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Things to Do in Cairns This Summer

Things to Do in Cairns This Summer

Summer in Cairns is hot and humid. It’s also the region’s wet season, with increased rainfall building up around December and continuing through February. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty to appeal—and lots of options for staying dry. Here are a few ways to experience this tropical city in summer.

  • Discover Cairns-area attractions, including the waterfront and St. Monica's Cathedral, on a city sightseeing tour.
  • Soar over the Great Barrier Reef and the city’s sparkling beaches on a scenic helicopter tour.
  • Cool off in the water on a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling and diving cruise.
  • Explore the rain forest that defines the Wet Tropics of Queensland on a tour to Daintree National Park.
  • Experience the natural wonders of Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands, and cool off in its waterfalls, on a guided tour.
  • Learn about the indigenous Tjapukai people during an enthralling cultural show and dinner.
  • Enjoy the cool breeze off the water as you sail along Trinity Inlet on a sunset dinner cruise.
  • See snapping crocs in action on a tour to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.
  • Experience the fun and thrills of a white-water rafting trip on the Barron River.
  • Explore the underwater world without getting wet at Cairns Aquarium.
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19 Tours and Activities

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Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns

Ocean Freedom Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel & Dive Cruise, Cairns

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629
Spend a day on the Great Barrier Reef at two different snorkel and dive sites on this luxury catamaran cruise from Cairns. Travel in style aboard a fast, comfortable catamaran to the outer edge Upolu Reef. Take an Adventure Snorkel & Glass Bottom Boat Tour through the highly protected no-fishing zone sites in the Marine Park. Refuel with a buffet lunch on board the catamaran before heading to your next destination, Upolu Cay reef. Enjoy the shallow azure blue waters surrounding this natural Coral Cay with both snorkeling or diving on offer. Be mesmerised by coral teeming with colourful fish.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$154.86
From
$154.86

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

star-4.5
1501
If snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, don’t miss this day trip from Cairns. The 35-metre superyacht, Evolution, departs Cairns with a record 5 hours spent exploring 2 spectacular and exclusive outer Great Barrier Reef locations for an adventure-filled day! You’ll visit 2 different locations on the barrier reef for the chance to see tropical marine life in the clear waters. Lunch is included onboard the boat, and you have the option to upgrade to include additional adventures such as introductory or certified scuba diving or a helicopter flight over this UNESCO World Heritage site. Both water sports enthusiasts and novices are welcome. Includes instruction and equipment provided by friendly and professional instructors.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$141.44
From
$141.44

Silverswift Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Cairns
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Silverswift Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Cairns

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152
Dive into the spectacular underwater realm of the Great Barrier Reef on this full-day snorkel and scuba cruise from Cairns. Travel aboard a luxurious catamaran to three renowned dive sites to swim among coral gardens and tropical marine life. All experience levels are welcome, and guides are on hand to assist with your choice of snorkeling, introductory scuba diving, or certified diving. A buffet lunch plus morning and afternoon tea on the catamaran are included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$169.73
From
$169.73

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns

star-4.5
193
Customize your visit to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns with your selection from three travel options with a choice of snorkeling, scuba diving, and a one-way or round-trip scenic helicopter tour. Admire views of the Great Barrier Reef from your helicopter as you get a multi-angled perspective on one of the world’s top natural wonders. Then enjoy a close experience of the coral reef by choosing to snorkel or enroll in an optional scuba diving course (additional expense).
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  • 2 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$293.32
From
$293.32

Cairns City Sights and Surrounds Tour

Cairns City Sights and Surrounds Tour

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72
First time in Cairns? Discover the gateway to Queensland’s tropical north on this 5.5-hour sightseeing tour. Visit city attractions like the Flecker Botanical Gardens and St Monica's Cathedral, and stroll along the scenic Cairns waterfront. Indulge in a delicious Devonshire afternoon tea (included) taking in the stunning views from the jetty at Palm Cove before taking a short hike through the Barron Gorge National Park. For the full experience, upgrade to include a 2-hour morning cruise to Green Island in the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef marine park. This small-group tour is limited to 20 people.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$63.96
From
$63.96

Skip the Line: Cairns Museum Single Admission Ticket

Skip the Line: Cairns Museum Single Admission Ticket

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20
Learn more about Cairns' unique culture and history at the interesting Cairns Museum. This ticket saves you time, so you can straight into the museum and check out its interactive exhibits. There are family friendly displays that all members of the family can enjoy, plus refreshing air conditioning when the heat of tropical North Queensland gets too much.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$10.88
From
$10.88

Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise from Cairns
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Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise from Cairns

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23
Experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef on a luxury catamaran cruise to Low Isles — no scuba certification required! Snorkel among sea turtles and tropical fish, view giant clams and coral gardens on a glass-bottom boat tour or join a guided nature walk around the island. You can also simply relax and soak up the sun on the beach. This delightful full-day tour includes a buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea and round-trip hotel transport from Cairns or Northern Beaches.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$110.97
From
$110.97

Green Island Discovery Including Glass Bottom Boat Tour Departing Cairns
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Green Island Discovery Including Glass Bottom Boat Tour Departing Cairns

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10
Green Island offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest experience, just 45 minutes from Cairns by fast catamaran. Home to over 120 native plant species and colourful bird life, surrounded by abundant marine life. Full and half day options available. Your day can be as active or as relaxing as you choose. As a Great Adventures guest, you’ll also be able to enjoy many exclusive inclusions such as the use of the island swimming pool and a self guided eco island walk to discover some of the island’s unique rainforest flora. The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, plus restaurant and retail outlets. A delicious range of lunch and snacks can be purchased from the island’s food and refreshment outlets.
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  • 5 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.84
From
$92.84

Green Island Eco Adventure from Cairns
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Green Island Eco Adventure from Cairns

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14
If you want to enjoy a tropical island beach paradise from Cairns but don’t have a lot of time, this half or full-day trip to Green Island is ideal. Be transported by fast catamaran from Cairns to save time. Choose between a glass-bottomed boat tour or the use of snorkeling equipment. Get access to the island’s pool or take a self-guided walk of the island if you want to be more active.
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  • 5 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$73.98
From
$73.98

Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, and Daintree Rainforest Day Trip from Cairns or Port Douglas
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Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, and Daintree Rainforest Day Trip from Cairns or Port Douglas

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501
Immerse yourself in the natural wonders and Aboriginal heritage of Australia’s tropical north on this full-day tour from Cairns. First, head to the Mossman Gorge to take part in a traditional smoke ceremony with the indigenous Kuku Yalanji people. Then, enjoy a close encounter with native wildlife on the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk and visit Cape Tribulation, the meeting point of the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree rainforest. After lunch at Cape Trib Beach House, embark on a scenic cruise along the Daintree River (optional).
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$122.58
From
$122.58

Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and Bloomfield Track Small Group Tour

Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and Bloomfield Track Small Group Tour

star-5
268
This is the Original Daintree Rainforest Tour, locally owned and operated for over 36 years! Embark on a packed full-day adventure to Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef. Spot crocodiles on a Daintree River cruise, learn about flora, fauna and the history of the Daintree on a guided boardwalk tour, take a 4WD ride through a World Heritage-listed rainforest on the rugged Bloomfield Track. One of the only tour operators who can travel on the Bloomfield Track due to the custom-made 4WD vehicles! You'll have free time at famous Cape Tribulation to take a guided walk and enjoy lunch. Then there is time to stop for a delicious homemade ice cream from the Daintree Ice-creamery before heading home. Group size is limited for a more personalized experience, and the tour includes round-trip transport from Cairns, Beaches and Port Douglas hotels.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$141.44
From
$141.44

Cairns Luxury Catamaran Harbor and Dinner Cruise

Cairns Luxury Catamaran Harbor and Dinner Cruise

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188
Hop aboard for a luxurious evening catamaran cruise of Cairns and experience Australia’s northernmost city from the water. Sip a complimentary drink as you glide along the Cairns waterfront precinct and along the idyllic Trinity Inlet, then tuck into a delicious 3-course dinner on-board as you watch the mesmerizing sunset over the city.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.81
From
$71.81

Cairns ATV Adventure Tour

Cairns ATV Adventure Tour

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260
Conquer the rugged off-road terrain around Cairns on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on this half-day tour. Follow a guide, who takes care of instructions and navigation, through the rain forest, on dirt tracks, and across creeks. Morning or afternoon tea (depending on tour time) and hotel pickup and drop-off in Cairns make for a seamless, stress-free experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$121.54
From
$121.54

Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests
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Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests

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212
Sail on a 2-masted schooner from Cairns to Green Island for a full day of snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Have a choice of options for exploring Green Island, spending time in the water around the magnificent coral reefs, walking in the rain forest, or lazing on the white sandy beaches. Enjoy the expertise of the superb crew, in addition to buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea and a glass of wine as you cruise back to Cairns.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$154.86
From
$154.86

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

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16
Surround yourself by more than 1,500 multicolored butterflies at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda. The biggest butterfly aviary in the country, this delightful attraction is home to landscaped gardens that mimic the butterflies’ natural rainforest habitats. Explore at your leisure while they fly all around you, or take advantage of complimentary tours during the day, including a behind-the-scenes lab tour. When booking, you have the option to upgrade to the 4 Park Pass for entry to three more Cairns-area attractions.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$14.88
From
$14.88

Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome

Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome

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21
Get an up-close look at the rainforest from the middle of Cairns at Carins ZOOM and Wildlife Dome. This family-friendly attraction is home to Australian animals like koalas, snakes, tropical birds, and a saltwater crocodile. You can simply explore the park at your leisure, or choose some of the many activities like a ropes course, zipline, dome climb and more. You also have the option to upgrade your admission to the 4 Park Pass if you want to visit other Cairns-area attractions like the Butterfly Sanctuary and Rainforestation.
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  • 1 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.60
From
$18.60

Skip the Line: Kuranda Rainforestation Nature Park Ticket

Skip the Line: Kuranda Rainforestation Nature Park Ticket

star-4.5
16
Explore Kuranda's Rainforestation Nature Park, a 100-acre (40-hectare) tropical rainforest and World Heritage site located within five minutes of Kuranda village, accessible from Cairns. Your admission ticket to this family-friendly attraction includes three eco-experiences: see Australia's native animals at the Koala and Wildlife Park; ride the amphibious Army Duck on a unique rainforest tour; watch an Aboriginal Dance Show at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience and take a Dreamtime Walk.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$38.69
From
$38.69

Small-Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour with Harbour Dinner Cruise
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Small-Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour with Harbour Dinner Cruise

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7
Explore Cairns with a local guide and enjoy a dinner cruise on this all-day combination tour. After a convenient pickup from your Cairns City or Northern Beaches hotel, visit popular destinations like the Flecker Botanical Gardens and Lower Barron Gorge. Enjoy a scenic lookout with gorgeous views and afternoon tea—included in the tour price—before feasting on a 3-course dinner aboard the 85-foot (26-meter) Spirit of Cairns catamaran.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$137.09
From
$137.09

Great Barrier Reef Tour with Indigenous Sea Rangers-Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel
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Great Barrier Reef Tour with Indigenous Sea Rangers-Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel

The only Indigenous experience available to the Great Barrier Reef. Interact with Indigenous Sea Rangers as they demonstrate their traditional culture as you travel to and from the reef.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$170.45
From
$170.45