Cairns City - Things To Do

Cairns City - Tropical North Queensland Holiday Destination

Cairns is a spectacular place to visit with lots of wonderful things to do all with a gorgeous backdrop of lush tropical mountains and a view of the sparkling Coral Sea. Cairns City has amazing world class restaurants, laid back cafes, pubs and bars so you can enjoy a cool drink and some great shopping for a bit of retail therapy.

The Cairns Esplanade Foreshore and Lagoon is the place to be with something for everyone no matter what age you are. There's a gorgeous lagoon to swim in all year round, fun picnic area and a boardwalk to walk on at sunset or run on at sunrise. The Esplanade is also host to weekly live entertainment so you can sit back on the grass and enjoy live music, fire twirling, animal shows and famed Cairns buskers.

Cairns City Accommodation

book accommodation in cairnsCairns has long been a popular tourist destination so there is accommodation to suit your every needs, style and budget. There's gorgeous resorts that are popular with families and couples, hotels perfect for those on business, self contained apartments which are great for longer stay sand even a great range of backpackers and hostels for travellers on a budget.  

Things to Do or Places to Visit in Cairns City

Cairns Esplanade

Cairns lagoon with couple Located in the centre of Cairns on the foreshore is the Cairns Esplanade which is a newish construction that has become the epicentre of fun in Cairns. It's a great space with loads of activities for people to participate in or as a place to sit back and relax and watch the clouds pass. The Esplanade Lagoon is perhaps the area's favourite attraction and is a 4800 square metre saltwater swimming pool which allows swimmers safe year round swimming.

There's sand on the shores and shallow waters so kids can splash and build sandcastles. The water is surrounded by shady trees and lots of grass so parents can sit back and keep on eye on the little ones. You can also plan a picnic or set up at one of the barbeque areas on the boardwalk.

Choose to take a walk along the Harbour Walk that takes you past the lagoon, the marina and ending up at Trinity Inlet. On the Harbour Walk you can do some awesome bird watching with birds coming as far as from Russia! There's a Bird Directory to help you know what you're looking at and a hire powered telescope to give you great close up views.

Whilst here make sure you have a good look at the interesting Esplanade Artwork which is made up unique sculptural works from local artists. The most iconic of all of these works is probably the Bryan Robinson's 'The Fish' which are the metal sculptures in the lagoon that look like giant, fish flying through the air.

Each weekday between 10am - 4pm and Sunday 8am - 5pm the Esplanade hosts the Esplanade Markets. Here you will find a wide array of locally produced art, fashion, leather work, woodwork, pottery, food stuff and much  more. You'll also find therapeutic massages on offer as well as some fun street buskers to keep you entertained while you wander through the stalls.


The beauty about dining out in Cairns is that it is smack bang between two regions that produce amazing produce. The Atherton Tablelands is home to wonderful cattle grazing areas and tropical fruit orchards and the Coral Sea has the freshest of fresh seafood. There's also the fresh water rivers and estuaries where you'll find the elusive and delicious Barramundi.

There's a whole host of restaurants and cafes for you to try which focus on all different types of cuisines like seafood restaurants, steak houses, Italian, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and so much more. There's wonderful places to go out for a good coffee, fresh fruit juice and lots of places where you can get a refreshing ice cream.


Cairns is probably one of the best places to go shopping for a new bikini or a pair of boardshorts. There's luxury Australian and International designer fashions, surf and street wear stores, chain stores galore and many more so you know you'll find the perfect cover up for that pair of swimmers.

There's a number of markets in the Cairns city area and we think you must check out the Cairns Night Markets which are open 7 days a week from 5pm till 11pm. It's an interesting shopping experience with over 70 unique stalls selling everything from pearls to crocodile skins and everything in between!


Cairns golf courses are some of the most beautiful and scenic in the world with gorgeous vistas of the Coral Sea and lush National Parks. Most of the courses are membership based but visitors are more than welcome to come and enjoy their lovely, rolling greens, hire equipment and enjoy the club houses.

Getting to Cairns City

There are a number of ways you can get to Cairns however because it's about 20 hours drive from Brisbane most people decide to fly. Cairns Airport has domestic and international terminals with flights coming in each day from all around Australia and also abroad from places like New Zealand, Japan and Singapore.

Another great way to get to Cairns is by train which is both romantic, relaxing and also offers wonderful views of the countryside from bush to ocean. You can either hop on board the Sunlander which takes 32 hours or on the Tilt Train which is a high speed fast train. If you'd like to stay on the open road then you can drive or travel onboard a coach. This is definitely one way to see the Australia!

Cairns has a very busy marina as well as the busiest cruise port in all of Australia. Many international and domestic cruise ships visit each year and the marina has 213 berths which can accommodate super yachts to small reef dinghies.

Location Map