(07) 4082 7470

What To Do In Cairns For A Day?

Author Image
Roma Doonga
Updated Thu 09 Feb 2023

So, you’re planning a day in Cairns, but you’re unsure what to do? Luckily, you have come to the right place! We’ve listed all the best ways to spend a day in Cairns. Whether it’s rain or shine, we have selected a few different activities, tours and adventures you can get involved with, to make your day in Cairns the most memorable. Whether you’re chasing a day of diving, a magical rainforest adventure, a thrill-seeking escape, or a backpacker-friendly experience, Cairns really does have something for every kind of traveller.

Turtle underwater in coral

Spend your day at the reef 

The biggest highlight in Cairns is a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef, and there are plenty of different ways to see this natural wonder. You can visit the reef from a catamaran, from a glass-bottom boat or even straight off an island. Whichever you choose, you’ll be spending your day swimming around the corals, floating over giant clams and tropical fishes. Don’t miss out on your chance to catch sight of a turtle; the Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of turtle!

Two girls pointing up into rainforest

Spend your day in the rainforest 

If you don’t fancy a swim, why not immerse yourself in the oldest living rainforest on planet Earth?! This magical place is located North of Cairns and is home to thousands of plant, animal and insect species, stretching from Mossman Gorge to Cape Tribulation. This rainforest is home to the second largest bird in the world, the cassowary, an endangered and protected species with distinct and colourful features. Visit this bio-diverse part of Tropical North Queensland, it does not disappoint.

Tully Rafting aerial shot

A day in Cairns for the daredevils among us

Our thrill-seeking and adrenaline tours are the best ways to create an unforgettable day trip in Cairns. Plunge, dive, jump or glide your way into a thrilling experience. Choose to spend your day skydiving, bungee jumping or floating across the tablelands in a hot air balloon - this is where you’ll find the most exhilarating day trips for all the daredevils among us.

Girl looking at a sign from Hartley's Crocodile Adventure

What to do on a rainy day in Cairns?

Occasionally it does rain in the wet tropics but, don’t let this stop you from enjoying Cairns. Even when the sun isn’t shining, there is still so much to see, do and explore. Top rainy-day activities would be hopping aboard a crocodile tour, a visit to the Cairns aquarium or taking part in thrill-seeking activities like the Barron River Rafting. Even if it rains in Cairns, the temperature usually remains warm, so pack your raincoat and enjoy a rainy day in Cairns.

Sign in Cairns pointing to various locations

What to do for a day in Cairns City?

If you need to stick to the city, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy. Start your morning looking through the amazing and tropical local produce of Rusty’s market. Pick up everything you need for a picnic and head to the Cairns Esplanade for lunch. BBQ facilities are on-site, and for the extra hot days, you can take a dip in the Cairns Lagoon! Or stop by the Cairns aquarium and see all the wonderful underwater creatures. For adventure in the city, take a swing in a zipline over Goliath the crocodile at Cairns Zoom and Wildlife dome. If you’re all about a relaxed meander amongst the colourful flora of far North Queensland, take a stroll through the Cairns Botanical gardens.

Unforgettable adventures await, so let us help you plan your time in Cairns!
Live chat with a team member or call us on (07) 4082 7470 for expert local advice and deals!

Click To Chat


  • Can answer all your Cairns questions
  • We will build you exclusive packages to save you money
  • Available by email or chat 24/7

Quick Enquiry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.