Two girls in sun hats holding hands overlooking rainforest lookout

There are SO many things to do in Cairns. Whether you are visiting Cairns for a week, a few days, a day or even a few hours, read on for the 101 of the best things to do in Cairns (in no particular order).

1. Swim at the top of a waterfall at Windin Falls

Girl floating at the top of Windin Falls waterfall overlooking the valley below

Read here for how to get to Windin Falls from Cairns.

2. Kayak to Double Island

3. Enjoy fresh seafood on a seafood trawler restaurant at Prawn Star Cairns.

4. Hike to Glacier Rock

Glacier Rock Cairns Hikes Sarah Latham

Suggested read: How to get to Glacier Rock: The Ultimate Guide

5. Go crocodile spotting on the Daintree River

Blonde girl in pretty dress wearing a sunhat that says Do Not Disturb

You can do this as a part of the Jungle Tours GO WILD Day Tour from Cairns.

6. Have a beer overlooking the cane fields at McAlisters Brewering Company

7. Find a treasure at the Cairns Night Markets

8. Snorkel straight off the boat into the Great Barrier Reef

Sarah Latham Passions of Paradise Cairns Great Barrier Reef

9. Feed rock wallabies at Granite Gorge

Sarah Latham Granite Gorge Nature Park

You can do this on a Cairns to Mareeba road trip.

10. Hike the Green Arrow

11. Swim at Stoney Creek

12. Enjoy a breakfast at NOA

13. Experience the rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Sarah Latham Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

One of the many things to do in Kuranda. Read more: The best photo spots at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns.

14. Bungy Jump at Skypark Cairns by AJ Hackett

15. Visit an art gallery

16. Enjoy a beach picnic at Holloways Beach

17. View the Great Barrier Reef by submarine

girl in scUber submarine underwater
Photo by Rian Cope

Well, unfortunately not anymore. This was back in June when scUber arrived in Cairns. You can read all about An Unforgettable Day with ScUber here.

18. Admire the outback caves at Chillagoe

Chillagoe Caves Billy Tea Safaris Cairns

You can visit these caves with Billy Tea Safaris.

19. Zip line over a crocodile at Cairns Zoom

A great family friendly activity in Cairns.

20. Swim at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

21. Throw plates (and eat delicious Greek food) at Fetta’s Greek Taverna in Cairns City

22. Hike up to Behana Gorge and cool off under the waterfall

Behana Gorge Cairns Hikes Sarah Latham

Behana Gorge is one of the 5 Best Hikes in Cairns and is a beautiful waterfall to visit.

23. Visit where the Rainforest meets the Reef at Cape Tribulation

Sarah Latham Cape Tribulation Beach

One of the must see places in the Daintree, you can do this as a part of the Jungle Tours GO WILD Day Tour from Cairns. Suggested read: How to experience the Cairns rainforest.

24. Explore Green Island situated among the Great Barrier Reef

Discover more about a day trip to Green Island here: Why you need to visit Green Island right now.

25. Check out the street art in Cairns City

Sarah Latham Cairns Street Art

26. Sail above the clouds at sunrise with Hot Air Ballooning

Sarah Latham Hot Air Balloon Mareeba Cairns

27. See Barron Falls in flood

Barron Falls in Flood

Suggested read: How to see Barron Falls in flood

28. Hike the Blue Arrow

Sarah Latham Blue Arrow Hike Cairns

29. Slide down the waterslide on Sunlover’s Great Barrier Reef pontoon.

One of the best family friendly Great Barrier Reef experiences in Cairns.

30. Glide along the Barron River with Kuranda Riverboat Tours

Sarah Latham Kuranda Riverboat

One of the best things to do in Kuranda.

31. Have a drink at Rocco’s Rooftop Bar

32. Relax under the palm trees at Palm Cove

Sarah Latham Palm Cove Cairns

33. Swim in an old volcanic crater that is now Lake Eacham

Sarah Latham Lake Eacham Cairns

34. Feed wallabies at Rainforestation in Kuranda

35. Discover Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls is one of the 5 Best Hikes in Cairns, with the added bonus of this spectacular waterfall at the end.

36. See crocodiles up close at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

37. Float in the vibrant blue of Cardwell Spa Pools

Sarah Latham Cardwell Spa Pools Cairns

This is also a great stop on a Cairns to Townsville road trip.

38. Discover Fairy Falls in Redlynch Valley

Sarah Latham Fairy Falls Cairns

One of the best waterfalls in Cairns, find this spot: How to get to Fairy Falls.

39. Visit Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island

Two girls jumping into water at Nudey Beach Fitzroy Island

40. Tick ‘Hiked up Walsh’s Pyramid’ from your Cairns bucket list.

Walsh's Pyramid Cairns

Walsh’s Pyramid is one of the 5 Best Hikes in Cairns and a nearby road is a great photo opportunity.

41. Wander with the butterflies at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Girl taking a photo of a butterfly resting on her hand

You can visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary as a part of the Kuranda Wildlife Experience package and is a great thing to do in Kuranda. For more information about the experience read Visiting the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda.

42. Take in the view at Rex’s Lookout

Sarah Latham Rex Lookout Cairns Port Douglas Drive

43. Walk amongst the treetops at Mamu’s Tropical Skywalk

A great way to experience the Cairns rainforest.

44. Enjoy fish and chips at Trinity Beach

45. Swim at Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls Cairns

Josephine Falls is one of the Best Cairns Waterfalls and one of the Most Instagrammable Spots in Cairns.

46. Wander through Port Douglas Markets

Suggested read: Your Cairns to Port Douglas itinerary.

47. Let your hair down with a Sunday sesh at Boardwalk Social by Flynn, a Crystalbrook Collection

Flynn by Crystalbrook Boardwalk Social Sarah Latham

48. Hike the Red Arrow

49. Swim in the crystal green waters of Mossman Gorge

One of the must see places in the Daintree.

50. Get your heart racing with Cairns Canyoning.

51. Visit Dunk Island just off Mission Beach

52. Cuddle a koala at Kuranda Koala Gardens

You can visit the Kuranda Koala Gardens as a part of the Kuranda Wildlife Experience package in Kuranda.

53. Have a picnic at Copperlode Dam

54. Explore the Cairns Botanic Gardens

Sarah Latham Cairns Botanic Gardens

55. See Australia’s widest single drop waterfall at Millstream Falls

One of the best things to see near Ravenshoe.

56. Stay dry at the Cairns Aquarium

Sarah Latham Cairns Aquarium

57. Wander through the cane fields

Sarah Latham Cane Fields Cairns

Click here for more Instagrammable Locations in Cairns.

58. Learn how to throw a boomerang and develop deep insight into Aboriginal culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

59. Flick your hair back and swim in the cool waters at Millaa Millaa waterfall

Sarah Latham Millaa Millaa Falls Cairns

Millaa Millaa is of the Best Waterfalls in Cairns.

60. Hang out on an inhabited island at Frankland Islands

Sarah Latham Frankland Islands Cairns

61. Relax to the live music on the Cairns Esplanade

62. Get the adrenaline flowing with White Water Rafting on the Tully River.

63. Fly over the rainforest with a rainforest helicopter tour.

64. Enjoy the local produce at Rusty’s Market

65. View a prehistoric world at Tully Gorge National Park

Tully Gorge Lookout in Atherton Tablelands

Find this spot: How to Get to Tully Gorge.

66. Hike to White Rock Peak

White Rock Peak Cairns Sarah Latham

White Rock Peak is one of the 5 Best Hikes in Cairns

67. Wander through the castle ruins of Paronella Park

Paronella Park

Read here for more information on a day spent at Paronella Park.

68. Swing through the rainforest on the Giant Jungle Swing at Skypark Global by AJ Hackett.

Sarah Latham Cairns AJ Hackett Giant Jungle Swing

69. Visit the Low Isles off Port Douglas

One of the best things to do in a weekend in Port Douglas.

70. Scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef

71. Explore the Kuranda Original Markets

One of the most famous things to do in Kuranda.

72. Visit the Nucifora Tea Plantation

Nucifora Tea Plantation Cairns Sarah Latham

73. Enjoy a sunset dinner on Spirit of Cairns

74. Go to a Cairns Taipans basketball home game

75. Take in the view from the Kuranda Range Lookout

Sarah Latham Cairns Kuranda Range Lookout

76. Catch a small plane over the Great Barrier Reef with GSL Aviation

Sarah Latham GSL Aviation Cairns

77. Walk across crocodiles on the Predator Plank at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

Sarah Latham Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas Predator Plank

You can do this as a part of the Jungle Tours GO WILD Day Tour from Cairns.

78. Have a barbecue and hang out at Babinda Boulders

Sarah Latham Babinda Boulders Cairns

79. Ride horses on the beach with Cape Tribulation Horse Rides

80. Explore the Armour & Artillery Museum

81. Wander through the markets on the Esplanade

82. Make friends of the feathered persuasion at Birdworld Kuranda

Parrot climbing up girls arm

You can visit Birdworld Kuranda as a part of the Kuranda Wildlife Experience package and is a popular thing to do in Kuranda.

83. Discover the Curtain Fig Tree in Yungaburra

Sarah Latham Curtain Fig Tree Yungaburra Cairns

84. Enjoy dinner in the rainforest at Flames of the Forest

85. Hike the Yellow Arrow

Sarah Latham Yellow Arrow

86. Ride the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway

Sarah Latham Kuranda Scenic Railway Cairns

87. Stay at Pullman Reef Hotel Casino and enjoy an evening swim in their rooftop pool

Sarah Latham Pullman Reef Hotel Casino Pool Cairns

88. Admire the water cascading down Ellinjaa Falls

Sarah Latham Ellinjaa Falls Cairns

89. Enjoy the rolling hills of the Artherton Tablelands from Millaa Millaa Lookout.

Sarah Latham Millaa Millaa Lookout Cairns

90. Visit a sea cay in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef

Nautilus Aviation Vlasoff Cay Great Barrier Reef Cairns Sarah Latham

91. Jump out of a plane over Mission Beach

92. Quad bike through the rainforest in Kuranda

93. Drive one of the most beautiful roads in the world – the Great Barrier Reef Drive between Cairns and Port Douglas.

Suggested read: Your Cairns to Port Douglas itinerary.

94. Hike to the bottom of Australia’s tallest single drop permanent waterfall – Wallaman Falls.

Sarah Latham Wallaman Falls

Wallaman Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls near Cairns and is also a fantastic stop on a Cairns to Townsville road trip. Suggested read: How to get to Wallaman Falls in North Queensland.

95. Admire the view of Barron Gorge from The Edge Lookout

The Edge Lookout Cairns Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Photo: Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

96. Ride a helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef with Nautilus Aviation

97. Get a workout in wake boarding at Cairns Wake Park

98. Hike to the top of Fitzroy Island Summit

Sarah Latham Fitzroy Island Summit Hike Cairns

99. Discover the palm trees on the beach at Mission Beach

Coconut Trees Mission Beach Sarah Latham

You can find this exact spot on Where to Eat, Sleep and Play in Mission Beach.

100. Admire the jungle from the top of Zillie Falls

Sarah Latham Zillie Falls Cairns

Just another spectacular waterfall in this region.

101. Enjoy a spectacular sunset at Second Beach in Yarrabah

Sarah Latham Second Beach Yarrabah Cairns

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