Things To Do With Kids in Cairns Queensland | Cairns Tours

Things To Do With Kids in Cairns Queensland

By James Dixon | 17th June 2014

It’s the school holidays and you’re not looking forward to another couple of weeks of seeing your little ones lounging around playing video games all day, hearing the excessive sibling rivalry based quarrelling or having your fridge raided every five minutes by your listless brood. It’s time to stop the incessant whines of “Muuuummm – I’m bored!” and do something fun with the kids!

For an ideal, kid friendly holiday destination, you truly cannot beat Cairns – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s so difficult these days to find kid-friendly activities in close proximity to each other, but the Cairns region has everything you will ever need in one location.



Within the city of Cairns, free activities abound, with the Cairns Esplanade being a definite favourite of children. The Esplanade – which is located in the heart of the city – is a 2.5km strip of public paradise and all of its amenities are totally free! The Esplanade hot spot tends to be the Cairns Swimming Lagoon, which is of course a perfect spot to spend those long, balmy summer days. This 4800m2 lagoon is akin to the type of landscaped pools you’d see at one of those swank hotels; it features filtered salt water, a natural sand base in some areas (yay, sandcastles!), stunning fountains for the kids to play under and plenty of shade. The best part is that you can relax on one of the wooden decks or under a palm tree within the manicured garden while you watch the kids splashing around in the shallows. There are lifeguards to help keep them safe and no crocodiles or stingy things anywhere to be seen.

Then, there’s the amazing Muddy’s Playground, where you can sit and have a relaxing coffee while the kids have a ball splashing in the warm ankle-deep water, swinging on the flying fox or traversing the rope bridge. There are also slides, seesaws, cubby houses and even a story-telling area. The esplanade also offers the largest skate park in Australia, which is a state of the art 2300m2 park featuring clover bowls, cradles, ledges, rails, banks, Moguls, Tombstones and a whole host of other contemporary skating obstacles that sound like alien language to parents. Again, you can relax and watch your little budding Tony Hawks’ under a lovely shaded area. If you get sick of relaxing (wait, what? You must be one of those young, energetic parents!) and want to join in the fun yourself, there’s a plethora of wonderful options that get you out and about in Cairns.

The beautiful Kuranda is a quaint little rainforest village that just oozes with paradisiacal delights! Kuranda is only 30 minutes from Cairns city; however, you can get there via the amazing Kuranda Scenic Rail, which winds its way through two hours of stunning lush rainforest track. The kids can admire the view and help you spot the numerous Aussie mammals, birds and reptiles along the way. If you really want to knock their socks off with delight, you could take the 1.5-hour journey there via the phenomenal and unique Skyrail Rainforest Cableway – an aerial cableway stretching 7.5km through North Queensland’s beautiful tropical rainforests. This option is definitely a winner with the kids and will create great memories that will last a lifetime. Once there, you have access to some thrilling kid-friendly activities, such as the Koala Gardens, Birdworld and the Butterfly Sanctuary. This place is just teeming with fun activities for the kids and is just as fun for the big kids too!

The next exciting activity on offer within the area is Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, at Wangetti, just 40km north of Cairns. With return transfers through the regions gorgeous scenery, you’ll arrive at Hartley’s to be amazed at the amazing crocodiles on display. Here, you and your little reptile fans can see a live croc feeding demonstration, enjoy the safe Wetlands Cruise through croc-infested waters and even hold a baby croc! Take a stroll along the 2100 metres of timber boardwalks and pathways to spot some of the many species of tropical birds, reptiles, insects and mammals, or see even more demonstrations featuring snakes, koalas, turtles, cassowaries, quolls and many more astonishing animals. There’s the Gondwana Gateway – a modern representation of Australia’s wildlife evolution – which provides some of that educational fun that we, as parents, love so much. Then you can go over your day’s activities at the café or gift shop. Simply a great day out!

For parents of little thrill seekers, there are plenty of heart-thumping, knuckle-whitening adventures in Cairns. A hot air balloon ride is probably the most mild-mannered adrenaline activity you can experience; although, the stunning views are enhanced with a tinge of adrenaline at the heights the balloons soar to. The multi-person AJ Hackett Minjin Jungle Swing is sure to get their little hearts pumping, as you swing along at 120kph above the rainforest canopy! The Minjin Jungle Swing is completely scary, but very safe for older kids.

Finally, I could fill a book with the amazing kid-friendly options for snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. This amazing underwater wonderland is thriving now, but may not be in such good shape by the time our babies have all grown up! Seeing this wonder of the natural world is something every Aussie and tourist to Australia should do – no matter what their age – and there are a multitude of options available for doing so.

So there you have it – there’s absolutely no excuse for boredom in Cairns. Enjoy watching your children learn and love this amazing area, and create some lifelong memories in the process.