at night and will bash, rob and rape you. They are untouchable under Queensland law. The same applies to the drunk vagrants who swear loudly, urinate, defecate, fornicate and intimidate innocent passesrby during daylight hours. You need to stay in...

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Cairns Tourist Traps

  • Don't get ripped off in cairns!

    I went there but after shopping about I found a new travel opposit the night markets on abbot street. They had everything that the others had but at much cheaper prices. Found out that they are a chain of shops all over the country and they get better rates than anyone. Her name was Erryn and the shop didn't have a sign but it was an old wicked...

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  • Galleries have control of Indigenous...

    I personally know quite a lot of Indigenous painters who say they are poorly represented by most art Galleries in the Cairns area.Some of these artists say they are paid a sum (sub) in advance for their work because they often need to culterally go'walk-about' and by doing this the galleries then have control,the painters never receive the true...

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  • Barrier Reef Trips...

    Everyone knows that Cairns is the place to go snorkelling/diving on the barrier reef from..well it's not...there is such an abundance of tour companies going out that the water is becoming murky, a lot of the coral is dying off and it's just not all that enjoyable.... Use an eco-friendly tour company if you do go from Cairns as the reef is getting...

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Cairns What to Pack

  • Fishing list and tips for Families.

    You are much better hiring fishing gear when you arrive.A plastic bucket for fishing gear and a bag to hold drinks/food etc. Shorts,t/shirts,a sun cap/hat,swimming costume if area is safe for swimming.A plastic rain poncho and a light sweater.Rubber thongs/flipflops or water proof sneakers. Sun screen protection,drinking water and a small ist aid...

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  • Day trip check list for hiking/walking

    light weight backpack. Sturdy walking shoes.Hat.Poncho.Sunglasses. Basic first Aid Kit.Insect repellentSunblock.Always carry at least two litres of drinking water. Camera and batteries. Sun block,Hat,water,pocket knife,area map,matches & lighter,torch,compass,tent and accessories. Flagging tape,Mobile/cell phone,area map,energy snacks.Always...

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  • Mosquito Repellent or Suffer

    Medium Bags Bathing suits/Cover-UpsSarongs/Sandals/FlipFlops/light Raingear/Running ShoesDress/Jeans / Scarf Sunscreen / Insect Repellent / Toothbrushes / Toothpaste / Shampoo Styling Product / Make-up / De-odorant / Shaving / Brush Camera / Batteries / etc. Hats Water Bottles

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Cairns Off The Beaten Path

  • Savannah Way

    We left Cairns and headed for Darwin across what is called the Savannah Way. If you are planning to do the same trip, then why not follow my story. Our first overnight stop was the famous Undara Lava Tubes and sleeping in a railway carriage. Check out the sight below for all the info and the follow my story by clicking the link below.Of course you...

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  • Drive on a dusty country road

    I strongly suggest when in Cairns to hire a car and get off the main highways and roads and explore the beautiful countryside on offer.A lot of the roads are graded or deemed suitable for conventional cars.You might come across unexpected views or wildlife etc.Your car can get pretty dusty especially if you are driving on the red dirt roads.Be sure...

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  • Check out Cairns Pioneer Cemetery

    The Cairns Pioneer Cemetery is interesting yet sad at the same time,it looks run down and a lot of the graves and tombstones are hard to read and in ruins.The early settlers who came to what was a tropical wilderness full of unknown dangers must have been very draining--mind,body and soul.A lot of these early pioneers died at a young age from...

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Cairns Sports & Outdoors

  • Sport at Cazaly's,Cairns

    Cazaly's sport club at Westcourt,Cairns is home to Australian Rules Football League 'AFL' .It has just finished an upgrade to bring it up to national standards so the people of Cairns and beyond can now watch some of the top teams in the highest division and also for the fans who follow the local clubs.International cricket is played on this ground...

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  • Pro Dive Cairns

    You can't go to Australia without diving the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is a great starting off point, but you will be sadly disappointed by the reefs in Cairns if you only go on a day trip from the local port. The reef in that area is dying and getting bleached out.You'll be better off getting on a live aboard or taking a trip up to Port Douglass...

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  • scuba diving the great barrier reef

    Check out www.cairns.com.au/activitiesThere are so many different reef trips this may help you decide.You can choose from luxery to budget day trips.Or-- cairns.com.au/greatbarrierreef both offer dive and snorkel trips.The weather is usually ok in November but remember it is our wet season,so no guarantees.Hope this helps. Check this out with the...

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Cairns Favorites

See all 47 Favorites in Cairns
  • Working holidays in Cairns

    If you are looking for a working holiday in Cairns,then Happy Travels will be able to help you find a job.Lots to choose from.They also help with accomodation and tax..and cheap tours,meals and lots of free stuff.I have been informed by friends that they would recommend Happy Travels for those on a tight budget or those who wish to earn extra...

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  • Work for your bed and supper.

    If you are considering a working holiday or just want some extra cash to spend--happy travels can help you find a job with accomodation and lots of extras like cheap tours,meals etc.They are easy to find and I have had backpacker friends who have had jobs with them and they recommend you give them a go.I have put a few pics up to give you an idea...

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  • More unusual plants in Cairns

    A visit to Flecker Bontanical Gardens is a must see if you like plants,birds and beutiful tropical ambience. I love coming here to stroll around looking at the different plants and flowers throughout the year.

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Explore Deeper into Cairns
Kuranda
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Cape Tribulation
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Lagoon
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Green Island
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Skyrail
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Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
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Fairyland in Kuranda
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Fields of fire
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Green Island
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Cairns Historical Museum
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Hold a Yearling Crocodile
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Wakeboarding in Cairns - Cheap Extreme Activity!
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Falla - Great Barrier Reef trip
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Once in a life time total eclipse 11/14/2012
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Getting 'oiled' in Cairns
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Good coffee at the club
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Watch the planes line up for landing.
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Mudflats of Cairns on a cloudy day.
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Wonderful QLD style homes
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Jazz,Tapas and singing at Bernie's
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Boardwalking in Cairns.
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Mango daiquiri's at the Salt House
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Bocce courts on the Esplanade
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Around Cairns
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Visit the Scarecrow family
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A most delightful suburban wetlands
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Kuranda Scenic Railway
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Cairns councillors welcome tourists.
Off The Beaten Path
More Tropical plants in Cairns.
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Tropical flora in Cairns.
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Try the Rum
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A Coffee Shop Find
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Avoid Villa Romano
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HAVE A SWIM AT THE LAGOON..
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The Lagoon
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Day (or two) trip to Daintree
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Razor sharp plants .
Warnings and Dangers
Tropical Trinity
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Cairns French cuisine
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Kuranda Skyrail is great!
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Map of Cairns

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