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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
Bar
$$
“With dreamy mountain and ocean views, Salt House is a must-visit restaurant, bar, and pizzeria in Cairns. The restaurant is fitted with an Argentine-style wood-fired grill, which produces perfectly cooked steaks sourced from across Australia’s east coast. The menu also includes many seafood dishes and daily lunch specials. Next is the pizzeria, which serves breakfast in the morning and pizzas all afternoon and evening. Finally, the bar at Salt House is known for its cocktails, relaxing day beds, tapas bar menu, and occasional DJ and live music sets.”
  • 95 locals recommend
Pool
“The Lagoon is a 4800sqm salt water swimming facility that offers an all year round safe swimming location without stingers or crocodiles. The lagoon is filled with salt water from Trinity Inlet which is filtered through a state- of- the- art filtration system. Entry to the lagoon is free with a toilet and shower facility located alongside. Lifeguards are on duty while the lagoon is open. If you have toddlers take a walk up the esplanade and experience Muddy's Playground with water activities and playground for the little ones”
  • 93 locals recommend
Garden
$$
“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
Farmers Market
“Rusty’s Market is one of the most successful and well-known markets in Australia and abroad. From modest beginnings in 1975 of only half-a-dozen stalls, Rusty’s has grown into a bustling three-day event. Renown for its carnival atmosphere and colourful stallholders, Rusty’s boasts over 180 stalls featuring exotic fruit, vegetables, and flowers, sumptuous delicatessens with fresh breads, diary, and seafood, a host of international food and beverage stalls, an abundance of bric-a-brac and specialty products including clothing, jewellery, coffee, and chocolate ... and so much more! OPENING TIMES Friday — 5am to 6pm Saturday — 5am to 6pm Sunday — 5am to 3pm”
  • 89 locals recommend
General Entertainment
“One of Australia's most unique venues. Converted from historic wartime oil tanks to an arts centre. By day view free art exhibitions and walk the beautiful surrounds. By night be sure to check who is playing in Cairns' best entertainment venue (awarded this title for the last five years and counting) See programme I have left for your convenience.”
  • 64 locals recommend
Night Market
“Visit the night markets, grab a bargain and see the Aussie giftware on show.”
  • 47 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
Café
$
“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
Steakhouse
$$$
“For the best steak in town, head to Waterbar & Grill. Located on Cairns Marlin Marina, guests will love both the waterfront views and menu. The grain-fed and aged organic beef is sourced locally from Morganbury Meat Company on the Atherton Tablelands. Many of the Waterbar & Grill’s dishes boast African and Portuguese flavours. This includes the Portuguese chicken and Boerewors, which is made with traditional South African sausages. But the standout dish might be the Espatada: rump on a hanging skewer that’s dripping with red wine and chilli sauce. More Info”
  • 23 locals recommend
Australian Restaurant
$$$
“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
Bar
$$$
“Open plan restaurant with alfresco seating for breakfast, cocktails and international dining . My favourite in Palm Cove ”
  • 34 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Italian food and bar with impressive Coral Sea views. Located at 75 Vasey Esplanade Trinity Beach, 25 minutes and 16 Km from Rain-forest House by car.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Travel Agency
“The Kuranda Scenic Railway tour is an experience for all the family to enjoy. It is a unforgettable journey up the mountainous range from Cairns to the village of Kuranda. Tropical rainforest, cascading waterfalls and rivers. Cairns to Kuranda return – 7 hours depart 8.30am return 3.30pm from $50 Other tours available. Please visit website any changes ”
  • 30 locals recommend
Route
“The Cairns Esplanade is a picturesque 2.5km stretch of foreshore in the heart of Cairns.. The parklands, playgrounds, boardwalk, Lagoon and recreational facilities are all free entry. enjoy this stunning facility. The Esplanade has great cafe’s, where you can sit have a coffee, gaze out over the ocean. A great way to start the day. Perfect ! ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Casino
“Experience live music in Cairns, a chilled Sunday session in BAR36 or a big night on the town, with great local and world class international live music acts, talented mixologist's and stunning award winning food, not to mention Far North Queensland's #1 destination for gaming. ”
  • 25 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
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
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
Bar
“Open plan restaurant with alfresco seating for breakfast, cocktails and international dining . My favourite in Palm Cove ”
  • 34 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Italian food and bar with impressive Coral Sea views. Located at 75 Vasey Esplanade Trinity Beach, 25 minutes and 16 Km from Rain-forest House by car.”
  • 29 locals recommend
Bar
“Located in the heart of the City Place, is the Woolshed an Iconic Nightclub. a great place to catch up have a meal and enjoy a drink. It caters for group bookings, hen nights etc.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Middle Eastern Restaurant
“This has to be the best place in the world to get a kebab. If you are a Seinfeld fan, just think of the soup episode. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Hostel
“Cairns has so many great bars - this is yet another one to put on the round. Live music - lots of activities to be had.”
  • 3 locals recommend

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