The 2 Best Boat Rides in Cairns And The Tropical North

Cairns and the tropical north of Australia are known for their stunning natural beauty and unique biodiversity. And what better way to explore this region than through a boat tour or cruise? From snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef to cruising along the Daintree River, there are countless ways to experience the wonders of this region’s marine life and landscapes. In this post, we’ve rounded up some of the best boat tours and cruises in Cairns and the tropical north, so you can start planning your next adventure on the water. Get ready to explore the beauty of this region and make unforgettable memories on your next boat tour or cruise.

The 2 Best Boat Rides in Cairns And The Tropical North

  1. Small Group Cairns City Tour With Optional Green Island Cruise
  2. Small Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour With Dinner Cruise

The 2 Best Boat Rides in Cairns And The Tropical North

1. Small Group Cairns City Tour With Optional Green Island Cruise

If you’re visiting Cairns for the first time and want a full and varied sightseeing experience, this 5.5-hour tour is perfect for you. Join a small group of up to 20 people and explore the city’s top attractions, including the beautiful Flecker Botanical Gardens and St Monica’s Cathedral – home to the world’s largest peace-themed stained-glass window. You’ll have the chance to enjoy a delicious Devonshire afternoon tea and take in the stunning views from the jetty at Palm Cove before walking through the Lower Barron Gorge National Park. If you want to really make the most of your time in Cairns, upgrade your experience to include a 2-hour morning cruise to Green Island in the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef marine park. This tour offers an excellent introduction to the tropical north of Queensland and is ideal for those with limited time.

2. Small Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour With Dinner Cruise

Explore the beautiful city of Cairns with a local guide on this Small Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour With Dinner Cruise. You will be picked up from your Cairns City or Northern Beaches hotel and taken to famous spots such as Flecker Botanical Gardens, Lower Barron Gorge, Palm Cove and St Monica’s. Enjoy an afternoon tea at Flecker Botanic Gardens while taking in the beauty of nature. After that, head to a scenic lookout and appreciate the breathtaking views. Later, board the luxurious Spirit of Cairns catamaran for a 3-course dinner and live entertainment. The cruise sails through Trinity Inlet, providing a stunning backdrop to your meal. The price of afternoon tea is included in the tour, as well as gratuities, air-conditioned transportation and hotel drop-off. You also have the option of requesting pick up from your hotel, whatever is more convenient for you. Don’t miss out on the chance to see Cairns’ highlights with this comprehensive tour and dinner cruise.

Exploring Cairns and The Tropical North: Your Top FAQs Answered

Cairns and The Tropical North region in Australia is a stunning destination that attracts visitors from all around the world. With its mesmerizing natural beauty, unique wildlife, thrilling adventures, and rich culture, the region is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Tourists often have many questions about Cairns and The Tropical North before planning their trip. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions to help make your planning process easier.

1. When is the best time to visit Cairns and The Tropical North?

The best time to visit Cairns and The Tropical North is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. During this time, the temperature is pleasant, skies are clear, and rain is rare. However, keep in mind that this is the peak season, so prices can be higher, and attractions can be crowded. If you prefer to avoid the crowds and high prices, consider visiting during the off-season, i.e., November to April. Although it is the rainy season, you will still have many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the region as long as you pack a raincoat and waterproof shoes.

2. What are the must-see attractions in Cairns and The Tropical North?

There is no shortage of must-see attractions in Cairns and The Tropical North. Here are some of our top picks:

The Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and it’s no wonder why. This stunning natural wonder is the world’s largest coral reef system and offers a chance to see diverse marine life up close. You can explore the Great Barrier Reef through a variety of activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat tours.

Kuranda Village

Located in the lush rainforest near Cairns, Kuranda Village is a must-see destination that offers a unique experience of heritage markets, art galleries, and scenic views. You can get to the village via the Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site. Here you can find unique flora and fauna, including the prehistoric Cassowary bird and the endangered tree kangaroo. You can explore the rainforest by taking walking tours or river cruises.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

If you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up the sun, the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is the perfect place. It’s a 4800 square meter saltwater swimming lagoon that is free to the public and surrounded by parklands, picnic tables and barbeque facilities. Plus, it has lifeguards on duty, so it’s a safe spot for swimming.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is dedicated to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Tjapukai people. Here you can experience interactive performances, art demonstrations, and bush food experiences. It’s an excellent way to learn about the rich Aboriginal culture of the region.

3. What are the best activities to do in Cairns and The Tropical North?

The region offers an array of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Some of the best activities include:

White Water Rafting

The Barron River in Cairns is famous for its white water, making it perfect for adrenaline junkies looking for a thrilling experience. You can take a half-day or full-day white water rafting trip that suits your level of experience.

Bungee Jumping and Giant Jungle Swing

AJ Hackett Cairns is one of the best places for bungee jumping and giant jungle swings. You can enjoy a freefall from a height of 50 meters or swing from 45 meters at an exhilarating speed of 120 km/h.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands in Cairns is the perfect way to start your day. You can witness the stunning views of the sunrise over the lush greenery and rolling hills.

Wildlife Experiences

The Tropical North region is home to many unique wildlife experiences. You can see crocodiles up close at the Crocodile Park in Port Douglas or take a scenic wildlife cruise along the Daintree River to spot species like saltwater crocodiles, colorful birds, and snakes.

Hiking and Walking Trails

The region has many hiking and walking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and coastal areas. Some of the popular trails include Crystal Cascades, Atherton Tablelands, and the Mossman Gorge.

4. What is the best way to get around Cairns and The Tropical North?

The best way to get around Cairns and The Tropical North is by car. You can rent a car from the Cairns Airport or from various rental companies in Cairns. Some of the rental companies also offer pick-up and drop-off services at your accommodation.Alternatively, you can use the public transport system that includes buses and trains. The Cairns Sunbus operates several bus routes in the city, and TransLink runs trains and buses throughout the region.Another popular way to explore the region is by taking a guided tour that provides transport and tour guide services in one package.

5. What are the best places to stay in Cairns and The Tropical North?

The region offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Some of the best places to stay include:

Luxury Resorts

If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, there are many high-end resorts in the region that offer stunning views, private beaches, and spa treatments. Some of the best options include the Shangri-La Hotel, Cairns and the Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa.

Hotels and Motels

There are many chain hotels and motels in Cairns that offer comfortable and affordable stays. Some of the popular options include the Hilton Cairns, the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, and the Mantra Trilogy Cairns.

Hostels and Backpackers

If you’re a budget traveler, there are many hostels and backpacker accommodations that offer clean and affordable stays. Some of the popular options include the Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel and Resort, the YHA Cairns Central, and the Cairns Central YHA.

How to spend your time as a tourist in Cairns and The Tropical North

Cairns and The Tropical North is an incredibly diverse area in Australia, filled with natural attractions and vibrant local communities. With so many things to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan your itinerary. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step breakdown of some of the best activities and places to visit in Cairns and The Tropical North.

1. Explore The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s natural wonders and a must-see attraction when visiting Cairns and The Tropical North. There are plenty of companies that offer tours to the reef, where you can snorkel or scuba dive among the colorful array of marine life. One highly-recommended option is the Quicksilver tour. This tour gives you the chance to experience the natural wonder from a semi-submersible in addition to the usual snorkeling and diving.

2. Take a trip to the Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can take a guided tour or explore it on your own. Be sure to visit the Mossman Gorge, where you can swim in crystal clear water beneath waterfalls or take a guided tour of the rainforest canopy.

3. Visit Kuranda Village

Kuranda Village is a quaint mountain village that can be reached by train from Cairns. It is home to a variety of local artisans and markets selling hand-crafted goods, as well as a butterfly sanctuary and a wildlife zoo. The Skyrail cableway which passes over the rainforest canopy, giving you stunning views of the forest canopy beneath.

4. Discover The Atherton Tablelands

The Atherton Tablelands are a diverse region consisting of rolling hills, rainforest, and waterfalls. Take a scenic drive through the region and explore local towns like Yungaburra, where you can visit the famous Curtain Fig Tree. Don’t miss the Millaa Millaa Falls, which are a stunning sight to behold.

5. Relax on Palm Cove Beach

Palm Cove Beach is just 30 minutes north of Cairns and is a perfect place to spend a lazy day on the beach. The beach is lined with palm trees and some excellent restaurants, cafes and bars, offering an intimate but relaxed atmosphere.

6. Go white water rafting on the Tully River

The Tully River is one of the most popular rafting destinations in Australia. A number of operators offer white water rafting trips down the river. The river is suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. It provides a thrilling adventure on the rapids while offering stunning views of the surrounding environments.

7. Explore The Cairns Esplanade

The Cairns Esplanade is a vibrant boardwalk in the heart of the city that overlooks the ocean. It provides a perfect vantage point to take in the scenic views or even have a picnic with the family. There are a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from along the boardwalk.

8. Walk around The Cairns Botanical Gardens

The Cairns Botanical Garden is a 38-hectare garden filled with tropical flowers and plants from across the world. It’s an excellent place to take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic with family and friends. There are also free guided tours running frequently.


Cairns and The Tropical North is an incredibly diverse area to visit, and there are so many things to see and do. We hope this guide provides you with some inspiration for what to do when visiting. With attractions ranging from snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef to quiet beaches at Palm Cove and adrenaline-filled white water rafting on the Tully River, it’s the perfect destination for everyone.

The 2 Best Boat Rides in Cairns And The Tropical North