Whether you're planning a trip to Cairns for the first time or you're a regular visitor, there are a few must-see places in this region. You'll find everything from the Cattana Wetlands to the Daintree National Park. You can explore these places from the comfort of your own home, or you can rent a car and go on a road trip to explore the surrounding area.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Located in Tropical North Queensland, Australia, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is one of the best ways to experience the biodiverse rainforest. It takes guests from Cairns to Kuranda in a 7.5km scenic tourist cableway. The cableway connects the towns of Cairns and Kuranda, and runs above the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest. The ride offers breathtaking views of the rainforest canopy and the Great Barrier Reef.
It is a modern, environmentally friendly cableway. The system uses 32 towers to carry up to 700 passengers per hour in each direction. It is also the only tourist attraction in Australia with Green Globe Gold certification.
The ride begins at Red Peak Station, which is located in the rainforest. At 545m above sea level, the terminus is located in a scenic landscape. At this stop, guests can take a ranger guided tour for free.
There are several lookout points along the 3.1 km trail. There are public restrooms at every station. The boardwalk is also open year-round. The rocky gorge below is beautiful.
The rainforest ride offers a unique perspective on the world's oldest tropical rainforest. It is a great way to spend a half an hour. It is a must-see attraction for nature lovers. The canopy gliders are operated by Skyrail and only hold four guests at a time.
The rainforest ride is one of the best things to do in Cairns. You will have a chance to view many fruiting tree species, such as the fig, the wattle, and the umbrella tree.
Daintree National Park
Located on the northeast coast of Queensland, Daintree National Park is the oldest rainforest in the world. Its ancient flora and fauna are said to be over 135 million years old. Many of the animals in this park are endemic, meaning that they only live in small pockets of the rainforest.
Visiting the Daintree National Park can be a fun experience. You can go for a long hike or ride on a horse. You can also take a cruise on the Daintree River. The river offers wonderful views of the rainforest and local wildlife. You can see saltwater crocodiles, birds, and frogs.
Another option is to take a guided tour. You can choose between one-day trips, two-day trips, and three-day trips. Most tours will include a cruise on the river. During these cruises, you can get close up views of crocodiles. You will also learn about the plants and animals of the Daintree.
If you prefer to explore the rainforest on your own, there are several walks. For instance, you can do the Jindalba Boardwalk circuit. This short 650-meter boardwalk takes you through the lowland rainforest and creeks. Its highlights include information signs, indigenous walks, and flying foxes.
You can also explore the forest at night. You may find rare rainforest animals like cassowaries. These emu-sized creatures have a soft beak and a helmet on their heads. They have unique courtship dances.
Located within the world heritage listed Wet Tropics region, Barron Gorge is a verdant landscape with dramatic cascading waterfalls and ravines. There are many things to do and see in the area. One of the best is a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, which offers a unique view of the gorge.
There are also several half-day and full-day walks through the park. The Smith's Track is a historic 79km trail that features moderate to steep grades, lookouts, and dense rainforest. Alternatively, you could take the Djina-wu track, which is a dense rainforest trail that leads to the lookout. It's a bit tricky to follow though, but if you can find your way, it's worth the effort.
There's also the Skyrail, which is an enclosed gondola that dangles over the gorge. The ride is 7.5 kilometres long and takes about 2.5 hours. It departs from Smithfield Terminal every 15 minutes. You'll have the opportunity to take in panoramic views of the Great Barrier Reef and rainforest.
Another option is to take a cruise along the Great Barrier Reef. There are two-hour morning cruises from Cairns to Green Island, part of the UNESCO listed Great Barrier Reef marine park. During your trip, you'll experience the magic of the rainforest, as well as the local fauna and flora.
Other options include a helicopter tour, which takes you over the gorge and across the sea. It's a great way to see the entire gorge and surrounding areas.
Located on 80 hectares of rehabilitated agricultural land, the Cattana Wetlands are home to several large freshwater lakes and a boardwalk that offers visitors a glimpse of the rainforest. The wetlands attract a variety of birdlife.
Previously a sugar cane farm, the wetlands were cleared and turned into salt and fresh water lakes. Today, the wetlands are a haven for hundreds of species of birds.
The Wetlands are maintained by a bushcare group known as Jabirus. The group manages weeds and trails as well as a bird hide. It is a popular destination for birdwatchers from around the country. There are over 200 different bird species on site.
Visiting Cattana Wetlands is a great way to spend a day. There is a bird hide, a boardwalk and a picnic area. If you are lucky, you may get to see a saltwater crocodile. There are also a few areas of open woodland. There are also signs pointing out the types of birds you can expect to spot.
There are also several hiking trails. The wetlands are home to several turtles. The area is a good spot for scuba diving. Young teens can even become PADI qualified divers. The wetlands are a great place to take a family holiday.
Located just 4 km from the Cairns CBD, the Cairns Botanic Gardens are a tropical plant paradise. The park is perfect for any time of year. You can enjoy a picnic or stroll the extensive paths around several lakes.
Whether you're looking for a holiday home in Cairns or just a beach break, there are many reasons why you should visit Palm Cove. This beautiful beach has a tropical charm that's hard to beat. There's no shortage of things to do, so you can spend your days relaxing on the sand or exploring the rainforest.
The Palm Cove Farmers Market is held in September each year, and has over 130 stalls selling handmade goods, skincare and clothes. It's a great way to discover local artists and artisans.
In Palm Cove, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon at one of the many cafes or restaurants along the esplanade. There are also some cute little shops to browse through, and you can find some nice local arts and crafts.
Another great reason to visit Palm Cove is to see the Great Barrier Reef. You can take a glass bottom boat tour, or a luxury catamaran. You can even go snorkelling with an organised group. There's also a natural waterslide at Josephine Falls.
While in Palm Cove, you can do a bit of fishing. There are plenty of fish to be caught, and the locals are happy to chat with you.
Palm Cove is a relaxed beach community in Far North Queensland. There are no high-rises or a proliferation of advertising signs. The town has cobblestone streets surrounded by coconut palms.
Reef Restoration Foundation
During your time in Cairns, you'll want to visit the Reef Restoration Foundation. This non-profit organization works to accelerate the recovery of coral reefs by growing coral in an underwater nursery. It is also working to strengthen the resilience of reefs against future bleaching events.
The Foundation has a number of programs to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. In addition to its Coral Crusader program, it also offers a Coral Branch Adoption program. In order to participate, you'll need to be certified as a PADI Rescue Diver and a scuba diver.
You can find more information on the Reef Restoration Foundation's website. You can sign up for the program, which costs $50. You can also purchase a whole coral nursery sponsorship. The Foundation has partnered with a number of businesses and community groups. It is now accelerating the recovery of damaged high-value reefs.
There are also several ways to learn more about the organization. You can watch the videos on their website, or you can visit their Facebook page. You can also take part in their citizen science projects. These projects involve assessing and replanting damaged reefs in the vicinity of Cairns.
You can also visit the Cape Tribulation area, which is just a short drive from Cairns. This area has a number of beautiful beaches, as well as a rich history and aboriginal culture. It is an ideal day trip, as it includes a variety of natural attractions.