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Local Host Picks

Cairns Botanic Gardens

The lush tropical flora of Cairns can’t be beat and a trip to the Cairns Botanic Gardens invites you to explore the beauty of its tropical flowers, trees, and ferns. Home to approximately 4,000 species of plants, you’ll want more than a day to capture it all, which can be easy to do, since admission is free. Buses run to the Botanic gardens from the Cairns city center, departing roughly every 25 minutes.

Wait-a-While Rainforest Tours

Many rainforest animals are nocturnal and difficult to spot during the day. If you’re a little nocturnal yourself, consider one of these tours designed to maximize wildlife encounters. They start at 3:00 pm and end around 11:00 pm.

Fishing Cairns

Cairns is the black marlin capital of the world. Whether you want to reel in one of these giant fish or try your skill against a barracuda or a tiger shark, this outfit can get you to the secret spots.

Cairns Esplanade

Get a taste of local life as well as a little exercise at this Cairns focal point. Go for a morning jog, join families flying kites, or take a swim in the lagoon.

Reef House Day Spa

Visit this spa in the Sebel Reef House Hotel for a little rejuvenation. The Kodo Body Massage—a rhythmic massage using ancient Aboriginal techniques—should do the trick.

Cairns Night Markets

These markets are somewhat of an institution, popular with both locals and visitors alike. Located on the Esplanade, they offer everything from souvenirs, home wares and gifts to tattoos, crocodile skins and pearls. They are open every night from 5 pm and offer casual dining in a well-serviced food court.

Port Douglas

If you find yourself with a free day, Port Douglas, located an hour’s drive north of Cairns, is a lovely place to spend your time. Wander the shops and art galleries, see St. Mary’s by the Sea wooden chapel, or enjoy a drink on the balcony of the Courthouse Hotel or in the uniquely Australian Ironbar.

Cairns Dinner Theatre

Cairns Dinner Theatre is the only interactive dinner show in Cairns and offers great theatrical productions from comedies to musicals ensuring everyone from all ages is having fun. It’s an ideal get together for locals as well as visitors that makes fora very unique evening in the heart of Cairns.