On your next trip to Cairns, we recommend you do at least one (and preferably all) of the following. These are our top five things to do in Cairns:
If you’ve always wished you could fly, pay a visit to the Skyrail. Here, you will glide in a gondola above the trees of a World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest. This ride covers around 7.5 kilometres of pristine rainforests. A return journey takes about two and a half hours, so we recommend setting a whole morning aside to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Once you’re back on the ground, you’ll have the opportunity to wander through the luscious foliage and learn about the rainforest from an experienced and knowledgeable park ranger. Skyrail’s Caravonica Terminal is located just 15 minutes north of the city – an easy distance if you’ve hired a car in Cairns!
Two: AJ Hackett
If soaring among the trees on the Skyrail has given you a taste for being airborne, your next stop should be AJ Hackett Cairns. This is Australia’s one-and-only bungy jumping site, so check it out while you’re in the neighbourhood! They’ve been operating for over 20 years and offer 16 different jump styles for you to choose from.
Their purpose-built site is a 20-minute drive away from the centre of Cairns, and it’s a staggering 50 metres tall. If you’re not too terrified to open your eyes, you’ll see magnificent trees, mountains, waterfalls and even the Great Barrier Reef as you dive toward the ground.
Three: Paronella Park
You can continue your love affair with the outdoors at Paronella Park, situated an hour and a half south of Cairns. Built in the twentieth century, this is one of the most visited sites in Queensland. It contains a Spanish castle, commissioned by Jose Paronella, which is now a ruin. You can learn all about its fascinating history at an on-site museum, which has been set up in the castle-builder’s cottage.
In addition to this castle, there are also beautifully kept grounds to explore. You can take a self-guided stroll around the botanical gardens, or take the “Darkness Falls” tour, which gives you the chance to witness the beauty of this park by moonlight.
Four: Flames of the Forest
This must-visit restaurant is a 50-minute drive from Cairns. That may seem like a long way to go for a meal, but trust us – you won’t regret the drive. Flames of the Forest offers two different dining options for you to choose from.
One, titled An Ancient Culture in a Timeless, Spiritual Setting, provides you with an unforgettable evening of tropical dining by candlelight while a pair of Aboriginal brothers share their history with you through the ancient art of storytelling.
Or, you can choose An Exclusive, Romantic Dining Experience, which will see you nibbling on local delicacies, enjoying premium wines and gazing at the beautiful forest setting.
Five: Cairns Regional Gallery
Last, but definitely not least, is the Cairns Regional Gallery. Every holiday-maker should set aside some time to check out local art, and having an indoor activity such as this up your sleeve is always good in case you’re faced with a rainy day.
Historical and contemporary art live side by side in this breathtaking building, created by some of the greatest regional, national and international artistic minds of all time. Located smack-bang in the middle of the city on the corner of Abbot Street and Shields Street, is easy to get to and ready to enjoy!
If you hire a car in Cairns, you will have access to these top five things and a whole lot more. So, get behind the wheel and get exploring!