Why Cairns Should Absolutely Be On Your Travel List

During my time here in Australia I knew I wanted to travel as much as possible. It wasn’t a matter of when but where. For some reason I was so stubborn about going to the big cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc.) that I completely forgot about Cairns. Now Cairns is not big by any means but if it’s true what they say that size doesn’t matter then it must be worth a shot! Located in the Tropical North Queensland is little Cairns that is a dream to adventurers and tourists alike. There really is a little something for everyone and every bit is as exciting as the next.

Do Not Miss Places To Go

The Great Barrier Reef

Underwater view at Norman Reef. Part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Honestly one of the most awe inspiring places I have ever seen. I went snorkeling and scuba diving at 2 of the 2,900 individual reefs that encompass the entire reef! Needless to say I HAVE to go back since I barely even scraped the surface. It is going to be a bit pricey to get out there but it is so worth the money. Many excursions offer extra activities on the day trips like helicopter rides, semi-submarines and guided snorkel trips for the curious to learn about what you are actually witnessing.  Click here to learn about my dive experience on the GBR.

Fitzroy Island

A small resort island 45 minutes off the coast of Cairns. If you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy some water activities or looking to get a great view of the mainland and some beautiful reefs then this is the place to be. Fitzroy Island has 4 different hiking trails for all skill levels, 3 beaches to relax and enjoy, 2 reef locations to snorkel at, and 1 awesome water trampoline! Plus a bunch of other fun activities.

This place is not to be missed! Great for a day or head to the island resort to stay a few nights. You can even be extra adventurous and camp next to the beach! If you are up to the challenge head up to the trail to the summit and get beautiful panoramic views of the island. It is stunning! (Travelers tip: if you are going to enjoy the beach make sure you wear shoes since the beach is crushed coral instead of sand.)

Daintree Rainforest

Thought to be the oldest rainforest in the world, the experience you’ll have here is almost magical. Head up to the Mossman Gorge to walk across the suspension bridge. Reward your bravery afterwards with a nice dip into the Mossman River below. Other activities in the rainforest include Crocodile River Cruises, hiking, and looking out for wildlife like koalas, cassowaries, and kangaroos! The Daintree should definitely earn a spot on your to do list.

Palm Cove

If you are looking for a beautiful beach town with that resort life vibe check out Palm Cove. It’s about 45 minutes public transport from Cairns and is the definition of paradise. With the beach lined with quaint, boutique type restaurants and cafes (the fish ‘n chips at Chill Cafe were amazing *pictured below),there is plenty to do here. Take a kayak tour around the nearby island aptly named Double Island, go window (or real) shopping, hire a standup paddle board, or just take a well deserved nap in a hammock on the beach. Whatever you decide to do will be a great choice.

Cairns is absolutely a gem of a town. With a free lagoon right in the middle of town that kids and adults can cool off in, to street performers and tasty food there is something for everyone. If Cairns isn’t on your list of places to go you are doing yourself an injustice.

Have you ever been to Cairns? What was your favorite activity? I’d love to hear your thoughts!




*All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  1. Beri M Anderson

    Oh Katie-Bug, I am simply thrilled that you get to truly ENJOY life daily as you fill your adventurous spirit. A piece of heart travels with you as you walk the beaches, dip your toes in the beautiful colorful ocean and fulfill your traveling dreams!!
    Hugs Aunti Beri


  2. chelseabancroft

    Had so much fun in Cairns with ya! 🙂 Great post!


  3. dainarmb

    Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef has been on my bucket list for YEARS! I’m terrified it won’t be so lively when I finally get around to doing it— was it very bleached when you went? Did you see many fish?

    About Fitzroy Island… what is a water trampoline?! Sounds like a blast! And now Daintree rainforest is most certainly on my list, with that selfie of a wallaby you’ve included.

    Great post! xx


    1. travelingkatiebug

      Oh so glad to hear that the Daintree is now on your list! It was absolutely stunning! If you want the best pictures of roaming wallabies head to the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat. They do amazing work with animals!

      The Great Barrier Reef was amazing! We were the only boat at both reefs we went to so there wasn’t a lot of people to get in the way. There were so many fish, giant clams, and even a shark! There were a few spots where you could tell it was bleached and dead and that was devastating however it was a nice reminder of how delicate the place is. Most of it was intact though.

      Fitzroy island…a water trampoline is possibly the most fun you can have! It’s a giant trampoline floating out in the water. You swim out to it and you can jump on it, off it and just have a blast! Google them and you wont be disappointed!

      I am going to be posting a new post in more detail about my Great Barrier Reef trip soon if you are interested. I’ll have plenty of pictures and inspiration for you! So glad you have so many questions that I could answer for you!


    2. travelingkatiebug

      As promised I just posted a part 2 to my Great Barrier Reef article. I’d love it if you checked it out to get some more inspiration!


    1. travelingkatiebug

      Thanks! I’m excited for this to reach more people! Glad you enjoyed it!


      1. Vikas Acharya

        🙂 i am lucky to found you 🙂 my pleasure


        1. travelingkatiebug

          Just posted a part 2 to my Great Barrier Reef article. Check it out and see if it’s something you are interested in!


          1. Vikas Acharya

            ok let me check it out 🙂 thanks

  4. Tom Feeney

    very nice posting , I know your having the time of your life down there . enjoy every day as much as you can . love ya Dad !


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    […] Recently I wrote about my trip to Cairns and briefly covered my experience at the Great Barrier Reef. I knew right away that I needed to delve deeper into my amazing experience. Never fear, this is where I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about taking a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef and what to expect. To discover more about the rest of my trip to Cairns click here. […]


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    That is the very best search system in the planet


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