Up in Far North Queensland, Cairns is positively bursting at the seams with natural and man-made attractions, along with plenty of activities the kids will love. However, how can you be sure which ones are more likely to capture their attention?
We've got the inside scoop. Here are a few recommendations from the young locals - junior travel guides from Bound Round, the travel app for kids, by kids.
1. Paronella Park
About 1.5 hours south of Cairns you’ll find a real oddity that the kids will have great fun exploring: Paronella Park. Built on five hectares of rainforest beside Mena Creek falls, it is the fulfillment of Jose Paronella's dreams dating back to 1935.
The park consists of a castle, an ornately decorated grand ballroom, picture theatre and restaurant, a cafe by the pool beneath the magnificent Mena Creek Falls, tunnel of love and mysterious rainforest garden walks.
2. Cairns Wildlife Dome & Zoom
At the Wildlife Dome and Zoom you can step into a tropical rainforest in the middle of the city. Cockatoos and parrots swoop over your head under the glass dome as you meet the resident turtles, gliders and snakes.
The highlight of the Dome is the Cairns ZOOM, where you can take a free-fall jump over a super bouncy trampoline, walk around the outside of the Dome on the glass roof, test your balance and nerves on the high rope courses or the ultimate thrill - fly along the zip line directly over the Dome's four-metre crocodile, Goliath.
“Superfun, super cool, amazing – this Dome is amazing. Lots of birds, lots of wildlife, lots of activities to do, if you’re going to be in Cairns, you should definitely do this.”
Want to know more about Cairns? City Scoop: Cairns
Take some tips from the locals. A Local’s Guide To Cairns
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
There are few kids who are not morbidly fascinated by crocodiles, and Hartley’s doesn’t disappoint. You can tour the wetlands here and watch these prehistoric creatures being fed at close range from the safety of your boat.
Kids can also have a wander through the Cassowary Walk – one of the most dangerous birds in the world (yes – even more dangerous than swooping mother magpies).
“Hartley’s is snap-tastic. If you’re into animals, then you would love to come here.”
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
The cableway will take you gliding over 7.5 kilometres of tropical rainforest to the top of the rainforest canopy. Stop off at the midstations where you can walk along the boardwalk along the lush rainforest floor before climbing back above the trees.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Scenic Railway is more than 100 years old and winds its way up the mountain from Cairns to Kuranda, passing the gorgeous Barron Falls along the way.
In Kuranda you can cuddle a koala at Kuranda Koala Gardens and take a stroll through Australia’s only walk-through snake house.
“It’s a bit scary but I would recommend it, it’s a cool experience.”
The Great Barrier Reef
And then, of course, there is the Great Barrier Reef.
There are any number of operators who can take you and the kids out for a snorkel on the reef, but if you want a more personal experience, take the kids out with Passions of Paradise, who will take you under sail to the beautiful Michaelmas Cay or Paradise Reef, where you can go for a swim, snorkel or hop in the glass-bottom boat to explore the reef.
Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Cairns.
About Bound Round
For more recommendations on activities for kids in Far North Queensland and the rest of Australia (and the world) get your kids to check out Bound Round, the kids' travel app by kids for kids. The app is full of fun facts, games and video guides to all the best activities and attractions, narrated by local kids, the experts on what’s fun in their home town.