Located in Far North Queensland, Cairns is the fourth-most popular region for international tourists in Australia. Cairn’s booming tourism industry is a reflection of its array of popular destinations, tropical climate and prime location. The city is in close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Atherton Tablelands. Below are five tourism destinations that Cairns has to offer:
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and can be seen from outer space. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1981, the Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life, including thirty species of dolphins, whales and porpoises, dugongs, over 1500 species of fish, sea snakes, sea turtles and saltwater crocodiles. Due to its vast biodiversity, clear waters and accessibility from tourist boats, the reef is a first-class destination for scuba diving and fishing.
North Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest is home to the most extensive range of rare fauna and flora on earth. By visiting the Daintree Rainforest, tourists will be exposed to untouched tropical rainforest jungles, pristine beaches, hiking and walking trails and thousands of species of wildlife in addition to ecological information about the most diverse ecosystem in the world. Various rainforest tours, including Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway tours, are on offer to enable tourists to make the most of their Daintree Rainforest experience.
Port Douglas was ranked third on Australian Traveller Magazine’s list of 100 Best Towns in Australia. Located an hour north of Cairns, Port Douglas offers the ultimate tropical escape with a range of exclusive resorts, award winning restaurants, world-class galleries and boutique shopping. The popular Port Douglas Village Markets are open every Sunday between 8:30am and 2pm at Anzac Park for the enjoyment of tourists and locals alike. Kite surfing is a popular activity at the southern end of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas.
Mission Beach is just one of the numerous Northern Beaches the Cairns region has on offer. Surrounded by World Heritage rainforests on one side and the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef on the other, Mission Beach provides a tourism experience unlike any other. Palm Cove Beach has developed into an exclusive resort and spa destination, featuring a myriad of beach shacks, restaurants and 5-star resorts. Tourist activities encompass a variety of water sports such as white-water rafting, scuba diving, snorkelling and kite surfing.
The Atherton Tablelands or Cairns Highlands provides a slice of the Australian countryside, featuring green rolling hills, crisp clean air and historical townships full of true blue Australian locals. There are several rainforest holiday accommodation retreats available to enable tourists to get a true taste of Australian hospitality and culture. Horse riding and agriculture are Atherton Tablelands’ primary industries, reflecting its relatively untouched nature. The Tablelands is also home to a range of ancient rainforests and fresh water lakes to be enjoyed by campers and water sports enthusiasts year round.