5 best things to do in Cairns and Port Douglas

Tropical North Queensland is one of the most naturally beautiful parts of Australia. With a strong cultural heritage, both rainforest and barrier reef and the friendly, laid-back tropical vibe we love taking our travellers on our 5-day tour to Cairns and Port Douglas. Here are a few of our favourite places to visit in North Queensland.

1. The Great Barrier Reef

Without a doubt, the top draw to the region is the chance to access The Great Barrier Reef, the largest living thing that can be found on earth. Visiting responsibly should be your top priority as continuous damage and industry is putting a strain on the reef and tragically damaging many parts of it beyond repair.

The clear waters, impressive marine-life and tiny sand-bars that can be found throughout the reef are simply breathtaking. For our tours, we opt to depart from Port Douglas where an array of boats offer a whole host of activities from snorkelling and scuba-diving to helicopter tours.

2. Mossman Gorge & The Daintree

The Daintree Rainforest is one of the most incredible places on this planet and is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest in Australia. While there are multiple access points to the park, the Mossman Gorge is a truly special place.

Here we join a the  Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks which are led by the local Indigenous community and allow for a fantastic insight into the stories, traditions and uses of many of the natural elements that can still be found in the rainforest.

3. Aboriginal Art

It wouldn’t be right to venture to Tropical North Queensland and not at least visit an Aboriginal art gallery. The incredible and usually intricate patterns created, many still using traditional paint made from natural materials, adorn the walls of galleries across the region with Port Douglas offering many shops to browse and purchase. Many images tell a story and if the artist is available to meet in the gallery, we highly recommend taking the time to discuss their collection.

We like to go one further though and offer our travellers a one-hour art workshop with our good friend Binna who owns a fantastic gallery just outside of Port Douglas full of his own impressive collection.

Discover the best of Nadi and Denarau Island on our 5-day tour

4. Cairns Botanic Garden

The Botanic Gardens in Cairns are located not far from the city centre and provide a tranquil place to enjoy a walk and witness some unique wildlife. This is one of the three stops we make on our Cairns highlights tour which allows our travellers time to wander freely through the well-manicured gardens.  The Flecker Botanical gardens contain over 38 hectares of Australian plants and thanks to the dedicated team here they provide a perfect chance to see some plants that can not be found anywhere else on the planet.

Daintree Rainforest

5. Hit up the beaches

You can’t come to Queensland and miss out on an ice-cream on the sand. Our personal favourite beach that we always buy our travellers a cold one at is Palm Cove, a beautiful bay with, you guessed, palm trees lining the coast. There are so many beaches along Queensland’s coast but be sure to check if it’s safe to swim depending on the time of year.

Discover more about Queensland in our destination guide

queensland tour