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Hotels in Cairns

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Located on the east coast in the far north of the state, Cairns is the fifth most populous city in the state of Queensland. Founded in 1876 to provide access to goldfields, it has grown into a major transit city for tourists visiting the Great Barrier Reef, the tropical rainforests, and the Atherton Tableland. But visitors don’t just pass through. The city and its relaxed atmosphere can be enjoyed by all sorts of holidaymakers from cruise ship passengers to people who love a good urban environment.

Hotel construction in the city keeps pace with the growing number of visitors who are mainly international rather than domestic. There is holiday and hotel accommodation to suit every budget in Cairns.

Neighbourhoods of Cairns

Each area of the city has its own unique personality, so choose the area that suits you most. For example:

  • CBD: With views of the Coral Sea, the most popular area here is the Esplanade. It’s busy with lots of places to eat, drink, and shop with lots of markets. From here you can swim in the lagoon, drink in views of the Pier Marina and enjoy the pulsating nightlife.
  • Cairns North: Quieter and quirkier than Downtown, this area has a boutique feel with unique shops and cafes. The botanical gardens and aquarium are here.
  • Northern Beaches: Nine beaches run north from the central area. Trintiy Beach is one of the most popular with locals and families.
  • Parramatta Park: 10 minutes from the waterfront and home to the largest shopping centre in North Queensland, it’s a very pleasant area of lush greenery and urban excitement.

What to see and do in Cairns

Some of the most popular attractions and activities include:

  • Botanic Gardens: A lovely exhibition of tropical plants, there’s also the Gondwana Heritage Garden reflecting aboriginal planting and the Flecker Garden with a collection of butterflies.
  • Aquarium: A state-of-the-art facility, it’s the Great Barrier Reef in miniature!
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park: Learn about traditional life and culture in this extravaganza of dance, music, theatre, hunting, and food.
  • Centenary Lakes: Follow the rainforest boardwalk and look out for crocodiles in the lakes.
  • Cairns Museum: Visit the four galleries to understand the history of the city and North Queensland.
  • Zoom and Wildlife Zone: Take the challenge of the rope course set in replica of a rainforest complete with authentic flora and fauna.
  • Adventure Sports: Just some you can do in and around Cairns are diving, hang gliding, ballooning, skydiving, and white water rafting.
  • The Great Barrier Reef: Nobody should pass on the opportunity to visit one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Scuba divers and snorkellers will be absolutely enthralled but it’s equally enigmatic for those seeing it from above the waves.
  • Island Hopping: A number of tropical island paradises are easily reachable by regular boat trips including Fitzroy Island and Green Island.

What to eat in Cairns

The food culture in Cairns can be described as quintessentially Australian, with lots of fresh fish along with a handful of local delicacies that are special to the region. Some of the most popular foods to seek out to try include:

  • Rosella jam: A preserve made from an indigenous wildflower, great spread on toast.
  • Moreton Bay Bugs: Very much a local favourite, it’s a species of lobster that hugs the local reef.
  • Macadamia nuts: Another locally produced food that is much used in the city’s food.
  • Barramundi: Australia’s favourite fish is equally popular here.
  • Tropical fruit: The climate enables the local area to grow bananas, pineapple, avocado, pawpaw and more.

Typical events and festivals in Cairns

There is always something going in Cairns, no matter what time of the year you choose to visit. For example:

  • Indigenous Art Fair: This celebration of Aboriginal culture in various forms happens in July.
  • Carnival On Collins: The culmination of the Cairns Festival held on father’s Day weekend in September.
  • Opera In The Outback: A unique event with a range of musical performances in an outdoor amphitheatre setting in October.
  • New Year’s Eve on The Esplanade: Say goodbye to the old year with fireworks displays and a fun run.

How to move around in Cairns

The city centre is reasonably flat so totally walkable, and there are marked walking trails, too. But the best way to move around Cairns is the comprehensive bus service that provides routes with stops covering the significant areas of the city. There’s plenty of taxis and car hire companies. The city is served by its international airport and is connected to Brisbane by train.

The climate in Cairns

With its tropical climate, summers are hot and humid, and winters are warm. Average daily temperatures in summer (November to February) rarely dip below 31°C. July is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 17.0°C. Note that the wet monsoon season is between November and April, and travel isn’t always recommended during this time.

Frequently asked questions about Hotels in Cairns

The most centrally located hotels in Cairns with the best ratings are: Hotel Coral Towers, Hotel Pullman Reef Casino and Il Palazzo Holiday Apartments.

It depends on the category of the hotel. If you want to stay at a 4-star hotel in Cairns, the average price per night is 60 , while you will pay an average of 43 for a 3-star hotel, and in a more luxurious 5-star hotel, you"ll pay around 81 .

If you're bringing a vehicle, we recommend that you book a hotel with parking in Cairns, like Hotel Beachfront Apartments On Trinity Beach, Hotel Costa Royale Trinity Beach or Tradewinds Mcleod Holiday Apartments.

You can make reservations at Hotel Pullman Reef Casino, Cannon Park Motel and Hotel Hilton Cairns if you"re looking for a hotel with valet service for your visit to Cairns.

If you need a hotel with disabled access in Cairns, we recommend Hotel Roydon Beachfront Apartments, Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa and Hotel Pullman Reef Casino.

If you want an adult-only hotel in Cairns, some of the best options for adults only are Hotel Mad Monkey Backpackers Village, Hotel Why Not Backpackers and Hotel Breakfree Royal Harbour.

According to our clients, if you´re travelling with children, the best hotels in Cairns are Hotel Costa Royale Trinity Beach, Hotel Roydon Beachfront Apartments and Hotel Beachfront Apartments On Trinity Beach.

If you want to save time, the hotels in Cairns with express check-in and check-out are Hotel Beachfront Apartments On Trinity Beach, Hotel Roydon Beachfront Apartments and Hotel Pullman Reef Casino.

Some of the options for hotels with non-smoking rooms in Cairns are Hotel Beachfront Apartments On Trinity Beach, Hotel Roydon Beachfront Apartments and Hotel Costa Royale Trinity Beach.

In Cairns, Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa, Hotel Pullman Reef Casino and Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort offer 24-hour front desk service.