Cairns is a sunshine paradise, bursting with lush greenery, soft sand beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. Even a weekend is enough to recharge for your job back home, with the sun melting your troubles away. The city is overflowing with sites, and the outer areas are littered with famous attractions. Pack your carry on and get ready for a weekend you won’t soon forget.

Friday Night

After a long day of travelling to Cairns, head straight for the ocean as soon as you arrive. Hop aboard the Cairns harbour cruise and have your muscles relax after your long and squishy flight. See the sunset over the ocean horizon and marvel at the city slowly coming to life. The bright lights of the buildings match the stars glittering above, with new unique animals slowly emerging to frolic in the night. The boat will cruise you through the calm waters, which are surrounded by the famous mangrove trees. Sit back, unwind, and enjoy the breeze in your hair as you watch the ocean change colour from the setting sun.

Saturday Day

Saturday is when you are most motivated for adventure, so it’s best to get the most exerting attraction out of the way. The Great Barrier Reef is on everyone’s bucket list, listed as the biggest living things on the entire planet. Hop on a boat in the morning and set off for the outer ocean. You can swim, snorkel, or even scuba dive the reef, discovering the colourful creatures that whiz through this underwater paradise. Even if you aren’t the best swimmer, tours can offer a glass-bottom boat tour, which lets you see the reef without ever having to touch the water.

Saturday Night

After a full day in the salt water, head back to the mainland. Stop off at the Cairns night markets to do your souvenir shopping, buying all your friends the local arts and crafts. After this head to one of the many restaurants littering the coast area, perfect for a delicious wine to go with your seafood cuisine. After filling your belly to the brim, head to the beach and enjoy a romantic walk down the soft sands, finishing your night off with the soft sounds of the ocean.

Sunday Day

Just outside of Cairns lies the sprawling highland plateau of the Atherton Tablelands. A nirvana chock full of greenery, mountaintops, and mesmerising waterfalls. With the famous Millaa Millaa Falls, Cathedral Fig Tree, and the Volcanic Crater Lake Barrine, every section is bursting with iconic attractions. Make sure to pack your walking shoes as this unforgettable day is jam-packed with lush walking tracks amidst the unique wildlife.

Related article: Visiting Cairns on a Budget