Cairns Information for Visitors
Nestled between two World Heritage-listed areas, the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a vibrant hub to base yourself on your next holiday. It is amazing how this flourishing city of 125,000 inhabitants has so much to offer all year round.
Whatever you are looking for, Cairns has got it all; adventure, excitement, scenery, romance... or just relaxation.
The holiday of a lifetime will start just before you land in Cairns. From the plane, watch through your window (tip: try to get a window seat!) first the amazing Great Barrier Reef, followed by the dense vegetation, the rivers and finally the mangroves around Cairns.
At the airport you will be welcomed by various tropical bird songs that will remind you that you have arrived in paradise.
Cairns offers a vast range of activities and combinations, you can do something different everyday of the month. See it from underwater, from the land or from the sky... that’s why Cairns is such a popular destination; everybody will find something to do.
The Great Barrier Reef
With so many operators to choose from, whatever you are into diving, snorkelling or even a non-swimmer, no need to get wet to see the reef from a glass bottom boat tour or a semi-submersible!
Take a journey to the famous Kuranda, the Village in the Rainforest, by train or Skyrail, or explore Cape Tribulation in a 4WD.
The Tablelands, waterfalls and Paronella Park
With its coffee plantations and its beautiful sceneries and spectacular waterfalls, especially during the wet season.
Cairns Accommodation Options
Accommodation in Cairns is plentiful and diverse. All types of traveller are catered for throughout the city.
Cairns is well represented by international big-name hotels including Hilton, Mirvac, Holiday Inn, Rydges, Quality Hotels, Comfort Inn, Best Western, the Stella Group and many of the different Accor brands. The same quality most have come to expect from these brands of hotel can be found in Cairns, however in addition to their name and quality, most also have spectacular views across the Cairns Esplanade and breathtaking mountains which surround Cairns city.
Cairns holiday apartments are the preferred accommodation option for families and groups as they provide flexible and affordable accommodation, and are often found in smaller accommodation complexes. In Cairns, apartments come in many varieties, but you can expect all to have your basic modern conveniences you would find at home. These modern self-contained apartments help to keep the restaurant spending to a minimum when on holiday. Laundry and baths are an added bonus. It is important to note that unless otherwise specified, apartments are generally serviced weekly. If you require a daily service, it is important to specify that at the time of booking.
Cairns and the Tropical North regions are known for their ‘cocktails by the pool’, swaying palm trees on a balmy night, and getting a suntan, and Cairns resorts certainly live up to this image of paradise! A selection of resorts including Oasis Resort Cairns, Mantra Cairns Resort, Rydges Esplanade Resort — just to name a few — have many different room types, and you may be quite surprised that most resorts have budget or motel accommodation available, while still being able to use the full resort facilities. Cairns resorts also have a wide range of luxury apartments and penthouse suites. Honeymooners often opt for the more luxurious options at resorts and you may be lucky enough to come across romance accommodation packages inclusive of bubbly, chocolates, massages, robes and a spa bath!
Cairns Dining Options
Considering the small population and status as a regional centre in Queensland, we are lucky to have such a wide variety of quality cuisine at our doorstep. Our distinctive style of tropical cuisine begins with the exceptional quality of our regional produce. Chefs are able to choose from superb local delicacies, fresh seafood from the oceans and rivers, exotic fruits and the tasty flavours of native Australian cuisine.
Cairns city’s many world class restaurants reflect the cosmopolitan nature of both its residents and visitors, with nearly all making a special point of presenting their own variation of tropical specialties such as prawns, delicate barramundi, mud crabs, reef fish like the famed coral trout and red emperor, along with the indigenous flavours of kangaroo, emu and crocodile.
The Pier’s boardwalk offers diners a fabulous range of cuisines with magnificent views of the Cairns Marina, whereas the Esplanade is the vibrant dining hub with a selection of casual dining venues and seafood restaurants offering the freshest cuisine with wonderful views of the lagoon. Shields Street is the city’s ‘eat street’; discover a whole world of dining options all within metres of each other.
Shopping for presents and souvenirs for family and friends can be time consuming — not too mention money consuming. In Cairns you will find a range of places where you can buy anything from a didgeridoo to a beautiful opal, and it won't cost you the earth.
Cairns Central has been servicing its local region and community since 1997. The centre offers guests an extensive range of stores and services in a dynamic, safe and convenient environment. A six-screen cinema complex offers the latest in movie entertainment. The centre is supported by an abundance of parking and is serviced seven days a week by local bus and taxi connections.
The Pier Marketplace is a wonderful place to shop or just stroll and take in the atmosphere. The shops and stalls offer a selection of souvenirs, fashion and local wares.
The Pier Marketplace also offers free undercover parking to shoppers and is open seven days a week.
Orchid Plaza provides a range retail stores and eateries. Fashion, jewellery, gifts and souvenirs all can be found here.