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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Things to Explore and Experience in Cairns as a First Timer – Planning your holiday
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Explore and Experience in Cairns as a First Timer – Planning your holiday

Queensland is easy on the eye and has several natural assets to explore, especially because of the fact that they're plenty! Here's a list of places to explore and experience your first time here!



Imagine swimming with the diverse marine life and getting up close and personal with sea creatures – that is exactly what snorkeling in the great barrier reef gives you! When visiting Cairns, paying a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is out of the question as it is Queensland's most famous resident! Browse through the many Cairns hotel offers and pick what suits you best before gearing up for this adventure!


Kurunda's rainforest

Explore the sheer natural beauty that Kurunda possesses, from village markets to wildlife encounters, there's much to be done and enjoyed. A quick 40-minute drive from Oaks Cairns Hotel will lead you to Kurunda where you can make your way up the ridge via the famous steam train on the Kurunda Scenic Railway. This was built way back in 1891 and navigates across the dense rainforest, steep ravines, and waterfalls.


Local food

No trip is complete without testing most, if not all, of the local delicacies available to you! Considering how close Cairns is to the coast, it boasts some of the best seafood in the state and it would be a real shame to miss out on this opportunity! There are plenty of venues to test the local fisherman's bounty across the town. Dining on seafood in Cairns is a must-do.


Atherton Tablelands

The neighbouring Aberthon Tablelands sits right beside Cairns in the Great Dividing Range. The best way to view the stunning flora and fauna possessed by this area is by air, and a Hot Air Balloon ride is what you're looking at! Witnessing the sunrise above the hills is not to be missed and a dawn-time excursion is also the coolest time to explore the area!



Cairns is not short of waterfalls and is home to many awe-inspiring waterfalls. A quick drive from the city centre will lead you to a swimming hole called Crystal Cascades, which is a local favourite and the oasis is surrounded by large boulders and dense rainforest. After a quick dip in the water, you can trek to the nearby Fairy Falls.
An hour from the city you will also find Josephine Falls, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can splash about in the water or sunbathe while you're here once you meander through the rainforest!


Bar hop around town

After a long day of exploring the outdoors, a great way to end the day would be to explore the bars around Cairns. From rooftop bars to tiki houses, most places to pour a pint are located on Hemingway's Brewery. You are sure to enjoy the options available to you here as it is the ideal way to end a day of experiencing new and exciting things!