Cairns is the most popular tourist destination in tropical North Queensland thanks to its location surrounded by natural wonders. A thriving small city with a lot to offer, Cairns has a laid-back vibe with warm weather all year-round. The most popular time to visit is during the dry season, mainly between April and October, however Cairns can certainly be visited throughout the year. If you’re looking for a summer holiday destination, Cairns is a great choice, with smaller crowds than usual at this busy time of year and the opportunity to find some stunning Cairns accommodation at affordable prices. You may run into some wet weather from time to time, but that’s the tropics for you. Pack a raincoat in your suitcase and enjoy these awesome things to do in Cairns this summer.
Cool off in the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
The Cairns Esplanade is a beautifully developed area along the foreshore with the public in mind, providing lovely cultural and recreation areas for all to enjoy. A summer walk along the foreshore is always enjoyable in the morning before the heat sets in and the rain clouds come over later in the day. There are no beaches in the centre of Cairns, but the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is a manmade beach and lagoon that is a great place to cool off in to escape the summer humidity. Swim, splash and play in the cool water or laze on the sand with a cool drink. That’s what summer holidays are all about.
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Visit Barron Falls
Summer is the wet season in Far North Queensland and the area receives some of the highest rainfall in Australia. All this water makes it a great time to visit some of the region’s spectacular waterfalls. Barron Falls is spectacular at any time of year; however, it is truly something to behold after heavy rain. Barron Falls is situated in the mountains inland from Cairns and is one of the stops on the amazing Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which travels across the rainforest from Cairns to Kuranda. Hop off and view Barron Falls in all its glory as the swollen river thunders down the falls into the gorge below.
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Taste Tropical Fruit at Rusty’s Market
Rusty’s Market is etched deeply into the Cairns culture. Situated right in the heart of the city, Rusty’s Market is the place to go for fresh local produce. Nothing says summer like juicy tropical fruit which grows so well in the Cairns climate, so take the chance to sample some of the delightful fruit on offer, along with other fresh produce and artisan foods, such as condiments and cheeses. You’ll also find a selection of handicrafts available from local vendors.
Rusty’s Market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from early morning.
Bring in the New Year in the Far North
If you’re thinking of heading to Cairns for the Christmas/New Year period, you won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer. The New Year is always brought in with a bang in Cairns with a free New Year event along the Cairns Esplanade. There is live entertainment all night for everyone to enjoy, and ends with a huge free fireworks display.
If you’re looking to party, all of the Cairns pubs and clubs have New Year’s events, or why not join a New Year’s Eve party tour and get driven around with other fun party goers?
For something a bit different, take a trip to beautiful Fitzroy Island and celebrate the New Year with their epic beach party. What better way to bring in the New Year than on a tropical island paradise?
Celebrate Chinese New Year
Cairns has a large Chinese community, plus plenty of Chinese tourists visiting on holiday, so it is no wonder that Chinese New Year has become one of the biggest events on the calendar. Celebrate the New Year China style in February with the vibrant Chinese Street Festival. Enjoy traditional Chinese performances and tasty food. The Cairns Esplanade is lit up again by a brilliant free fireworks display.
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Take a dip at Crystal Cascades
Crystal Cascades is one of the best kept secrets in Cairns. Crystal clear fresh water cascades down a series of small waterfalls with tranquil swimming holes beneath each one, all surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. Though frequented by locals and only a short drive from Cairns, not a lot of tourist’s head here as there are no tours or public transport options. If you have access to your own transport, a day at Crystal Cascades will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed in the hot Cairns summer weather.
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Hit the Beach
It may seem like the obvious thing to do on a hot summer’s day, but going to the beach during the summer months in Cairns can be a dangerous thing. Summer is stinger season in the far north, where dangerous box jellyfish inhabit the waters. Luckily, many of the popular Cairns beaches have stinger nets where you can swim safely, enjoying the beach and the water without having to worry about the stingers. Popular beaches where you can find stinger nets include Palm Cove, Yorkeys Nob, Hollowways and plenty more.
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Cairns is well known for its amazing tropical seafood, with an amazing choice of seafood restaurants on offer. Summer is the perfect time to sit outside and catch the sea breeze (or escape the humidity with some aircon), sample the amazing Cairns seafood with a cool class of white wine.
Splash is one of the best rated seafood restaurants in Cairns, situated on the beautiful esplanade, while another option is Tha Fish further along at the Pier. For something really local and unique, a must try is Prawn Star, situated in the Cairns Marina. People rave about the prawns here, which you can eat on a boat in the Marina or grab some tasty take away fish n’ chips.
While summer isn’t high season in Cairns, there are plenty of reasons to visit this beautiful tropical city.