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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