Visit the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

It is a place of non-stop fun, a town seemingly tailored to the spirit of backpackers.

From early morning hot-air balloon rides to late-night drinks at the bar wondering how in the world you’re going to be able to describe the beauty you saw under the water that very afternoon.

Cairns is filled with hundreds of like-minded travellers like yourself and acts as the perfect base for you to explore the regions of North Queensland.

So you’ve landed in Cairns, the breeze is warm, and a bit humid and no matter where you had just come from it is different here!.

Getting around town isn’t difficult, the pace of the city is relaxed, and no one is in a rush.

Buses are a great way to reach the Northern Beaches which we will discuss in detail a little later, but walking is the best and most straightforward way to make your way around town.

The happening place is on the Esplanade and the streets just behind it, and when you are not busy floating above the Great Barrier Reef or exploring the Daintree Rainforest, this is the place to relax and recharge.

Soak in even more sun at the Lagoon, a swimming pool surrounded by sand and grass, the perfect hang out spot for a breather and maybe even a sneaky nap under the trees.

A tropical getaway with a modern city

Strolling around you won’t struggle to find things to do with advertisements and tours facilities on every corner.

But luckily for you, you need to look no further than the other pages on this site for the best information on those tours.

But for now, we will stick to the easy stuff around the town.

So you have finished that book you have been reading, and you’re ready for a little fun.

Buses depart regularly to the Northern Beaches, a stunning 26 km stretch of pristine white sand including Trinity Beach and Palm Cove.

Find yourself a private patch of sand and look out into the vast ocean or mingle with other backpackers for a great day out.

A little closer to town is the Botanic Gardens, and if you are having your walking legs strapped on, the Red Arrow Walk waits.

This beautiful rainforest walk stretches up a hill from which you can see Green Island.

If you’re keen, keep walking and complete the Blue Arrow Walk, which is three hours return.

It has been a long day full of activity as any trip to Cairns should be, you have returned from white water rafter down by one of the rivers or from a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands and Cape Tribulation.

Easy, there are two cheap options if you are not keen to head to the many restaurants that are around town. Why not head to one of the twelve free BBQs on the Esplanade, pick up some food on the way and cook up a feast with your mates.

Alternatively, you can stake out the Night Markets which run daily and are undercover, so no need to hide indoors if the heavens open.

Along with many food stalls, there is also a food court to give you that extra energy to check out the rest of the market’s artwork and other stands.

The great thing about Cairns is aside from being a perfect base to explore what the Tropics have to offer is that as a small tourist town, everything you need is on your doorstep.

So when the markets are winding down and another night of possibilities is upon you, it is barely a stroll to find the town’s hottest night-life.

Cairns does spoil the backpackers with great options, but Gilligan’s and the Woolshed are the stands out places for a big night out in Cairns.

From cheap beer to themed nights and great music no night will be like the last and as they are all just a few streets back from the Esplanade getting there is easy, as simple as making new mates over a few too many drinks.

It might be the end of a long journey up the east coast or the beginning of an Aussie adventure.

As a reasonably small town, no trip will ever be like another.

Walking around the Esplanade could lead you to try one of the many oceanside restaurants at the Cairns Marina, or wandering the back streets you could stumble into Rusty’s Market.

Here you will find fresh produce for your lonely backpacker’s fridge.

Cairns is a simple place but with a fantastic atmosphere created by like-minded travellers.

During the day you have all the time in the world to discover, and the long nights provide a high end to yet another adventure-packed day.