100 free things to do!
1. Check out the action at the marina
Wander sailfish Quay admiring super yachts and checking out the game fishing fleet in the Cairns Marlin Marina. Watch the Great Barrier Reef boats return around 5pm and enjoy a cool drink as the sun slowly sinks over the mountains.
2. Discover a local secret
For a cool break head to crystal cascades located just 20 minutes from cairns. Fed by a series of pristine waterfalls, the secluded freshwater swimming hole is hidden in the rainforest among huge granite boulders. Take a picnic and enjoy a refreshing dip where the locals go.
3.Culture comes alive at the markets
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of cairns at Rusty’s Markets in the heart of the city. There’s fresh local produce, artisan breads, organic meat, ocean-fresh seafood, locally produced cheeses and charcuterie plus an eclectic mix of handicrafts. stop for a coffee or a samosa and enjoy the entertainment. More info...
4. Get on your bike and sight see
Burn kilometres and kilojoules while biking and sightseeing the network of cycle paths through cairns city and its inner suburbs. End the self-propelled tour with a rewarding swim in the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.
5. Spy rare wildlife
Hide out at the Hasties swamp two-storey bird hide at dusk or dawn to see water birds. More than 220 different bird species have been recorded at the large seasonal wetland. perterson creek at Yungaburra is the place to see the elusive platypus and the rare lumholtz tree kangaroo.
6. Land a fish at the jetty
A hand line is all you need to catch fish off the Palm Cove jetty. Trevally and queen fish are common catches while the occasional barra has been landed. A popular local fishing spot, the jetty is the perfect place to watch the sun rise over the coral sea.
7. Spot a Cassowary
Look out for the endangered cassowary, Australia’s largest flightless bird which is commonly seen around the rainforest in Mission Beach. The male cassowary is solely responsible for incubating the eggs and raising the young, whilst the female goes in search of a new partner.
8. Conquer the Misty Mountains
Walk for days taking in magnificent vistas, spectacular rainforest, waterfalls and mountain streams on more than130km of walking trails in the Misty Mountains, Australia’s first network of long distance walking trails in a high altitude rainforest environment.
9. Explore a former Aboriginal trail
Once an Aboriginal trail and later a crucial link between Port Douglas and the hinterland for settlers and miners, the Bump Track is now a popular trail for walking, mountain biking and horse riding. The steep track passes through a range of forests from rainforest to dry eucalypt scrub.
10. Take a dip in a volcanic crater
Dive into an extinct volcanic crater lake surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. With walking trails, a pontoon and electric barbecues on the lake front, lake eacham guarantees a full day of activities.
11. Discover the top pub
Sleep at the top of Queensland. situated at 914.4m, the Hotel Tully Falls in Ravenshoe declares itself the highest in Ravenshoe, which at 920m above sea level is officially Queensland’s highest town. Or warm yourself by the fire at the Royal Hotel in historic Herberton which sits at 913m.
12. Tempt your sweet tooth
Satisfy sugar cravings at Kuranda where sweets are a specialty. Watch candy being made at the Kuranda candy Kitchen, try tropical fruit ice cream, sample 20 flavours of honey at the Honey House, indulge in fudge at Sugar Works, then burn it off walking through the rainforest to the Barron Falls.
13. Tempt your tastebuds
Take a gourmet drive through the atherton tablelands discovering different taste sensations at every stop. Cheese, chocolate, macadamia nuts, mangoes, lychees, pineapples, coffee, tea and ice cream are just some of the local products to be sampled.
14. Refresh yourself at Cape trib
Have a refreshing dip with lunch at cape Tribulation. Mason’s café is popular with visitors and locals alike who take advantage of the safe swimming in a water hole just 60m from the store
15. Chill out in the rainforest
Your skin will tingle with the cold as you plunge into the swimming holes of mossman gorge in the world heritage-listed daintree rainforest. Warm up on a giant granite boulder or cross the suspension bridge to explore the traditional land of the kuku yalanji people on a rainforest loop trail. More info...
16. Hop in for a Cane toad race
Forget the ponies, the cane toad races at the Iron Bar in port Douglas draw the fun crowds. Hop in for a ticket to join the race, but beware if your number draws a cane toad you have to give it a kiss to wish it luck! More info...
17. Eat and sightsee all day
Take a sensory tour of the Atherton Tablelands with a self-drive Taste of the Tropics Food Trail. Discover local cheeses, chocolate, fruit, vegetables, markets, restaurants, seafood, coffee, ice cream, wines, honey and candy on two different drives through the scenic food bowl of Tropical North Queensland. Download your self drive map here.
18. Barbeque at the Beach
Grab the barbie tongs and some fresh seafood and head toTrinity Beach for al fresco dining the Aussie way. The free public barbecues overlook the beach, definitely the best view around.
19. Tropical serenity in a postcard setting
Discover ultimate tropical serenity at Palm Cove where everything in the intimate village is within a short walking distance. Wander the esplanade alongside centuries old “paperbark” Melaleuca trees that line the casual esplanade.
20. Uncover local crafts at the markets
Shop for a new tropical look with locally designed clothing and hand-made jewellery at the Sunday Markets in Port Douglas. Find the perfect present for a friend or taste fresh local produce transformed into juices, jams and chutneys at the iconic cotter’s markets on the waterfront.
21. Cool off with a tropical treat
Tempt your tastebuds with red dragonfruit ice cream or frozen sugar cane juice after a day’s touring. Exotic tropical fruit ice creams are a specialty at Scomazzons Fruit & Vegetables north of Mossman where you can top up on fresh locally-grown fruit and vegetables straight from the family farm.
22. Join free waterfront fitness classes
Get fit with a view when you join one of the free classes on the cairns esplanade. shake it up with a zumba class, discover inner serenity with tai chi or take your body to new limits with yoga on the waterfront near the esplanade lagoon. More info...
23. Palm Cove to Port Douglas
Wind your way from palm cove to port Douglas on a truly magnificent coastal drive with the mountains of the Wet Tropics rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other. Explore deserted beaches, watch hang gliders on their descent or cool off in the coral sea.
24. The Great Tropical Drive
Trek queensland’s highest peak, raft mighty rainforest rivers, dive the great Barrier reef, share bush tucker with traditional owners or explore historic Cooktown – all on the great tropical drive itineraries. Taking you north, west or south of Cairns, there are 10 different drives exploring tropical north queensland’s diverse landscapes. More info...
25. Malanda Falls Visitor Centre
Take a drive into the Atherton Tablelands and enjoy the natural air conditioning of the rainforest around the Malanda Falls. Allow time to visit the centre and enjoy interpretive displays – the Atherton Tablelands volcanic past, the cultural heritage of the local indigenous people the Ngadjon-ji, and the unique natural environment. More info...
26. Tanks Art Centre
Immerse yourself in arts and culture at Tanks - a unique community arts centre that is housed in three converted World War 2 naval oil storage tanks and set amidst a lush rainforest backdrop. Open 7 days, entry is free. Afterwards take a wander through the Cairns Botanic Gardens Precinct, where nature is entwined with culture. More info...
27. Crack a Geode
Where else in the world can guests choose an ancient Geode, crack it into two neat halves and be the first person ever to see the thousands of glittering crystals inside? The Crystal Caves! Located in the centre of Atherton, The Crystal Caves houses a growing collection of more than 600 gemstones, fossils and rocks presented in 250 m2 of tunnels and grottos for you to explore. More info...
28. Behold a rainforest gem
The Curtain Fig Tree, one of the largest trees in Queensland, stands in a pocket of remnant rainforest not far from Yungaburra Village. This massive tree has, by an accident of nature, created a vast curtain of roots which drops 15 metres to the ground. It's over 500 years old and definitely worth a look!
29. Boat, swim and fish in natures playground
Lake Tinaroo is a haven for water skiers, sailors, fisherman and wildlife watchers. With no crocodiles, sharks or stingers, the lake is safe for all water sports all year round. Boating, swimming, water-skiing, sailing, canoeing and wind surfing are some of the activities to be enjoyed on this beautiful lake. The lake is stocked with sport fish, including the prized barramundi.
30. Visit a majestic living cathedral
One of the most impressive strangler fig trees you will ever see is the Cathedral Fig Tree standing at 50 metres high and 43 metres around the base. A boardwalk around the tree provides great views up the trunk and into the canopy of this rainforest giant. The Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being the best place to hear an early morning bird 'singing' in the Atherton Tablelands.
31. Climb the world's biggest gumboot
Far North Queensland towns of Tully, Innisfail, and Babinda compete annually for the wettest town in Australia. Despite the fact that Babinda has had more rainfall than Tully in the last 40 years, The Golden Gumboot monument was erected in Tully cementing its status as the rain capital. A spiral staircase to the top of the boot allows a view of the town.
32. World Famous Kuranda Markets
The Village in the Rainforest has two market locations - the Original Markets and the Heritage Markets. Open every day, stalls offer a wide range of Aboriginal artefacts, handmade leather goods, wood and jewellery. A taste of honey, tropical fruit juices and ice-cream are a great way to round off a pleasant market experience.
33. Browse beautiful gems being created
Visit Cairns Outback Opal Mine and learn about the most Australian rock of all – the opal! Opal is the only Gem in the world with all the colours of the rainbow. Throughout history opal has been regarded as a stone of good fortune. Hailed as the ‘Rainbow Stone’ the Australian Aborigines have known of this great gem since the Dreamtime, believing it to bring love, luck and happiness to both those who give and rec eive it. More info...
34. Evening entertainment and people watching!
Expect to find massage stands, childrens novelties, crocodile skins, boomerangs, opals, ugg boots, pearls and an excellent glass blowing artist at the Cairns Night Markets. A busy Asian-style food court is located on the Esplanade front where food from all over the world is served, such as Korean ice cream, Spanish churros and lots of buffet style Asian cuisine. More info...
35. Cool off at Babinda Boulders
Babinda Boulders is a popular swimming hole and picnic area located in the tropical rainforest in the foothills of Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain. The public swimming area provides a beautiful and welcome respite from the tropical heat and offers a picnic area, cold showers, BBQ facilities, grassy areas and a kids playground. The Devil's Pool Walk is a 1.3km return walk that leads through the rainforest to two viewing platforms where the creek cascades down a series of spectacular waterfalls, granite boulders and washpools.
36. For the best pies in town!
This is a must stop when visiting Babinda Boulders! A Babinda favourite; amazing pies, mouth watering pasteries, lovely cakes, the best cream buns, cheesy bread and lamingtons to die for all topped with excellent, friendly service. Ideally hits the spot after a dip at the Boulders, but keep in mind the bakery closes at 2pm.
37. Step back in time...
Situated in a quiet, leafy suburb, amidst tropical gardens and authentic heritage railway carriages Freshwater Connection provides visitors with an interesting insight into the visionaries and pioneers who built the Kuranda Scenic Railway between 1887 and 1891.The station also includes a museum, and pioneer cottage theatrette and restaurant. Time your visit for 8:45 or 9:45am and view the Kuranda Train as it arrives collecting passengers for the scenic rail journey to Kuranda.
38. This little piggy went to market
The Yungaburra Market is the biggest and oldest market on the Atherton Tablelands. Held in Yungaburra on the 4th Saturday of the month, local producers gather on the commons in the middle of the historic village of Yungaburra to sell fresh produce, flowers, home made crafts, jewellery, artwork, wooden furniture, clothing and just about anything else you can think of. The markets operate from 7:30am to 12:30pm, providing an entertaining morning out. More info...
39. One for the bookworms!
Cairns City Library is located in the Cairns CBD surrounded by parkland dominated by huge fig trees. The building, which is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, was constructed in 1929 and served as Cairns City Council's Chambers until Council moved to new premises in 1998. A special feature at the City Library is the Literary Trail, a display of public artworks completed in 1999 by local artists, building on the inspiration of literary works by authors who have resided at one time or other in the Cairns Region. More info...
40. Take an evening dip at the Cairns Lagoon
Around 6pm when most backpackers and families are heading off in search of dinner, head down to the lagoon for a relaxed evening dip. This large, open air pool is beautifully designed with a sandy beach on one side and then a depth of about 1.5m towards the other. Situated right on the waterfront it has a great view of the ocean and the perfect place to be at sundown. Open all year around from 6am until 9pm.
41. Wet season WOW factor!
Take a visit to the lower Barron Falls in wet season after a good downpour and feel the energy of the rapids as the wet season floodwaters create a spectacular sight. The lower section of Barron Gorge National Park can be accessed from Kamerunga and Lake Placid. Drive along the scenic Barron Gorge Road to the Barron Gorge Hydro-Power Station. Surprise Creek Falls is located near the Barron Gorge Hydro and cascades 243 metres (797 ft) into the gorge.
42. Family time at Sugarworld
Sugarworld Parklands, Edmonton's botanic reserve, is a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic with the family. These beautiful gardens are located just a 20 minute drive from the Cairns CBD. Sugarworld Parklands features an all-abilities playground as well as barbecue areas, volleyball court and a great shady area for family gatherings. Explore the avenues of giant raintrees and mangos that would have been planted over 100 years ago.
43. Visit an original country pub
Located west of Gordonvale on the Gillies Highway, the Mountain View Hotel is an original "Country Pub" with a magnificent beer garden and river deck. This iconic hotel was constructed 1926 and retains its country atmosphere, friendly staff and good music. Dine, relax and take in the scenery, then head to Little Mulgrave Valley and be in awe of the natural beauty of this rainforest surround.
44. Walk through the mangroves
The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk is a raised walkway that meanders through beautiful mangrove forest.The walk is located off Airport Avenue - adjacent to Swampy Creek with Mangrove Walks weaving through 11 easily identifiable mangrove species. The boardwalk follows two routes: Northern Route - to Middle Creek is a 700m loop; and Southern Route - to Swampy Creek covers a distance of 600m. Walks each take about 35 minutes and have been signposted with relevant information to alert people to the unique characteristics of the mangrove ecosystem. More info...
45. Volunteer at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles brought in from the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York Peninsula. The daily routine at the turtle rehabilitation centre consists of feeding the turtles, hosing filter bags and cleaning the turtle tanks twice a day ensuring pristine water quality so these animals can recover to be returned back to the wild. More info...
46. Trace the evolution of Australia's Wet Tropics Flora
The Cairns (Flecker) Botanic Gardens are known for having one of the best exhibitions in Australia of tropical plants including specimens from Northern Australian rainforests as well as notable species from Southeast Asia. Covering approximately 71 acres for a recreational reserve, the Cairns Botanic Gardens has blossomed into several botanic spaces including The Gondwanan Heritage Garden, Fitzalan Gardens, Flecker Garden, Aboriginal Plant Use Garden and Centenary Lakes. The gardens are connected by interesting paths and footbridges. Open every day of the year and entry is free. More info...
47. Sun, Sea, Markets & Ukelele
Holloways Beach is the closest of Cairns' northern beaches, just a 10 minute drive from the City. This tropical laid back beachside suburb has a lot to offer with shaded, grassy areas for picnics and BBQs lining the foreshore. Local markets take place on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 8am-1pm, they are probably the most laid back and peaceful markets in the area. A stinger enclosure allows for year round swimming. Strait on the Beach Cafe provides an ideal setting for a bite to eat, and a weekly "un-official" Ukelele club gathering held on Wednesday evenings completes the tropical beachside atmosphere.
48. Step into the 21st Centuary
Experience the vibrant contemporary visual culture of Tropical North Queensland. Kickarts delivers a dynamic and diverse exhibition program throughout the year, presenting cutting-edge contemporary visual art from our region, nationally and from abroad. The KickArts Shop animates the Centre on a daily basis and is a focal point for viewing interesting, innovative works of art, craft and design from Australian and international artists. More info...
49. Feast your senses on rare and exotic fruit
The Feast of the Senses Market Day Extravaganza is a highlight of this week long event – featuring around 100 stalls of local produce, as well as plenty of entertainment including activities and competitions for children, adult and student cooking competitions and community entertainment. Held annually in March, along Edith and Rankin Sts, Innisfail; nowhere else will you find such a range of produce and cultures in this particular region of Tropical North Queensland. More info...
50. Dude check out this fully sic sk8park!
Cairns skate park is located right on the Cairns Esplanade and is one of the biggest skateparks in Australia. The park features just about every obstacle an avid skateboarder/bmx/scooter rider you could hope for, has a great design & is only a short walk from the shops. Open to all ages, the best time to bring younger kids is early morning before the teenagers arrive! More info...
51. Wet Season Fun!
Pack an inflatable tube, raft or bodyboard and float your way from The Rocks at Redlynch to Goomboora Park. You will need 2 cars. Park one at Goomboora Park and then make your way to the starting point at The Rocks. The journey takes approx 2 hours floating along Freshwater Creek, be prepared to navigate small rapids. Wear suitable enclosed shoes.
52. Postcard paradise
Ellis Beach is the least developed of the Northern Beaches and probably the most beautiful. As you travel along the Cook Highway this stunning golden beach presents itself, framed by mountain greenery. Ellis Beach literally backs onto the mountains and is where the rainforest meets the ocean. Relax under a palm tree, take a dip in the ocean, explore a rocky outcrop and take in the clear views towards Double Island. Ellis Beach provides a designated netted area for swimming at the beach during stinger season.
53. Brunch at Kewarra
Pack some snags, bread rolls, eggs and bacon and head on down to Kewarra Beach for a beautiful brunch. This idyllic beach is free from tourism development with only one resort that is tucked away behind tropical gardens. Kewarra is completely protected from the southeasterly swell by a rocky headland and is a very good place to bring a young family. The beach is clean and wide, and has picnic tables, play equipment, and public toilets on site.
54. Bird watch at Cattana Wetlands
The Cattana Wetlands is a nature conservation park that harbours an impressive range of North Queensland wildlife and significant plant communities. This forest, described as the Feather Palm Forest, is a remnant of a once extensive forest type that is now confined to only a few remnant patches in the Cairns region. Facilities include BBQs, picnic areas, toilets, bird hides and a 420m boardwalk through the feather palm forest. More info...
55. Slip n' Slide at Josephine Falls
Josephine Falls is a tiered cascade waterfall on the Josephine Creek, fed by rains falling on Queensland’s highest peak, Bartle Frere. The tumbling waters over granite boulders at Josephine Creek has created a natural rock slide popular with locals and visitors, providing free fun on a hot day. Take caution however as the natural rock slide can be dangerous and the occasional flash flooding can occur without warning. Facilities include toilets, sheltered picnic tables & limited grassed areas at carpark.
56. Be awed by the mighty Barron Falls in wet season
The once mighty Barron Falls is today diverted for hydroelectricity, so now the full Falls are only seen in flow during the extreme wet season. In such a flow, the water tumbles over 260 metres to the river below. You’ll see a thundering spectacle, and may even be enveloped by a cloud of mist from the falls. The best vantage point is from the Barron Falls Lookout which is accessed via Kuranda Village. A boardwalk weaves through the lush rainforest canopy before descending to the Falls Lookout.
57. A time to reflect
The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour is a living memorial dedicated to the memory of all who served in the fight against terror in Afghanistan. As a National memorial, this sacred place gives visitors a chance to reflect on the contribution that Australians have made both in Afghanistan and in the many other conflicts throughout Australia's military history. If you are standing at the memorial, facing the first tree on the right side of the final path, then you are looking towards Afghanistan - 10,000km to the north west. More info...
58. A Festive Celebration
Cairns Festival is a celebration of culture, art, theatre, music, photography, performance, drama, dance, grand parade & fireworks plus the ever popular Carnival on Collins. In keeping with the family-friendly program, the vast majority of Festival events are free, making it a truly accessible celebration for everyone in the Cairns region and visitors. Held annually August/September time. More info...
59. Cairns Esplanade Markets
If you need a gift or souvenir you are sure to find it here! Held every Saturday, between 8am and 4pm, the market stalls showcase jewellery, leather work, pottery, airbrush tattoos, clothes, skincare and more. Held against the backdrop of the Cairns waterfront, after the market why not enjoy a swim in the Lagoon, take advantage of the free barbecues, exercise equipment and children's play grounds. More info...
60. Top locals secret
Behana gorge is one of Cairns’ best kept secrets. Rarely visited by tourists as it requires a 30 minute drive followed by a 45 minute walk each way. But don't let this discourage you as it is well worth the trek as you will be rewarded with pristine swimming holes, breathtaking views over rapidly raging water, and a stunning waterfall that flows into a deep granite gorge. 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.
61. Family friendly favourites
Stoney Creek is hidden away at the lower section of Barron Gorge National Park, tucked in amongst the suburb of Rainforest Estate, only 15 minutes from the city. Take your pick from a large assortment of swimming holes and water falls that are surrounded by beautiful rainforest. Ancient trees and and vines hang over the track, making this a very cool and shady spot during hot summer days. The track is easy enough for children to negotiate, so bring the whole family, a picnic hamper and your swimming gear.
62. A tranquil escape
Lake Placid is a popular spot for local family picnics on the weekends as well as kayaking enthusiasts, located at the base of the world heritage area of the Barron River Gorge National Park. Stroll along the bank beside the lake for scenic views of the steep, forested slopes of the lower Barron Gorge and the white-water rapids of the Barron River. Enjoy a picnic in the shade. Exercise caution. Estuarine crocodiles are found in the lower Barron River, including Lake Placid.
63. View of one of Australia's most elusive critters
If you are prepared to sit quietly for a little while you are likely to be rewarded with a view of one of Australia's most elusive critters. The platypus is a shy creature, however you may be in luck of a sighting at the Yungaburra platypus viewing area. Although the best viewing times are morning and dusk, it’s worthwhile stopping for a look at any time of day.
64. Wildlife & Botanical Walking Track
Yungaburra’s focal attraction is the Peterson Creek walking circuit. The re-vegetation program is a haven for wildlife with some great spots along the way for a picnic. Platypus, tree kangaroos, wallabies and a variety of birds and other wildlife are regularly observed. From the Platypus Platform, walk over and then under the bridge and along the creek. It makes for a lovely Sunday afternoon outing, especially in the winter months, reward yourself with a hot chocolate afterwards from a nearby teahouse. More info...
65. Need a break from the kids?
Kids will be in their element at Muddy's Playground located right on the Cairns Esplanade. This action packed fun filled playground offers hours of entertainment featuring water play areas, flying fox, sound chimes, track ride, rope bridge, slides, play houses, story telling areas, see-saw, trick track and puzzle games. "Muddy" the Mudskipper what is very adorable among littlies, they can climb and sit up on it a well as sit in its big mouth. There are lots of shaded areas ideal for parents to relax whilst the kids have a ball and play. More info...
66. The heart & soul of Cairns
The Cairns Esplanade is a picturesque 2.5km stretch of foreshore located in the heart of Cairns. It is the focal point of the city comprising of parklands, playgrounds, swimming Lagoon and recreational facilities all free to enjoy. People from all walks of life gather here whether its for an early morning jog, evening stroll, birdwatching, bocce, free fitness, refreshing swim, family gatherings or simply time to rest and relax in a picturesque setting. It is a must when visiting Cairns. More info...
67. Kitesurfing action at Yorkeys!
Yorkeys Knob beach is a world-class kite-surfing destination (rated one of the top 10 in the world). Kite surfers from inter-state and around the globe come to kite surf at Yorkeys. Even if you are not a Kite surfer it is amazing to sit and watch them. The prevailing SE trade winds from April to November makes Yorkeys the focal point of the local and national kite-surfing community with up to 30 kites on a busy weekend day. More info...
68. Feeling Energetic?
For energetic visitors these two linked circuit tracks traverse up the forested slopes to lookouts which provide views of Cairns city and suburbs. The Red Arrow Circuit is particularly popular with joggers, passing through towering fishpole bamboo, shady rainforest gullies and open woodland to two lookouts, which provide great views of the city, the coast and the busy Cairns airport. The Blue Arrow Circuit climbs to over 300m altitude and requires a moderate level of fitness. More info...
69. An anglers paradise
The Cairns Marlin Marina is known for catching some of the best fish of the day. Popular fishing spots include Sailfish Quay and along Trinity Wharf near where the Cruise Liner Terminal is situated. Most locals use cast nets to catch Longtoms, squid, gars, prawns and mullet. The live bait is then used on hand reels to fish for barramundi and mangrove Jack. Prime summer species include barramundi, mangrove jack and fingermark, while GT's, queenfish, flathead, estuary cod, bream and grunter are more prolific during the cooler months. Take a walk along Sailfish Quay and enjoy the magnificence of the super yachts berthed alongside.
70. Take the scenic waterfalls circuit
The popular Southern Tablelands Waterfall Circuit begins with Millaa Millaa Falls, the most scenic of all, and one of the most photographed images in the Wet Tropics. Zillie falls is located 7.5km past Millaa Millaa falls. These falls are best seen from below. Only a 3km drive past the Zillie Falls are the Ellinjaa Falls. This is a picturesque and popular waterfall that runs in cascades over a series of lava columns. On the way to Ravenshoe visit Souita and Pepina Falls and Australia’s widest waterfall, the Millstream Falls. More info...
71. See giant wind turbines
Magnificent wind turbines stand 44 metres tall at Windy Hill Wind Farm, Queensland's largest wind farm. Windy Hill has 20 wind turbines with a generating capacity of 12 MW of electricity, providing enough power for about 3,500 homes. Located about three kilometres from Ravenshoe, which is situated 920 metres above sea level (highest town in Queensland,) on privately owned Atherton Tableland dairy farmland, the turbines provide quite a sight. Definitely worth a visit, especially for the breathtaking scenery, rolling hills and immense beauty that Ravenshoe and surrounds have to offer.
72. Ride iconic Four Mile Beach
Bike riding Four Mile Beach is the second best thing to do in Port Douglas. Second only to walking it. There's next to no seaweed, wide sandy stretches and such a huge 'hard' sand section making it easy to enjoy a leisurely cycle for all the family.
73. Tap into the healing power of the earth
Innot Hot Springs is a natural mineral springs located between Ravenshoe and Mt Garnet on the Kennedy Highway. The hot springs of Nettle Creek have long been established as rejuvenating and healing, the water was even bottled & shipped to Europe at one stage. Simply dig your own hole in the river sand of the creek bed! Here, natural underground water issues at a temperature of 78C (though temperatures vary). Innot Hot Springs is also a great base for gem fossicking, fishing and bird-watching.
74. Swim, play & explore
Goomboora is a huge park dotted with shady trees, picnic tables, grasslands, rainforest, a freshwater creek and exciting walking paths set in beautiful nature. The Freshwater Creek runs through the park that is suitable for swimming. A BBQ facility and covered shelter is located next to the Goomboora Park Adventure Playground that offers kids of all ages an array of fun and exciting play equipment, such as a flying fox and a rope-play system. This is a great place to bring a bike and cycle the scenic pathway that cross over Freshwater Creek and connects with Redlynch Valley.
75. Fun Free Fitness on the Cairns Esplanade
The 'Active Living - Free Fitness' program consists of classes 6 days a week. The classes are introductory level, FREE and the locations for these classes are stunning set on the Cairns Esplanade! Take your pick from Aqua Aerobics to Zumba Fitness, Yoga, Meditation, Beach Volleyball, Pilates, Bouldering and Tai Chi there's something for everyone to try. More info...
76. Cairns CBD Heritage Walk
If you're wondering how Cairns evolved from a sleepy frontier town to the cosmopolitan regional city it is today then why not step back in time and take a self-guided tour of 20 heritage sites around the city which includes images, spoken-word stories and fascinating information on historical sites and influential people, dating back to 1896. Sites include the old dance halls, the "Golden Block", the Indigenous Hospital Camp, Floating Sea Baths, Lover's Bower, Russian Guns, Chinatown, the Lit Sung Goong Temple, the Red Light District, Rusty's Market, Barbary Coast and the Marlin Marina, among others. More info...
77. Embrace tropical Queensland charm
Stratford retains much of the charm of tropical Far North Queensland that is rapidly disappearing from other suburbs. There are 29 marked sites on the Stratford Heritage Trail which starts outside the Stratford Library on Kamerunga, including Rankine’s mill, the Heritage Listed magazine, Tully’s Hotel, Draper’s Lily Bank home, railway heritage, evidence of several Barron bridges dating back to the 1920s, Constable Dwyer’s grave, WWII military heritage and many traditional wooden Queenslanders in the Stratford character precinct.
78. Explore Freshwater's History
Take a self guided walk through Freshwater's History. The community of Freshwater evolved in the 1880's due to the presence of a permanent freshwater creek which provided the first reliable water supply for travellers after leaving Cairns. Many of Freshwater's small Queenslander houses were built for railway workers and local farmers in the 1920 & 30s. This trail is best enjoyed walking or diving.
79. â€‹Stroll back through time in the Port Douglas Village
This self-guided walk visits 22 historic landmarks around Port Douglas township. The tour begins at the Former 1879 Port Douglas Court House and meanders through the village visiting historical sites such as St.Mary's Catholic Church, Faugh-a-Ballagh Loco & Carriage, Douglas Shire Council "Sugar" Wharf, former 1879 State School and Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse. At a leisurely pace this tour should take around two hours overall. Pick up a self guided walking map from the Port Douglas Museum (near Anzac Park). More info...
80. Window shop at Cairns Central
It's hot outside? Well come inside and cool down in the air conditioning at Cairns Central Shopping Centre. The centre is fully enclosed and offers an extensive range of stores and services. Enjoy a spot of window shopping, relax or catch up with friends. During school holidays Cairns Central Shopping Centre often has free family style entertainment.
81. Wet tropics walking trails
There are over 150 managed walks in the Wet Tropics Region.You can experience cool shaded walks under the rainforests canopy, wander around a peaceful lake, enjoy a stroll along a mangrove boardwalk, climb a mountain, visit a spectacular lookout or simply go for a beach walk. Visit the Wet Tropics website for a full detailed list of spectacular walks in the region. www.wettropics.gov.au/walk-wet-tropics
82. Free Guided Birdwatching tour
Join local birding legend John Seale for a free guided birdwatching tour of the Botanic Gardens precinct. Available every Tuesday commencing at 8.30am. Meet at the Friends House, Flecker Garden. Duration - approximately two hours. We recommend you bring binoculars and wear sensible walking shoes. More info...
83. Free Guided Botanic Gardens Walk
The Friends of the Botanic Gardens offers free guided walks through Flecker Garden Monday to Friday commencing at 10.00am. Flecker Garden epitomises the diversity of tropical flora that can be found across the world's tropical regions including plants from the steamy jungles of South East Asia, South America, Africa and of course Far North Queensland. Meet at the Friends House, Flecker Garden. Duration - approximately one hour. More info...
84. Get ready for some heart thumping, adrenalin pumping bike trails
Looking for some mountain bike adventures? The Smithfield Regional Park provides a spectacular rainforest network of trails with some of the most fun-filled climbs and descents in the country for mountain bike riders. Trails sculpted out of volcanic clay twist their way through magnificent vine-wrapped jungles. The rides are all on dirt and loops can be added to create a ride of a few hours or a whole day. The gateway trails are an introduction to mountain biking so families can ride together to build confidence and develop skills. Trail markers line the trails with green for the easy trails, blue for intermediate and black and black diamond trails for the technical and advanced trails. More info...
85. A real Aussie hotel/pub experience
The Peeramon Hotel is oldest hotel on the Atherton Tableland. Many North Queensland towns grew and developed around the local pub which the Peeramon Hotel now stands as a historical landmark for times past. Visiting historical pubs is a great way to understand the local culture then and now. The grand old building features a sweeping upstairs veranda, local memorabilia and gorgeous heavy wood bar tops. The original front section of the hotel, the front bar, dining room, and the antique telephone collection are still intact. Take a visit for a real Aussie hotel/pub experience.
86. For the coffee lovers
The Coffee Works has grown from humble beginnings, as a single market stall at Rusty’s Markets in Cairns to now creating and perfecting more than 43 rich and delicious coffees, luscious liqueurs and fine handcrafted chocolates. Admission into Coffee Works (Café, Chocolaterie and Gift Shop) is FREE. Relax in lush tropical surrounds and enjoy exceptional Australian espresso coffee. Visit the Choclaterie and be tempted by over 50 fabulous chocolate flavours – all handcrafted onsite. More info...
87. Need more coffee?
Jaques Australian Coffee Plantation is situated on the Atherton Tablelands in Mareeba, with a beautiful backdrop looking over the surrounding peaks of the Great Dividing Range. The Jaques Café is situated at the heart of the Coffee Plantation, here you can relax at the cafe and enjoy the finest Australian coffee in lush tropical gardens. More info...
88. For the chocolate lovers
Gallo Dairy is well worth a drive situated in dairy country half way between Atherton and Malanda. Spread across 1000 acres of rich red volcanic soil, the dairy farm milks on average 500 cows twice a day. It's great to be there for milking time at 3pm and see the cows all wandering into the milking unit. In addition you will find a gourmet cheese factory, a café/restaurant, beautiful hand-crafted chocolate and a small farmyard petting area great fun for the kids. More info...
89. Find Peace & Tranquility
Escape to one of the most beautiful and relaxing environments in the tropics. Lake Barrine is an enchanting natural lake hidden in World Heritage Rainforest. Take a relaxing, tranquil stroll to the 1,000 year old giant Twin Kauri Pines or walk around the perimeter of the lake. An amazing array of bird life lives within the World Heritage listed rainforest surrounding the lake.
90. Tell your story and learn new digital skills
ABC Open publishes and broadcasts stories made by regional Australians. New projects are set every month to inspire great videos, photos or written stories that you create to share on the ABC. Pick a project and challenge yourself. Free writing and photography workshops take place throughout the year at Cairns Library to help develop your skills: www.open.abc.net.au
91. The best walk in North Queensland
Lambs Head, also known as Kahlpahlim Rock, is considered one of the best walks in North Queensland. It presents a challenging adventure ideally suited to experienced walkers and those with a good level of fitness. The track rises steeply through woodland and rainforest, and winds up and around massive boulders and pristine high altitude rainforest. It is well worth reaching the summit at around 1300 metres above sea level, the views are absolutely spectacular, overlooking Copperlode Dam and the ranges below and then further down to Cairns, Trinity Inlet and the sea. More info...
92. A water reserve within a Wet Tropics World Heritage Area
Lake Morris (also known as Copperlode Falls Dam) is located 22km from Cairns City. Magnificent scenic panoramas can be seen from the lookout points on the access road, the highest point of which is 500m above sea level. Facilities include picnic grounds and shelters, gas and wood BBQ’s, rainforest walks, disabled access, Wet Tropics, World Heritage viewing deck & information display, kiosk, coffee shop, gifts & souvenirs.The water in the dam is intended for human consumption, boating and swimming are prohibited. More info...
93. Art Deco in the Tropics
Innisfail’s CBD area has Australia’s largest concentration of Art Deco buildings. The rebuilding of Innisfail following the cyclone of 1918 gave Innisfail its predominate Art Deco style of architecture. In March 2006, Cyclone Larry created the opportunity for Innisfail’s art deco architecture to be revitalised and preserved. Innisfail today is home to many restored and repainted art deco facades. Take a walk along Edith and Rankin Streets to view examples of Spanish, Sicilian, Moroccan, Italian and Anglo Saxon Art Deco design facades.
94. A free evening of entertainment!
The Reef Hotel Casino is the No 1 "Must See - Must Visit" evening entertainment venue and you don't need to be a gambler to be in on the action. Casinos make wonderful people watching places, so pull up a chair and watch the people walk by or sit and gamble. A large portion of the table games area is set aside for the popular game Rapid Roulette, unique to Australian casinos. Afterwards head over to Vertigo Bar where some of the best touring acts and the most popular shows in Australia featured throughout the year. There is always entertainment on and absolutely free at the casino.
95. A stimulating tropical taste experience
Visit local wineries and sample some unique boutique wines and distilled spirits. There are eight wineries in the Far Northern area to cross of your bucket list. Mt Uncle Distillery prides its traditional all natural approach to premium spirits and liqueurs along with their own grown produce, producing an array of International award winning spirits and liqueurs. Murdering Point Winery is Australia's leading tropical fruit winery well known for it innovative use of a wide range of exotic tropical fruits. A day of sampling will certainly deliver an exciting and stimulating tropical taste experience.
96. See and experience Kuranda Village for free!
There are a number of great ways to see and experience Kuranda for free. Walk in the World Heritage Rainforest around the village, visit the world famous Kuranda Markets, spot some amazing “street art” around every corner, check out how bees make honey at the Honey House Kuranda, take a photo of the spectacular Barron Falls, meet a life size replica of an Allosaurus Dinosaur, watch an Aboriginal cultural performance and admire many Aboriginal artworks, see candy being made at the Kuranda Candy Kitchen, take a peaceful stroll along the river Esplanade, marvel at the beauty of the heritage-listed buildings of the Kuranda Train Station and tropical gardens, and the list goes on... More info...
97. Sundaze in Port Douglas
Begin your day with a drive along one of Australia's most scenic coastal roads. Be sure to visit the ever popular Port Douglas Sunday Markets, where locals come from all over the Far North to sell their products to inquisitive tourists and locals alike. Take a look inside the iconic St Mary's by The Sea chapel, one of the most picturesque churches in the country before browsing the boutique shops along Macrossan Street. Bring your swimmers and enjoy time for a play and swim at Four Mile Beach, then discover stunning scenic views from Flagstaff Hill Lookout. a drive by the Marina Mirage and watch the boats return from the Great Barrier Reef before resuming your journey back to Cairns.
98. Explore Whyanbeel Valley
Spend a beautiful day in the Whyanbeel Valley, located about 40 kms north of Port Douglas on the Daintree Valley Road. This is a farming valley, mainly sugarcane and cattle, right up against thick rainforest and with waterfalls visible high above in the range. Start your day by visiting Hogland Art Glass to view their exquisite glassware. Then head over to nearby High Falls Farm, located right alongside the Whyanbeel River. The setting overlooking a pristine creek in the rainforest is calming and restful. Stop in at Sweet Farm Tours at Miallo (small entry fee) its a must for chocolate lovers!
99. Take a scenic stroll into Mossman Gorge
Peruse the Indigenous art work at the Mossman Gorge Centre, then grab a map and take a relaxing stroll into Mossman Gorge. The walk takes approximately 15-20 minutes and is mainly shaded by the beautiful rainforest trees. Along the way you may see butterflies, dragonflies and bush turkeys. There are many opportunities to take some great photos of the surrounding scenery. Definitely bring your swimsuit and a towel to enjoy a cooling dip in the pristine waters.
100. Casino Sports Arena - Free Movie Screenings
Take advantage of the luxury cinema style seating, state-of-the-art sound system and plush surrounds at the Casino Sports Arena. With the largest indoor LED screen in Queensland, movie screenings are held every Tuesday 10:30am, (1:30pm with subtitles) 4:30pm & 7:30pm.