Cairns Family Holiday Guide

The trouble with Cairns is that, once you realise just how many family friendly options are on offer, it becomes more or a question, “Why not Cairns?” From the kid friendly hotels and restaurants to exploring the Great Barrier Reef, meeting local furry friends and riding through or over the stunning rainforest, it’s like a trip to nature’s own version of Disneyland.

Day 1: Choices, choices - natural wonder of the world or natural wonder of the world? Time for a family meeting:

  • Imagine a family breakfast without a single interruption? Impossible you say! Not at Squeekers Fun Club indoor adventure playground where trampolines, ball pit and more keep toddlers to 10 year olds entertained while you relax in the grown up café.
  • Jump aboard a Green Island full day tour to see the world’s supermodel coral reef strut her stuff as you and the kids snorkel from the beach or gaze through a glass bottom boat.
  • Hard to fault the Port Douglas full day Experience - pull up at the Rainforest Habitat wildlife Sanctuary, share a buffet lunch with some friendly lorikeets, dabble in some shopping, poke around town and then all jump back on the bus for a snooze back home to Cairns.
  • What better way to end your day than with a two-hour guided Jungle Adventures Nightwalk along tracks through Cape Tribulation. Who’ll be first to spot the lizard, possum and other nocturnal critters?

Day 2: Cairns even has fun stuff to do under and off the ground. Now that’s just bragging:

  • Take a self-guided tour of the Crystal Caves to see the world’s biggest purple amethyst crystals and magical floating spheres. They’ll even deck you all out with miner’s helmets, a light and map.
  • Go casual and fun for lunch at Skippers Fish and Chip cafe on the Esplanade where you can eat a light meal and the kids can skip off to the nearby Muddy’s playground.
  • All aboard Trevor the Tank Engine aka the Kuranda Scenic Rail & Skyrail Great Value Day Tour, for an awww inspiring ride high above the rainforest canopy.
  • You’re growing Tarzans and Jane’s might like to upgrade the adventure stakes on the Minjin Jungle Swing, where you hang in a harness together, 45 metres off the ground, and swing.

Day 3: And then of course, there are those magical waterways and woodlands:

  • Saddle up your ponies and horses on a Billabong Horseback adventure tour through the heritage trails of rainforest, eucalypt woodlands.
  • Learn about the Tjapukai aborigines on a full day, half day or night tour of the cultural park, where you can watch theatrical performances involving holograms, learn to play a didgeridoo, throw a boomerang and taste some real bush tucker.
  • Crikey! Take the kids on a Crocodile Explorer cruise around the Trinity inlet waterways to see more than a few big saltwater beauties up close – and even visit the Cairns Crocodile Farm.
  • Value for money meals ie 50% off for kids, and plenty of choice for selective eaters is what the people at Sunsets Family Buffet Restaurant of Brothers Leagues Club do best.

Recommended Cairns Family Hotels:

  • Set amongst tropical gardens, The Cairns Colonial Club Resort comes with a children’s playground, toddler pool and two restaurants offering a lost list of kids favourites.
  • The Mantra Trilogy understand that it’s your holiday too. Enjoy a massage or a workout at the gym while the in-house babysitting service keep the kids out of your hair—and the multi-bedroom accommodation choice also helps to keep some sanity.
  • Overlooking beautiful Cairns Marina and Trinity Inlet is the recently renovated Hilton Hotel. From the wonderful pool to the baby sitting service, in-room PlayStations and hotel restaurants it’s made for family holiday nirvana.

See the list below for more Cairns Family Hotels.

5 self rated
34 Esplanade Cairns 4870 Australia

Experience a sense of luxury at Hilton Cairns, located on the Cairns Esplanade. Boasting an absolute waterfront location, this property is located just 2 minutes’ walk from the Reef Departure Terminal...more

4 self rated
49-51 Vasey Esplanade Trinity Beach 4879 Australia

Nestled on the spectacular beachfront and set against a backdrop of stunning rainforest, On The Beach Holiday Apartments are located at Trinity Beach, in Cairns, just 15 minutes' drive north of Cairns...more

4 star
2 Greenslopes Street Cairns 4870 Australia

This luxury resort offers spacious luxury apartments set amongst lush tropical gardens. Facilities include 4 luxurious swimming pools, a sauna and a tennis court.Each air-conditioned apartment at The...more

4 self rated
1 Marlin Parade Cairns 4870 Australia

Centrally located on the Cairns waterfront, The Sebel Cairns Harbour Lights offers fully self-contained apartments or hotel rooms with balconies and views over Cairns city or the harbour. Guests have...more

4 star
101-105 The Esplanade Cairns 4870 Australia

Located on the Cairns Esplanade in the city centre, Mantra Trilogy offers spacious accommodation with private balconies overlooking the pool, mountains or ocean. The lagoon-style swimming pool has oce...more


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