Cairns is the gateway to Queensland’s tropical north, and renowned for its sultry climate and laid back ambience. The city used to be popular with visitors who came in search of gold, but now they visit to discover something even more precious: the Great Barrier Reef. The unmissable coral reef is easily accessible via boat trips from the city.
The focal point of Cairns itself is the 2km-long Esplanade, with its cafés, bars, piazzas, fine historic buildings and swimming lagoon. [ReadMoreMob] The Tanks Art Centre and nearby Flecker Botanical Gardens are worth uncovering, while the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park recounts stories of indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait people through music and dance.
Cairns is also home to the beautiful Wet Tropics Rainforest. The best way to see this natural wonder is to take the Kuranda Scenic Railway north from the city, passing over bridges and through tunnels carved from the cliff-face and to the village of Kuranda. From there, the 7.5km Skyrail Rainforest Cableway offers a ride above the rainforest canopy in glass-sided gondolas.
Great Barrier Reef
The world-heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is the only living structure on earth that can be seen from outer space. It comprises of more than 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch along 2,300 kilometres off the Queensland coastline; and boasts 400 coral varieties, 1,500 species of fish and 900 islands - perfect for snorkelling. The reef offers a range of world-class experiences including scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing.
Australia’s indigenous culture is one of the oldest in the world. Experiencing ancient Aboriginal traditions, from watching a dance performance to playing the didgeridoo, is a great way to learn more about this fascinating and diverse heritage.