Fun For The Whole Family In Cairns | Cairns Tours

Fun For The Whole Family In Cairns

By James Dixon | 20th June 2014



There’s definitely a particular skill required in planning great holiday options that suit an entire family’s tastes. Do you go to a play centre or theme park and satisfy the kids, or do you concentrate on the parent’s idea of fun and book an island resort or sightseeing tour? While both of these options might be fun for the majority of the family, there’s usually one member who doesn’t enjoy it as much as the others; this is typically the parents, who often sacrifice their own wants for that of their children. Nobody wants to come home from a holiday and feel like they’ve had no fun, and seeing as though it’s generally the parents who have worked hard to fund the holiday, it’s not really fair, is it?

Luckily, the Cairns region offers some of the most family-friendly experiences available in Australia. The city itself is even a font of family fun, with an amazing Esplanade designed for the enjoyment of children and the total relaxation of parents. There’s so much to do within this gorgeous region that you won’t have to endure one boring moment! So without further ado, here’s a few Cairns holiday adventures that the whole family can enjoy:

Great Adventures at the Great Barrier Reef (All ages, but some water activities for 12 and up only)

What would a trip to Cairns be without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef? While there is a plethora of Great Barrier Reef tours, sometimes the kids think that simply looking at fish all day is a bit unexciting! To kids, lack of interaction = boring, so it’s definitely a good idea to strike a balance between looking and doing.

That’s why the Great Adventures: Green Island Eco Adventure is perfect for everyone. You have the choice between a full and a half day tour (so attention spans aren’t pushed to the limit) and the first part of the experience is a fast-paced catamaran ride out to the stunning Green Island – who doesn’t love a fast boat ride? Parents get the chance to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at the pretty fish via snorkel or scuba, as well as introduce their little prodigies to an underwater wonderland. If your little ones can’t snorkel, you can jump onto the glass-bottomed boat or experience the amazing ‘Seawalk’ (for kids 12 and up), where you can literally walk along the sea floor with just a diving helmet on!

When the kids have had enough, there are a ton of exciting options on the island; such as swimming at the beach or in the resort pool, taking an eco-walk through the gorgeous rainforest, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the Islands café’s or restaurants or enjoying a scenic heli flight over the reef. You can also partake in some family beach volleyball; take the kids out in a canoe, watch and laugh as Dad attempts windsurfing or laugh even harder when Mum tries her hand at surfskiing! There’s even a crocodile park and aquarium on the Island, where you can hold a baby croc, explore the amazing Melanesian artefacts and meet ‘Cassius’, the largest Crocodile in Captivity! You could spend three days on the Island and still not experience all of the amazing activities available, so this is definitely a winner for a family holiday.

Wildlife Experiences – With Teeth! (All ages)

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is located at Wangetti, an easy 40km north of Cairns. This is where you go if you all love things with scales, teeth and claws; however, there is a huge variety of cute and cuddly animals too, so there’s truly something for everyone.


At Hartley’s, you will be able to get up close to Australia’s most fearsome reptile – the crocodile – in a variety of ways. Enjoy a cruise through croc habitat or hold a juvenile croc; watch a live feeding or shiver as you look down into the holding pens at the croc farm! You can explore the educational wildlife evolution display and then take a lovely walk through the park, spotting a plethora of birds, mammals, insects and reptiles along the way. There are also live demonstrations featuring cuddly koalas, cassowaries, quolls, turtles, snakes and many more amazing animals.

Hot Air Ballooning (all ages)

There’s something truly magical about hot air ballooning that captures the imagination of young and old. Perhaps we can blame movies – such as the Wizard of Oz, Around the World in 80 Days, Up or even Dora the Explorer – for this fascination; however, it’s undoubtedly an activity that everyone can enjoy. The bonus is that the Atherton Tablelands – which is less than an hour from Cairns – is absolutely stunning from the air!



Your hot air balloon ride takes half an hour, so it’s a perfect duration for the little ones and still long enough for the adults to enjoy. As the colourful patchwork of mountains and valleys stretches out below you, you can enjoy a family bonding experience that’s both amazingly exciting and truly memorable. Definitely a unique and exciting way to spend a morning.

White Water Rafting (kids 13 and up)

White water rafting, on the Raging Thunder: Barron Raft Adventure, gives the illusion of being really dangerous, but it’s actually extremely safe, making it the perfect activity for a family of thrill-seekers! As you and your kin wrangle with the rushing (yet gentle) Barron River, you will bounce, dip and twist along a scenic route hemmed by the lush Barron Gorge National Park.  You also get the chance to try raft surfing and to have a dip in Lake Placid afterwards! This afternoon activity is a great bonding exercise, as it requires teamwork, but it’s a load of fun and requires no previous experience.

Kuranda Day Tours

Kuranda is comparable to the Great Barrier Reef in it’s beauty, only, this quaint little town is on land! This gorgeous town – which is only 30 minutes from Cairns – can be accessed via either the stunning Kuranda Scenic Rail or the amazing Skyrail Rainforest Cableway – which is an aerial cableway stretching 7.5km through the lush tropical rainforests and is, in itself, an adventure that will delight the whole family!

Kuranda Day Tours offer a host of amazing activities, from the plethora of rainforest tours available (including one in an amphibious Army Duck), to the Koala Gardens, Birdworld, Honey House, Indigenous performances and the Butterfly Sanctuary. You might want to spend a whole day in this amazing area, as there is so much to do for both parents and kids – it’s truly a paradise!