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No trip to Cairns would be complete without spending a day seeing the world's largest coral reef system! Delve into the underwater world and explore the reef by either snorkelling or scuba diving. See if you can spot Nemo! If you prefer to stay dry, why not experience the reef from a glass bottom boat?
Located about 20 minutes out of Cairns, this is a secluded freshwater swimming hole perfect for an afternoon dip! For those adrenaline junkies seeking a more action-packed day, join Cairns Canyoning for one of their tours which includes ziplining, abseiling and rock sliding!
Just 27km off the coast of Cairns, here you can laze on white sandy beaches, walk through the rainforest or go snorkelling right off the beach.
A 45-minute ferry from Cairns will take you to an island paradise where you can spend the day on island time. Take a short walk to the spectacular white coral beach - Nudey Beach; test your balance by renting stand up paddleboards from the main beach, or just relax and sip on a cocktail from Foxy’s Bar.
Spend the day exploring the volcanic crater lakes - Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine. Make sure to sip on a Devonshire Tea and enjoy a freshly baked scone at the Lake Barrine Teahouse! You can choose to admire the views from the shore or take a stumble along the rainforest paths circuits which circle the lakes. While on the Tablelands, don’t miss the amazing Curtain Fig Tree or Cathedral Fig Tree. Continue your drive out to the Mt Hypipamee Crater where you can stare 57 metres down into it. Enjoy a swim at the nearby Dinner Falls before heading to Malanda Falls where you can search for the Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo.
Start the day at one of Australia’s most photographed waterfalls - the iconic Millaa Millaa Falls, well known for its infamous hair flick! From there you can head to Zillie Falls and then down the road to Ellinjaa Falls. If that’s not enough waterfalls for one day, you can continue on to Nandroya Falls (6.6km return hike), Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls.
A visit to the Mungalli Creek Dairy is also a must! Just a short drive from Ellinjaa Falls, there is a lovely cafe, in the original farmhouse, serving up meals made from their biodynamic dairy products and locally sourced organic produce. Think warm, fresh scones and decadent cheesecake! If tea is more to your taste, visit the Nerada Tea Plantation, off the Malanda Millaa Millaa Road, to enjoy a cuppa and see how tea is grown and processed.
Take a drive to the beautiful beachside village of Palm Cove where you can spend the day soaking up the sun and enjoying the esplanade lined with 500-year-old melaleuca trees. If you’re feeling hungry, you can enjoy a meal from one of the many beachfront restaurants on offer.
A barefoot paradise where you can soak up the sun, relax on the beach, or browse the boutiques before stopping at one of the restaurants/bars for a drink and a bite to eat. If you visit on a Sunday, make sure to check out the markets! If you plan to visit Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas is a perfect place to stop and break up the drive.
See where the world’s oldest surviving rainforest meets the reef! Wander along the boardwalks which will take you through the forest and mangroves or keep an eye out for crocodiles on a Daintree River Tour.
Looking for something a little less strenuous? Indulge in a day of rock hopping and natural swimming instead! Plus enjoy the added bonus of an infinity pool on top of the falls!
Wind your way from Cairns to Kuranda on the Scenic Rail which passes by rainforest, rocky gorges and spectacular waterfalls! Make your return to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which will take you metres above the pristine jungle canopy allowing you to view the rainforest from a whole new perspective.
Take a trip back in time and check out the Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets open Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun. Here you will find a range of handcrafted goods, tropical gardens and gourmet regional food.
Consider paying a visit to Rainforestation Nature Park which is home to the Army Duck Rainforest Tours on land and water and the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience.
If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, tackle the white water rapids on the mighty Tully River with Raging Thunder.
Travel inland to Queensland’s highest town, Ravenshoe, and check out the nearby Little Millstream Falls. Grab a beer and a bite to eat at Queensland’s highest pub before checking out the view from Windy Hill Farm.
Take a step back in time to an era long forgotten. The historic village, home to more than 60 original buildings complete with shops, a functioning tearoom, antique motor vehicles, small engines, fashion and John Deere tractors, will allow you to experience Australia’s timber, farming and mining history.
Join a local Kuku Yalanji guide for a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk and learn about traditional plant use, smoking ceremonies and more. You may also choose to do a self-guided walk through the rainforest or take a dip in the water.
Walk into a fairytale at Paronella Park, a Spanish castle in the rainforest located around an hour and a half south of Cairns.
See crocodiles jump for their dinner, enjoy wildlife presentations or relax on a cruise on Hartley’s Lagoon to explore the natural habitat of the legendary Saltwater Crocodile.
Join a Kuku Yalanji Indigenous guide to learn about the environment, different bush foods and medicines. Sample some seasonal bush tucker while appreciating the history, culture and traditions of our Australian Aboriginal people.
One of the local's favourite beaches, spend the day relaxing on the beach or at one of the many beachfront restaurants.
Spend the day rock-hopping and hand-feeding wild Mareeba rock wallabies! Keep an eye out for other wildlife too!
Head south to the cassowary coast to explore palm-fringed shores and funky beachside villages. Keep an eye out for cassowaries! If you enjoy a nice glass of vino, make a pit stop at Murdering Point Winery to sample their range of Australian tropical fruit wines, ports, liqueurs and creams.
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