Cairns Adventures

On this page you have some ideas for Cairns adventures.

And there is no better place for the adventures - after all, Cairns is known as the adventure capital of Australia for a reason.

Apart from the usual activities like diving, snorkelling, sailing, canoeing, fishing and horse riding, there are also plenty of more adventurous activities such as bungy jumping, skydiving, parasailing, jet boating, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, you name it.

Let's have a closer look

Adventures In the Air

bungy jumping cairns

Bungee Jumping Australia
Yes, there is bungy jumping in Cairns, but not in the city. 
It's along the Northern Beaches way - turn left at the sign to the James Cook University.
Jungle Swing is in the same place. You can also get a combo, or do the both unlimited times :-)

skydiving cairns

Cairns Skydiving
Skydiving is also one of the popular Cairns adventures. 
There are a few companies on Grafton Street, Sheridan Street and the Esplanade. 
They take you out to the beaches where you get a good free fall with some great views over the ocean and the reef.

cairns heliport

Helicopter Flights
You can take short, 10 or 30 minutes scenic helicopter flights over Cairns, its harbour and Trinity Inlet. 
Or, you can take a longer flight to coral reef islands, tropical rainforests or Port Douglas, and if you wish you can fly one way and sail the other. You can also combine the flight packages.

flight cairns

Scenic Flights
There are shorter, 15 minutes airplane flights to Sandy Cay, Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef; and there are longer ones to Cape York.
Plane and helicopter flights take off from General Aviation near Cairns Airport, and from Cairns Yacht Club near the Marina in the city centre.

hot air ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning
While a lot of hot air ballooning is advertised in Cairns, this activity does not actually happen in Cairns but in the so-called Ballooning Capital Mareeba, 60km inland. 
Buses pick you up either in Cairns, or at the Mareeba Tourist Information Centre, and the trips include breakfast.

Adventures in or on the Water

scuba diving cairns

Scuba Diving in Cairns

Scuba diving is the best in coral reef, and the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest.

You can watch coral fish, giant clams, sea stars and other coral reef animals.
You don't need to be a certified diver - you can also do your license on those trips.

white water rafting cairns

White Water Rafting
The closest and cheapest way of doing it is a half day trip in Barron River in western Cairns.
A more expensive, but highly popular is a day trip to Tully River in Wooroonooran National Park. There are also two day trips to North Johnstone River in Wooroonooran National Park.

cairns parasailing

Parasailing and Jet Boating
Ride a jet boat, glide behind a parasailing vessel, or ride a white water tube just outside the Esplanade. Other Cairns adventures include guided jet ski tours in mangrove channels and around Admiralty Island.
Most depart from Cairns Marina.

cable skiing cairns

Cable Skiing
You can water ski, knee board and wakeboard at Cable Ski, just north of Tjapukai Aboriginal Park and the Cairns end of Kuranda Skyrail station, north of Smithfield, along the Cairns northern beaches road (Cook Highway).
It's reasonably cheap at hourly prices and it's lots of fun!

Scuba Diving Adventures

On this page you have some scuba diving trips in Cairns.

While snorkelling can easily be done close to the coast, diving trips often go out to the outer reef, where waters are deeper at the end of the continental shelf.

Many companies combine diving and snorkelling trips and also cater for people who only want to watch the reef through a glass bottom boat.

Some combine diving and sailing.

Some have night diving, even with with a dinner and star gazing.

On this page are some trips, the full list with prices and contact details is in the Destination Guide.

Scuba Diving Trips to the GBR

scuba diving in cairns
By Saspotato via
cairns scuba diving
By Anthony Pearson via

Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are most often included in the price, as is coffee and tea.

Alcohol is most often available onboard for extra cost.

You don't need to be a certified diver.

Most companies also offer diving courses, where in the end of the course you can get a diver's licence.

Those are usually a few days' courses that consist of a practical as well as a theoretical part.

If you are a certified diver, you likely know that you can choose between different levels depending on how advanced you want it to be.

Some companies also offer undewater photography courses, and underwater camera hire.

Most tour operators depart from the fingers at Cairns Marina.

Scuba Diving and Whale Watching

australian whales
Although Cairns is not one of the best places in Australia to watch whales, during the winter months you can see dwarf minke whales, and bottlenose dolphins are usually seen all year around.

The tours that pass through where there are whale sightings make an extra effort to get close enough, and some companies have the permits to let you swim with whales and dolphins.

White Water Rafting

There are a few good white water rafting trips from Cairns.

The two most popular options are Barron River, which is in Cairns, and Tully River, which is a fair way south of Cairns, but being the most popular place for the activity in the whole country, is worth the drive.
They pick you up from your accommodation and bring you back after the trip.

You have to wear clothes and shoes that WILL get wet.

Bring a towel and sunscreen.

And be prepared for a GREAT day out!

white water rafting cairns

Half Day on Barron River
This is your best rafting option in Cairns, if you are not up to an early morning and a long drive - Barron River is in northern Cairns so you will waste no time on getting there.
It is a beautiful gorge and the rapids are graded 3.

white water rafting tully

Full Day on Tully River
This is the most famus place for white water rafting in Australia - but it takes longer to get here.
Tully River is about 150km south of Cairns and you will have a long day starting early in the morning. The rapids are grade 4 so it's harder than Barron River and even more fun.

Bungee Jumping Australia

So where is there bungee jumping in Australia?

It is quite incredible that in an adventurous country like Australia, right next to the bungee birth-country New Zealand, there is only one place to do bungee jumping in Australia!

bungy jumping australia

bungee jumping australia

And the place is Cairns - the city also known as Australia's adventure capital.

The rumour went in the old days that you got it for free if you jumped naked - I have never gone to find out.

I did do my own bungy jump - in the place where it first started at the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown in New Zealand (unfortunately it was before digital cameras and the photos of it are back in Europe so I couldn't put one up here).

But I can tell you it's a fantastic thing to do!

It's scary first to take the step, but once you have jumped off, you will not regret it!

Thinking back to it makes you smile for a good few days, and you will never forget it.

cape york travel

Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.

Plan and Bring to the Trip... the full Destination Cape York Travel Guide

visit cape york

This complete 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my vehicle-recovery-guy partner). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)

If you liked the books or this website, let others know about it! 

Link to it from your website, your blog, your forum post... Share it on Facebook, Tweet about it...

Every link helps other travellers!

Thank you for doing the right thing and letting others know :-)

destination cape york

Latest Pages

Notice Board

Ask a Question

YOUR Adventure

YOUR Cape Memories

Keep yourself updated
on the latest -
weather, roads,
free travel tips,
and get the
FREE Cape York
Pocket Guide!




Don't worry - your email address is totally secure.
I use it only to send you the Cape York News.

Get the FREE Pocket Guide:
cape york travel free pocket guide

Get the Big Destination Guide
destination cape york book

Available with the Big Destination Guide:
cape york dog caravan trailer
FEEDBACK Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
cape york businesses

loyalty beach