Imagine swapping your midweek routine for a secluded tropical beach, a cocktail by the ocean or a plunge above the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef. With spectacular attractions and unique comforts, Cairns is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and make it happen. Welcome to your midweek holiday in Cairns!

Great Barrier Reef day trips from Cairns

a couple holding hands while they are snorkelling the great barrier reef.
Take a day trip and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland

It’s not every day you get to take a dive over a world-famous coral forest – but you can change that. Situated on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, it’s easy to explore this unique wonder with friends or loved ones by glass-bottom boat, snorkelling, diving or kayaking. Great Barrier Reef Tours, Cairns Reef Tours and Sunlover Reef Cruises all offer suites of packages, snorkelling tours, and day trips that will get you close to the reef’s spectacular underwater world. 

Restaurants and bars in Cairns

Close-up of chef finishing dish in kitchen
Be sure to check out one of Cairns’ great restaurants!

Relax in the warm evening under waterside palm trees at Salt House, where you can enjoy delicious seafood and an Argentinian-styled woodfired grill. Bellocale Italian and Seafood is another local hit, and at Ochre you’ll discover highly-awarded seasonal fusion dishes with sparkling views across the Marina to the mountains. With acclaimed restaurants, waterfront eateries and great bars, there are plenty of things to do at night in Cairns. 

Enjoy an evening tipple at The Conservatory Bar, a sophisticated wine bar with over 800 bottles from around the world. Hidden down a laneway, the intimate Three Wolves bar specialises in whiskey, spirits and cocktails. You’ll also enjoy the open and relaxed atmosphere at The Pier Bar, idyllically situated by the water and renowned for its wood-fired pizzas. 

Outdoors wonders in Cairns

images of multiple different palm trees
Cairns Botanic Gardens has greenery as far as the eye can see! Photo by David Clode on Unsplash.

The region’s surrounding natural attractions offer a huge variety of experiences as well as a bounty of free things to do in Cairns. Breathe in the cool fresh air at picturesque Fairy Falls, tucked into ancient rainforest near Crystal Cascades – and only 20 minutes from town. In the heart of town, you’ll also find Cairns Botanic Gardens – home to one of the best collections of tropical plants in Australia. Enjoy one of the free walking tours conducted Monday to Friday. 

For a unique experience visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, home to the largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit in Australia. It’s a half-hour drive to this beautiful attraction near the Skyrail, or a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, the Cairns Zoom Wildlife Dome might be your thing, with the world’s first challenge rope course in a wildlife dome – including a zipline ride over Goliath, the 4-metre saltwater crocodile.

Art galleries in Cairns

Stop by the local Art Galleries here in Cairns. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland.

Cairns is home to a huge number of galleries featuring pioneering Aboriginal and contemporary artists. Explore the huge collections of modern and classic styles at the ever-changing Cairns Art Gallery in the heart of Cairns. The Doongal Aboriginal Art and Artefacts Gallery specialises in Aboriginal Rainforest Art as well as Central Australian indigenous artwork, and you’ll find collectable Australian pieces at the Landmark Gallery

Where to stay

The Comfort Inn Cairns City offers is an ideal centrally located 500 metres from Cairns city centre. Guests can also book exciting activities from the hotel reception, including hot air balloon rides and tours to the Great Barrier Reef. Built for comfort, The Benson Hotel offers boutique rooms and spacious suites, with pool, restaurant and bar facilities.

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