Lush rainforests. Birds singing. Rolling mountains. Sugarcane fields. Cairns is a beautiful place! We road tripped here from Townsville and it was certainly a pleasant drive. The weather was not on our side with spots of rain and full cloud coverage, but I’m the type of gal who loves both sunshine and rainy days. As a young couple who likes adventure, history and nature, these are our top picks for Cairns! An excellent list if you only have a short time here.
Take a walk along Mamu Tropical Skywalk
This gorgeous rainforest walk is about an hour and a half south of Cairns in a world heritage rainforest. This sacred land is in the traditional country of the MaMu Aboriginal people who welcome you to their country and ask that you visit respectfully. Even with the rain and clouds, this walk was so tranquil. From the forest floors up high to the canopy to see the lush rolling mountains of forest and the North Johnstone River gorge below. We loved going on a rainy day as it was quiet and peaceful with less tourists!
Explore the history of Paronella Park
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this park, so was pleasantly surprised with the history and beauty of this place. It felt like we had discovered some ancient ruins by a beautiful waterfall. You could almost imagine how people would have lived during this time in history. Situated an hour and a half south of Cairns, this lush park was built and open to the public in 1935 by José Paronella. José migrated to Cairns in 1911 from Spain, created wealth from sugarcane and had a dream to build a beautiful park for the public to enjoy. He was a pioneer of his time, creating a hydroelectric generating plant which was commissioned in 1933, the earliest in North Queensland and supplied power to the entire plant. He didn’t listen to the naysayers who told him his dreams were impossible and in 1935 the park was open to the public with a movie theatre, tennis courts and ballroom. I won’t give too much away as the tour of this place will enlighten you on his story and is well worth the visit!
Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
My dad recommended this one, so with great enthusiasm my husband and I joined our local friends for a day sightseeing the forest! As with the rest of our time in Cairns, we didn’t pick the clearest day, so instead of gorgeous Cairns landscape we ascended into the cloud coverage of the mountains. Not your most traditional view on the Skyrail, but you know what, it did make for a fun adventure into clouds! The Skyrail will set you back about $53AUD each (for one way) and stops along the way so you can get out and see the sights of Cairns. If you pick a day like us, you’ll see mist covering the landscape and Barron Falls. When you get to the end, there’s a scenic train and markets to walk around!
Take a walk around Kuranda markets, food stalls and mini golf
At the end of your amazing Skyrail journey you can take a walk around Kuranda. Market stalls seem to never end as you make your way through and down towards the mini golf. A lot of amazing food options await you, after you take a bite to eat, have a round of mini golf whilst listening to the lovely local music and surrounded by the lush greenery and trees.
Escape the Riddle Room in Cairns City!
If you love puzzles and problem solving and can work as a team, you need to go to the Riddle Room! Josh and I are OBSESSED with escape rooms. It is now always on the agenda to find escape rooms in the cities we visit! If you’re anything like us, you will love the challenge of figuring out little puzzles and clues to get out of the room before the time is up. Check it out and make sure you’re refreshed and had a good night’s sleep so you’re brain is ready for the action.
We hope you enjoy Cairns just as much as Josh and I did! Happy travels ♥