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Updated by Auburn Silver on Jun 17, 2015
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Most popular tourist attractions in Cairns - Top Tourist Highlights in Captivating Cairns

As one of Queensland's best kept secrets Cairns is an all encompassing holiday hub for the masses. Lined with natural wonders and scenic gardens the area's top attractions are as follows.

1

Chillagoe Caves

Often regarded as the most spectacular natural wonder in Cairns the Chillagoe Caves are a series of limestone caves that have been carved in to existence by waterways. Having disintegrated and reformed in to passageways caverns and caves these geographical wonders adorned with stalagmites, flowstones and stalactites is a not to miss highlight in Cairns. Dating back nearly 400 million years the area surrounding Chillagoe Caves is believed to have been submerged in oceanic waters. Visitors can now explore the confines of its mammoth caves and dark passageways with guided tours that also delve in to the animal inhabitants of the caves which include a number of species of bats, spotted pythons, spiders and insects. A cultural highlight within the caves is of course the aboriginal paintings that are etched on the cave walls as well as the Chillagoe Smelters site.

2

Cairns Botanical Gardens

Tipped to house some of the finest tropical plant exhibits in all of Australia the Cairns Botanical Gardens is another popular attraction that should not be missed. Having opened its doors to the public as early as 1876 the Cairns Botanical Gardens was allotted a whopping 71 acres by the city council and has evolved to encompass several botanical gardens in one space. Divided in to the Flecker Garden and the Gondwanan Heritage Garden the Cairns Botanical Gardens also includes the Mount Whitfield Conservation Park, Munro Martin Fern House, The Rainforest Boardwalk as well as the Centenary Lakes. Visitors based in Australis Cairns Beach Resort, one of the top hotels in Cairns, or with another well situated Cairns resort accommodation provider will enjoy easy access to the gardens.

3

Michealmas Cay

A popular stopover for beach lovers Michaelmas Cay is a stunning cay surrounded by a ring shaped reef on its outer reaches. As a protected national park teeming with migratory bird species Michealmas Cay is a dream come true for bird watching enthusiasts and marine life fanatic as well. Occupying the western edge of Michaelmas Reef the verdant coral reef islet spreads out across an area of nearly 2 hectares. Home to green sea turtles and Humphead Maori Wrasses giant clams and molluscs are also known to occupy the underwater gardens beneath the cay. A whopping 23 seabird varieties are also known to inhabit the area while thousands of birds frequent the cay during breeding season in the summer months.

4

St. Monica's Cathedral

The chief highlight at this iconic cathedral in Cairns is of course its breathtaking Creation Window. Deemed to be the largest stained glass window with a theme in the world the stunning addition was added to the cathedral in 2000 by the Catholic Diocese of Queensland. Made up of 24 windows it showcases the creation cycle according to the Bible. Designed by Jill Stehn and Gerry Cummins the 1.7m tall wide 6m high glasses are composed of nearly 320m2 of colour stained glass.

5

Gallo Dairyland

A must-visit highlight for all chocoholics and cheese lovers this reputed dairy product manufacturer occupies the Atherton Tablelands in Cairns. Offering visitors an in-depth look in to the processes of making chocolate and creating a number of cheese varieties, the Gallo Dairyland opens up the 1000 acre farm's daily practices up to tourists from home and abroad.