Cairns
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended Cairns Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

1. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

Explore the village of Kuranda in a pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

2. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

3. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 3 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks and refreshments can be purchased.

Paronella Park, Lake Barrine, and Milla Milla Falls Day Tour

4. Paronella Park, Lake Barrine, and Milla Milla Falls Day Tour

Departure from Cairns, we head south travelling past Walsh’s Pyramid, one of the largest naturally formed pyramids in the world. Here your guide will stop so you can grab a photo of this unique North Queensland landmark. Now it’s time to travel up the World Heritage listed Gillies Highway climbing 730 metres above sea level whilst enjoying the breathtaking views over the Goldsborough Valley. Just before the top of the amazing Gillies Range is a short photo opportunity at the Heales Lookout before heading into the gorgeous Atherton Tablelands. Our first stop is beautiful World Heritage Listed Lake Barrine Crater Lake National Park. On arrival, your tour guide will take you on a short walk to visit the 1000-year-old Twin Kauri Pines, true giants of the rainforest. Enjoy a Wonderful Devonshire Morning Tea, before we depart and head to the historical town of Yungaburra. This beautiful village is recognised as having the most Nationally Listed Heritage buildings in Queensland. Here your guide will take you on a driving tour around this quaint town showcasing the many Nationally Heritage buildings. Next stop is The Curtain Fig Tree located in the Curtain Fig Tree National Park. This amazing feat of nature reaching 45+ metres up into the tropical rainforest canopy. Here your guide will guide you around on the boardwalk interpreting the amazing formation of this 600-800-year old epiphyte while also looking out for endemic wildlife species in the rainforest canopy, like the rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo. From here, we will head through the historical dairy town of Malanda, home to Australia’s oldest continuously running commercial picture theatre. Your guide will drive you around this charming town showcasing the beautiful old pub & theatre. Travelling through extensive beef, dairy, sugar cane & other diverse types of farming areas, we arrive at Millaa Millaa Falls – one of Australia’s most photographed waterfalls. Here you will have an option of swimming under the cool waters falling 20 metres over an ancient volcanic lava flow formed over 1 million years ago or you can sit back, relax & enjoy the tranquility of nature. Now it’s time to descend from the mountains down the Palmerstone Highway through sugar cane & banana fields to the coastal town of Innisfail, where we enjoy our delicious Lunch. Paronella Park is the next destination with a 45-minute guided tour in English, Chinese or Japanese. The tour will guide you through the extensive National Trust Gardens while learning the rich history of Hose Paronella’s wonderful achievements & his colourful history of how he built his Spanish Castle in the rainforest; you will have amazing photo opportunities of the breathtaking Mena Creek & Theresa falls & much more. We spend approx 2.5 hours here allowing plenty of free time to enjoy the rest of the park at a leisurely pace after the guided walk. We then make our way back to Cairns.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

5. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

Explore the stunning biodiversity of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this diving and snorkeling tour from Cairns. Sail on s boat 3 sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy water access. Have drinks and a packed lunch. Depart Cairns in the morning for the outer reef on this 8-hour tour. Whether you are a snorkeler, first-time SCUBA diver, or already certified diver, join a once in a lifetime adventure aboard a luxury day trip to the great barrier reef. Enjoy a light morning tea and a delicious pre-packed picnic lunch. Complimentary tea, coffee, and chilled water are served throughout the day (snacks, soft and alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase). Discover the Great Barrier Reef in the easiest way possible: with a snorkel - it is as simple as breathing. If you have never snorkeled before, don't worry, a briefing is held on board, explaining how to put and use the snorkeling gear. The private reef locations are approximately 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) offshore, these unique sites offer superb coral formations and an abundance of coral and marine life including inquisitive Nemos, Turtles, Stingrays and Wally the friendly Maori Wrasse. Visit 2 different reef locations daily, these are chosen en-route considering weather and sea conditions to ensure the best in-water experience. Visit either Normank, Saxon or Hastings Reef.

From Cairns: Atherton Tableland Wilderness Tour with Lunch

6. From Cairns: Atherton Tableland Wilderness Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day trip to Atherton Tableland from Cairns and admire the lush beauty of tropical North Queensland. Visit Wooroonooran National Park, swim in Lake Eacham, and enjoy lunch in a historic pub. Your 11-hour excursion begins with a drive to the Wooroonooran National Park. Stop for a swim at Josephine Falls, which features a huge natural rock slide. Travel across the volcanic landscape of the Atherton Tablelands. Marvel at the 18-meter-high Millaa Millaa Falls, framed by lush rainforest and tree ferns. Enjoy lunch at the Malanda Pub, before visiting Mount Hypipamee. Walk through the rainforest on easy pathways. See wildlife around Dinner Falls, including brush turkeys and Boyd’s forest dragon. Visit the giant curtain fig tree, and try your luck at platypus spotting in Yungaburra. Enjoy a last swim at Lake Eacham, before the trip back to Cairns.

From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

7. From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

Board a catamaran in Cairns and set sail towards the idyllic Green Island. Discover the natural beauty of this 600-year-old coral cay in an afternoon and explore the very best of what the island has to offer. You decide how you'll spend your time once you arrive at Green Island. Indulge in a few hours of relaxation and lounge on white sandy beaches or take a self-guided walk through the island's lush forest. If you prefer to stay dry, join a tour of the island's reef on a glass-bottom boat. Feeling more adventurous? Make use of the snorkeling gear provided and view the thriving marine life and reef up close. 

Cairns: 35-Minute Jet Boating Ride

8. Cairns: 35-Minute Jet Boating Ride

Experience a thrilling jet boat adventure on the stunning Trinity Inlet in Cairns. Departing conveniently from the Cairns Marlin Marina, the ride takes you on a 35-minute exploration of the sublime waterway that sits behind Cairns. The boat is specially designed for extreme maneuverability. It can do spins, slides, high speed slides and stunts, so the adventure is a bit like being on a roller-coaster on the water.  The ride is not all about the stunts and tricks that jet boats are famous for. Your Cairns local Skipper will also share some interesting local knowledge with you about the Cairns region and surrounding. The Trinity Inlet is beautiful and is home to some amazing wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled while you are out exploring. When your Captain is not telling you cool info about Cairns, he will be pumping out some great tunes on the boat's amazing sound system, so get ready to enjoy the vibes. Wear sun-safe clothing that you are happy to get wet - it's part of the fun! A locker box is available at the Bad Fishy base to store all of your belongings while you are on the ride. Hats can blow off, so it is recommended to wear sunscreen. On board Bad Fishy there are some sublime cameras taking snaps of all the action - photos can be purchased at the conclusion of your ride.

From Cairns: Daintree Wilderness & Cape Tribulation Bus Tour

9. From Cairns: Daintree Wilderness & Cape Tribulation Bus Tour

On this full-day tour you will discover the beautiful Daintree Rainforest. The remote natural magnificence of Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest is far from the glitz of civilization and brings both awe and peace, a true solace to the soul. Daintree is nature's kingdom, a gem in Australia's crown of natural icons. Here you will find fan palms, Flying Paradise Kingfishers, tree frogs, butterflies of every hue and color, Rainbow Lorikeets, entwining strangler figs, and rampant climbing vines set by crystal streams flowing into a tropical sea. On this tour you will visit the Wildlife Habitat to experience the 5 wildlife environments – the savannah, rainforest, wetlands, nocturnal, and grasslands. Cross the Daintree River on board a cable-driven vehicular ferry. You will travel deep into the Daintree Rainforest to the Cape Tribulation Resort to enjoy a tropical lunch. At Cape Tribulation you can enjoy the dazzling white sand beaches and azure tropical sea and visit Alexandra Lookout to admire the spectacular views of the Daintree River and the Coral Sea. Cruise along the Daintree River among mangroves, impenetrable rainforest jungle, and crocodile-infested waters and enjoy afternoon tea before returning to Cairns.

Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

10. Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

Discover the Chillagoe Caves and the Outback on a tour alongside a licensed local guide. Enjoy striking natural landscapes, lunch at a 100-year-old pub, and learn about Aboriginal culture. Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. After being picked up, ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The first stop is for morning tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation for tea, coffee and a light morning tea snack while enjoying the serenity and views. There is also time to stroll and purchase something from the gift shop if you wish. Then, travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe. Travel out to Chillagoe while listening to the informative commentary by your guide who will share information about the region's wildlife, history, and Aboriginal culture. Explore the Chillagoe-Mungaga Caves National Park with an expert local guide, visit Balancing Rock for an amazing photo opportunity and see and learn about aboriginal rock art. Visit the remains of the once-mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there before heading to an iconic 100-year-old Aussie pub for lunch. After lunch and a visit to the local souvenir shop, head back towards the East Coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where you get up close to the wild rock wallabies who inhabit the area. The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.

Frequently asked questions about Cairns Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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What people are saying about Cairns

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 559 reviews

Great way to see the rainforest and the views of Cairns. Train ride was well done with the commentaries and the slowing of the train for photos. Thanks!

Great tour, awesome tour guide and fun along the way. Water holes were a lovely swim and the scenery just beautiful too see. Highly recommended

Really friendly crew. Such a lovely day. Green Island is just lovely and I definitely recommend snorkelling.

The guide Stu is the best!! He makes everything a big adveture!! I really enjoyed!!

Great experience, amazing views & very informative