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How to Spend 2 Days in Cairns

How to Spend 2 Days in Cairns

With two days in Cairns, you have time to thoroughly explore the city and its surroundings—by water, land, and air—as well as venture deeper into the Great Barrier Reef or Kuranda Rainforest. Here is how to spend two days in the gateway to the tropical north.

Day 1: Explore Cairns from the Sky, Land, and Water

**Morning:**Get your first look at the Great Barrier Reef aboard a scenic flight. Fixed-wing airplanes usually feature all window seating for unobstructed views. Flights typically take 30 to 60 minutes and soar over Green Island, Upolu Cay, and Michaelmas Reef, as well as Cape Grafton, False Cape, Double Island, and Cairns’ Northern Beaches.

**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, embark on a half-day sightseeing tour of Cairns and its surroundings. Guided tours typically visit city attractions such as the Flecker Botanical Gardens and St. Monica's Cathedral. A quicker alternative is to zip around the city on a tour by Segway Ninebot, or you can explore independently by taking a self-guided audio tour.

**Night:**Conclude your evening with a sunset cruise along the Trinity Inlet. Aboard a comfortable catamaran, you can soak up the city and harbor views and enjoy a drink and appetizers. Some cruises offer the option of adding on dinner at one of the city’s top restaurants.

Day 2: Explore the Reef or Rainforest

**Morning:**Get a look at the Great Barrier Reef;s marine life on a diving or snorkeling cruise, which typically leave in the morning, return in late afternoon, and include lunch, although half-day tours may be available. An alternative is to go to Kuranda Rainforest on a full-day tour—you’ll likely take the Kuranda Scenic Railway to Kuranda and visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary before returning to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Some tours also include lunch and Aboriginal cultural experiences.

**Afternoon:**If you didn't opt for a full-day tour, take the afternoon to see more of the nature surrounding Cairns. Land-loving adventurous types may want to take an afternoon ATV tour, which offers adventure in the rain forest and gets you places a typical tour won't. Or take the afternoon to visit the Rainforestation Nature Park. 

**Night:**Learn about Aboriginal culture with dinner at Flames of the Forest, an open-air site that features storytelling and live performances. Most tours offer round-trip hotel transfers.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Personal Luxury Snorkel and Dive Cruise from Cairns

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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$158.09
From
$158.09
Taking safety measures

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns

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1466
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$144.39
From
$144.39
Taking safety measures

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns

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619
Explore the lush beauty, amazing wildlife and rich heritage of Tropical North Queensland on this customizable full-day trip to Kuranda from Cairns. Travel to this enchanting rain forest village aboard the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway, and choose from a variety of activities including visits to the Tjupakai Aboriginal Cultural Park and Rainforestation Nature Park. Hang out with koalas and exotic birds, browse local markets and opt to include a delicious buffet lunch. At the end of the day, glide through the treetops back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.34
From
$128.34
Taking safety measures

Best of Kuranda Including Skyrail, Kuranda Scenic Railway and Rainforestation

Best of Kuranda Including Skyrail, Kuranda Scenic Railway and Rainforestation

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82
Experience the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kuranda Rainforest on a full-day tour from Cairns. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway to Kuranda where you first visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, the largest flight aviary in Australia. Tour the Rainforestation Nature Park in an amphibious Army Duck vehicle, then see koalas, dingoes and more at the Koala and Wildlife Park. Take a dreamtime walk with a Pamagirri guide for the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, then feast on an Australian barbecue buffet lunch. Finally, return to Cairns on the scenic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$194.60
From
$194.60

Cairns City Sights and Surrounds Tour

Cairns City Sights and Surrounds Tour

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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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.30
From
$65.30
Taking safety measures

Cairns Self-Guided Audio Tour

Cairns Self-Guided Audio Tour

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1
Cairns is a tropical paradise. Make sure to make time to see the koalas at the Wildlife Dome and see the stunningly beautiful Esplanade Lagoon. Perfectly suited for discovery on foot, our self-guided audio tour allows you to set the pace and explore at your leisure as you uncover the stories of this exciting city. To discover this fascinating city in your own time and at your own pace just download this self-guided audio tour, pop in your headphones, open the map that comes with your download and start walking. On this tour you will learn about the history of the city from the Aboriginal people who first inhabited these lands to the gold rushes that saw European colonisation, the industries that emerged thereafter, and the impact of World War Two. The tour will take approximately two hours, but you can pause the audio guide when needed. Grab a bite to eat or do some shopping along the way. Please note that this tour is only available in English.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$16.11
From
$16.11
Taking safety measures