• a body of water next to the ocean

Cairns Holidays

Sandwiched between two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns holidays whisk you away to a tropical paradise, providing the best of it all. Couples searching for a romantic break will appreciate the secluded beaches and al fresco dining, while boat trips with snorkelling and diving will satisfy the keenest of adventurers.

This bustling hub of Tropical North Queensland offers a laid-back atmosphere with plenty to see and do. Laze on the sandy shores of Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, or take a leisurely stroll along Cairns’ waterfront boardwalk.

Cairns holidays provide you with an ideal gateway to explore the sprawling wilderness of Queensland’s Wet Tropics. Head inland and venture into the Daintree Rainforest, where you can learn about the Aboriginal culture. Experience spectacular views on the Kuranda Scenic Railway Tour, or take a mini road trip up the coast to the resort town of Port Douglas, before continuing on to Cape Tribulation, famous for its treetop canopy tours, untouched nature trails. It’s also home to the rare cassowary bird.

From reef to rainforest

Your holiday in Cairns is incomplete without a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. Jump on the 45-minute high-speed ferry to reach Fitzroy Island, where you can explore rainforest walking tracks, and go snorkelling straight off the beach at Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach. Observe the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef by sea kayak. Continue island-hopping with a visit to Hinchinbrook, Bedarra or Lizard Island, all easy to reach from the mainland of Cairns.

Cairns holidays are ideally paired with an East Coast road trip down to Sydney. Alternatively why not experience the true Aussie outback with a visit to the Top End? Our Destination Specialists are global travel experts and will be able to help you put together your dream holiday to Cairns. Call us today for inspiration and advice..

Destination Highlights
  • Prepare to be left in awe as you swim over the Great Barrier Reef during a snorkelling and diving cruise
  • Venture over the emerald green forests and breath-taking mountains of Barron Gorge National Park on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Take your pick from a wide selection of stunning beaches that stud the palm-lined coastline from Cairns to Port Douglas
  • Enjoy the breath-taking scenery along Captain Cook Highway, visit the hippy village of Kuranda, or spend a day in Port Douglas

Time Zone

GMT +10

Flight Time

London Heathrow to Cairns is around a 23 hour flight. Connections can usually be made at Singapore and then Melbourne, or Singapore and Sydney on the way back.

Currency

Australian dollar (AUD)

Visa Information

No mandatory vaccinations required. It's important to contact your GP for latest recommendations.

Language

English

Health Information

All tourists require an Australian Tourist Visa, you can apply for an instant tourist visa, this is also known as an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa.

Cairns Attractions

  • cns

    Explore Queensland

    Hayes & Jarvis offers more than a standard break in Cairns. Head inland and explore the five national parks clustered around Cairns. Take a boat out into the warm waters and witness the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Savour breakfast in a local café with coffee and French toast, or find your favourite beaches along the Queensland coastline, sinking your toes into the sand and feeling yourself unwind.

  • Cape Tribulation, Queensland

    Visit Tropical Rainforests

    The Daintree Rainforest is just two hours from Cairns. Test your head for heights along the aerial walkway, experience a rainforest tour, and enjoy an overnight stay in one of the rainforest lodges. A river cruise could see you come face to face with crocodiles too.

  • a body of water

    Island Hopping

    Cairns’ proximity to the Great Barrier Reef means it’s easy to explore nearby islands. Lizard Island boasts two dozen beaches deserted sandy beaches to relax on. Alternatively, Green Island is a 45 minute boat ride from the city, and offers the perfect spot to get away for a day in secluded serenity.

  • a person sitting on a dock next to a body of water

    Superb Dining

    Seafood features heavily in many Cairns restaurants. Sample the freshest locally caught fish or thrill your taste buds with anything from Australian dishes to Japanese or Greek. Order a sandwich to take to the beach or book a table in a local restaurant after a day spent exploring the area. Pair this with delicious Australian wines for an indulgent dinner in this wonderful city.

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    Sharon

    Destination Specialist

    “While Cairns may not have a beach, there are several beach suburbs just a short drive away. Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach and Palm Cove are some of the top picks.”

  • Lucy, Destination Specialist

    Lucy

    Destination Specialist

    “Visit the Cairns Esplanade Markets, held every Saturday on Cairns Esplanade and enjoy a relaxing massage followed by some tasty food. Meander through a huge variety of stalls offering delicious, fresh, local produce and authentic Australian souvenirs. Finish your morning of shopping with a refreshing dip in the lagoon.”

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Cairns holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.The city of Cairns offers a huge selection of fun events held throughout the year that can be enjoyed by everyone.

  • Cairns Festival

    Cairns Festival features live music, art, theatre, film, comedy and more, including a colourful parade, fireworks and a carnival on Collins.

  • Reef Feast Palm Cove is a community event held at the beginning of October, celebrating the food, live music, relaxed culture, and lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland.

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Cairns holiday. Cairns cuisine ranges from staple Aussie dishes, such as the classic meat pie or parmy and chips, to flavoursome tropical produce and fresh-off-the-boat seafood. Expect locally sourced ingredients packed full of multicultural flavours. Served al fresco with a tropical twist, there is no doubt that Cairns’s local cuisine will be a major highlight during your Cairns holiday. Here are a few of our favourite foodie dishes.

  • Seafood

    As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is overflowing with restaurants that offer fresh fish and exceptional seafood. You can feast on buckets of tiger prawns and creamy oysters, or enjoy succulent Moreton Bay bugs and freshly grilled barramundi. For a delicious fresh-on-the-boat seafood dinner, head to Prawn Star in the harbour, where the catch of the day can be enjoyed without even leaving the boat.

  • Australian game meat

    High in protein and low in fat, you can sample an array of distinctive game meats during your Cairns holiday, including crocodile, kangaroo, emu, and ostrich. Head to a local butcher to hand-select your own meats for a traditional Aussie BBQ or head to Ochre Restaurant near the harbour where you can feast on the tasting platter.

  • Sugarcane juice

    With over 20 different varieties of cane growing in the area, sugarcane juice is a local treat you’ll find at Cairns markets. This refreshing treat is best enjoyed with crushed ice and a splash of lemon.