A Week in Cairns: The Ultimate Must-Do Itinerary

drone shot of cape tribulation beach

Get Ready For The Best Week Of Your Life In Cairns!

With an abundance of reef, rainforest, wildlife and culture, a week in Cairns is made for making awesome memories!

Flanked by the iconic Great Barrier Reef and the ancient World Heritage Rainforest, this cosmopolitan city offers some of the most incredible natural sights and wildlife experiences in Australia.

Think fairy tale waterfalls, dreamy boardwalks through Jurassic-park style jungle and getting up close to iconic Australian animals.

But with a smorgasbord of tropical activities available, how do you fit it all into a week?

Fear not! This week-long itinerary is jam-packed with all the best bits of Cairns.

Read on and get excited for your ultimate week in Cairns.

 

A Week in Cairns: The Ultimate Must-Do Itinerary

Day 1: Kuranda Village

Hippy markets, butterflies & touring the rainforest on a vintage army duck (yes, really!)

pamagirri aboriginal experience kuranda village
Photo by @annarita_evans_photography (Instagram)

As far as villages go, Kuranda has to be one of the quirkiest ones in existence. Nestled in the rainforest, this funky hippy village is all rainbow wall murals, handmade jewellery and unique eats. It’s home to numerous rainforest markets, the largest butterfly exhibit in Australia and more.

Travel to Kuranda from Cairns on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and literally fly over the rainforest on a gondola. Shop til you drop for jewellery, trinkets and more at the Original Rainforest Markets. Grab an Eastern-inspired treat from the Falafel man, a local celebrity.

Hop on a shuttle bus to award winning nature park Rainforestation and meet an abundance of adorable Aussie animals! Explore the rainforest from a unique perspective on an authentic world war 2 army duck. Experience one of the world’s oldest cultures with the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. Watch a didgeridoo

Return to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and stop-off at the mighty Barron Falls.

Don’t fancy organising all of this yourself? Check out these great value Kuranda tours.

 

Day 2: Snorkel The Great Barrier Reef

Find the entire cast of Finding Nemo!

girl snorkelling great barrer reef with wally maori wrasse
Photo by @thedailyluxe (Instagram)

Sebastian the Crab was onto something when he said “life is much better under the sea”.

The Great Barrier Reef is a kaleidoscope of colourful corals and is home to more than 1500 fish species alone. Famous residents include the green sea turtle, “Nemo” the clown fish and Wally the giant friendly Maori Wrasse.

Snorkel off the beach on one of the stunning tropical islands, jump into the big blue off the back of a boat tour or explore this wonder from a comfortable floating pontoon.

If you’re looking to save some serious dollar, we recommend a two day Kuranda and Green Island package.

 

Day 3: Cairns City

Chill at the lagoon or zipline over a crocodile. The choice is yours!

girl on dome climb cairns zoom wildife dome
Photo by @_sarahlatham (Instagram)

Although Cairns is undeniably a spring point to see natural wonders, the city itself is also teeming with activity!

We recommend dedicating a day to the city itself and exploring the iconic Esplanade.

If you feel like recuperating and catching some rays, head to the free Esplanade Lagoon for a swim!

If you feel like adding a little bit of action to your day, Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome is the world’s first high ropes course in an immersive wildlife park! This gem is right in the city centre on the top of the casino! Cuddle a Koala, walk around the outside of the Dome itself or zipline over a giant Estaurine Crocodile.

 

Day 4: Atherton Tablelands

Waterfalls, volcanic crater lakes and amazing local produce.

milla millaa falls atherton tablelands
Photo by @jilarapearl (Instagram)

The Atherton Tablelands is a nature-lovers paradise! Head up the Gillies Range and explore the iconic Waterfall Circuit, which features the most photographed waterfall in Australia, Millaa Milla Falls.

Cool off from the tropical heat from jumping into a volcanic crater! Lake Eacham is a huge blue lake that is fantastic for swimming in! Alternatively, head to Lake Barrine for a scrumptious Devonshire Tea.

Moo-ve on to Gallo Dairyland to sample some yummy local cheeses before watching the sunset over one of the stunning lookouts over the rolling green hills.

 

Day 5: Babinda Boulders & Josephine Falls

The dictionary definition of paradise.

girl at babinda boulders cairns
Photo by @legypsy (Instagram)

Head south from Cairns to Wooroonooran National Park for another day of rainforest exploring!

Josephine Falls is undoubtedly one of the most stunning waterfalls in the area. This rainforest wonder cascades from dense rainforest canopy and forms bright turquoise pools.

Visit the farming town of Babinda and visit the Babinda Boulders for one of the most beautiful swims you will ever experience! Sculptural rock formations, tumbling boulders and clear green water are just some of the things that make this place the definition of paradise.

Not hiring a car? Wooroonooran Safaris has an incredible tour that heads to both of these spots and more.

Day 6: The Daintree & Cape Tribulation

Visit a rainforest older than the Amazon!

drone shot of cape tribulation beach
Photo by @hi_its_amandap (Instagram)

Fancy taking a trip back to the dinosaur times? You don’t need a time machine to do it! The Daintree Rainforest is an abundance of ancient greenery, palm-fringed beaches and quirky wildlife.

Head north and cross the Daintree River on the cable ferry, then venture up the winding roads to the beautiful village of Cape Tribulation. Wander onto one of the many stunning beaches and see the spot where the World Heritage Rainforest meets The Great Barrier Reef.

Meander down rainforest boardwalks with fan palms as high as the eye can see or live your inner Tarzan dreams by ziplining over the rainforest.

Jungle Tours offers a range of Daintree day tours, Cape Trib overnight tours and the only Jungle surfing tour from Cairns.

 

Day 7: Northern Beaches

Grab a slice of paradise

palm cove beach
Photo by @julianinparadise (Instagram)

If you fancy a luxurious, beachy end to your week in Cairns, head to the beachy hub of Palm Cove.

This palm-fringed beach is perfect for a salty dip. There’s kayaking and jet-skiing available for those who seek a thrill.

In between sea swims, walk to the range of trendy cafes, restaurants and shops and relax with a cocktail next to the Coral Sea.

Ready to book your ultimate week in Cairns? Browse our tours today!