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Viewing Points

Our most recommended Cairns Viewing Points

Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

1. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

Explore the village of Kuranda in a pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

2. Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

Drive to the Skyrail Smithfield Terminal, where a representative will check you in and issue you with the Kuranda Boarding Pass. This includes a detailed itinerary with a time schedule, as well as your Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Cableway tickets. Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and enjoy an unforgettable journey through the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, stopping along the way to explore. Once you arrive in Kuranda, you'll have free time to see this unique village. Use the discount vouchers on your Kuranda Boarding Pass, or visit the heritage markets. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can purchase refreshments.  Return to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Admire the views as the train winds its way from Kuranda to Freshwater Station, passing spectacular waterfalls and through Barron Gorge. Disembark at Freshwater Station to board the bus back to your car at the Skyrail terminal.

Cairns: Outer Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

3. Cairns: Outer Edges of The Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

Take in the full spectacle of the Great Barrier Reef from the sky during a scenic flight from Cairns. Onboard a fixed-wing plane, see up to 140 kilometers of the Outer Barrier as well as many inner islands, reefs, and sand isles. Within 10 minutes of departing Cairns, the real adventure begins, as you get wonderful photo opportunities over Green Island, Oyster Reef, Vlasoff Cay, Upolo Reef, Pixie Reef, and Arlington Reef. Sit back in air-conditioned comfort as you glide through the sky. Take in the spectacular hues of green and blue from your window seat while listening to the pilot's informative commentary about the sights below. Get a chance to spot marine life with manta rays, green turtles, dugongs, sharks, and, if in season, whales, in clear view from the aircraft.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

4. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 2 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks and refreshments can be purchased.

From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

5. From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

Start your day with a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, winding through tunnels and over bridges on this magnificent journey, passing Stoney Creek and Barron Falls. Once in Kuranda, you will travel to Rainforestation Nature Park via shuttle. Explore the rainforest on a 6-wheel drive World War II Army Duck amphibious vehicle over land and water. Your experienced duck driver will help you search for wildlife and teach you about the plants and trees that make up the surrounding rainforest. After your tour, you can sample exotic fruits and locally made ice cream at a Tropical Treats fruit orchard.  Then, take the shuttle bus from Rainforestation Nature Park to Kuranda Village. Once in the village, you have free time to explore the markets and shops. At the end of your day, you will travel back to Cairns via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over a pristine rainforest with the canopy just meters beneath you. It is recommend you spend time at the two stations en route: Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Stations. Upon arrival in Cairns, you will be transferred back to your accommodation. 

Cairns: Reef Flight, Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Rail Combo

6. Cairns: Reef Flight, Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Rail Combo

On this full-day excursion, you'll see the best of the Great Barrier Reef on this 40-minute scenic flight in a high wing aircraft. You'll see Cairns, Green Island, Arlington Reef, Upolu Reef, Double Island and Palm Cove. After exploring the reef, you’ll head back toward the mainland with views of the North Queensland coastline. With window seats guaranteed, take in the stunning views as your professional pilot provides you with expert commentary along the way. After your scenic flight, you'll be taken to ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, where you'll soar above 7.5 kilometers of pristine rainforest canopy in a cable car. Visit the beautiful town of Kuranda, nestled in the pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. You'll have 2.5-hours of free time to explore the eclectic village, local markets, shops and walking trails or sit back and enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many amazing food stalls or cafes that the town has to offer.  Take the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at the views of the surrounding mountains along the way. Rising from sea level to 328 meters, the journey to Kuranda passes spectacular waterfalls and then will take you into the stunning Barron Gorge. At the end of your day, make your way back to your accommodation. Alternatively, transfers can be booked during check-in at Skyrail Smithfield Station for an additional cost of $11.50 per adult. Your combo will also include a free transfer courtesy bus from your centrally located Cairns accommodation.

Cairns: Paronella Park Ticket

7. Cairns: Paronella Park Ticket

Allow a minimum of 3-hours to experience the wonder of Paronella Park. All you need is to purchase your Paronella Park ticket, and then you have the choice to join the following tours if you wish. Alternatively, you can walk around as you please. Paronella Park is open every day, from 09:00 until 19:00. Step back in time and be amazed by the ingenuity and determination shown by one man with a dream. Today, Paronella Park is a celebration of the Paronella family's achievements, particularly those of its founder, José Paronella. Paronella Park has something for everyone. Fantastic photo opportunities, remarkable architecture, an incredible story, 5 acres of tropical gardens, a fully restored and operational 1930s hydroelectric generator, wildlife and fish feeding, a boutique caravan and camping grounds, a café with fresh local produce and much more. You will arrive not knowing what to expect, and depart with memories you will cherish forever. You can join in the following ways, as you wish: - The Dream Continues Tour: A 35 minute guided walk takes the visitor through the highlights of the park and tells the story of José Paronella’s dreams and vision. Departs every 30 minutes from 09:30 until 16:30 - The Darkness Falls Tour: You will be shown the secrets and delights of Paronella Park at night - a special way to extend the Paronella Park experience. 18:15 each night. Duration is approximately 45 minutes

Paronella Park, Lake Barrine, and Milla Milla Falls Day Tour

8. Paronella Park, Lake Barrine, and Milla Milla Falls Day Tour

Departure from Cairns, we head south travelling past Walsh’s Pyramid, one of the largest naturally formed pyramids in the world. Here your guide will stop so you can grab a photo of this unique North Queensland landmark. Now it’s time to travel up the World Heritage listed Gillies Highway climbing 730 metres above sea level whilst enjoying the breathtaking views over the Goldsborough Valley. Just before the top of the amazing Gillies Range is a short photo opportunity at the Heales Lookout before heading into the gorgeous Atherton Tablelands. Our first stop is beautiful World Heritage Listed Lake Barrine Crater Lake National Park. On arrival, your tour guide will take you on a short walk to visit the 1000-year-old Twin Kauri Pines, true giants of the rainforest. Enjoy a Wonderful Devonshire Morning Tea, before we depart and head to the historical town of Yungaburra. This beautiful village is recognised as having the most Nationally Listed Heritage buildings in Queensland. Here your guide will take you on a driving tour around this quaint town showcasing the many Nationally Heritage buildings. Next stop is The Curtain Fig Tree located in the Curtain Fig Tree National Park. This amazing feat of nature reaching 45+ metres up into the tropical rainforest canopy. Here your guide will guide you around on the boardwalk interpreting the amazing formation of this 600-800-year old epiphyte while also looking out for endemic wildlife species in the rainforest canopy, like the rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo. From here, we will head through the historical dairy town of Malanda, home to Australia’s oldest continuously running commercial picture theatre. Your guide will drive you around this charming town showcasing the beautiful old pub & theatre. Travelling through extensive beef, dairy, sugar cane & other diverse types of farming areas, we arrive at Millaa Millaa Falls – one of Australia’s most photographed waterfalls. Here you will have an option of swimming under the cool waters falling 20 metres over an ancient volcanic lava flow formed over 1 million years ago or you can sit back, relax & enjoy the tranquility of nature. Now it’s time to descend from the mountains down the Palmerstone Highway through sugar cane & banana fields to the coastal town of Innisfail, where we enjoy our delicious Lunch. Paronella Park is the next destination with a 45-minute guided tour in English, Chinese or Japanese. The tour will guide you through the extensive National Trust Gardens while learning the rich history of Hose Paronella’s wonderful achievements & his colourful history of how he built his Spanish Castle in the rainforest; you will have amazing photo opportunities of the breathtaking Mena Creek & Theresa falls & much more. We spend approx 2.5 hours here allowing plenty of free time to enjoy the rest of the park at a leisurely pace after the guided walk. We then make our way back to Cairns.

Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

9. Chillagoe Caves and Outback from Cairns Full-Day Tour

Discover the Chillagoe Caves and the Outback on a tour alongside a licensed local guide. Enjoy striking natural landscapes, lunch at a 100-year-old pub, and learn about Aboriginal culture. Your naturalist guide will meet you at your accommodation in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. After being picked up, ascend the McAllister Ranges and head west through Mareeba embarking on a remarkable journey back to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The first stop is for morning tea at Skybury Coffee Plantation for tea, coffee and a light morning tea snack while enjoying the serenity and views. There is also time to stroll and purchase something from the gift shop if you wish. Then, travel through historical towns and rolling hills rich in minerals eventually giving way to towering limestone karsts scattered around Chillagoe. Travel out to Chillagoe while listening to the informative commentary by your guide who will share information about the region's wildlife, history, and Aboriginal culture. Explore the Chillagoe-Mungaga Caves National Park with an expert local guide, visit Balancing Rock for an amazing photo opportunity and see and learn about aboriginal rock art. Visit the remains of the once-mighty smelters to ponder what it was like working there before heading to an iconic 100-year-old Aussie pub for lunch. After lunch and a visit to the local souvenir shop, head back towards the East Coast, stopping at Granite Gorge where you get up close to the wild rock wallabies who inhabit the area. The tour then returns down the range to Cairns.

Cairns: 35-Minute Jet Boating Ride

10. Cairns: 35-Minute Jet Boating Ride

Experience a thrilling jet boat adventure on the stunning Trinity Inlet in Cairns. Departing conveniently from the Cairns Marlin Marina, the ride takes you on a 35-minute exploration of the sublime waterway that sits behind Cairns. The boat is specially designed for extreme maneuverability. It can do spins, slides, high speed slides and stunts, so the adventure is a bit like being on a roller-coaster on the water.  The ride is not all about the stunts and tricks that jet boats are famous for. Your Cairns local Skipper will also share some interesting local knowledge with you about the Cairns region and surrounding. The Trinity Inlet is beautiful and is home to some amazing wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled while you are out exploring. When your Captain is not telling you cool info about Cairns, he will be pumping out some great tunes on the boat's amazing sound system, so get ready to enjoy the vibes. Wear sun-safe clothing that you are happy to get wet - it's part of the fun! A locker box is available at the Bad Fishy base to store all of your belongings while you are on the ride. Hats can blow off, so it is recommended to wear sunscreen. On board Bad Fishy there are some sublime cameras taking snaps of all the action - photos can be purchased at the conclusion of your ride.

Frequently asked questions about Cairns Viewing Points

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What people are saying about Cairns

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 854 reviews

This is a great day out to the wonderful village of Kuranda! The train trip on the way up was wonderful but the trip back on the Skyrail was even better. Plenty of restaurants, shops and markets in Kuranda so take your time and enjoy them.

Fantastic from start to finish. Magnificent scenery. Kuranda markets were amazing and there here plenty of them. Make sure you visit when they are on - not always so busy there. Lovely township.

Amazing!! The day was perfect the scenery was incredible and the staff were superb. They looked after us and were very informative about what we were seeing. Loved it!

Great day out the sky rail and the train are must doo as on a beautiful day the scenery is amazing.

Beautiful experience. Value for money. One of the things that shouldnt be missed when in cairns.