Cairns & Northern Beaches

50 must do day trips from Cairns

Whether you’re a first time visitor looking for those bucket list experiences or are a seasoned visitor seeking a new thrill, this list of 50 day trips from Cairns is a good time guaranteed.

Choose your day trip

There’s No Place Like It On Earth

Connect with nature in a place unlike anywhere else – fringed by reef and enveloped by rainforest, the world’s warmest welcome is waiting for you.

On the Trail of Inspiration

Where to experience the best Tropical North Queensland has to offer… from wallowing under a waterfall to taking the plunge on the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Drive
Tropical North Queensland
Mini road trips in Tropical North Queensland

Discover local specialties and hidden gems on a mini road trip through Tropical North Queensland with these one day wonders. Here are eight itineraries to get you out and about.

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nandroya falls atherton tablelands
Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast Waterfalls & Swimming Spots To Cool Off In

Mother Nature sees your backyard swimming pool and raised you her take on it with these waterfalls and swimming spots– each perfectly moulded and best explored with a sense of adventure.

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bathtubs in tropical north queensland
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Boujee Bathtubs: Bathe with a view in the tropics

These boujee bathtubs with incredible views are all wham, bam, put it on the ‘gram! From rustic tubs in the outback, to the actual epitome of forest bathing, here’s the bathtubs with a view you need to add to your bucket list.

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Great Barrier Reef
10 Great Barrier Reef Experiences for Adventure Seekers

While most people come to the Great Barrier Reef for postcard-perfect swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving in the real-life World Heritage-listed aquarium, there’s plenty of ways to experience the reef and not all involve getting wet. Choose your own Tropical North Queensland reef adventure with this adrenaline scale ranging from sunset sails to vistas served at speeds of up to 200km per hour.

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Twin Falls Cape York
Cape York
8 Cooktown and Cape York waterfalls to discover

Refresh yourself in nature’s swimming pools, sliding into these waterfalls and waterholes across Cooktown and Cape York.

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Cardwell Spa Pool
Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
Everything you need to know about the Cardwell Spa Pool

Cardwell Spa Pool is a naturally-fed, seasonal creek that shot to stardom on social media in 2016. Ever since, people have been adding it to their holiday itinerary but there are a few things you might not know about this idyllic swimming spot.

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seafood feast great barrier reef safaris
Food & Wine
Taste your way along the Cassowary Coast

Tasting your way along the Cassowary Coast’s bountiful tropical food trail will satisfy any food lovers appetite. From orchards laden with exotic fruits to seafood buffets on tropical islands, you’ll be making all sorts of stops along the way. So pack your hampers and make room in your car boot, we’re taking you foraging!

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Daintree Wilderness Lodge
Daintree & Cape Tribulation
Guide to Daintree & Cape Tribulation Accommodation

Where else but Tropical North Queensland can you sleep soundly in a spot where two World Heritage listed sites meet?

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Emerald Creek Falls
Tropical North Queensland
20 waterfalls near Cairns

Mighty mountain ranges and Wet Tropics Rainforest create the optimum environment for a myriad of extraordinary waterfalls. Fall in love with these 20 waterfall wonderlands only a short drive from Cairns.

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zillie falls atherton tablelands
Atherton Tablelands
10 waterfalls to chase on the Atherton Tablelands

Hit the famous waterfall circuit, uncover those less known or stretch a little further and take a dip in Australia’s widest, single-drop waterfall on the Atherton Tablelands.

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pullman palm cove
Port Douglas
Dive into this guide of swim-out hotel rooms

Walk in: swim out. For that added splash of luxury to your weekend getaway, family holiday or romantic retreat the following hotels will get you as close as you can to the most convenient and luxurious pools in the region.

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cairns esplanade
Cairns & Northern Beaches
16 things to do your first time in Cairns

If ever the statement “so much to do, so little time” rang true of a destination, Cairns would be it. With the Great Barrier Reef in its front yard and the Wet Tropics rainforest out the back, aside from your bathers, time is the best thing you can pack for a visit to Tropical North Queensland. If it’s your first time in the North Queensland capital, start with these 16 things to do in Cairns.

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aerial of zillie falls
Atherton Tablelands
8 ways to do the Atherton Tablelands

Head to the hills to discover the Atherton Tablelands, whose rolling green hills are ready for a different type of adventure every day

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Cairns & Northern Beaches
12 ways to spend winter in the tropics

Winter? What winter? Chase an endless summer and experience the tropi-cool conditions of Tropical North Queensland with this guide.

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rainy day activities in cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Embrace autumn with these 10 things to do in Cairns when it rains

When it rains, activities pour in Cairns. See why Cairns shines all autumn long with this wet weather activity guide.

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daintree rainforest boardwalk
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Walk on the wild side this summer with these rainforest boardwalks

From wandering through the top of the rainforest canopy, to venturing to thundering waterfalls, these rainforest boardwalks are short on distance but big on experience.

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mossman gorge centre Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk
Cairns & Northern Beaches
How to explore iconic landscapes with Traditional Custodians

Delve deeper into the iconic landscapes of Tropical North Queensland by visiting with Traditional Custodians.

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Zoe Falls on the Thorsborne Trail - Hinchinbrook Islan
Tropical North Queensland
Incredible hikes you need to conquer near Cairns

Surrounded by national parks, World Heritage rainforest and the Great Dividing Range, find countless bush walks or hikes within a short distance of Cairns.

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Southern Cairns
Day trip ideas for Southern Cairns

If you’re into adventure and nature, point your compass south and explore Cairns’ under-the-radar southern corridor – a region of breathtaking natural beauty with a whole lot of country charm.

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Rex Smeal Park
Port Douglas
Things to do in Port Douglas

Don’t let its flop and drop reputation fool you, there are many things to do in Port Douglas. From hunting with Traditional Owners & exploring the Great Barrier Reef, to river floats & wildlife parks. Here’s how to spend your time in Port Douglas.

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#exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR

Unrivalled coastal views weave through natural World Heritage wonders in @portdouglasdaintree & #OakBeach is no exception 🌴⛵ Just 10 minutes from #PortDouglas, ​Oak Beach is a sleepy beachfront haven, perfect spot for a secluded stay ✨ ️

📸 @vali.visuals #exploreTNQ #seeaustralia #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland
POV: selfies at @kurandakoalagardens 🐨🤳

​One of the top experiences in @australia is to say hi to our furry friends 🐨👋 @kurandavillage is home to many of our tropical wild friends, so where better to go animal-spotting than at one of Kuranda’s many wildlife gardens and sanctuaries like Kuranda Koala Gardens, one of the very few places in the country where you cuddle a Koala for a souvenir photo! 🎥💫

#exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
If you're after a palm & relaxing holiday, @visitpalmcove has got you covered 🌴😉

Just a short 30 minute drive north of #Cairns, this tiny beachside village isn’t all about drop & flop 🌴🐚 Explore the town on foot, or choose a bike instead of car & buy fresh seafood for a sunset barbecue on the beach 🏖 You can hire a kayak & paddle right off the beach or take a tour to nearby Double Island 🍹🏝 The Palm Cove jetty is a great fishing spot, with plenty of Spanish mackerel, cod, whiting, stripeys & flathead to be caught 🎣

📸 @stvzie #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Discover the stunning #BlencoeFalls in #GirringunNationalPark 🌴 Where #BlencoeCreek plunges & cascades in spectacular fashion to the bottom of a deep gorge 💦🦋 With towering cliffs & rugged ridges, Blencoe Falls is the gateway to the @wettropicsworldheritage  Great Walk 🏃🏻‍♀️ Explore 110km of walking tracks, offering everything from short strolls to full day hikes 🙌🏼🥾

📸 @wunez #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
@silkyoakslodge is putting a new spin on ‘feeling green’ 🌴💚

If you like your rainforest wilderness with a side of luxury, this is the place for you! 
Set deep in the rainforest of @portdouglasdaintree, the newly refurbished Silky Oaks really delivers following its multimillion dollar rebuild, with dreamy treehouses & an idyllic onsite spa 🧖‍♀️✨

Don’t forget to take a dip in your very own balcony bath 💦 

📸 @jilarapearl #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #portdouglasdaintree #silkyoakslodge
This isn’t your every day photo of a tropical paradise, but around here, we’re not limited to just reef & rainforest - we’ve got outback tracks too! 🏜

Say hello to Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park in #CapeYork ✨Open from June to December, this outback paradise is is renowned for its vast river systems & spectacular wetlands 🌴 The park has a rich & diverse landscape, with grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, coastal estuaries, mangroves & mudflats even! You can also find sandstone hills & escarpments on the southern end of the park 😍 It’s also a place of local Aboriginal significance, with sites associated with occupation, ceremonies & stories of ancestral spirits found throughout the park 👣 

📸 @true.north.adventures #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Here’s to the mums that fill our lives with adventures in the tropics 🌺

How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? ✨🌴

📸 @megannamourr #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia
Here’s a cassowary joke for your morning - Why did the cassowary cross the road? 🤔 To prove he wasn’t a chicken 🐓😝

There’s not many places you can spot the elusive Southern Cassowary as you take a leisurely stroll down the street, but @tropicalnorthqueensland is one of them! 🏝 #EttyBay is one of the most popular spot to see cassowaries in the wild, they’ll often be seen wondering around near the beach 🙌 Did you know that there are approximately 700 plant species endemic to the @wettropicsworldheritage area? And almost 100 species that heavily depend on the cassowary to distribute their seeds 🌴😲

No wonder it’s called the Cassowary Coast 😉

📸 @copperdonkeyphoto #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #cassowarycoast

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