Welcome to Cairns & Port Douglas

a couple  hiking through the Daintree Rainforest
Go hiking through the Daintree Rainforest. Photo: Tourism Australia
 

Cairns is a coastal city with a relaxed attitude. This tropical playground is filled with islands, rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and a rich Indigenous culture. When you're not relaxing, get the adrenaline pumping by bungy-jumping, tree surfing, white-water rafting, kayaking, sky-diving, and much more. An hour north of Cairns is Port Douglas which has great restaurants, markets, shopping, swimming and wellness spas.

This region has warm weather all year round, so you have the perfect excuse to take things as fast or slow as you want.

Tours & popular activities

a mother and her 2 children walking along the Palm Cove beach

Swim and play at Palm Cove beach. Photo: Tourism & Events QLD

There's plenty to do, see and explore in Cairns and the tropical north. Book a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive, swim and snorkel with the stunning marine life. Get to know the local indigenous culture, do a crocodile tour, hang out on the beaches, or go fishing. If you're after an adrenaline hit, book a white water rafting or bunny jumping tour.
 

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National parks & gardens

people kayaking in Cairns on the Barron River

Go kayaking. Photo: Tourism Australia

Cairns and the tropical north is heaven for outdoor adventurers. A must-visit is the Daintree Rainforest (which is the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth). Adventure seekers have plenty of other national parks and gardens to hike including the Mossman Gorge, Cassowary Coast, Barron Gorge, Lake Tinaroo Dam, and Walsh’s Pyramid (a 12km granite core.) You can also explore the rainforests from a canoe or kayak.

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Food & drink

A delicious plat of fish & chips at one of the restaurants on the Cairns esplanade

Why not settle in for some fish & chips by the esplanade

  • Some of Cairns top restaurants include Vitalia Italian, Tamarind, C’est Bon, Ochre and the Salt House.  

  • Vegetarian options include Lillipad, Snoogies cafes, or Osmosis Café Kitchen which is just a short walk up the road from the Botanical Gardens. 

  • If you're chasing your daily caffeine fix, try Cruze on Grafton Street and also in Cairns Central. 

  • If you fancy a cold beer, try Hemingway Brewery (on Wharf Street), or drive north to Smithfield where you can sip on a tasty ale while overlooking the cane fields at Macalister Brewery.  

  • A little hidden gem on the northern beaches is the beach shack bar at Kawarra Beach Resort and Spa. Enjoy sunset views of the ocean as you listen to live music and sip cocktails. Woodfire pizzas and tapas are generally the food of choice.

  • Head to Palm Cove for some top-nosh choices overlooking the ocean along Williams Esplanade. Vivo serves up great cocktails and tasty food. 

  • If you're in Port Douglas, dine at the Court House, Yacht Club, Hemingway Brewery, and the Beach Shake.

Markets

A stall selling boomerangs at the Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets

Visit the Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets. Photo: Tourism & Events QLD

  • Rusty Markets is every Friday to Sunday and is where you'll find fresh and exotic produce, flaky pastries, and delicious street food. 

  • Cairns Night Markets is opposite Cairns Lagoon and sells everything from food, souvenirs to massages. 

  • Tanks Market is the last Sunday of the month in the Botanical Gardens. There's funky arts and clothing, health remedies, food and produce. Why not take a short walk up Collins Avenue and enjoy the local cafés.

  • Tour the Atherton Tablelands (which is an hour outside of Cairns) and check out the farms growing tea, coffee, mangos, bananas, vegetables and flowers. Heads up: Coffee Works at Mareeba and Gallo Dairyland (East Barron) are just a couple of popular 'foody' places to visit.
     

a woman enjoying a delicious smoothy at Rusty Markets in Cairns

Grab a treat at Rusty Markets in Cairns. Photo: Tourism & Events QLD