Cairns Self Drive Attractions

Self Drive Attractions in Cairns
Cairns Self Drive Attractions Cairns LagoonCairns AquariumMuddy's Playground & CafeBehana Gorge Centenery LakesCairns MuseumCairns EsplanadeTobruk Pool & FlowriderCairns ZoomCrystal CascadesCairns Regional GalleryCairns Rainforest DomeCairns Botanic GardensCairns MarketsJosephine FallsMossman GorgeThe Mamu Tropical SkywalkStoney CreekSugarworld WaterparkCairns Wildlife ParksCairns Wake ParkCopperlode Dam & Lake MorrisThe Waterfall CircuitDavies Creek National Park

Cairns Self Drive Attractions

Cairns Lagoon

Cairns offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. From free and self-drive attractions to guided tours, Cairns has something for everyone. With proper planning, you can make the most of your Cairns holiday and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

Cairns City Council is committed to providing tourists with exceptional facilities that cater to their needs. There are numerous free and self-drive attractions that you can explore at your own pace. If you have your own vehicle, you can visit a variety of natural attractions that Cairns has to offer. From stunning waterfalls to breathtaking rainforests, there's something for everyone in Cairns.

In the evening this small cosmopolitan centre offers the residents and visitors a choice of over 100 restaurants. With an abundance of fresh seafood, exotic tropical fruits and the piquant flavours of native Australian cuisine, dining out is always a great experience.

Cairns Lagoon

Cairns Lagoon

The Cairns Lagoon is available to anyone visiting the city. This 4800sq m saltwater swimming facility is located in the heart of Cairns City and offers a safe swimming location. The Lagoon is filled with saltwater from the Trinity Inlet, which is filtered through a state-of-the-art filtration system.

Cairns Lagoon is open all year round, providing the perfect location to cool off in the heat of summer or take a refreshing dip in the cooler months. The Lagoon is open Thursday to Tuesday from 6.00am to 9.00pm, and on Wednesdays from 12.00pm to 9.00pm (closed for weekly maintenance until midday). Public holidays are no exception, with the Lagoon open from 6.00am to 9.00pm.

Entry to the Lagoon is free. Toilet and shower facilities are located in the amenities block alongside the Lagoon.

Lifeguards are on duty while the Lagoon is open, providing an extra level of safety and security for visitors. Wheelchair access is also available, with assistance provided by the lifeguards if required.

Cairns Aquarium

Cairns Aquarium

Cairns Aquarium is Australia’s newest and most spectacular aquarium.

Follow the journey of a drop of rain as it descends from the mountain ranges down into rivers and streams, through the rainforest, across the mangroves, into the shallows of the reef and finally into the depths of the Coral Sea.

Travel through ten amazing North Queensland ecosystems with over 70 different habitats showcasing the stunning diversity of the species from two world heritage listed areas – the wet tropics rainforest and the great barrier reef. Guests will have guaranteed interaction with the spectacular beauty of over 15,000 aquatic animals without the need to get wet or even leave the city!

Pass Inclusions

  • All day admission to Cairns Aquarium
  • 10 Tropical North Queensland eco systems and 71 habitats
  • River Monsters, Denizens of the Deep, Life of Sharks & Rays and Curious & Coloured Presentations
  • Habitat Talks, Animal Feeds and Terrestrial & Marine Encounter Touch Tanks

​Hours of operation
Open 7 days 10am-3pm (Last admission at 2pm)

Cairns City Location
The Cairns Aquarium is located in the very heart of Cairns, there are many ways of getting to the Aquarium: you can walk, bike, bus, or drive to the facility with ease. 5 Florence St Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Muddy's Playground & Cafe

Muddy's Playground Cairns

Muddy's Playground is located on the Cairns Esplanade and is open every day of the year from 9.00am and 7.00pm (including public holidays and weekends).

Muddy's is a large modern, splash playground and parkland. It incorporates interactive and educational facilities with a combination of play equipment.

Muddy's Playground is themed "Life in Trinity Bay" and the playground includes water play areas plus a flying fox, sound chimes, track ride, rope bridge, slides, mouse wheels, play houses, story telling areas, see-saw, trick track and puzzle games.

Please note that the disabled-use Liberty Swing uses the MLAK national keying system. For access please ask at Muddy's Cafe.

Muddy's has two toilet facilities, one at the north end of Muddy's near the cafe, and one at the southern end of Muddy's.

There are barbecues and picnic tables, an events lawn to accommodate visiting attractions and an on-site cafe.

Behana Gorge

Behana Gorge Cairns

Behana Gorge is about 30 minutes drive south of Cairns, and well worth a visit if you have your own transport. Head south from Cairns on the Bruce Highway past Gordonvale. Keep driving along the Bruce Highway and about 5km past the turn-off to the Gillies Highway (there is a petrol station at this intersection) turn right onto Behana Gorge Rd. If you go over the Behana Creek Bridge you have gone too far. I just look out for the line of about five coconut trees on the Behana Gorge Rd near the turn-off. This long access road will take you past cane fields and finally into the unsealed car park at the end. You will see a walking track running along a large water pipe. This is the track.

During the drive you will pass a local mountain called the Pyramid. It is also possible to walk up the Pyramid and we do have an annual run up this mountain however it is not as peaceful as other mountain walks and there is not a beautiful swimming hole reward at the end of this walk. The views, however, are spectacular.

The Behana Gorge walk takes about 45 minutes each way, and you will need to possess moderate fitness to complete some of the hilly climbs. The walk is sealed however is not accessible to vehicles but is a great mountain biking track.

Do not be discouraged, however, as this walk will lead you past swimming holes, breathtaking views over rapidly raging water and finally to a stunning waterfall running into a deep granite gorge.

Behana Gorge actually supplies some of the regions’s water and is always running, even in the dry season.

Make sure you bring your swimsuit, as paddling in the crisp cool waters of the waterfall is a must. At the end of the walk there is an ideal area to have lunch and great rocks to jump off.

For those seeking adventure, there is ample opportunity to free climb the granite cliffs and take an exhilarating leap into the frosty waters, or simply take an enjoying slide down one of the more gentle waterfalls (depending on season, good judgement a must). Be very carefull as the water can be strong and dangerous after rain.

During the summer months it is best to start early in the morning to avoid walking in the heat of the day. Walking in the shade is much more pleasant.

As with all National Parks in North Queensland, no dogs are allowed.

We hope you love Behana Gorge. It is a pristine and spectacular day trip and a local secret.

Centenery Lakes

Centenery Lakes Playground

The Centenary Lakes are connected to the Flecker Botanic Gardens by a low lying boardwalk through a pristine swamp forest and melaleuca wetlands. The Freshwater Lake here has birds, turtles and many waterlillies and the gardens here have a picnic pavillion and facilities making it the perfect spot for a family picnic.

There is also a Saltwater Lake on the other eastern side of the park where you can see mangrove habitats including mud skippers, crabs, saltwater fish and mangrove birds.

You can walk from this side of the Centenary Lakes along the timber boardwalk to the Flecker Botanical Gardens.
The Centenary Lakes are connected to the Flecker Botanic Gardens by a low lying boardwalk through a pristine swamp forest and melaleuca wetlands.

The Freshwater Lake here has birds, turtles and many waterlillies and the gardens here have a picnic pavillion and facilities making it the perfect spot for a family picnic.
There is also a Saltwater Lake on the other eastern side of the park where you can see mangrove habitats including mud skippers, crabs, saltwater fish and mangrove birds.
You can walk from this side of the Centenary Lakes along the timber boardwalk to the Flecker Botanical Gardens.

Nature Playground
A children’s playground with a difference, the Nature Play space encourages children to interact with nature; to explore and learn about their surroundings.

It integrates creative play elements with the natural lakeside environment. Features include dinosaur bones to uncover, ropes to climb, play huts to build, a fairy garden, rope climb, tunnels and a digging patch, as well as new pathways, bubblers, irrigation, signage and CCTV.

The nature play concept supports unstructured outdoor play, which has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s cognitive and physical development. It focuses on enjoying the outdoors and exploring the simple wonders of the surroundings.

The playground uses the nature-based play concept and includes:

  • Balance logs
  • Rocks for climbing, jumping and hopping
  • A "dinosaur" skeleton hiding in a sand pit
  • A fairy garden
  • Rope climb, tunnels and a digging patch
  • Plants known for their bright colours, smells and textures to encourage sensory play

Cairns Museum

Cairns Museum

For only $5/adult and $2/school child or $12 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children under 17 the Cairns Musuem is almost free. We would love you to support the Cairns Historial Society and Museum.

The Cairns Museum located on the corner of Sheilds and Lake St presents a history of Cairns and District in static and pictorial displays. Beginning with our Aboriginal and Islander beginnings, the Chinese influence and early timber, mining and agricultural industries, the displays touch on every period of our development from foundation to the present day.

Maritime and railway historical items are presented on the spacious verandahs, while displays reflecting our domestic artifacts, the impact of European culture and local Aboriginal history are presented in the main showrooms.A representation of an early Chinese Joss House is an important feature.

A range of Society publications and monthly bulletins are available for sale at the counter and a video outlining the attractions of Cairns and District is constantly displayed for the enjoyment of visitors. The Cairns Museum is fully airconditioned.

Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Visit the Cairns Museum website for more information:

There is also a museum gift shop that aids the running of the Cairns Museum. The shop carries a range of tourist souveniers, travel books, videos, maps and postcards.

Cairns Esplanade

Cairns Esplanade

The Cairns Esplanade is one of the most interesting birdwatching spots in north-eastern Australia and very easy to access from most hotels located in the city area...
The Cairns Esplanade runs from the famous Cairns swimming lagoon down to the mangroves at the Northern end. It is 3 km long and is family fun and fitness heaven. Ideal for roller blading, bike riding, jogging or just a very pleasant stroll. [Cairns Esplanade Markets]

At the Northern end there is a playground for younger children and picnic BBQ area with seating. This is a very popular place for childrens parties however in Summer there can be sand flies this far down due to the mangroves. It is not necessary to pre-book BBQ's but we do advise you to get there early if you are planning a party.

Walking south from here towards the city there are a number of sculptures by local artists. Roland Nancarrow 'Windblown Leaves' was inspired by abstract forms of our native local rainforest fan palm. Kevin Mayo created 'Horizon Line' inspired by dancing figures that cast interesting shadows and appear to change with the water and light reflections. My personal favourite is Dominic Johns 'Telescopus' that is a very large shell like sculpture created by this mosaic artist. It is positioned close to the Floriana Guesthouse and the Cairns Base Hospital.
You will also notice that many of the homes along this stretch are still intact which is excellent, however I expect as Cairns continues to develop some more of these lovely old Queenslander style homes will disappear.

The Esplanade is planted with trees and some have been dedicated to important members of the community and also in memory of people passed. There is lighting right along the boardwalk. It has become a very popular locals exercise area in the mornings and is an excellent promenade for families in the late afternoon.

The Skate park is extremely popular with the local big and little kids and is the biggest skatepark in Australia. It has a clover bowl with hips and pockets, a half pip whip section and snakes, walls and intersecting paths. You don't have to be an expert to have a go but I think it is best to have some moves up your sleeve as the kids using this park have some brilliant manouvres and look very fit.

The Volleyball courts are an excellent way to enjoy some time with friends and is a great place to hang out especially for Backpackers (closed every Wednesday until 2pm for maintenance).
Muddy's Playground caters for children from 1 years to 10 years with a number of different types of playground equipment from little toddler rides and interactive sculptures right through to quite challenging pyramids. There is a cafe here so there is no need to bring a picnic if you are on holidays (closed on Tuesday mornings until midday however the council endeavours to have at least 50% of the playground available during this time).

The Lagoon swimming pool is 4800 square metres and is the perfect option for year round safe and warm swimming. There are sandy edges for building sand castles and playing in shallow water. There is also one side of the lagoon that has timber decking, moderate shade and deeper water. The Lagoons open every day of the year from 6am to 10pm from October to March and from 7am to 9pm from April to September (Every Wednesday the pool is closed for maintenance until 12pm).

It is not possible to swim in the beach in front of the Cairns Esplanade or in the beach in front of the Lagoon. When the tide goes out you will notice that this is mud flats and you will get stuck in this very sticky mud so please do not attempt to swim here.

Tobruk Pool & Flowrider

Tobruk Pool & Flowrider

Tobruk Memorial swimming pool is located at 370 Sheridan Street, North Cairns. This is at the Northern end of the Cairns Esplanade towards Sheridan St. If you arrived by plane you will have passed it on your way into the city. This is the original Cairns Swimming Pool and has showers, change rooms, broad lawns for relaxing and established trees.

Facilities include

  • 50m swimming pool
  • 25m heated pool (heated in winter only)
  • 18m children's wading pool
  • Flow Rider

Flow Rider
Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, test your skill on the Tobruk Flowrider and experience endless surfing fun. Flow boarding is a hybrid board sport, combining the skill of snowboarding, skating and surfing.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Thursday, 5.30am - 8.00pm
  • Friday, 5.30am - 7.00pm
  • Saturday, 6.30am - 5.00pm
  • Sunday, 8.00am - 5.00pm

Cairns Zoom

Cairns Zoom

The Cairns Zoom is the world's first Challenge Ropes Course in a wildlife immersion exhibit, situated in the heart of Cairns City. Test your strength and bravery on more than sixty-five different crossings over two height levels, encompassing a climbing wall, log bridges, tunnels, swinging beer kegs, skateboards, seesaws, cargo nets and more.

Crystal Cascades

Crystal Cascades

Crystal Cascades is only a 20 minute drive from Cairns city. Drive to the suburb of Redlynch and follow the signs along the road that point to “Crystal Cascades”. This swimming spot is ideal for families as the walk into the Cascades is short and suitable for prams and small children. There are picnic and toilet facilities. You could make a day of it, or, this activity is also highly recommended as a short activity if you are looking for something to do but do not have a whole day. Especially if it's a hot afternoon.

Located only 15 minutes from Cairns city, Crystal Cascades is a short, scenic walk which follows a concrete path along the rainforest creek past a multitude of rapids, rockpools and waterfalls. Take care when swimming here or jumping from rocks.
A series of small freshwater waterfalls hidden away in the rainforest make up the Cascades. The waterfalls runs over smooth natural rock waterslides into deep swimming holes. The area is surrounded by tall rocky boulders and greenery. Crisp clean water makes for a safe and refreshing swim, especially in summer when it is unsafe to swim at the beaches due to stingers.

Dowah Creek is located at the southern end of the Crystal Cascades carpark. The trail begins as a rough track over boulders and vegetation. Located on the eastern side of Dowah Creek the trail is a short 15 minutes, ending peacefully at a small pool and waterfall. This is an ideal spot to relax and take in the tropical surroundings.

Crystal Cascades is only a 20 minute drive from Cairns city. Drive to the suburb of Redlynch and follow the signs along the road that point to “Crystal Cascades”. This swimming spot is ideal for families as the walk into the Cascades is short and suitable for prams and small children. There are picnic and toilet facilities. You could make a day of it, or, this activity is also highly recommended as a short activity if you are looking for something to do but do not have a whole day. Especially if it's a hot afternoon.

Located only 15 minutes from Cairns city, Crystal Cascades is a short, scenic walk which follows a concrete path along the rainforest creek past a multitude of rapids, rockpools and waterfalls. Take care when swimming here or jumping from rocks.

A series of small freshwater waterfalls hidden away in the rainforest make up the Cascades. The waterfalls runs over smooth natural rock waterslides into deep swimming holes. The area is surrounded by tall rocky boulders and greenery. Crisp clean water makes for a safe and refreshing swim, especially in summer when it is unsafe to swim at the beaches due to stingers.

Dowah Creek is located at the southern end of the Crystal Cascades carpark. The trail begins as a rough track over boulders and vegetation. Located on the eastern side of Dowah Creek the trail is a short 15 minutes, ending peacefully at a small pool and waterfall. This is an ideal spot to relax and take in the tropical surroundings.

Cairns Regional Gallery

Cairns Regional Gallery

Cairns Regional Gallery is Far North Queensland's only visual art museum and in 2005 it celebrates it's 10th Birthday: a decade of documenting and presenting history, heritage and contemporary culture of this vast and distinctive region of Australia and the world through the visual arts, craft and design.

Housed in a refurbished heritage building in central Cairns, the Gallery incorporates four individual exhibition spaces inside the building, showcasing an average of 30 exhibitions per year, and featuring the work of national and international artists, with a strong focus on local and indigenous works of art.

[Cairns Art Gallery] The Gallery is also accompanied by a stylish gift shop and café. The Gallery Shop has a wide range of functional, artistic, local and designer gifts at a variety of prices, the Gallery Shop can make finding that perfect gift an enjoyable journey.

Located at the front of the Gallery is the highly acclaimed café, Perrotta's. Discover the tantalising flavours, superb beverages and excellent service the local food critics rave about, it is the perfect way to conclude and relax after your visit to the Gallery.

Exhibitions change every four to eight weeks ensuring there will be something new to see every time you visit, with displays ranging from paintings, to sculpture, installations, photography and prints. A stimulating program of workshops, lectures and special events are held regularly to compliment these exhibitions.
Cairns Regional Gallery is a limited liability and non-profit organisation, and is a controlled and funded entity of Cairns City Council.

This dynamic public art museum was officially opened on 15 July 1995. In recent years the Gallery has strengthened its role as a leader in cultural tourism, recognised by winning the Tropical North Queensland Heritage & Cultural Tourism Award in 2002 & 2003 and a finalist in 2004.

Cairns Regional Gallery is a non-profit organization listed on the National Register of Cultural Gifts Organisations. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

It is the dynamic combination of the region's cultural diversity, tourism and the distance from Australia's capital cities that sets Cairns, and the Cairns Regional Gallery, apart from other regional arts centres.

Disabled Access, Disabled Restrooms, Parents Room, Reading Room, Guided Tours (by appointment), practical Artist Workshops and Fine Art Classes (by booking only), Gallery Shop, Café

Opening Hours:
Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun& Public Holidays 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Street Address:
Cnr of Abbott & Shields Streets, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 4870

Cairns Rainforest Dome

Cairns Rainforest Dome

The Rainforest Dome is located in 20 metre high glass dome on top of the Reef Hotel Casino. Here you will see the huge saltwater crocodile "Goliath" in his unique pen with an underwater glass viewing tank. The Rainforest Dome also houses many other native animals including fresh water crocodiles, turtles, frogs, snakes, koalas and many free flying birds all in a very well presented rainforest environment.
The Rainforest Dome is open 7 days from 8am - 6pm. Access is via the lifts in the casino lobby.

Cairns Botanic Gardens

Cairns Botanical Gardens

Originating as a recreational reserve in 1886, the Flecker Botanic Gardens were established in 1971. Today the gardens are managed by the Cairns City Council and encompass an area of 38 hectares which includes a wide variety of native and exotic flora. Attractions include an Aboriginal plant use garden, a rainforest boardwalk, the Gondwanan Heritage Trail, a fernery, an orchid house, fresh and saltwater lakes, and the Mt. Whitfield cultural and historical trail. The area is divided up into three sections - the main gardens on Collins Avenue, Mt. Whitfield Conservation Park, and Centenary Lakes.

The Botanic Gardens are approximately four kilometres north of Cairns City Centre. Take the Captain Cook Highway (Sheridan Street) north, make a left turn onto Collins Avenue.

Cairns Markets

Cairns Night Markets

There are excellent Markets in North Queensland which all sell a combination of local art and craft, locally grown exotic fruit, vegies, flowers and souvenirs.

The Cairns Night Markets are probably the most popular markets and have cheap phonecall/internet stalls, a wide variety of products including fake tatoos and glass blowing. Open nightly from 4:30pm on the Cairns esplande behind the main foodcourt and many outdoor cafes.

Many Cairns locals do their weekly shop at the Cairns City Rusty's Markets for Fruit and Vegies on Friday and Saturdays. There are some craft stalls but this is a brilliant place for fresh juice and wholefoods. Great spot for photos and people watching. It is between Spence and Sheilds Sts on Grafton St.

The Cairns Esplanade Market is on every Saturday between 8am and 5pm. Here you will find local quality stalls selling contemporary jewellery, woodcraft, leather work, pottery, airbrush tattoos, clothes, skincare and massage stalls.

In the City Place there are always a couple of market stalls from Monday to Friday.

On the last sunday of the month between 9am -2pm, April and November visit the Tanks Arts Centre Market Day. Here you will find local art, craft, produce & lifestyle stalls. Local entertainers and arts-based kids workshops are all here. Take a wander through the art gallery. This is a popular local market where you can enjoy the ambience of our Cultural precinct. This year the dates are May 27th, June 24th, July 29th, September 2nd, September 30th, October 28th and November 25th.

Each Sunday morning for over 20 years Port Douglas has come alive with the renowned 'Port Douglas Sunday Market'. Here you will find locally made hand crafted goods of every description. Hire a care and take the scenic one hour drive north of Cairns to this pretty coastal town.

The Kuranda Markets are open daily. There is locally made icecream and honey along with all the typical market fare. When participating in the Kuranda Train and Skyrail daytrip you will have free time in Kuranda to explore the markets here. The original bottom markets behind the Honey House are still open and the Heritage Markets are across from this. Also nearby are the interesting attractions including Birdworld, Butterfly Sanctuary and Reptile and Koala animal exhibits.

The Yungaburra Markets on the Atherton Tablelands are on the Fourth Saturday of each month. This market runs from 7.30am to 12.30pm and sells fresh flowers, home made crafts, local wines, clothing and fresh produce. Yungaburra is a typical pretty Queensland historic town. If you happen to be in North Queensland on the fourth Saturday we recommend this is an excellent addition to your itinerary.

Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls is located 75km south of Cairns. The turn off is 2 km south of Mirriwinni on the Bruce Highway. The sealed road drive into the falls is 8 km.

This pretty waterfall is fed by rains falling on Queensland's highest mountain, Bartle Frere, which looms above this popular picnic spot. Picnic tables, a shelter shed, a coin-operated gas barbecue and toilets are provided in the picnic area near the carpark.
You can view the falls by taking a short walk through the rainforest on an 800m walking track. The walking track leads from the carpark to a viewing platform at the base of the falls.

Josephine Falls has a fabulous natural slide that is very popular. The water is crystal clear and refreshingly cold.
Be aware!! If you notice the water starting to rise or notice a change in the water colour this indicates flash flooding. At this stage leave the water immediately. The water can become a raging torrent if there is rain in the higher catchment area. Flash flooding happens here.
Josephine Falls is the start point for the walk to Broken Nose ( 8 hours ) and to summit Bartle Frere ( allow 2 days )

Camping is not permitted at Josephine Falls. Camping permits are required for 'hike in' camping sites in Wooroonooran National Park.
Birdwatching and wildlife watching is another popular pastime here. Lists of common birds and other animals are available from the Ranger.

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is one of the most visited spots in the Wet Tropics. Part of the Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge National Park provides a nice, easy and accessible introduction to the tropical rainforest.

This is a great location to cool down in the crystal clear waters running down from the Tablelands.

Lush rainforests cloak steep mountainsides from the riverbanks up to the rugged eastern slopes of the Main Coast Range, and crystal clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge. Embark on your own adventure through the Gorge. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy by one of the many swimming holes.

Mossman Gorge Centre
Entry to Mossman Gorge is via the Mossman Gorge Centre. An Eco Shuttle Bus departs every 15 minutes and is around $8.90/adult, $4.45/child and $22.25/family. 0-4 years Free. This is a new indigenous eco tourism development with a cafe and art gallery. Mossman Gorge Centre Opening Hours are 8am - 5.45pm 7 days per week excluding Christmas Day. Ample free parking is provided.

The crystal-clear water of the Mossman River cascading over granite boulders forms watering holes surrounded by lush green rainforest. These sheltered retreats offer the perfect location for a refreshing and invigorating dip to break up your walk through the Gorge. Float away in the tranquil surroundings and take the time to appreciate nature at its best.

Self guided Walks
There are two circuit tracks. A short, 400m track provides access to lookouts over the Mossman River. Beyond this is a 2.7km loop track through the rainforest. These can be self-guided.

Self guided River circuit track – 400m return (10minutes) Grade: Easy
This easy circuit track starts at the shuttle bus stop (original car park) and runs alongside the Mossman River, returning through the forest. To extend your walk, you can continue on to the Mossman River lookout and further on to the Rainforest circuit track via the Rex Creek suspension bridge and the Manjal Dimbi lookout.

Self guided Rainforest circuit track – 2.7km return (1 hour) Grade: Easy
This 2.7km loop track is accessed from the river circuit track via a suspension bridge over Rex Creek. There are views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi) plus an access point to Wurumbu Creek. Signs provide information on rainforest plants and their uses by the Kuku Yalanji people for food, medicine and materials.

Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks
The local indigenous community operates Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Walks through the ancient Daintree forest on community land. These are called Ngadiku (Nar-di-gul) meaning strories and legends from a long time ago in local Kuku Yalanji language. Journey along private, easy graded tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites, past traditional bark shelters and over meandering cool rainforest streams.

You are welcomed with a traditional ‘smoking’ ceremony that cleanses and wards off bad spirits. The walk then meanders through stunning rainforest and takes in traditional huts or humpies. Your experienced interpretive Indigenous guide demonstrates traditional plant use, identify bush food sources and provide an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and their special relationship with this unique tropical environment. A stop at ‘the Beach’, gives you the opportunity for a refreshing swim in this water hole, where your guide demonstrates traditions like making bush soaps and ochre painting. At the end of the tour enjoy traditional bush tea and damper.


  • Traditional smoking ceremony
  • Visit a sacred ceremony site
  • Stories of the Kuku Yalanji culture and traditions
  • Experienced Indigenous guides
  • Intimate group tour (max 15 guests)
  • Exclusive access to Kuku Yalanji land
  • Bush tea and damper
  • Soap & ochre paint making demonstration

Approx 1.5 hours

Getting There:
From Cairns, travel north for 80km along the Cook Highway to Mossman. In the centre of Mossman turn left into Johnston Road. This 5km bitumen road leads directly to the Mossman Gorge car park. Please drive slowly and with particular care when passing the Mossman Gorge Aboriginal Community on your way to the park.

The Mamu Tropical Skywalk

The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway

Experience the exhilaration of being high in the rainforest canopy, and enjoy spectacular views of the North Johnstone River gorge.

The Mamu Tropical Skywalk was completed in August 2008 and is located in Wooroonooran National Park, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The Walkway is about 90 minutes drive from Cairns and 30 minutes from Innisfail.
The Mamu rainforest walkway offers a unique experience. Visitors will get close to rainforest plants and animals, from the forest floor to the forest canopy. They will also enjoy sweeping vistas of World Heritage-listed landscapes. Information signs will help visitors to understand the rich cultural history of the area and the complex web of rainforest life.

The site is on the escarpment of the North Johnstone River gorge, offering spectacular views over a sharp bend in the river and beyond to rainforest-clad mountains. The entire area has cultural significance for the MaMu Aboriginal people.
Walkway features 1km forest walk at ground level, leading to the elevated walkway a 324m elevated walkway, high in the canopy of this lush tropical rainforest a 40m-long cantilever and a 37m-high observation tower with two viewing decks, providing spectacular views over the North Johnstone River gorge and surrounding Wet Tropics World Heritage Area seats, information signs and artworks in shelters along the forest walk and on the elevated walkway an entry building, office building, toilets, bus shelter and a combined bus and carpark.

From the entry building, which is a short walk from the carpark, visitors stroll along the ground-level forest walk to the elevated walkway. This gives you a first close-up look at this rich tropical rainforest, part of one of the largest remaining continuous stands of complex vine forest on basalt soils. The walking track is an easy walk, suitable for wheelchairs and visitors with vision-impairment.

Visitors arrive at a shelter with seats and information signs. From the shelter a 40m-long cantilevered structure rises gently as the ground drops away steeply, providing visitors with their first experience of the rainforest canopy. At the end, a viewing platform offers a magnificent view of the valley below, featuring a sharp bend in the North Johnstone River. Visitors then return to the shelter and continue along the forest walk to the start of the elevated walkway.
Elevated walkway

The elevated walkway meanders through the rainforest canopy. Along the way visitors are able to view rainforest plants and animals at close quarters and gain tantalising glimpses of the river valley far below. Two small shelters provide rest areas and three linking sections will offer the choice to leave the elevated walkway and return to the ground-level forest walk, where two shelters provide seats and information signs.

At the end of the elevated walkway a short section of the forest walk brings visitors to the final information and rest shelter. From here a short elevated walkway will lead to the lower viewing deck of the 37m-high observation tower. The top of the tower is reached by an external stairway (not accessible for wheelchairs) and provides visitors with spectacular, uninterrupted vistas of the North Johnstone River gorge and surrounding landscapes. Information signs help visitors to learn more about this landscape.

Wheelchair accessibility
The ground-level walk and the elevated walkway (but not the upper deck of the observation tower) is accessible for wheelchairs with assistance, strollers, and people with impaired vision or mobility.

Stoney Creek

Stoney Creek Cairns

Stoney Creek is hidden away at the lower section of Barron Gorge National Park. This is a wonderful little walk through pristine rainforest along the beautiful, cascading Stoney Creek. The track is easy enough for children to negotiate, so bring the whole family, a picnic hamper and your swimming gear.

You will cross over a little bridge at the commencement of the walk. Make sure you wear good walking gear as the first 50 metres of the track is quite rough and rocky. After this initial climb, the track becomes flat, and a leisurely-paced stroll will take you to the waterfall at the end of the track within half an hour. Along the way, you will find numerous freshwater swimming pools, some shallow and some deep. Ancient trees and and vines hang over the track, making this a very cool and shady spot during hot summer days. Stoney Creek itself is a perfectly safe place to swim, unlike further downstream where it joins the Barron River - where crocodiles have been sighted.

At the end of the track, you will come to a glorious waterfall. It is actually possible to climb further than this, and if you do, make sure you bring lots of water. Most people just admire the waterfall, spend an afternoon swimming, and return back along the same trail.

Getting There
Stoney Creek can be accessed from Cairns. Drive 15km along the Brinsmead–Kamerunga Road. Turn left into Stoney Creek Rd. Go straight through the first and second roundabouts until you reach the end of the road, where you will come to a sign that states you are about to enter the Barron Gorge National Park. You will find a well-marked track that takes you along Stoney Creek.

Sugarworld Waterpark

Sugarworld Waterpark

Sugarworld Waterpark is a fun family activity while in Cairns. Located just a 20-minute drive from Cairns in Edmonton. Sugarworld Waterpark is easily accessible by car or bus from Cairns city, southern suburbs, and northern suburbs.

Sugarworld Waterpark offers a range of attractions that cater to visitors of all ages. From thrilling waterslides to splash pads for the little ones, there's something for everyone. The water park has a variety of pools that offer both shallow and deep ends, making it ideal for all swimming abilities.

Getting There

Located in Edmonton, Sugarworld Waterpark is conveniently accessible by car or bus from Cairns city and its suburbs. If you're driving, the water park offers ample free parking on-site. Alternatively, the water park is also accessible by bus from Cairns city, with regular services available throughout the day.

Address: Hambledon Drive Edmonton (10km south of Cairns) Far North Queensland, Australia.
Phone: (07) 4055 5477

Cairns Wildlife Parks

Cairns Wildlife Parks

The are a number of native wildlife parks accessible from Cairns. These are a great option for a half day experience or can be packaged with other day trips.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventure Park
Hartley's Crocodile Adventure Park is one of the longest established wildlife attractions in Far North Queensland. It is also one of the first places in Australia to hold crocodile shows and is renowned for presenting ‘the Best Crocodile Show in Australia’. The Park is not only home to hundreds of crocodiles but also Koalas, Kangaroos, Cassowaries, Dingoes, snakes, reptiles and other species native to Australia.
The newly constructed park is situated at Hartley’s Creek on the magnificent Cook Highway, a coastal road running between Cairns and Port Douglas.

Birdworld (Kuranda)
At Birdworld you will see the largest collection of free-flying birds in Australia. See the spectacular birds at home in their huge flight aviary, landscaped with lakes, ponds and waterfalls. There are more than 75 species and over 500 native and exotic birds including Regent Bowerbirds, parrots and the increasingly rare Cassowary. Hand feeding opportunities are available and remember to bring your camera!

Butterfly Sanctuary (Kuranda)
At the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary more than 1500 colourful tropical butterflies - all residents of the local area - flutter around their enclosure in complete safety.
This is Australias‘s largest live butterfly display. In a lushly landscaped enclosure with running stream and native tropical plants, literally hundreds of brilliantly coloured butterflies will surround you, including the flashing, dancing electric-blue Ulysses, regarded by many as the unofficial emblem of Tropical North Queensland. Wear something bright (either red or white) and entice the butterflies to land on you!

Koala Gardens (Kuranda)
The Kuranda Koala Gardens gives you the opportunity to see some of Australia's most unique wildlife up close. See wombats, koalas, fresh water crocodiles, meet some water monitors, kangaroos and a variety

Cairns Wake Park

Cairns Wake Park

Tropical Queensland’s one and only Cable Water Ski park and one of only four parks in Australia, opened it’s doors for business in the middle of 2005.
Waterskiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding- anyone can do it.

Cairns Wake Park offers a unique watersport experience to young and old. Beginner to Advanced can have fun and a sense of achievement through a well designed and safe activity. Various equipment is provided, ranging from beginners’ kneeboards to the more advanced wakeboards and water skis for the extreme wakeboarder and waterskier.

The main building hosts the Administration Offices, the Pro Shop and a Kiosk. An open view terrace with chairs and tables invite you to relax and let the day go by.
A beach with umbrellas and sunlounges, a BBQ area and a small swimming lagoon for our young visitors contribute to the inviting atmosphere.

Three years in the making, it took entrepreneurial skills and strong visionary skills to transform canefields in a flood plain area into a water ski park of the calibre of Cable Ski Cairns.
The lake itself is man made, its water level is maintained by rainwater and in the dry season by natural springs.

Located at the bottom of the Kuranda Range in Smithfield, situated next to two of North Queensland’s major Tourist attractions, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Tjapukai Aboriginal Park, Cable Ski Cairns is surrounded by mountains and rainforest, which adds to its unique atmosphere.

Easily accessible by car or local transport, the Cable Ski Park is on the main route to Cairns’ Northern Beaches and Port Douglas.
Cable Ski Cairns is just north of Cairns CBD, only 5 km from the domestic and international airport and easily accessed via the Captain Cook Highway.

Cairns Wake Park is located 15 minutes drive north of Cairns City next to the Skyrail Station.
You don't need experience to try cable skiing. Children 10 years and over are welcome to have a go. This is a great introduction to water skiing for beginners.

Copperlode Dam & Lake Morris

Copperlode Dam & Lake Morris

Copperlode Dam or Lake Morris is located 20 minutes drive west from Cairns City. Head west along Reservoir Rd. heading towards Brinsmead, turn off at the tourist information sign "Copperlode Dam" 16 km. Follow Lake Morris Rd. up the mountains. The road climbs along the face of Whitfield Range and passes through various types of landscape including pristine rainforest.

Vehicle size limits apply on this road (no caravans or coaches). Always be aware of cyclists. This is a very popular cycling route with the local cycling community and we have a 'share the road' policy in North Queensland.
There is an excellent lookout on the way up the mountain with spectacular 180 degree views of Cairns City & Inlet.

Once at Lake Morris you will find a beautiful lake within a lush rainforest setting. Facilities open 7 days a week from 8am to 6pm. The kiosk is open from Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 3pm. Take a picnic or use the gas and wood BBQ's. There are rainforest walks, disabled access toilets and picnic grounds. You will also find a coffee shop and information display and viewing deck. Ideal for a family picnic.

Boating and swimming in the dam are prohibited as the water is for human consumption.

This beautiful dam is a freshwater reservoir servicing the city of Cairns. The dam was completed in 1976 at an approximate cost of $6,400,000. Additional water supply is now provided from Behana Creek with investigations into another water supply for Cairns' increasing population in progress.

The Waterfall Circuit

Nandroya Falls

Millaa Millaa You will be pleased you remembered your camera when you arrive at Millaa Millaa Falls, one of the most photographed images in the Wet Tropics. There is a short walking track from the car park downstream, or you can view the falls directly opposite from your car in the main viewing area. Millaa Millaa is a popular swimming spot for locals and tour groups alike. You may see the Ulysses Butterfly and Platypus late in the afternoon. There are many iridescent dragonflies that may stay still long enough for you to be able to take a photo of them. Barbecue and picnic facilities are available. [Millaa Millaa Falls from Cairns]

Zillie falls is located 7.5km past Millaa Millaa falls. These falls are best seen from below. There is a walking track to the creek bed. From the car park you can also take a short walk across the road and through some forest to a viewing platform where you will see a good view of the rapids and top of the falls. Makesure you take a look at one of the trees in the car park, as this is home to a colony of Flying Foxes which can easily be seen.

The Ellinjaa Falls are a 3km drive past the Zillie Falls. This is a picturesque and popular waterfall that runs in cascades over a series of lava columns. A viewing platform is located at the beginning of the walk, which provides a clear view for photo opportunities. The walk then descends to the waterfalls base, where Platypus and turtles can be found in the plunge pool of the falls. Swimming is not recommended at these falls.

Stoney Creek Falls is a cascade waterfall on the Stoney Creek located where the river descends from the Atherton Tablelands to the Cairns coastal plain. Protected within the Barron Gorge National Park, the falls are formed where Stoney Creek starts to descend in steps from the shoulders of the gorge. The falls are best known for the curved lattice railway bridge that passes in front of them.

Malanda Falls are situated on the Atherton Tableland, near the town of Malanda. They are within the Malanda Falls Conservation Park. There are two 20-minute walks in the surrounding rainforest, with a chance of seeing a tree kangaroo. The visitor centre books guided walks with aboriginal guides. It also has displays on the rainforest, geology and history of Malanda. The swimming pool and associated infrastructure is very popular with locals and tourists.

Millstream Falls is past Queensland’s highest town (with Queensland’s highest pub!) Millstream falls is reputedly, the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia! Most people stop here at the beginning or end of their journey along the Savannah Way, an area rich with volcanic caves, cavernous gorges and gem stones waiting to be discovered. Interestingly, the Millstream area is said to have been used as a campground for soldiers during World War II and relics are often discovered in and around the falls, happy hunting!

Nandroya Falls is encased in a mossy covered alcove of the Wooroonooran National Park, Nandroya Falls and its little sister, Silver Falls are worth every step of the 6km round trip from the carpark. Dropping from what looks like a crack in the rock, Nandroya Falls is perfect for cooling off in. For the best photo opp, we recommend clambering around the right hand side of the falls, be careful though it’s a little slippery! The area is also famous for it’s giant fig trees.

Tchupala Falls not far from Nandroya Falls is Tchupala Falls (pronounced Chu-par-la), an awesome spot to stop for a swim on your way down the Palmerston Highway. The water cascades down into multiple streams which means one thing, no fighting for prime position with your friends! Pick your spot under the waterfall and let the day waste away!

Wallicher Falls by now you’re probably wondering, how many waterfalls could there possibly be on the Atherton Tablelands? To be honest, we haven’t even scratched the surface but if you’re visiting Tchupala Falls, you may as well stop and check out Wallicher Falls as well. With only 500m separating the two, locals say Wallicher Falls is more appealing but we’ll let you be the judge of that!

Dinner Falls Positioned in the Mount Hypipamee National Park and on the same circuit as the eerily beautiful Mount Hypipamee Crater, Dinner Falls is a series of cascades from the headwaters of the Barron River. Picnic tables are provided in the circuit and it’s a wonderful place if you’re after more than one discovery in your day!

Davies Creek National Park

Davies Creek National Park

Nestled deep in the eucalyptus forests behind Cairns, Davies Creek National Park offers a stunning granite landscape and a peaceful haven for nature lovers. To get to this hidden gem, take the gravel road that leaves Kennedy Highway 21 km southwest of Kuranda or 18 km east of Mareeba. Although the access road is all-weather, corrugations and narrow turning points make it challenging for large campers.

The park boasts several facilities for visitors, including pre-bookable camping sites, toilets, picnic tables, and fireplaces. Wood is usually available for campfires, creating the perfect ambience for an evening of stargazing.

Davies Creek, the park's main attraction, originates from the Lamb Range and tumbles over granite boulders, creating picturesque pools that are perfect for picnicking and camping. Visitors can also explore the area's walking tracks and lookout points to take in the breathtaking views of the valley. The highlight of the park is the 75-metre high waterfall that offers an unforgettable sight and an excellent photo opportunity.

The riverbanks of Davies Creek are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rainforest species and open eucalypt woodland studded with grass trees and termite mounds. Wildlife is abundant and visitors can expect to spot various species of birds, reptiles, and mammals.

For an unforgettable and peaceful getaway, make sure to visit Davies Creek National Park on your next trip to Cairns. Just be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water when exploring the park.