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Cairns may be the biggest city in North Queensland but it also happens to be on the doorstep to some of the most incredible natural scenery in Australia. Discover the best day trips from Cairns so you can experience a little… or a lot of Australia’s tropical paradise!
Whether by car or day tour, you will be amazed by the scenery Far North Queensland has to offer! And Cairns is easily one of the best places to base yourself to see it all.
You can also enjoy rainforest walks and wildlife spotting. Especially the birdlife.
But best of all is snorkelling the Green Island reef with a huge variety of sea life living just metres from the white sand beaches. Make sure you stick to the lifeguard supervised snorkelling areas for safety!
For a different kind of fun, Green Island also has a crocodile and wildlife park –Marineland Melanesia, in the middle of the island.
Learn about Australia‘s native history and Aboriginal culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.
Located a short distance from Cairns, in Smithfield, this can easily be a half-day experience too.
Explore the Tjapukai Parklands and participant in unique activities that have long been part of Aboriginal daily life and celebration. Learn how to throw a boomerang or a spear.
Sit back and allow yourself to be fully immersed in traditional dances and digeridoo performances. And of course, learn about bush food as you enjoy a feast of damper and billy tea.
Suggested 1 Day Itineraries From Cairns
If you want to maximise your time in Cairns and surrounds, but only have a few days to spend, here are some suggestions of Cairns day trips you could combine in a single day:
Daintree Rainforest River Cruise, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas & Palm Cove
Set-off early for your Cairns day trip, starting with a river cruise, then making your way back south, stopping at Mossman Gorge to do the walk around the gorge, then a quick stop at Port Douglas and Palm Cove as you make your way back to Cairns.
Paronella Park, Josephine Falls & Babinda Boulders
Leave Cairns for Innisfail early and spend the entire morning exploring Paronella Park. In the afternoon, split your time between Josephine Falls and Babinda Boulders for a shorter visit to each before making your way back to Cairns.
You will also pass by Queensland’s tallest mountains!
Kuranda & Baron Falls
Do a self-drive visit to Kuranda in the morning and explore the markets and attractions. Enjoy a leisurely lunch, then head to Baron Falls for a walk down to the lookout. Or fit your day around a Baron River rafting experience in either the morning or afternoon.
Green Island & Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise
Catch a Great Adventures early cruise to Green Island for a short morning visit before jumping back on the boat 2 hours later and heading to the Outer Reef Pontoon for an outer reef snorkelling experience, then back to Cairns in the afternoon.
Green Island and Kuranda Skyrail & Train
Experience two of the best Cairns day trips with a morning cruise and visit to Green Island for 2 hours of snorkelling or a glass-bottom boat tour. Then an afternoon riding the Kuranda Skyrail up the mountain, with time to enjoy Kuranda before catching the scenic rail back down.
How To Get Around Cairns & Surrounding Areas
The easiest way to take day trips from Cairns is by having your own transport.