While the Great Barrier Reef may be Cairns’ greatest drawcard, there are also several Cairns tourist attractions on land that are worth visiting including crocodile wildlife parks, scenic railway and cable cars and an aboriginal cultural centre.
There is a lot more to Cairns than the Great Barrier Reef, both from a cultural and environmental point of view. The Wet Tropics climate causes it to have a unique environment within Australia with wildlife that you also won’t see anywhere else. Regional areas of Australia, including Cairns, also enable visitors to more easily access Aboriginal culture.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]hartley’s crocodile adventures[/headline]
The estuaries around North Queensland are the natural habitat of the saltwater crocodile so they are very much a part of our local environment.
If you want to learn more about them, a trip to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, on the way to Port Douglas, is a must.
Hartley’s run river cruises at feeding time so you can see large saltwater crocodiles jump out of the water for their food.
You also get the opportunity to feed a crocodile at the wildlife park for an extra fee (although not in the actual enclosures due to safety reasons but a great experience nonetheless).
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]Wildlife Dome[/headline]
The Wildlife Dome, right in the middle of Cairns on top of the casino, contains snakes, birds and a big saltwater crocodile so if you haven’t got time to head out to one of the other zoo or wildlife attractions, this is the place to get a croc photo.
However, more recently the Dome has incorporated a really fantastic adventure course, which includes a zip line right over the croc enclosure. It is a lot of fun and definitely worth doing if you’re a more active type of traveller.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]Cairns Skyrail[/headline]
Without a doubt, traveling up to the Kuranda Range by cable car gives this is one of the best views of Cairns and the rainforest as the Skyrail cable car glides high above the trees and over the Barron River.
You can also stop off at various platforms along the way so you can experience the rainforest at close range.
There are several nature walks, lookouts and some interesting exhibits.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]Kuranda Scenic Railway[/headline]
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of the oldest and most popular Cairns tourist attractions. It snakes its way through the rainforest and mountains with spectacular views.
There is one stop along the way so tourists can step onto the platform beside the Barron Falls to take photos, as well as passing another nice waterfall on the way back down to Cairns.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]Tjapukai Aboriginal Park[/headline]
Most international travellers are curious about Australia’s Aboriginal culture and Tjapukai is the one of the attractions in Cairns that allows you to find out more about this fascinating culture.
There’s a museum providing Aboriginal history, Aboriginal dancers, Aboriginal face painting, spear and boomerang throwing, workshops on bush tukka, as well as the opportunity to learn how to play a didgeridoo and paint a rock with an Aboriginal artist.
There is also a restaurant on the premises overlooking a large lake with turtles as well as a shop selling Aboriginal paintings, didgeridoos and artefacts.
Photos thanks to Tourism & Events Queensland