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Things To Do In Cairns
Also known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the lively city of Cairns is one of the most coveted tourist destinations in Australia. It really has a whole lot of activities on offer, guaranteeing a wonderful trip to this land down under. We suggest you plan your itinerary according to the things you want to do in Cairns and the experiences you want to take back. Cairns has a lot on offer and every visitor is sure to return with lovely memories. From scuba diving to skydiving for the adventure junkies, turtle spotting to crocodile feeding for the wildlife enthusiasts, a serene sunrise from the hot air balloon to a thrilling mountain biking stint, just take your pick and start planning for your next trip! To Cairns, of course.
Scuba Diving at The Great Barrier Reef
A once in a lifetime experience when you are at the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Take a dive into the coral systems of the Great Barrier Reef and get transported into a beautiful new world of the ocean. Be mesmerised by the beautiful shoals of fish as they swim past you. See some of the beautiful corals close shut as you try to approach them, while others move in tandem with your movements. The dives are supervised by professional divers. You will be allowed to dive solo only if you are a certified diver. Diving suits, masks and eye-gear are all provided on rent.
Hot Air Ballooning
Another beautiful experience would be to see the sunrise on the horizon over the Great Barrier Reef as you soar the skies with your pilot in your hot air balloon. The ride will take you over the Atherton Tablelands where you can spot a wallaby or two as they hop about. The ride areas depend upon the winds during the time of flight and may vary in each ride. On an average, a flight lasts for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Hotel pick-up and drop-off are generally included in the price. On an average, the cost for a Hot Air Balloon Ride is $200 per person. Meals can be availed at an additional cost.
The Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail
The Kuranda Scenic Railway line runs from Cairns to the nearby town of Kuranda. The one and half hour journey includes an English commentary describing the route being taken, its history and the history of the railway line. The journey takes you through the protected area of the Rainforest which is also a World Heritage site. It terminates at the Kuranda Station. All passengers receive a souvenir booklet giving details of the tour, and the surrounding region. If you have booked yourself in the Gold Class, you will also be treated to some drinks and finger foods while on the train. There is also an option of going oneway by the Skyrail which lets you admire the rainforest from high above as you zip down to the ground level. The train and Skyrail run daily except on Christmas day. Tickets are for $115 per person. A Gold Class Ticket would cost you $169 per person.
Mountain Biking through the Rainforests
An activity for all levels of skill and fitness, Cairns has a number of Mountain Biking trails suitable for every rider. These trails explore the Atherton Tablelands, the Beaches and the surrounding rainforest area. Mountain biking is a popular activity in Cairns with the city also being host to a mountain biking world cup and other levels of competition. The city has over 700 km of dedicated mountain biking trails for bikers to experience. Ride Cairns, a mountain biking organisation has a number of tours you can choose from. It also helps you with renting a bike for your journey.
Cairns ZOOM Wildlife Dome
Situated atop the iconic Reeh Hotel Casino, the Cairns ZOOM Wildlife Dome is located right in the centre of Cairns CBD. It is an all-weather open and interactive wildlife exhibit which allows you to interact with native Australian animals from up close. The Dome is a thrilling experience for those who come in looking for adventure and equally enticing for the rest who come in to see the animals up close. You can also engage in Dome Climb which offers a 360o view of Cairns, Power Jump or the all-weather free fall within the dome. Ticket Prices begin from $12 for children and $24 for adults and go up to $75 depending on the pass you purchase.
Skydiving from 15000 Feet
Nothing beats the thrill of taking a jump from 15000 feet in air. The Cairns drop zone has a warm tropical climate, and as you dive downwards, you can see the Trinity inlet, the spectacular Great Barrier Reef and the world heritage rainforest areas. You will take the plunge with their experienced and friendly divers. Rest assured you're in safe hands. Once you’ve battled your fears and taken the plunge, the dive will feel surreal. You can choose to go low at 7000 feet for $199 or go high at 15000 feet for $309.
Turtle and Crocodile Spotting at Green Island
Located 27 km off the shore of Cairns, Green Island is an ideal day tour from the city. It is located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage Area. For a small island, Green Island has a lot to offer. On entering the island you will see lots of shops, a 5-star resort, an ice cream shop, diving facilities and even a swimming pool and a licenced bar. It even has a crocodile farm and a museum. However, the main attraction is spotting turtles in their hatching season as they paddle off into the waters. Indulge in an up-close session with the saltwater crocodiles as you see them being fed from just a few feet away. Do not forget to see Cassius, the world’s biggest Salt Water Crocodile in captivity. Cassius is 5.48 metres in length, over 110 years old and weighs more than a ton.
Discover the Aboriginal Culture
Cairns is home to the Yuin Aboriginal people from the Ngaran Ngaran culture. Take a walk into the Gulaga National Park of the Bega Valley region with D ‘Naja’ Bannon Harrison who had 9 generations of cultural teachings that have been passed on for thousands of years. Or perhaps explore the Daintree Forest with Juan Walker, a Kuku Yalanji tribesman as he takes you through the unexplored parts of the forest and shares his cultural history. If you have about a week in hand, you could also visit Arnhem Land and explore the Yonglu people’s Dhuwa and Yirritja way of life. The week-long experience includes learning their history and even taking part in their daily lifestyle or learning how to make the local handicrafts.