An aerial view of Port Douglas Beach in Australia
WHERE THE RAINFOREST MEETS THE SEA

Cruise to Cairns (Yorkey'S Knob), Australia

Situated in tropical north Queensland, Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. These two UNESCO World Heritage Sites are why Cairns is the fourth most popular destination for international tourists in Australia. Enjoy the city's year-round tropical summer weather as you relax beside the man-made lagoon on the Esplanade. Then, experience one of Cairns' two main drawcards: Head into the rainforest in nearby Kuranda, which you can reach by taking the Skyrail Cableway or the Scenic Railway. Cruise to Cairns and take the half-day trip to Green Island — you'll be snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef within an hour of leaving the city.
National Language English
Currency Accepted Australian Dollar (AUD)

Things To Do in Cairns (Yorkey'S Knob)

Two people snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

Cairns, Australia, Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Dive the Reef

Dive the Reef

Experience the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's seven natural wonders. Take a half-day snorkeling tours to the outer reef via jet boat. There are also brief daily snorkeling trips to picturesque Green Island available.

The Esplanade Lagoon man-made pool in Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia, Esplanade Lagoon

Laze by the Lagoon

Laze by the Lagoon

The Esplanade Lagoon is a man-made pool on the foreshore. With its sandy edges and saltwater from the Trinity Inlet in Cairns, it's the city's most visited attraction. While you're here, stroll on the boardwalk, where you'll find fitness equipment, playgrounds and volleyball courts.

Palm trees lining Palm Cove beach in Australia

Cairns, Australia, Palm Cove Beach

Beachy Keen

If you want to swim in the sea, hop on a public bus and head to the region's northern beaches. Palm Cove is the most popular outer Cairns suburb, with luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches and boutiques. Trinity Beach is a more local alternative.

A grilled Kangaroo steak on a white plate

Cairns, Australia, Kangaroo steak dish

Local Cuisine

Cairns offers an array of upscale and casual eateries specializing in everything from international fare to Australian classics. Fill up on local prawns and oysters at a harborside seafood spot. During your Cairns cruise, you can find top-tier Thai food and Korean food. Get adventurous with updated takes on Australian indigenous flavors, like char-grilled kangaroo sirloin with chili glaze.

An assortment of Koala bear stuffed animals for sale

Cairns, Australia, Koala bear stuffed animal

Shopping

The Pier offers the best waterfront shopping experience in Cairns. Specialty shops at The Pier include Wild Sugar, a bright and bold women's clothing range by Cairns designer Sajeela Jamie. Along Abbott Street, you'll find several stores that stock Cairns-specific souvenirs, including kangaroo leather products and items inspired by the local rainforest.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 As Cairns is geared toward tourists, hiring a vehicle isn't necessary thanks to organized tours and public transport.
2 Cairns experiences a tropical climate, so sundresses and shorts are worn year-round.

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