Cairns is the tropical gateway of North Queensland providing millions of tourists each year with a base to visit the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. It’s also where you can make your way to the Great Barrier Reef which makes the city extremely popular with tours. The beauty of Cairns is that its warm climate makes it the perfect getaway for thrill seekers who are searching for adventure such as scuba diving, bungee jumping or even skydiving. If you prefer a more laidback holiday, the city has lush gardens to stroll in during the day and markets to explore at night.

Swim at the lagoon

Located centrally on the esplanade is the Cairns lagoon which provides a great swimming area for families, as well as a safe environment that is patrolled by lifeguards. From here you can swim to your hearts content with views of Trinity Inlet for you to look out on. There are BBQ facilities dotted around the lagoon but also shops and restaurants surrounding the area.

Rusty Farmer Market

This farmers market is open on the mornings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday so head here to buy all your fresh fruits and vegetables if you’re wanting to cut back on costs and prepare some meals on your holiday. A great tip is to come bright and early in the morning or right before the market closes as prices are usually slashed and much cheaper.

Gilligan’s Backpackers

This hostel markets itself as a luxe backpacker’s property that offers many facilities and amenities to its guests to ensure that all travellers have an amazing time there. It’s centrally located next to Rusty’s Farmers Market and shops, and have their own lagoon, free Wi-Fi and fitness centre for all guests to use. Their deck bar and entertainment venues mean you only need to step out of your room to be in the heart of the action and you have a choice of dormitory or hotel room accommodation for every type of budget. When your trip begins, the hostel even has their own free airport shuttle service that will you pick you up and take you to Gilligan’s.

Kuranda trails

There’s heaps to do in the rainforest that surrounds the village of Kuranda, you can take the scenic railway journey for amazing views of the world heritage listed forest and its picturesque waterfalls, or even head to the wildlife park to see some of Australia’s native animals such as kangaroos, emus and reptiles.

Great Barrier Reef

With over 290 reef sites in the Great Barrier Reef, it’s a must do to visit one of the natural wonders of the world while you’re in Cairns. To get the best value for money, there are cheap tours that can whisk you to some of the reef sites where you can snorkel for hours exploring the underwater world.