The Tour Specialists Blog


Tropical North Queensland Best Family Tours

Sophie Tabouel on December 1st, 2021

Photo Courtesy of Tourism Tropical North Queensland


Cairns is a great location for a family holiday.  Not only is there plenty to see and do just around the city and local beaches, but also on the huge range of family friendly tour options on the Great Barrier Reef, in Kuranda and the Daintree Rainforest.


While it’s nice to hang out at Muddy’s Playground on the Esplanade in Cairns or to hit Ellis Beach or Babinda Boulders, sometimes the family needs a bit more in the way of adventure and we are here to help!


Photo Courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland - Cairns Lagoon


For the whole family experience, Kuranda is unbeatable. There is something for everyone on this day out.


Mum and Dad can enjoy the scenery, markets, food and more and the kids will love the thrill of the Skyrail and Scenic Rail plus the bonus of the sights in Kuranda such as the Butterfly Sanctuary and Birdworld or Koala Gardens.  Pram and toddler friendly from start to finish, this is a great day out.


Photo Courtesy of Value Day Tours - Kuranda Village


If you have your own car, self-driving is a great choice with plenty of parking at Caravonica Skyrail and a transfer included. No car?  No worries – we have transfers covered too.


Hartleys Crocodile Adventures is another hit for the whole family.  Combine this with your Kuranda experience, or dedicate most of a day to the park.  Situated about 45 minutes north of Cairns at Wangetti Beach, Hartley’s is full of your favourite Aussie animals.


Photo Courtesy of Hartleys Crocodile Adventures


With crocodiles, snakes, cassowaries, wombats and of course koalas.  A highlight is the boat cruise on the man-made lake.  Watch as the crocs jump out of the water for a meal!  You can drive yourself to Wangetti quite easily if you have a car or we can help out with transfers from Cairns and the Northern Beaches.


If you have some young wildlife enthusiasts, you may like to start early and enjoy Breakfast with the Birds.  The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas kicks off nice and early with an awesome breakfast surrounded by the native birds of the area.


Photo Courtesy of The Wildlife Habitat


Explore the park after your meal and learn about the different animals of each native habitat area.  If you are staying in or around Port Douglas, you can take advantage of the 5 day re-entry to the park and visit again during your stay.


For the thrill seekers, we can step it up a bit.  Cairns is well known for having some beautiful pristine freshwater rivers and a great way to explore them is with the Cairns River Tubing and White Water Rafting experience.


Photo Courtesy of Foaming Fury


With a minimum age of 5, this tour is a great practice run before the kids are old enough to go the whole hog on white water rafting. River tubing will still include some rapids though – but also plenty of swimming and paddling on your way down Behana Gorge or the upper croc-free reaches of the Mulgrave River.


Ready for more? Cairns Canyoning and other adrenaline tours are for our more hard-core adventuring families.  Explore Crystal Cascades like never before. Geared up with your harness and safety equipment, abseil, zip line and cliff jump your way through the gorge – with plenty of swimming along the way. This is a great way to spend half a day, particularly in the warmer months.


Photo Courtesy of Blazing Saddles


If you only have a half a day to spare, why not hit the trails on horseback or ATV.  Just north of Cairns and with 3 ride times daily, you can be guaranteed of a horse or quad bike to suit your ability for a great morning or afternoon of riding.  You are welcome to drive yourself or take advantage of the transfers included.


Photo Courtesy of Blazing Saddles


Heading to the Great Barrier Reef there are just so many choices for families, it can seem a bit daunting.  For first timers or those families with a mixture of ages, the Low Isles off Port Douglas offer something for everyone.  The beach is a great spot for first time snorkelers to practice their skills and with a glass bottom boat tour, guided island walk and guided snorkel tour, they will be sure to see Nemo and numerous sea turtles on the day.


Photo Courtesy of Quicksilver Group


The Outer Reef is another great destination and if you are a family with kids a little over the 14 year age bracket, you can still get a great deal on a modern boat taking you to not one but two Outer Reef locations.


Photo Courtesy of Down Under Cruises


Departing Cairns and including morning and afternoon tea and buffet lunch PLUS 5 full hours of snorkelling, this is also one of the most affordable family options.  If you have a range of ages and swimming abilities, a pontoon experience may be more suited to you.


In this case you can’t go past the only one with a waterslide!


Photo Courtesy of Sunlover Cruises


Those not so keen on the water can enjoy the glass bottom boat and semi-submersible boat tours as well as fish feeding presentations, whilst the water lovers of the group can snorkel for hours and enjoy the only waterslide on the Great Barrier Reef.


There are more Cairns family tours and attractions and day trips but we couldn't list them all. Talk to our friendly team today about options suitable for your family 1300 761 612.


Author: Tanith Barrie - Tour Specialist

Sophie Tabouel

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