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Things to see in Cairns

Attractions

Palm Cove

A palm tree-lined beachside suburb on the Cairns northern beaches, this is the favoured hangout of celebrities and A-listers. Home to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants, Palm Cove also has free beachfront BBQs and landscaped gardens perfect for laid back picnics.

Address: Palm Cove, Williams Esplanade, Cairns, 4879
Telephone:
Opening times: Website: http://www.tourismpalmcove.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Rusty’s Markets

Cairns is in the heart of tropical Queensland’s fruit bowl and there is no better place to savour fresh regional produce than at Rusty’s Markets. Running for three days a week, the market also has stalls selling flowers, deli items, baked goods, clothing and jewellery.

Address: , 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns, 4870
Telephone: +61 7 4040 2705.
Opening times:

Fri-Sat 0500-1800 Sun 0500-1500.

Website: http://www.rustysmarkets.com.au
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway begins 15km (9.3 miles) north of Cairns and carries visitors over 7.5km (4.7 miles) of pristine rainforest to the beautiful village of Kuranda. It provides riders with unique views of the lush canopy of the ancient rainforest, as well as breathtaking views of the Barron Gorge and Falls.

Address: Smithfield, 6 Skyrail Drive, Cairns, 4878
Telephone: +61 7 4038 5555.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1715.

Website: http://www.skyrail.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

The most extensive butterfly aviary in the southern hemisphere, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary houses over 1,500 butterflies from a variety of tropical species. Top tip: wear a white top to attract butterflies to land on your shoulders.

Address: Kuranda, 8 Rob Veivers Drive, Cairns, 4881
Telephone: +61 7 4093 7575.
Opening times:

Daily 0945-1600.

Website: http://www.australianbutterflies.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is a continental island 29km south-east of Cairns with white sand beaches surrounding a hilly island draped in rainforest. Go there on a day trip for snorkelling, kayaking, hiking and beachcombing, or stay overnight at the Fitzroy Island Resort, which has bars and restaurants overlooking the Coral Sea.

Address: , , Cairns, 4871
Telephone: +61 07 4044 6700.
Opening times: Website: http://www.fitzroyisland.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Kuranda Scenic Rail

Travel between Cairns and Kuranda, known as the village in the rainforest, on a historic train that winds its way through Wet Tropics Rainforest into the mountains west of Cairns, past beautiful waterfalls and into the spectacular Barron Gorge.

Address: , 126-144 Bunda Street, Cairns, 4870
Telephone: +61 7 4036 9333.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0800-1530, Sat-Sun 0800-0930.

Website: http://www.ksr.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome

This quite extraordinary adventure-style zoo, located in the domed roof of a hotel casino in central Cairns, allows visitors to get up close to fascinating Australian fauna, such as koalas, snakes and kookaburras. Dome climbs, challenging ropes courses and zip-lines add to the thrills; visitors can zip-line over a 4m-long (13-ft) saltwater crocodile, nicknamed Goliath, who is the star exhibit at the zoo.

Address: , The Reef Hotel Casino, 35 Wharf Street, Cairns, 4870
Telephone: +61 7 4031 7250.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700

Website: http://www.cairnszoom.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Cairns Art Gallery

Cairns Art Gallery, housed within the majestic old Public Offices Building, displays a wide variety of work by many of far north Queensland's finest contemporary artists and also houses touring exhibitions of work by some of Australia's most significant artists.

Address: , 40 Abbott Street, Cairns, 4870
Telephone: +61 7 4046 4800.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-1700, Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1000-1400

Website: http://www.cairnsartgallery.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Flecker Botanic Gardens

A walk through the Flecker Botanical Gardens, much wilder than most of Australia's botanic gardens, feels like a walk through the rainforest. The gardens are located only 4km (2.5 miles) from the central business district, and attractions include the purpose-built Conservatory, Fernery, Orchid House, and Aboriginal Plant Use section.

Address: Edge Hill, 1 Collins Avenue, Cairns, 4870
Telephone: +61 7 4044 3398.
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1730

Website: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/facilities-sport-leisure/botanic
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Tjapukai, which opened in 1987, was Australia's first Aboriginal cultural attraction and is still the one with the most awards to its name. It's located in a 10-hectare (25-acre) park just 15 minutes north of central Cairns. Visitors can watch traditional song and dance, learn about Aboriginal beliefs and history, and even try their hand at boomerang and spear throwing, didgeridoo playing or boomerang painting.

Address: Smithfield, 4 Skyrail Drive, Cairns, 4878
Telephone: +61 7 4042 9999.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-2130

Website: http://www.tjapukai.com.au
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Tourist Offices

Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre

Address: , 51 The Esplanade, Cairns, 4870
Telephone: +61 07 4051 3588.
Opening times:

Mon–Fri 0830-1800. Weekends & public holidays 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au

There are a variety of free tourism magazines in Cairns, including maps, brochures, and itineraries available at Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre. Follow their blog for inspirational ideas to explore this popular city.

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Featured Hotels

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Cairns Queenslander Hotel and Apartments

Just one block from the Cairns Esplanade Memorial Walk and beach, the Cairns Queenslander offers a range of accommodation including spacious private balcony rooms, standard rooms, and self-catering 2 bedroom apartments. For those travelling on business, the hotel is located close to Cairns Central Business District.

Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort

Located just minutes from Cairns city centre, this 5-star family-friendly resort is set on 28 acres of grounds that include swimming pools and a playground for the children, award winning tropical gardens and rainforest areas. The resort offers a range of accommodation, from luxury condos that sleep up to eight people, to spa villas, and tropical ensuite cabins. Tour companies collect at the front of the resort.

The Reef House

The Reef House is influenced by colonial style beach houses, with plantation shutters, latticework and lush greenery. It offers a relaxed tropical vibe and sits in the heart of Palm Cove’s beachfront boulevard.

Floriana Guesthouse

Occupying an enviable location on the Cairns Esplanade, Floriana Guest House is a heritage-listed former private mansion from the 1930s. Styled with period furnishings, it offers traditional hospitality along with an insight into Cairns history.

Tropic Days Backpackers Hostel

This is simply the best backpackers hostel in town, offering a choice of singles, doubles and small dorms in a beautifully restored Queenslander. There is also a swimming pool surrounded by hammocks for lazy days. One of the best cheap hotels in Cairns for those on a budget.

Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa

Despite its mouthful of a name, Sea Temple is an elegant apartment-style hotel with direct access to Palm Cove’s palm tree-lined beach. For the ultimate indulgence, book a room with private plunge pool or rooftop spa.