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How to Tackle Cairns and the Tropical North as a First Timer

How to Tackle Cairns and the Tropical North as a First Timer

From exploring the rain forest and reef to checking out the resort town’s attractions, there’s a lot to do in Cairns and the Tropical North. On your first visit, you’ll want to cram in as many must-dos as possible. Here are our top tips for your first time visiting the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Take a City Sightseeing Tour

Get your bearings and check off the city’s most important landmarks on a sightseeing tour. Visit city attractions such as the Flecker Botanical Gardens and St. Monica's Cathedral, home to the world's largest peace-themed stained-glass window, and stroll along the scenic Cairns waterfront.

Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

Experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef on a snorkeling cruise from Cairns. Tours typically visit at least two different reef locations for the chance to see a variety of tropical marine life. Certified scuba divers should look for a tour that offers an upgrade to include diving. 

Explore the Rain Forest

Easy to reach on a day trip from Cairns, Daintree National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for getting a glimpse of the exceptional biodiversity of the Wet Tropics of Queensland. 

Experience Aboriginal Culture

Cultural dinner shows at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park tell the story of creation through colorful dance performances and boomerang- and spear-throwing demonstrations. 

Soar Through the Sky

Worried that you won’t have time to squeeze in the many attractions on offer? Put the whole region in perspective with a helicopter flight that takes you over the Great Barrier Reef, the northern beaches, Barron Falls, and the rain forest.

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3 Tours and Activities | All Cairns & the Tropical North Tours

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Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

star-4.5
1448
If snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, don’t miss this day trip from Cairns. The 35-metre superyacht, Evolution, departs Cairns with a record 5 hours spent exploring 2 spectacular and exclusive outer Great Barrier Reef locations for an adventure-filled day! You’ll visit 2 different locations on the barrier reef for the chance to see tropical marine life in the clear waters. Lunch is included onboard the boat, and you have the option to upgrade to include additional adventures such as introductory or certified scuba diving or a helicopter flight over this UNESCO World Heritage site. Both water sports enthusiasts and novices are welcome. Includes instruction and equipment provided by friendly and professional instructors.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$145.99
From
$145.99
Taking safety measures

Cairns City Sights and Surrounds Tour

Cairns City Sights and Surrounds Tour

star-4.5
69
First time in Cairns? Discover the gateway to Queensland’s tropical north on this 5.5-hour sightseeing tour. Visit city attractions like the Flecker Botanical Gardens and St Monica's Cathedral, and stroll along the scenic Cairns waterfront. Indulge in a delicious Devonshire afternoon tea (included) taking in the stunning views from the jetty at Palm Cove before taking a short hike through the Barron Gorge National Park. For the full experience, upgrade to include a 2-hour morning cruise to Green Island in the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef marine park. This small-group tour is limited to 20 people.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$66.02
From
$66.02
Taking safety measures

Great Barrier Reef 30-Minute Scenic Helicopter Tour from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef 30-Minute Scenic Helicopter Tour from Cairns

star-5
8
Enjoy unforgettable views of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as you fly over the UNESCO-listed natural wonder in a helicopter. Experience the magnitude of the vast reef as you float overhead on a 25-minute flight, spotting landmarks like Green Island and Upolo Cay and swooping low enough to see coral clusters and schools of tropical fish and rays. This tour includes pick-up from Cairns and Northern Beaches hotels.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$302.76
From
$302.76
Taking safety measures