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Head up north to visit Cairns and the spectacular natural wonders available at this town’s doorstep. Wedged in between the open ocean and the World Heritage Rainforest, this community serves as a beloved gateway to some of the country’s most stunning treasures.
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Your Cairns Airport Destination Guide
Whether you plan to go trekking through the thriving tropical rainforest, or snorkelling amongst the fish in the Great Barrier Reef, make sure to allow enough time to appreciate everything this oasis has to offer.
We list the top 3 destinations to explore while in Cairns.
Visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
For a country with such a diverse and vibrant landscape, it’s no wonder Australia is home to one of the natural world wonders. The Great Barrier Reef stretches across an impressive 2,300 kilometres of Australia’s eastern coast, filling an area of approximately 344,400 square metres. Thanks to its close proximity to the reefs, Cairns has become one of the most well known points of departure for cruises and tours to reach the this underwater playground.
And there really are many reefs to choose from – over 2,900, in fact. So how to know where to start? Start by researching tour operators such as Quicksilver Cruises or Passions of Paradise. These providers offer the chance to dive among the rainbow coral gardens and vibrantly coloured fish that call the reef home.
Explore the local islands
The Great Barrier Reef is also comprised of over 900 islands, offering a bounty of exploring potential for those with a passion for island hopping. The closest option is Green Island, a coral cay home to Cassius, one of the largest saltwater crocodiles ever recorded in captivity. Don’t worry, the former Guinness World Record holder isn’t just roaming free, but can be found at Marineland Melanesia, along with other local reptiles and marine life.
Otherwise, take the 45-minute high-speed ferry ride to reach the iconic Fitzroy Island, famous for its sugar white beaches, picturesque rain forests and secluded scenery. This particular island also offers opportunities to view the Great Barrier Reef, with snorkelling spots available straight off the beach at Nudey Beach and Welcome Bay.
Immerse yourself in the Daintree Rainforest
This World Heritage destination is a 2-hour drive north of Cairns, but it’s well worth the drive. In fact, we recommend spending a few days here and staying at one of the wilderness lodges on offer to truly appreciate this natural wonder in all its glory.
In few other ecosystems will you find yourself in such a vibrant landscape teeming with life. If you’re lucky, you might even spy the rare tree-dwelling kangaroo or the endangered cassowary. We highly recommend starting with the Aerial Walkway at Daintree Discovery Centre and strolling through the mid-level rainforest to gain a stunning perspective of the forest floor. Otherwise, embark on a casual cruise along the Daintree River to spot the local wildlife, including the infamous saltwater croc.
Cairns truly is the heart of true north Queensland, offering up a smorgasbord of postcard-worthy locations unmatched anywhere else in the country. Come for a week; make memories to last a lifetime. You won’t regret it.
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We have rental car locations all over New Zealand and Australia so no matter where you plan to pick up your car rental or drop off your rental car we will be able to accommodate your needs, our locations are all open 7 days a week and with arrangement offer after-hours Rental car pickups and drop-offs.
New Zealand - Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport, Picton Interislander Ferry Terminal, Queenstown Airport and Dunedin Airport.
Australia - Adelaide Airport, Brisbane Airport, Cairns Airport, Cairns CBD, Gold Coast Airport, Melbourne Airport, Sydney Airport and Perth Airport