Considered the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, is a city in tropical Far North Queensland. Cairns Esplanade, lined in bars and restaurants, has a swimming lagoon. Northwest of the city, Daintree National Park spans mountainous rainforest, gorges and beaches.

North of Cairns is Port Douglas, a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Cape tribulation, the furthest point you can go with via normal car. The rainforest meets the ocean



How to get to Cairns


Cairns has an International airport. Getting from cairns airport to the city.

  • Uber – There is a very good uber network here. Uber allows you to pay via your Uber account so you don’t have to worry about getting your money out. Uber also gives you an estimate on the fare and it’s pretty accurate.

  • Car Rental – There a rental car companies in the arrivals terminal. Be sure to check if you can drive here prior to booking. You can also reserve a car online via Rentalcars.

  • Taxi - There is a taxi stand on the exit of each terminal building, they operate 24/7. Do not go with some in the terminal claiming there a taxi driver.


  • Shuttle – A company called Sun Palm operates from the airport, you can pre-book a pick up for a door to door service


Where to stay in and near Cairns


  • CBD – Cairns is a small city in comparison to the Melbourne and Sydney but is still has everything you need. There are the usual high end hotels but there are even more back packer hostels.


  • Oceanside – New developed marina and boardwalk is great for people who want to be close to the action but still have the calm of the ocean by them


  • Port Douglas – About an hour north, this town has more of a vibe to it, from its busy marina to the small village like centre.


  • On a Boat – Being the gate way to the Great Barrier Reef, there are plenty of tour operators offering overnight stays aboard their ships while visiting the Great Barrier Reef.


Things to do in cairns / Port Douglas with children


  • Great Barrier Reef - The largest living organism in the world, stretching for over 2300km. take a day tour or overnight tour and snorkel with the marine life on the outer reef. There are a lot of tour operators but the one we chose was best for children as it has the biggest pontoon fixed on the outer reef which is your bas for the day. (


  • Daintree Rainforest – About an hour north of port Douglas, this road takes you deep in to the rainforest. The landscape and sounds are worlds apart from the calm beaches of port Douglas.


  • Cape Tribulation - This is where the rainforest meets the ocean. It’s pretty awesome as you come out of the jungle on a secluded beach with dark sand. Worth the drive there if you have time.


  • Cairns tropical zoo - Visit the animals of the zoo, feed kangaroos, and take pictures with the koala bears.


  • Skyrail – Take a cable up 7.5km above the Barron Gorge rainforest.


  • Fitzroy Island - Visit the clear waters of the island, snorkel with the turtles. This place is about 45 minutes from cairns by boat.

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