5 reasons to book a long weekend in Cairns

Cairns is a holiday hotspot long favoured by Australians due to the sheer amount of things to do to suit every traveller. With two World Heritage Listed natural attractions nearby, a tropical climate and extraordinary experiences on offer, a visit to Cairns is a fantastic place to disconnect and treat yourself to a short break in Queensland. Whether its relaxation, adventure or a dose of adrenaline that you crave, visitors will find this tropical paradise an ideal place to call home for a couple of days.

Here are five reasons to pack your bags for a long weekend in Cairns.

  1. Encounter marine life on Great Barrier Reef tours

If you’ve never visited the Great Barrier Reef before, make sure to put this activity at the top of your bucket list during a long weekend in Cairns. Expect an explosion of colour and a dazzling array of marine life during a Great Barrier Reef Cruise or island adventure.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world spread out over 344,400 square kilometres and a dip in the ocean will see you snorkelling or diving alongside turtles, tropical fish and coral reefs beneath the ocean’s surface.

There are also plenty of experiences available for those who wish to stay dry. Experience the magical underwater world on a glass-bottom boat tour, up in the air on a scenic helicopter flight or enjoy some quality beach time at Green Island and Fitzroy Island. Regardless of how you choose to experience the Great Barrier Reef, we guarantee you’ll be blown away by this natural wonder.

  1. Tease the tastebuds and chase waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands

Step away from the city streets of Cairns and you’ll find yourself taking a relaxing countryside drive in the Atherton Tablelands often referred to as Australia’s “food bowl” given its rich agricultural soil, sunshine and average rainfall. Outback tasting tours will showcase the region’s coffee plantations and fabulous fresh produce made here such as mangoes, limes, strawberries, chocolate, wine and cheese to name a few. The Atherton Tablelands is full of gourmet delights and foodies will be in absolute heaven sampling fresh produce on this a guided day tour from Cairns.

Not to be outdone by the delicious food experiences on offer, the Atherton Tablelands features a Waterfall Circuit with numerous swimming holes, cascading waterfalls and lush rainforests. Enjoy sun-soaked days in nature’s playground with a stop at the famous Millaa Millaa waterfalls, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Australia. A hearty lunch at a country pub, platypus viewing and a look inside an extinct volcanic crater are among some of the many stops included in a comprehensive Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls Day Tour.

  1. Journey through the rainforest on Australia’s Most Scenic Railway and Cableway

Travelling through the heart of the World Heritage Listed, Wet Tropics Rainforest, the Kuranda Scenic Railway offers one of the most unique railway journeys in Australia. The gentle train ride winds its way from Cairns to Kuranda with passengers seated in heritage carriages. At times, the journey will have you travelling within metres of waterfalls and exotic palms where the smells and sounds of the rainforest can be experienced from the comfort of your seat.

Upon arrival in Kuranda, make the most of your tranquil surrounds with a lunch in the village with superb scenery or make some furry friends at the Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld. For those wanting to truly explore, take a 45 minute army duck Rainforestation Tour to experience the rainforest from a unique perspective. Returning to Cairns, take the Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a bird’s eye view gliding over the world’s oldest tropical rainforest with incredible stops at Red Peak and Barron Falls.

Much more than a cableway, this is an immersive rainforest experience that delves into the stories of the oldest tropical rainforest on earth dating back 130 million years. Skyrail Rangers help you unlock the secrets of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Listed Area including the story of evolution, the history of the Djabugay people (the first custodians of the land) and the majestic trees and flowering plants that make this place so incredibly special.

  1. Visit the remains of a Spanish Castle and enchanting gardens

Paronella Park is the result of a dream held by Spanish migrant Jose Paronella to build a home and pleasure garden for his wife and family. Built by hand, the castle once featured a theatre room, ballroom and hall set amongst a magical rainforest with over 7,000 trees and palms beside Mena Creek. Fast forward over 100 years, the park has battled bushfires, floods and cyclones and remains as beautiful as ever as nature slowly takes over the remaining ruins.

Tickets to Paronella Park include a free 45 minute guided tour of the grounds and access to the suspension bridge that runs along the top of the Mena Creek Falls. Taking you back to the 1930s, tours provide a rich commentary of the history of Paronella Park. You can almost imagine the grand weddings and balls that once took place here. After you’ve wrapped up the guided tour, take some time to enjoy a peaceful stroll through Kauri Avenue, a walkway lined with towering Kauri trees, tropical palms and lavish gardens.

  1. It's the adventure capital of Australia

If life has become monotonous and you are in you need a bit of excitement, a long weekend in Cairns can offer a dose of adrenaline in spades. Cairns has quickly become known as the adventure capital of Australia and is currently the only Bungy Jumping site in the country. Embrace your fears or seek thrills as you step up the ledge and make the ultimate leap from a 50 m tower with a water touch and 16 jump styles to choose from.

If Bungy Jumping is not for you, but you love the outdoors then white water rafting is an exciting experience to try and no experience is necessary. Join the experts for a fun and fast-paced paddle down Barron River on a half-day white water rafting experience or head north and book yourself onto a jungle swing reaching speeds up to 120km/hr. Those who have the need for speed may prefer a thrilling jet boat ride or a guided ATV tour.

Cairns is a wonderful place to base yourself during a short break in Queensland with a bounty of activities to suit the thrill seeker, adventurer or explorer. From the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree Rainforest, delectable food experiences, cascading waterfalls and secluded swimming holes - Cairns is a tropical paradise.

Travel in Queensland is Good to Go. Pack your bags and enjoy a short break in Cairns filled with extraordinary experiences you’ll remember forever.

Experience Oz

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.