Cairns is a port city in the tropical Far North of Queensland. It is located on the coast of the Great Barrier Reef. However, that is not the only reason to visit this city. The tropical north of Australia is hot and humid all year long, so you can visit any time of the year to experience the tropical warm weather. There is so much to do both in the city and its surrounds, you should definitely consider hiring a car to get here and then to have your own transportation to get around to see the different sights. Budget Car Hire has many different car rental locations and options to choose from in Queensland. So, hit the road and head north to Cairns! Here are 7 other amazing reasons to visit Cairns.
Kuranda Scenic Railway Photo Credit: Flickr
Explore the Kuranda Rainforest
The Kuranda Rainforest is a tropical rainforest part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that includes Kuranda National Park and Barron Gorge National Park. It is just a short 25 km drive north of Cairns. This is such a great place to visit because of the extreme biodiversity here, seeing all of the different flora and fauna make it a very special experience. Of course, if you do visit Kuranda, you must take a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Kuranda Scenic Skyway (or both). They give you a unique perspective of the rainforest canopy from above and you can also see an aerial view of Barron Falls. You can spend a day or more in Kuranda because you can also visit Birdworld, take a Kuranda Cruise, tour the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, and see the Kuranda Koala Gardens.
Cairns Tropical Zoo Photo Credit: CairnsTropicalZoo.com.au
Visit the Cairns Tropical Zoo
Even though a zoo might not be an entire reason to visit a city, in this case, the Cairns Tropical Zoo is a special attraction because you can learn all about the local tropical animals located throughout the region. Some of the wild life from the tropics you will get to see up close include Koalas, Wombats, Cassowary birds, Crocodiles, snakes, lizards, native birds, and more.
Paronella Park Photo Credit: Flickr
Paronella Park is a beautiful and tranquil one-of-a-kind place that you have to see to believe. It was all built by Jose Paronella, a Spanish immigrant who started building his dream in 1929. He had 5 hectares of land and dedicated the beautiful park to his wife. He built a castle, a picnic area by Mena Creek falls, tennis courts, bridges, and a tunnel. He planted about 7500 different tropical plants which have grown into a lush rainforest. Paronella Park is now a National Heritage listed site and Eco-accredited tourist spot popular for romantic getaways, weddings, or even just a relaxing family picnic.
Tjapukai Cultural Park Photo Credit: Flickr
Tjapukai Cultural Park
All of the Far North and Top End of Australia have a long and rich Aboriginal culture and history. While in Cairns, you can learn all about the original land owners who have lived in the tropical climate for thousands of years. When you visit the Tjapukai Cultural Park you can learn all about their history and culture through the indigenous songs, dances, food, interactive theatre and tours.
White Water Rafting Photo Credit: Flickr
White Water Rafting
You might not immediately associate white water rafting with the tropical north environment near Cairns, but the Barron River and Tully River have some of the most exciting white water rafting opportunities in Queensland. Some thrill seekers even regard these rapids as the best in all of Australia. There is something for everyone as the rapids from Barron Gorge and Tully Gorge provide a wide range of rapid categories from mild to wild. If thrill seeking is what you look for in your vacation, then this is the place because there are a number of different tour options and extreme sports including hot air balloon rides, bungy jumping, and more.
Chillagoe Caves Photo Credit: Flickr
If you are a nature enthusiast, then the Chillagoe Caves are a must see! This cave system is one of the most unique landscapes of limestone karst caves in the world. It is about a 3 hour road trip west of the coast, so in addition to touring Chillagoe Caves, you will get to see some of the Queensland Outback during this little road trip.
Horseback Riding in Cairns Photo Credit: Australia.com
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Who doesn’t dream of a vacation that includes horseback riding on the beach? That is possible in Cairns and you can actually get a horseback tour of the region including the rainforest and coastal scenery. Cairns truly offers it all including the unique adventures we have highlighted today plus the beaches and of course, the world famous Great Barrier Reef just off the coast.