Cairns is the Adventure Capital of Australia!

Cairns is to the Australian backpacking scene what the Way of St. James is to pilgrims.

From lazy morning at the Lagoon to adrenalin fuelled afternoons white water rafting on Tully River to the long nights at Gilligans, Cairns is a place sewn into the fabric of backpackers all over the world.

A town seemingly made just for backpackers

Getting around Cairns is easy with everything within a short walking distance there won’t be a shortage of chances to pop on your pair of thongs and go for a stroll.

Head to the Esplanade for some great shops and nice cafes to sit in and enjoy the casual pace of the town.

Just ahead of you will also be the Cairns Lagoon.

Surrounded by grass areas it is perfect for sitting back and enjoying a read and cooling off in the water.

Just north of town are the Northern Beaches featuring a beautiful 26km stretch of sweet white sand and picturesque ocean.

Away from a lot of the crowd it is easy to find your own private area of sand and watch the ocean roll in.

The popular beaches include the pristine Trinity Beach and Palm Cove.

Around town there are a number of great walks to partake in.

In the Botanic Garden stroll along the Red Arrow Walk through the beautiful rainforests all the way up to a hill full of great views of Green Island.

Continue to complete the Blue Arrow Walk.

For those inclined to more adrenalin pumping activities Cairns well and truly has it covered.

Go white water rafting on the rivers of Tully and Barron, or skydiving with immaculate views of the Great Barrier Reef or bungee jumping down into rainforest canopies the options are abundant and not a dull moment will ensue.

Cairns is also a perfect place in which to explore the northern regions of Queensland and also the natural treasure that lies just off the coast.

There are many tours and 4wd expeditions that will take you far into the Daintree Rainforests and maybe even to the northern tip of Australia.

The Daintree and Cape Tribulation each hold some of the most stunning scenery, flora and wildlife that you are likely to see anywhere in Australia.

Just off the coast is the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns gives you the key to explore one of nature’s great creations.

Tours range from a single day to multiple ‘liveaboard’ adventures both which provide some excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities at reefs only the locals know about.

After a long day of activities it is a sure thing you are going to be feeling a little perky and whilst there are some great restaurants around town in which to satisfy that traveller’s belly why not save on some coin and check out the 12 free BBQs that are on the Esplanade, load up on some sausages or some veggie patties and cook up a feast all the while surrounded by your best mates and the balmy surroundings.


The great thing about Cairns being a small town is that all of the best things to do at night are all on your doorstep.

The night market is a nice way to spend the evening before heading out, there are some great local arts and crafts here and with some food stalls and a food court it’s another sweet way to hang out and get a feed in without spending large.

Just a block or two back from the Esplanade is where to go to release all those pent up dance moves and remind your liver exactly what it has been gratefully missing.

There are some great bars to pre-drink at, such as PJ O’Brien and the Pier Tavern, two places good enough to keep the revelry going all night.

But the real party is at either the Woolshed or Gilligans, two of the premier nightspots that compete for your drinking prowess and dance floor moves every night.

And really there isn’t a clear winner here, each holds something unique yet both are equally awesome.

Dance on tables and enjoy Frat Fridays at the Woolshed or dance it up by the pool at Gilligans.

Either way the night-life in Cairns is something to get excited about.

discover why cairns is heaven for backpackers
Cairns Backpacker

So go get your heart pumping with a range of extreme sports, ogle at the incredible scenery in the Daintree, or dive into the wonderland that is the Great Barrier Reef either way Cairns is your key to some amazing places and is also the place for backpackers.

No day trekking through rainforests or nights of the dance floor will lack the things a backpacker loves: adventure, great weather and a drink with your mates.