Flights to Cairns: the Gateway to Australia's Tropical North
The gateway to Queensland’s tropical north, Cairns is a stylish city, which is also renowned for its relaxed, tropical climate and laid back ambience. With islands, rainforests and reefs on its doorstep, from Cairns you can swim, snorkel, dive and sail the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in the World Heritage Wet Tropics Rainforest, or take the scenic railway to the tranquil, butterfly-fringed village of Kuranda and cruise amongst colourful parrots, platypus and fresh water crocodiles.
See the rainforest
Don’t miss staying in an eco-lodge in the magical Daintree Rainforest, the planet’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest, which the local Aboriginal people have named ‘Wawu-karrba’, or ‘healing of the spirit’. A cruise along the mangrove-lined Daintree River will reveal crocodiles and turtles in clear, sparkling streams. Take the aerial walkway or one of the many hiking trails to experience the extraordinary diversity of life to be found here. Travel north to the remote frontier of Cape Tribulation and connect with Aboriginal culture.
Get your adrenaline pumping
Soar over the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef on a scenic helicopter flight to Green Island. Spectacular Heart Reef is located on Hardy Reef in the Whitsundays and is best experienced from a seaplane or helicopter. Combine a snorkelling day trip to the reef from Cairns with a hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands. Take a luxury catamaran from Cairns and Port Douglas to the outer Great Barrier Reef. Or drift between Cairns and Townsville on a luxury three-day cruise. Stay on Airlie Beach or at a resort on Hamilton or Daydream Island and try your hand at parasailing, boating, bushwalking, sea-kayaking, fishing, snorkelling and more.
Take a drive
Port Douglas is a short one hour drive north of Cairns along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Home to golden beaches and some of Tropical North Queensland’s most exclusive resorts, the quiet former fishing village of Port Douglas is both sophisticated and relaxed and the perfect place to escape and unwind.
The Great Barrier Reef was listed as a World Heritage Area in 1981 as an outstanding example of a reef system, representing the major stages in the earth’s evolutionary history; as well as for its important biological diversity.
You can swim, snorkel, dive and sail the Great Barrier Reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from outer space.
The Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 2,000 kilometres along the Queensland coast, from the mainland towns of Port Douglas to Bundaberg. Hop between the pristine, palm-fringed islands on top, then explore the rainbow-coloured coral islands and marine life below.
Over 1,600 species of fish, 215 bird species, 30 whale and dolphin species, and six of the world’s seven marine turtle species have been recorded within the Great Barrier Reef.