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Personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns

By on 12. April 2017

My personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns are very hard to choose, because there are so many things to see. Wonderful day trips, crazy activities in the jungle, relxing spots and much more. Cairns and all the spots around it are definitely a highlight in Australia. The east coast of Australia has heaps of cool spots, but in my opinion Queensland maybe has the best ones. Whatever you do in this beautiful area, you will make great memories for life.


Personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns

Guys, I want to say this from the start: I only wanna tell you about my own personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns in this post. I know there is a lot more to see, but in my opinion there is just no point of telling you something about places, that I have not been to. I only spent a couple days in that area to see the major highlights and to get to know some more unknown spots.

So, I can not claim, that I have been to every cool place in and around Cairns. I mean, I could talk about great sights like Walsh’s Pyramid, Fitzroy Island, etc. and mention them here as one of the top 5 highlights in and around Cairns. But that is almost like lying to me and really I want to keep this blog as authentical as I possibly can.

That said, I still want to mention, that I have seen a couple more cool places, but the following sights are my personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns.

View in Cairns city at the promenade on a cloudy day

Great Barrier Reef

The first thing you need to see when you come to Cairns is the world famous Great Barrier Reef. I did a Great Barrier Reef one day tour to have a look at this master piece of nature. Unfortunately it has been destroyed by pollution and global warming a lot already. But our generation is very lucky to be able to enjoy the rest of the beauty, which still remains.

The Great Barrier Reef is the biggest coral reef on earth and it is a mecca for biologists and scuba divers. You can discover countless of different plants and animals. It almost stretches out over the whole north east of Queensland. You will find many companies, which offer different kind of tours.

It does not really matter, which one you gonna go for. Every single one of them will absolutely blow your mind and you will make memories you’ll never forget. Trust me!

Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef

My first wild turtle

The Great Barrier Reef must be one of the top 5 Highlights in and around Cairns

Daintree Rainforest

The second place I had to put under my personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns is the magical Daintree Rainforest. Why do I say “magical”? Because for me it really was…

The history, the enormous trees, the wet climate, the unique wildlife, the incomparable main spots and so on. Just wonderful!

This rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is one of the oldest forests on earth. It split apart from the Amazons in Brazil millions of years ago and can nowerdays be found north of Cairns. I spent a whole day there with my girlfriend exploring as much as I possibly could. Make sure to have a look at Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation while you are in this area. Otherwise you’ll miss out on something.

Daintree Rainforest is definitely one of the top 5 Highlights in and around Cairns

Me at Mossmann Gorge

Happiness at Cape Tribulation


The third thing I had to put under my personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns are actually more than just one thing, because I just could not decide 🙂

It is basically everything you can see along the whole promenade of Cairns. It starts with the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, which is the perfect spot to relax on a sunny day. Because of the fact that entering the ocean in Cairns is a risk (crocodiles and toxic jelly fish), this might be a very good option.

Besides that, you can have a barbecue at one of the various free barbecue stations. It is a great way to get to know some new people, because many locals and backpackers use these free stations.

Additionally it is just a nice amusement to walk along the promenade, maybe sit down at a cafè and have a look at the beautiful ocean. Many locals do that in the afternoon. The city of Cairns as well as the people are really relaxed and laid back. Just a great place to be at.

Top 5 Highlights in and around Cairns – Nights in Cairns with crazy leaf sizes

The Cairns Lagoon

View at the promenade

Palm Cove & Trinity Beach

I really have to mention Palm Cove and Trinity Beach under my personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns. When you search for things to do in Cairns on the internet, these two places can be found quite often. But when you actually visit them, you won’t see a lot of people. That’s what I liked most about these to beaches. Besides the fact, that they are really beautiful, they can also be considered as a the perfect place to relax and to get away from the busy city life.

You will also find hotels, restaurants and bars at both places, so you don’t have to worry about food or accommodation. Additionally the sunsets at both of these beaches are absolutely gorgeous and it just seems like you are so far away from any civilization. But in reality the city centre of Cairns is just a 30 minute drive away from Palm Cove. Trinity Beach is even closer. Very easy to reach…

I just loved both of these places and in my opinion they are really worth a visit.

Palm Cove beach area

Trinity beach

Trinity Beach area is also one of the top 5 Highlights in and around Cairns

Port Douglas

The last spot I had to put under my personal top 5 highlights in and around Cairns is Port Douglas. This small village is very, very pretty. Back in the days it was known for its gold deposits. Today Port Douglas mainly subsists on tourism, because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Many people also love the pleasent climate and the tropical vibes. It attracts many people from all over the world.

You will find everything you need in this tiny village. Good and cheap accommodation, small cafès/shops, nice restaurants/bars and so much more.

Additionally Port Douglas has a very long white sand beach (Four Mile Beach) and some cool spots to take nice pictures.

My tip: Have a look at it from above. I loved it and I guess you will be very suprised about the beauty you see as well 😉

Port Douglas from above on a cloudy day

Top 5 Highlights in and around Cairns – Port Douglas view point



Want to know more about the red centre of Australia? Read here





Christian "Volle" Vollmert
Hamburg, Germany

I am a german dude, who loves travelling and exciting adventures from bottom of his heart. I want to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Plus I really want to show how much you can learn from traveling and what kind of personal development as a human being comes along with it!


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