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What To Do In Cairns For A Weekend?

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Roma Doonga
Updated Thu 09 Feb 2023

Are you planning a weekend getaway in Cairns and want to make the most of your trip? We’ve listed all the best ways to spend a weekend in Cairns, just for you. Whether it’s rain or shine, we have selected a few different activities, experiences and highlights you can get involved with, to make your weekend in Cairns full of epic memories. Cairns really does have something for every kind of traveller, whether you’re a couple looking for a luxury stay, a family looking for an adventure-filled weekend or a group of friends excited for a thrill-seeking escape.

Girl walking between palm trees

Top ten weekend activities in Cairns: 

Man playing instrument in front of Cairns Central

Activities in Cairns City

Cairns City is jam-packed with activities to keep you busy during your stay. You can look through the amazing and tropical local produce at Rusty’s market, then head for a picnic at 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! You can also, stop by the Cairns aquarium and see all the marine life that inhabits the Great Barrier Reef. For other Cairns attractions in the city, take a swing in a zipline over Goliath the crocodile at Cairns Zoom and Wildlife dome. Or, if you’re all about a relaxed meander amongst the colourful flora of far North Queensland, take a stroll through the Cairns Botanical gardens, another perfect picnic location.

Two girls in Dive gear

What to do in Cairns for a long weekend?

Day 1

Without a doubt, heading to the reef is at the top of our list when it comes to the best experiences in Cairns. So start your weekend in the best way, and book yourself a tour that suits you. We offer sailboat tours, pontoon tours, and first-time dive tours, as well as luxury Coral Sea catamaran day trips! And if you want a unique reef activity, you can experience the reef at night on our liveaboard overnight tours, take the path less travelled and see the best of the Great Barrier Reef!

Day 2

You must see the oldest living rainforest on planet Earth! Meet tropical wildlife, including various species of birds, bats, snakes, frogs, lizards, tree kangaroos and many more in the Daintree rainforest. Discover the ancient Daintree Rainforest, cruise along Cooper Creek, and explore Cape Tribulation on an exclusive day tour! You can book our reef-to-rainforest package and explore both on-land tropical wildlife and beautiful underwater marine life.

Day 3

If you are lucky enough to have a long weekend and an extra day, you can head to the Atherton tablelands and cool off in the creeks and mesmerising waterfalls. Or you can take the Kuranda rail and visit the wonderful little rainforest village of Kuranda. The Kuranda Village is home to the Barron River, Birdworld and the Butterfly Sanctuary. A perfect way to see all your favourite tropical rainforest animals and insects, up close!

Reef Magic boat

Top Luxury attractions in Cairns

Spirit of Cairns Dinner cruise

Enjoy sunset sailing while cruising across the Trinity inlet, while you indulge in a delicious buffet under the stars. With an air-conditioned interior and a fully licensed bar, this dinner cruise is perfect for all occasions. 2.5 hours of taking in the sights and sounds of Tropical North Queensland as you experience the spirit of Cairns tonight!

Cairns Balloon Ride

Soar the skies and look over the surrounding rolling hills whilst floating above the Atherton Tablelands. This 30-minute balloon ride offers an unforgettable experience and unique views of Australia. Pick-up is available at all Cairns accommodations and hotels, and a 1-hour transfer will have you floating up from Mareeba in no time!

Cairns Scenic Flights

Fly over the Great Barrier Reef with GSL Cairns Reef Hopper. For 40-minutes, you'll get unbeatable views of Green Island, Cairns, Palm Cove and the many unique reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. With guaranteed window seats, you won’t miss a thing! A memorable and luxurious activity in Cairns, not to be missed during your jam-packed weekend!

Our team of Cairns locals are here to personalise your weekend in tropical paradise... exploring Cairns has never been so simple, affordable and seamless.

Call us on +61 (07) 4082 7470, live chat with a travel agent instantly or come into our Cairns Shop with any questions or to book your next adventure! 

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