See & Do

In Tropical North Queensland, your days and nights can be as adventurous or as relaxed as you like. Cairns boasts more than 600 tours showcasing the most exciting, amazing and unique attractions of the region from the reef to the rainforest, beaches and outback.

In Tropical North Queensland your days and nights can be as adventurous or as relaxed as
you like. If you want to find plenty of activities to get your heart racing you have come to the
right place.

Take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of
the World. The amazing contrast of colours is something that is best experienced from the
air. Other sights from the air include, Cairns, Green Island, Double Island, Palm Cove,
Arlington Reef, Upolu Reef, Batt Reef, Tongue Reef and Port Douglas.

You can find some of the best white-water rafting rapids in Australia on the Tully and
Barron River, the best way to experience pristine rainforest, crystal clear rivers and breathtaking scenery. Tackle grade two to four rapids, try cliff jumping and rapid swimming.
Do a half-day of tubing on the Mulgrave River and float through small, fun rapids on
professional twin chamber tubes.

Cairns offers a number of amazing wildlife experiences where you can meet koalas,
wallabies, kangaroos, exotic fish, endangered bird species and colourful butterflies.

The Wet Tropics is home to about a third of Australia’s 315 mammal species, of those,
13 are found nowhere else in the world. They include unique Green Possums, Ringtail Possums, Fierce Marsupial Cats, Rare Bats, Tree-Kangaroos, a Rat- Kangaroo, Melomys and Antechinus.

If you want to get wet, take a dip in the picturesque Lagoon, a 4,800 square-metre salt-water pool that offers year-round swimming on the Esplanade in Cairns CBD.

Surrounding the Lagoon are parklands with tropical gardens. This is the perfect spot to take a stroll, BBQ yourself a lunch, go biking or simply enjoy a picnic.

Offering almost two kilometres of landscaped parkland with a restaurant strip on one side and the harbour inlet on the other you can relax on the grass and soak up the sun or dine in one of the many restaurants. The choice is yours.



Cairns has an abundance of great shopping locations, from markets offering locally made products to shopping centres with all your favourite chain stores.

There are also souvenir shops that sell prints, pearls and all types of Australiana products that you can take home, to remind you of your trip to Cairns.

If you want to take a treat of Tropical North Queensland home with you, check out Coffee Works gourmet store located in the Cairns CBD. You will find over 40 beans and blends, from local plantations and all around the world, 100 specialty teas, over 50 chocolate flavours, takeaway coffees and so much more.

Also in the CBD, is Cairns Central Shopping Centre, offering over 180 stores. The centre is fully enclosed and offers an extensive range of stores and services including Myer, Target, Kmart, Coles, and Vmax screens at Event Cinemas.

DFO Cairns is the home of fashion and bargains. Home to international brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Oakley and Oroton, this retail outlet comprises 57 specialty stores, with up to 70 per cent off original prices.

The Pier Cairns Shopping Centre is home to enviable waterfront shopping and dining. This is where you will find local and international fashion labels, funky footwear, swimwear, precious gemstone jewellery and an array of specialty shops to suit all your needs. Overlooking Trinity Bay and the Marlin Marina, the Pier is located between the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon and the International Reef Fleet Terminal.

DFS Galleria Cairns offers the best brands in fashion, accessories, watches, jewellery, food and wine. If you’re travelling internationally within 60 days of purchase, you will enjoy tax and duty-free savings.

Further out of Cairns CBD you will find Stockland Shopping Centre in Earlville, Smithfield Shopping Centre and Mount Sheridan Plaza.

A variety of markets operate across Cairns and the beaches showcasing quality products including jewellery, leatherwork, pottery, clothes and skincare. Treat yourself to something nice, pick up some souvenirs or buy some gifts for family and friends back home.

Cairns Esplanade Markets
Every Saturday, 8am-4pm, by the Lagoon
The Esplanade Markets showcase local, quality products from contemporary jewellery, leather work, pottery, clothes and skincare. If you need a gift or souvenir you are sure to find it here. Held against the backdrop of the Cairns waterfront, you can follow your market shopping with a swim in the Lagoon or take advantage of the free barbecues, exercising equipment and children’s play grounds.

Cairns Night Markets
Open every day of the year from 5pm-11pm, 71-75 The Esplanade, Cairns CBD
Each night when the sun sets, Cairns Night Markets come alive offering over 70 retail shops and a myriad of food options. Grab dinner and hunt for a bargain. There is something for everyone including pearls, silver, clothing, massage oils, t-shirts, arts, crafts, Australian food products, plenty of souvenirs and gifts.

Tanks Markets
Last Sunday of the month, April to November, 9am-2pm, Collins Avenue, Edge Hill.
Showcasing a blend of local art, craft, produce, vintage clothing, collectibles and
local natural health products and treatments, the markets are a relaxing way to spend a Sunday morning. Market stalls line Tanks promenade on Collins Avenue, with live
entertainment provided by local musicians.

Holloways Beach Markets
Second Sunday of the month, March to November on the beach esplanade.
Stroll amongst the stalls shaded by the beautiful beachfront trees and palms. Stalls are many and varied including food and coffee, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing, jewellery, tropical plants including orchids, honey, sausage sizzles, bric-a-brac, massage, toys, books and much more.

Palm Cove Markets
First Sunday of the month, April to December, 8am-2pm, Williams Esplanade.
The Palm Cove markets showcase local, quality handmade products from contemporary jewellery, leather work, pottery, clothes, skincare, plants and produce, wellness stalls and food. The markets have great family friendly activities including free crazy golf and jumping castle.

Atherton Tablelands
If you are travelling outside of Cairns, check out the Atherton Tablelands section on our website for more information on the many local markets in the area.

  • Ride Cairns

    Welcome to Tropical North Queensland, the only place where you can ride through World Heritage-listed rainforest, tackle trails designed to challenge world champions or cruise alongside the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.   We have a range of unique and accessible mountain biking tracks and trails to explore for the adventure seeker and recreational rider alike.   […]

  • Great Adventures

    Departing daily from Cairns, Great Adventures operates a range of exciting, ecotourism-based cruises to the Great Barrier Reef and tropical Green Island. Choose from a full or half day visit to the reef and rainforest-clad Green Island just 45 minutes by fast catamaran from Cairns, or a full day cruise to a spacious activity platform […]

  • The Crystal Caves Cairns

    Located in the trendy Oceana Walk Arcade on Cairns’ Lake street, the Crystal Caves Cairns store is perfectly complemented by an eclectic range of independent boutiques, shops and cafés.   Beautifully displayed and reasonably priced, you will find the same great selection of Crystal Caves’ jewellery, mineral specimens and carvings using only natural gemstones from around […]

  • Tjapukai Cultural Park

    Located in Cairns, Tjapukai has been sharing the authentic culture of the local Djabugay people for the past 28 years, providing employment opportunities for their people and giving performers immense pride in demonstrating their culture.   More than 3 million people around the world have discovered how to “shake a leg” by joining in traditional […]

  • Sunlover Reef Cruises

    Departing daily from Cairns Marina, Sunlover Reef Cruises is honoured to share the wonder of The Great Barrier Reef with you from the new deluxe activity pontoon at stunning Moore Reef. You won’t find a better value Outer Reef adventure with this many activities and inclusions packed into one day.   Arlington Reef-Your Great Barrier […]

  • Compass Cruises

    Escape for an unforgettable day to the great Barrier reef on-board Compass Cruises Cairns best reef tour. Snorkel at two different locations among set fantastic coral formations teeming with colourful tropical fish and an abundance of exotic marine life.   Relax on the huge sundeck, see the reef from the glass bottom boat or go […]

  • Reef Experience

    Experience the Great Barrier Reef-they pick the best spots every day based on conditions, so you can see the reef at its best. You will have a great time guaranteed!   The warm waters of the coral sea combined with spectacular diving sites are sure to please everyone. Learn about the reef with their on-board […]

  • Reef Encounter

    Reef Encounter offers scuba diving and snorkeling liveaboard tours on the Great Barrier Reef.   Scuba divers, snorkelers and those who just wish to stay on a floating hotel on the Great Barrier Reef can travel together with a Cairns liveaboard tour! Live and sleep on the reef and see it at its best – day […]

  • Fitzroy Island Resort

    Jump on the 45- minute high-speed ferry to picturesque Fitzroy island, located 29 kilometres off the coast of cairns. At Fitzroy Island, it’s all about rainforest, beaches and reaches, with just as much to discover on land as in the sea. Explore the bush walking tracks throughout the island, like the lighthouse and summit walks, […]

  • Spirit of Cairns

    If the sea is calling you, book a dinner cruise with the Spirit of Cairns and enjoy the panoramic mountain and city views on the clam waters of Trinity Inlet.   While you are experiencing the calm, sapphire waters of the cairns harbour it is easy to feel like you’ve stumbled upon paradise. This is […]