Top 10 family attractions in Cairns

Cairns is a fabulous holiday destination for families with kids of all ages. Once you have your family friendly accommodation booked, it’s time to check out the fun things to do! Here are the top 10 attractions in Cairns for families.

1. Muddy’s Playground

You will absolutely LOVE Muddy’s playground in Cairns, it is known as one of the best kids’ playgrounds in Australia! Best of all, it’s a free family activity. Muddy’s playground has fantastic waterpark, a safe place for splashing around in the summer without the worry of crocs or stingers. As for dry activities, kids can choose from an exciting array of rope bridges, slides, wheels, see-saws, puzzle games and play houses. Have coffee and lunch at the café or bring food to cook at the BBQ facilities. Open every day, Cairns Muddy’s playground is a favourite among families in Cairns.

2. Cairns Esplanade

Another free family activity is to spend a lovely afternoon on Cairns Esplanade. This focal point of Cairns City is a fun place for families to see crazy street performers, watch pelicans and other birds, or enjoy an ice cream on a sunny day. Afterwards, you can cool down with a dip in the free Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Saturdays get even more exciting when the Esplanade markets arrive featuring locally made arts & crafts, specialty clothing and live musical entertainment. Keep fit as a family while having fun on holiday, with free daily fitness classes in and around the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.

3. Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome

If your family are of the adventurous type, you’ll love Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome. The top Cairns family attraction featuring the world’s first challenge ropes course with a difference – it’s in a wildlife park! Various ziplines will take you whizzing past cute koalas and slithery snakes, while another zooms directly over Goliath – the 4 metre saltwater crocodile! Buckle up your harness and take to the sky with free falling jumps and rope climbs. If that’s not quite enough, you can climb the outside of the dome for a Cairns history tour and spectacular 360 views of the coastline! A fun family day out indeed. Kids must be aged 6 years and over to participate in any of the physical activities.

4. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

If your kids are fans of Cairns’ snappy residents, a family trip to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures should be on the itinerary. This family friendly farm is an award-winning attraction for croc-spotting, also home to other native species and flora and fauna. Spread across over 2100m of boardwalks and pathways, this wildlife park offers a realistic experience with the Cairns crocs. Take a woodland walk to find the

Cassowary, a boat cruise on the melaleuca wetland or a rainforest stroll to spot tropical birds and reptiles. For crocodile sightings, Hartley’s is the top family attraction in Cairns.

5. Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas

Families frequently flock to Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas to spend time with their favourite animals. Wildlife Habitat is more than just a zoo, it’s an interactive experience that allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in natural habitats. The animal exhibits are open-air and guests are encouraged to interact with the wildlife. Walk with the wallabies and handfeed kangaroos. Watch crocodile feeding or take a turtle tour. Have the opportunity to get photographed with your favourite Ozzy creatures including koalas, snakes, crocs and cockatoos. Why not enjoy breakfast with the birds, picnics with the parrots or lunch with the lorikeets? There’s so much to see at Wildlife Habitat, it’s no wonder it’s a popular Cairns family attraction. For the best family discounts to Wildlife Habitat, fill out an enquiry form.

6. Kuranda, the village in the rainforest

Kuranda, also known as the village in the rainforest, is a town rich in heritage and nature. Kuranda is a fun day out for families in Cairns with plenty to keep kids entertained. Experience the million-year-old rainforest with a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway or soar above the canopy on the Skyrail. Hand feed tropical birds at Bird World and get close to butterflies at the enchanting Butterfly Sanctuary. Kids will love petting the koalas and kangaroos at Kuranda Koala Gardens, while there’s plenty of local art and heritage markets for parents to enjoy. Keep the kids active by taking a rainforest walk and take a photo of the spectacular Barron Falls. If you have a sweet tooth, check out a candy making demo at Kuranda Candy Kitchen!

7. Cairns Night Markets

Cairns Night Markets are a popular family attraction to visit after a day of exploring the sights. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs, unique toys and gadgets, handmade clothing or gifts for loved ones. Around each corner are treasure troves selling heaps of opal and pearl jewelry, walls of printed t-shirts, indigenous art and stacks of delicious treats. You can even pamper yourself with a choice of massages, a new manicure or a haircut. The food court offers delicacies from around the world at reasonable prices, including Chinese, Italian, Thai and Japanese foods. Don’t go without dessert – there’s delicious ice creams, churros, crepes, waffles and gelato to name a few. Don’t worry if you can’t choose, you can always come back the next day for more!

8. The Cairns Museum

As well as the fun in the sun, it’s nice to take the kids somewhere educational during your Cairns family holiday. Two blocks from the Esplanade is The Cairns Museum, showcasing artifacts that tell true stories about Cairns people, places, events and environment. Discover the real Cairns lifestyle in a tropical port and how it turned into the tourist city of today. The Cairns museum hosts many family exhibits that change frequently and admission prices are cheap, so pop down to see what’s on.

9. Island Tours

One of Cairns’ tourist magnets is to experience the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. To ensure this a family-friendly activity, take a magical day trip to one of the nearby islands. Green island isn’t far from Cairns mainland, so suits bigger families or those with young children. Fitzroy island is further from Cairns mainland with a better view of the reef. Family friendly activities include glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling, kayaking and rainforest walks. With warm, crystal clear waters and various tropical marine life, you might want to stay overnight and make the most of it!

10. Yorkey’s Knob Beach

There’s an array of beaches to choose from in Cairns. However, the best beach for families and children has to be Yorkey’s Knob beach. Yorkey’s Knob beach is quiet and quaint, a little gem away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. Enjoy a relaxing walk, fill-up on a yummy BBQ and take the kids to one of the beach playgrounds. Don’t worry, adults have their own playground too – you can break a sweat using the free exercise equipment! Lifeguards patrol the beach and jelly fish nets are installed, making it a safe family beach for children to play and swim. Don’t forget to bring your bucket and spade for a spot of sea shell collecting! If family friendly accommodation on the beach front ticks all your boxes, why not book a self-contained family apartment at Villa Marine? Villa Marine is a quiet but tropical paradise within walking distance to Yorkey’s Knob beach. It’s an ideal resort for families who need a break from city life.

Book your Cairns family-friendly tours today!

Visit or visit Yorkeys Knob Tourist Information Centre adjoining Villa Marine for expert advice and local knowledge.