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Embrace the outdoors with these adventure activities in Cairns

Rip off the doona and embark on an active weekend getaway in Cairns.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking a new experience to try, or an adventurous family looking for something fun everyone can enjoy – Cairns is Australia’s number one destination for active, outdoor activities. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the top six active attractions in Cairns so all you have to do is decide which one you want to try first!

The Great Barrier Reef - Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree
The Great Barrier Reef - Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

No Cairns to-do list is complete without a snorkelling tour of the Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of tour companies for you to choose from and snorkelling is by far the cheapest and the easiest way to get up close to the reef. Plus, you don’t need any previous experience and it’s suitable for most ages. 
Your excursion will normally begin with a boat ride from Cairns or Port Douglas, out to the reef where you’ll be moored and prepped for snorkelling. Then all that’s left to do is dive in and discover a marine adventure like no other as you meander past brightly-coloured coral reefs and their local inhabitants. Keep your eyes peeled for colourful marine life like angelfish, butterfly fish and maybe even Nemo! 
Worried about visiting in the cooler months? Don’t be! Winter in Cairns is moderate and the water will still be warm enough for swimming. 
Ingan Tours, Tully
Ingan Tours, Tully

White Water Rafting

If you have a hankering for adventure, then white water rafting is for you. Zoom down natural waterslides, around rocky bends and over waterfall drops, all at an adrenaline-pumping speed. Don’t worry though, you’ll have an experienced guide on board to help you meander the river and get you out of those rocky situations. 
Choose between the punishing Tully River with grade 3 and 4 rapids or the more family-friendly Barron or Mulgrave River for calmer but still just as fun, rafting.  Visit in the winter season for faster-flowing waters
Jungle surfing canopy, Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree
Jungle surfing canopy, Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree

Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours

Want a great bird’s eye view over the Daintree Rainforest? Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours will see you soar above this World-Heritage listed rainforest.  Be sure to check if all participants are A-Okay with heights before you choose this one as you’ll be up to 19.5 metres above ground.
This is the only flying fox in the world that you can fly hands-free, so embrace your inner daredevil and soar like a bird between the six treetop platforms along the way. 
Suitable for ages three and above, this activity is sure to bring out the adventurer in your little one – Tarzan style. As a Queensland Tourism Award-winning activity, there is just no way you could be disappointed. 
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Barron Gorge
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Barron Gorge

Hike Barron Gorge National Park

Now, we know that hiking isn’t everyone’s favourite holiday excursion, but Barron Gorge National Park is sure to convert you. Whether you’re a hiking novice or a mountaineering pro, Barron Gorge National Park is sure to have something for you. Hikes range from 30-minutes to 6-hours so you can tailor the hike to your needs. There is plenty of wildlife to be spotted and insta-worthy vistas throughout the park. The real attraction though is Barron Falls. Climb the elevated boardwalk and be rewarded with a spectacular display of thundering water as it plummets over this steep waterfall.
FNQ Nature Tours
FNQ Nature Tours


Ever heard of canyoning? Imagine abseiling, zip-lining, sliding and jumping down waterfalls into pools of the beautiful Crystal Cascades Canyon located in the lush, tropical Daintree Rainforest. This adventure activity will get your adrenaline pumping and push your boundaries while creating great memories with your friends or loved ones. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted though and requires a reasonable level of physical fitness – so maybe leave the little ones at home for this one.
hot air ballooning tourism australia
hot air ballooning tourism australia

Hot air ballooning

For those of you who are looking for holiday activities at a slower pace, then hot air ballooning is for you. And given that Queensland is the most popular place in Australia to float in a hot air balloon it’s the perfect opportunity to try it out. Catch a very early morning flight and gently rise from the ground at daybreak. Once up in the air, the views from the balloon basket are undoubtedly spectacular as you glide above the Atherton Tablelands. This experience is one you are sure to remember forever. 
Moment of Surprise & Delight - "I had the best hotel experience ever in Cairns, thanks to the staff at Pullman Cairns International. They went above and beyond at every step. Booking tours, arranging the perfect working space at breakfast and giving me an incredible welcome pack!" - Robyn  
Looking for accommodation while you’re up in Cairns? Accor can help you find the right hotel for your needs.

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