The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the number 1 reason why people from all around the world visit Cairns. It is 2332 kilometres in length and is one of the natural wonders of the world. The Great Barrier Reef is classified in 3 sections; the inner reef (fringing or platform reefs), the outer reef (barrier reefs or atol reefs) and the edge (ribbon reefs). To put the size of the Great Barrier Reef in perspective, if the reef was to be compressed it is roughly the size of Japan or Italy or 1 million football fields!
Green Island is a coral cay island with its own rainforest roughly 30 kilometres east of Cairns and takes you an average of 45 minutes to get out there by catamaran. Big Cat Green Island has a semi-sub tour for guests to enjoy. It takes you a little further off the island so you can get a face to face experience with the Great Barrier Reef and its marine life without actually getting wet. On the island there is also a 5 star resort, a zoo which houses the Guinness world book of records largest crocodile in captivity (Cassius 5.48 metres).
Scuba-diving gives you hands on perspective of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. It’s easy enough to swim above the reef so why not swim amongst it with the help of professionally trained instructors you can explore all the hidden crevices that this natural beauty called the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.
Seawalker / Oceanwalker
Seawalker is a soft dive system. You’ll be equipped with the latest in marine exploration technology, a helmet with transparent visor, no air tank necessary, so you’re lightweight and flexible. You will feel as though you are a spaceman under water. Walking along the sea floor through the Great Barrier Reef.
Snorkelling is a fun way to view and be part of the Great Barrier Reef. You are provided with all the gear (fins, snorkel and mask) to jump in the ocean and see the marine life from above. Even if you wear glasses and require prescription masks that will be catered for. Chuck on a life jacket and just let the current of the ocean guide you over the reef.
Semi Submersibles are a similar idea to a glass bottom boat but you sit under the water and look out the sides as opposed to sitting on the top looking through the bottom. This will enable you to view the corals and animals that live deeper in the water.
Daintree rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world and is home to the largest range of rare and endangered animal or plant life out of any rainforest on the planet including many species of birds, the estuarine crocodile, the endangered cassowary and much more. It is situated 2.5 hrs drive north of Cairns and upon entering it you will feel like you are in Jurassic Park. There are many board walks, a couple hostels and river cruises to see the crocs. You will cross the Daintree river on the ferry and continue driving onto Cape Tribulation.
Cape Tribulation is part of the Daintree National Park and is the only place on the planet where 2 World Heritage Listed National Parks sit side by side to each other. If you take in the Kulki walk you can literally stand between the 2. Steeped in aboriginal and early settler history this is a must visit when in the North Queensland region.
The Atherton Tablelands
The Atherton Tablelands is situated 1-1.5 hours south west of Cairns and is home to all the fresh fruit, coffee, chocolate and local teas that is sold in Cairns Rusty’s Markets. Atherton is a small community country town that is surrounded by rainforest, cattle farms, fruit farms, dairy farms and is very peaceful. You will also find some beautiful crater lakes such as Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine to camp by or take a relaxing swim. Lake Barrine also has a river cruise for guests to enjoy spotting the rare aquatic mammal called the platypus. There is also a little café there which has the yummiest coffee and chocolate, local from the area.
Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa waterfalls are the second most photographed waterfall in the world and most photographed waterfall in Australia. It is situated in the pristine Atherton Tablelands just a 1 hour scenic drive from Cairns. Millaa Millaa is in the top 10 waterfalls in Australia and is very beautiful and cool all year round for swimming.
Kuranda village is the village in the rainforest. Just 30 minutes drive into the mountains west of Cairns Kuranda is home to less than 3000 residents. It survives on tourism and has a very unique way to reach it; Kuranda Scenic Rail and Skyrail. Everything in Kuranda that is sold is local and homemade; you will find genuine gifts and souvenirs. Kuranda also has 5 tours; one in which is famous for the all terrain vehicle Army Duck. Guests will get a chance to ride in the vehicle that drives on the road and in the water, making it a very unique adventure.