Crystal Cascades Cairns Sarah Latham

Visiting Cairns? Good, you’re in for an excellent time. My home for something close to 7 years (spread out over the course of 14 years), Cairns always holds a special place in my heart. It truly is a hub of outstanding natural beauty and diverse landscapes. If you’re visiting Cairns anytime soon there is no doubt that these are 10 Cairns photos you will want to take while you’re here.

Suggested reads: 101 things to do in Cairns and The best places to drone in Cairns.

1. Great Barrier Reef from above photo

Starting the list of 10 Cairns photos off strong with one for the Cairns bucket-list: flying above the Great Barrier Reef. Nothing quite beats the experience of soaring above the reef, looking out over the thousand shades of blue and spotting hundreds of sea turtles and other marine animals from above. This is one of my favourite Cairns photos and was shot from a GSL Aviation small plane scenic flight. On this flight we soared above Green Island (pictured here, and for more information on the island see: Why you need to visit Green Island right now), many sand cays, incredible reef and Port Douglas.


2. The Pyramid photo

The famous Instagram shot of Walsh’s Pyramid. Taken on the road leading away from Behana Gorge, no trip to the south of Cairns is complete without stopping to capture this classic Cairns snap. You can find this exact road here: How to find that Walshs Pyramid Road in Cairns.

Girl standing on road looking up at pyramid shaped mountain

3. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef from below photo

You’ve seen it from above, don’t forget about experiencing (and photographing) the Great Barrier Reef from below. Bring a waterproof camera or GoPro to capture a few beautiful photos of the thriving Great Barrier Reef. If you don’t have an underwater device handy, most reef boats have professional photographers on board (although if this is important to you make sure you check before booking) who will snap your picture as you snorkel the reef and you can purchase at the end of the day. This photo below was taken on my GoPro when exploring the reef with Passions of Paradise, one of the best Great Barrier Reef day tours out of Cairns I have experienced.

Read more about the Great Barrier Reef: Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Cairns Sarah Latham

4. Waterfall chasing photo

We all know the song, I won’t punish you with quoting it here (if I can help it!). Cairns is known for its spectacular range of waterfalls, from the cascading almost river like falls of Crystal Cascades to the thunderous single drop falls of Nandroya Falls, meaning you will be spoilt for choice for capturing a waterfall version of your 10 Cairns photos. You may even be forgiven if you capture it with a certain TLC lyric, because if there is one thing you’ll be doing in Cairns it’s chasing waterfalls.

Get to this spot: How to get to Tchupala and Wallicher Falls.

two girls in front of Tchupala Falls Cairns

5. Wandering through the Daintree Rainforest photo

Ah, the Daintree Rainforest. Often awarded the title of the Oldest Tropical Rainforest on Earth but did you know this is slightly misleading? Daintree National Park is a part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area which actually has the title as it contains parts of the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest on Earth. Whether you choose to visit this rainforest a little closer to home or dive right into the adventure of heading north to the Daintree (and that is one amazing experience), this rainforest is impressive and definitely one to add to your Cairns photos list.

Suggested read: 4 places in the Daintree you must visit.

6. Outback adventure photo

When I said this region is home to diverse landscapes, I really meant it. Head west from Cairns and just over a 2.5 hour drive, you’ll find yourself at Chillagoe. Once a coral reef (believe it or not), Chillagoe is now an iconic outback landscape covered in classic Australian foliage, immense caves and ancient structures. If you’re looking to show off the unexpected with your Cairns photos, you can’t go pass an excursion to Chillagoe.

Chillagoe Balancing Rock Cairns Drone Sarah Latham

7. Sailing in the clouds photo

Take your Cairns photos to the next level, literally. Sail above the clouds with a hot air balloon sunrise experience. Not only will you enjoy beautiful views over the nearby Mareeba region, you’ll also enjoy a champagne breakfast upon reaching the ground again.

Find more things to do near Mareeba: Things to do near Mareeba: Cairns to Mareeba Road Trip Must Do’s.

Sarah Latham Hot Air Balloon Mareeba Cairns

8. The castle photo (yes, really)

Yeah, look I really wasn’t joking when I said Cairns is home to diverse landscapes and in this case, that also includes a castle – or at least, the ruins of one. Paronella Park is found near Innisfail (suggested read: 10 things to do near Innisfail), a just shy of 90 minute drive south from Cairns. This is one of the best places in Cairns to take photos as you wander through the lush gardens complete with gorgeous structures, a kauri pine avenue and even a waterfall (or two!)

Learn more: Paronella Park • The Dream Continues.

Two girls standing in castle ruins at Paronella Park Sarah Latham

9. The hiking photo

With rainforest, mountains and beautiful scenery all on offer in Cairns, put in the work for your photo by tackling one of the many hikes in the area. For those daring (and willing to forgo a sleep-in) sunrise from the top of Glacier Rock (pictured below) is pretty hard to beat!

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

Glacier Rock Hike Cairns Sarah Latham

10. The palm trees photo

You’ve come to the tropics, you might as well show it off! Dotted across the Cairns region (most famously Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Clifton Beach and Mission Beach), you’ll find perfect photo opportunities of palm tree fringed beaches. One of the more iconic photo spots in Cairns is pictured below at Mission Beach.

Suggested read: Where to eat, sleep and play in Mission Beach.

Coconut Trees Mission Beach Sarah Latham 1

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