Be social

There are so many trips, activities and things to do in Cairns that you could just spend your whole time going from one activity to another. But sometimes it’s nice to plan a few lazy days to soak in the atmosphere of a place.

Cairns is often voted as one of the most family-friendly cities in Australia, and with good reason. There are lots of great facilities so if you’re looking for somewhere where the kids can expend some energy this is our list of the best Cairns playgrounds available around the city.

1. Esplanade Lagoon

The Council’s free facilities along the Esplanade are fantastic.

The Lagoon is a popular focal point for local families and visitors. Grab a coffee from a nearby café, find a shady spot and let the kids go for it. On one side there is a man-made beach and on the other there are shallow areas for young children to swim safely.

In the summer this is a great place to go for an early evening BBQ. Enjoy the tropical Aussie lifestyle by cooking up a few sausages on the free BBQ facilities while the kids play.

2. Muddy’s Playground

muddy's playground cairns australiaWalking north from the Lagoon you’ll come across several children’s play areas starting with Muddy’s playground.

Muddy’s takes the gold medal for Cairns playgrounds and it is very popular with local families.

It features both wet and dry play areas with safe enclosed areas for toddlers and more challenging climbing equipment for older children.

There is also an on-site cafe if you want to sit and relax with a coffee while the kids play. It also sells the basics from ice cream to fish and chips if the children get peckish.

3. Northern end of the Esplanade

If you keep walking further along from Muddy’s you’ll find an excellent skate park for older kids, a bouldering park (again for older kids), bocce pits and finally, at the very northern end of the Esplanade is the Pirate Ship playground (a favourite with younger children).

4. The Figtree Playground (the ‘Treehouse’)

This is also a popular playground with local families. It’s located just south of the Casino on the Trinity Inlet waterfront near the cruise terminal.

Catering more to the older age group, it is a giant wooden treehouse built around an enormous fig tree with ramps, steps, windy walkways, tunnel slides, bridges and look-outs.

Cairns playgroundsThere are also large paved areas so it’s good for bike-riding, scooters and roller blades.

Unlike Muddy’s, it’s not fenced off so if your kids are younger you’ll need to keep more of an eye on them.

There is also a really cool little café right next to it that overlooks the water.

There is also plenty of parking, toilets and barbecue facilities.

5. Centenary Lakes Nature Playground

Immersed among the trees by Centenary Lakes on Greenslopes Street, this playground makes use of the natural surroundings to create a delightful play area where kids can connect with nature.

You can walk through to the Tanks and Botanic Gardens on Collins Avenue if you need to find a cafe.


5. Paradise Palms

paradise palmsParadise Palms is actually a golf and country club in Palm Cove but it has fantastic facilities for children with an enormous adventure playground and big swimming pool.

It also has a nice restaurant and bar area so this is the place to come if you are looking for somewhere to drink a nice glass of wine and soak in the views while the children play. In fact, this is the kind of place where you can pack up your bags and make a whole day of it.

There is an entry fee for the play areas but it is well worth it if you want a nice relaxed hassle-free lunch.

The restaurant and bar area overlooks the enormous adventure playground.

It features multiple play zones with colourful cubby houses, a giant jumping pillow, swings, slides, sandpit and various climbing frames, with plenty for kids of all ages.

6. Sugarworld (Water Park & Playground)

It may not be the Gold Coast but the waterpark at Sugarworld is still great fun for kids. It is located in Edmonton in the south of Cairns; about 20 minutes drive from the city centre.

7. Goomboora Park

goomboora park playground cairnsYou will need a car to get to this park but it’s worth the effort. Until quite recently this was just a little slice of nature right within the city but it has been developed into a recreation area.

It has a great playground that’s well shaded under huge fig trees and since it sits right beside a creek with lots of trees, the kids can also go off exploring ‘in the woods’.

There isn’t a cafe within the park but as you turn off the Reservoir Road, you will see the sign for Cool Waters Caravan Park where you can pick up a coffee on the way through.

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