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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Travel Agency
“Skyrail is a unique rainforest experience taking you on an unforgettable journey over and through Australia’s World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests. Spanning 7.5km, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway traverses the McAlister Range, through the Barron Gorge National Park, immersing you in the sights, sounds, smells and tranquillity of the ancient rainforest between its Smithfield and Kuranda Terminals. Glide just metres above the rainforest canopy in comfortable six-person gondola cabins using our interpretive app and audio guide to place the story of the rainforest in your hands.”
  • 86 locals recommend
Pool
“Taking a walk down the Esplanade is always a great way to end or begin a day. From the nice views to some of the amazing restaurants you just cant go wrong. ”
  • 94 locals recommend
Garden
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“Only five minutes walk from the Poppy's Place, and 10 minuted drive from Tidenine, THE BOTANIC GARDENS in Collins Ave has many rare plants that you will not see anywhere else in the world. Take a guided tour or feel free to discover this beautiful place alone. Cafe and coffee shop inside. FREE ENTRY The Cairns Botanic Gardens is a tropical paradise, renowned as one of the best exhibitions of tropical plants in Australia. Come and explore the beauty of tropical plants, relax in stunning surroundings and learn about tropical flora and horticulture”
  • 97 locals recommend
Bar
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“With dreamy mountain and ocean views, Salt House is a must-visit restaurant, bar, and pizzeria in Cairns. The restaurant is fitted with an Argentine-style wood-fired grill, which produces perfectly cooked steaks sourced from across Australia’s east coast. The menu also includes many seafood dishes and daily lunch specials. Next is the pizzeria, which serves breakfast in the morning and pizzas all afternoon and evening. Finally, the bar at Salt House is known for its cocktails, relaxing day beds, tapas bar menu, and occasional DJ and live music sets.”
  • 95 locals recommend
Farmers Market
“Popular fresh food market. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables (lots of Asian veggies) also quite a few Asian food stalls. There is an awesome Bahn Mi place! Also local coffee works coffee. ”
  • 90 locals recommend
General Entertainment
“Near the Botanical Gardens. Great for a browse, monthly market and live entertainment most weeks.”
  • 65 locals recommend
Night Market
“Visit the night markets, grab a bargain and see the Aussie giftware on show.”
  • 47 locals recommend
Bed & Breakfast
“Crystal Cascades is one of the secrets of Tropical North Queensland that locals wish they could hide from visitors, accessible only by self drive. It is a secluded freshwater swimming hole, hidden in a tropical rainforest. A series of small waterfalls flow into large pools surrounded by large impressive granite boulders. Rainforest trees hang over the mountain water, keeping it cool and refreshing. There are also council managed and cleaned BBQ and picnic tables in the area with a toilet/change room block close-by. For most, the only way of discovering the presence of Crystal Cascades is by being told by a local, or unwittingly following road signs to the unique surroundings. ”
  • 57 locals recommend
Cultural Center
“If culture is your thing you cant go past Tjapukai Cultural Park where can learn lots about Indigenous culture , food, and celebrations. ”
  • 37 locals recommend
Shopping Mall
“Cairns Central Shopping Centre in north Queensland is Cairns’ largest shopping centre, built over the Cairns Railway Station. The project includes a suspended car park deck, station entries, ticketing, retail and tourist facilities. The new Cairns Railway Station was the first stage of the multimillion dollar Cairns Shopping Centre development, which was opened in late 1997. It is only the second multi-storey shopping centre in northern Queensland. Pedestrian access to the station is through the car park on the bottom floor, or a pedestrian walkway on the second floor. The centre is fully enclosed and offers an extensive range of stores and services, including the only department store north of the Sunshine Coast. It has over 180 stores together with Myer, Target, Coles, BI-LO, a six-screen cinema, Birch Carroll and Coyle complex and a 700-seat foodcourt. Some of the challenges overcome by Multiplex during construction of the shopping centre were the continued interruptions caused by Tropical Cyclone Justin in early 1997. Multiplex went on to deliver the Cairns Railway Station and Centre works, which have become the focus of the Cairns Esplanade.”
  • 38 locals recommend
Aquarium
“Every day at Cairns Aquarium we provide visitors with guaranteed interaction with some of the rarest and most elusive animals on earth. The incredible biodiversity of the two adjoining World Heritage listed areas, The Wet Tropics and The Great Barrier Reef provides the cast for a show stopping spectacle of colour, shape and movement that you will never see in another single location anywhere else in the world. 16,000 animals from 10 different ecosystems and 71 habitats across Tropical North Queensland are less than a hand span away and their ever-changing activities and behaviours will keep you mesmerised every time you visit.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Cairns Regional Gallery is a public art museum/gallery established in Tropical North Queensland to foster greater understanding of history, heritage and culture through visual arts and crafts. Opened in 1995, the Gallery is housed in a heritage-listed State Government building which also provides an insight into the history of Cairns. The Gallery is one of Australia’s most innovative regional galleries, with a unique Pacific-Rim identity and a commitment to promoting the visual art of Tropical North Queensland.”
  • 35 locals recommend
Nature
“Feeling like a little exercise, heead up the red and yellow arrow to get your heart racing. ”
  • 34 locals recommend
Hostel
“Great place for backpackers and tourists to get together for a drink and meet other young travellers and locals.”
  • 19 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“A wide range of great food to be found here, and good value for money. The venue itself is in a great location and has a very relaxed vibe. Even better, they have Taco Tuesdays.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Café
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“All I will say is the death by chocolate waffles is an experience not to be missed for chocolate lovers! And then you can always walk it off in the beautiful Botanical Gardens. ”
  • 38 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Bar
“With dreamy mountain and ocean views, Salt House is a must-visit restaurant, bar, and pizzeria in Cairns. The restaurant is fitted with an Argentine-style wood-fired grill, which produces perfectly cooked steaks sourced from across Australia’s east coast. The menu also includes many seafood dishes and daily lunch specials. Next is the pizzeria, which serves breakfast in the morning and pizzas all afternoon and evening. Finally, the bar at Salt House is known for its cocktails, relaxing day beds, tapas bar menu, and occasional DJ and live music sets.”
  • 95 locals recommend
Bar
“A wide range of great food to be found here, and good value for money. The venue itself is in a great location and has a very relaxed vibe. Even better, they have Taco Tuesdays.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Bar
“Great food open all day breakfast lunch and dinner only 10 minute walk from our Airbnb”
  • 50 locals recommend
Steakhouse
“For the best steak in town, head to Waterbar & Grill. Located on Cairns Marlin Marina, guests will love both the waterfront views and menu. The grain-fed and aged organic beef is sourced locally from Morganbury Meat Company on the Atherton Tablelands. Many of the Waterbar & Grill’s dishes boast African and Portuguese flavours. This includes the Portuguese chicken and Boerewors, which is made with traditional South African sausages. But the standout dish might be the Espatada: rump on a hanging skewer that’s dripping with red wine and chilli sauce. More Info”
  • 23 locals recommend
Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant
“"Every owner has their own vision. Like an artist who paints they have their own way of connecting with locality, culture and people through food and service. At Ozmosis we pride ourselves in providing fun, high quality fresh produce in a laid back tropical environment. We are family friendly, pet friendly and cater for all dietary requirements."”
  • 25 locals recommend
Cafe
“Our regular stop on a walk from Clifton Beach to Palm Cove and back, which takes about ninety minutes.”
  • 30 locals recommend
Bar
“Open plan restaurant with alfresco seating for breakfast, cocktails and international dining . My favourite in Palm Cove ”
  • 34 locals recommend
Australian Restaurant
“Located on the water front, this is one of our favourite restaurants. They have a great menu, that is affordable but has a great range of foods. Excellent lunch menu.”
  • 26 locals recommend

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