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Cairns Rated Top 10 Best Holiday Destinations by

Cairns, Queensland has been rated one of the top 10 best holiday destinations to travel to in 2024 by award-winning travel website, Here’s what they said.

“For travellers looking for a destination that will truly make them feel alive in 2024, Cairns is a tropical playground for a thrilling adventure. Its bustling backpacker scene and strip of open-air night markets and waterfront bars is the heartbeat of this thriving coastal city located on the northernmost part of Queensland and the gateway to two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the iconic Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest. A Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Trip lets travellers cruise aboard a luxe superyacht and dive to discover a magical world of vivid fish, corals and marine life – with the option to add a mindblowing helicopter flight over the reef to round off the experience. To really raise the pulse, travellers can tick the bucket list and brave an exhilarating Skydiving Experience in Cairns, jumping from a height of 15,000 ft (4,500m) along with a professional tandem jump master. Back on land, book a Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Tour to explore amazing pockets of biodiversity with an expert naturist from eucalypt woodlands to native birds, the spellbinding Mossman Gorge and the palm-fringed beaches of Cape Tribulation.”

Sure, Cairns is beautiful. It’s home to the Great Barrier Reef, stunning rainforests, beautiful native animals and some of the best beaches in Australia. But why is it truly the best holiday destination of 2024 for families, couples, backpackers, individuals and more? 

cairns city at night

Why Cairns is the Best Holiday Destination for 2024

1. City, beaches and rainforest all in one place.

You don’t have to choose between a city, beach or rainforest holiday destination when you visit Cairns — because it has it all. You can start your day on one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches in Cairns, head to the Cairns Hinterland to hike through rainforests and end your day at a relaxed bar, fine-dining restaurant or even hit the clubs. There are endless things to see and do while in Tropical North Queensland.

Top 10 beaches in and around Cairns:

  1. Machans Beach

  2. Holloways Beach

  3. Yorkeys KNOB

  4. Trinity Park Beach

  5. Trinity Beach

  6. Kewarra Beach

  7. Clifton Beach

  8. Palm Cove

  9. Buchans Point

  10. Ellis Beach

Beach at pam cove

2. Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Cairns has two of Australia’s 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world, listed as a World Heritage site in 1981 for its unique nature, and enormous importance to the scientific and environmental worlds. While the Daintree Rainforest is also incredibly important to science with more than 3,000 plant species, 107 mammals, 368 birds, 113 reptiles and more.


Located in the beautiful Kuku Yalanji country, visiting either the Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Rainforest (or both) is an experience you can’t miss. Better still, organise a tour with one of the local Traditional Owners of the land to truly learn the history and deep importance of these sites. 

snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef

3. Eternal summers.

The average temperature in winter in Cairns is 22 degrees Celsius. Its proximity to the equator makes Cairns a tropical paradise all year round, with hotter, more temperature and summer storms during the hotter months of the year, and warm, dry heat in the cooler months. There is no wrong time to visit one of the best travel destinations for 2024.


Better still, the average sea temperature in Cairns ranges from 24 to 29 degrees Celsius all year round. If you want a beach holiday with snorkelling and water activities, but it’s winter, then Cairns is where you want to be.

cairns fishing and snorkeling

4. Activities for all ages.

Whether you’re 9 or 99, Cairns is the perfect travel destination for all ages. From heart-rate-raising adrenalin activities and kid-friendly fun to casual, relaxed strolls, shopping and some of the best food and beverages in the country, you’ll find something to do at all times. With so much nature around Cairns, you also have the opportunity to get up close and personal (in safe controlled environments) with whales, crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos, cassowaries and more.


If you’re looking for a slower holiday, there are plenty of markets, shops and museums to explore. Or, you could spend your time lounging on the beach, taking one of the many boat tours or even taking a trip to Millaa Millaa, which is wheelchair and pram accessible. 

cruise ship on the Cairns Esplanade

Top things to see and do in Cairns for all ages

  • Cairns Aquarium

  • Cairns Botanical Gardens

  • Daintree Rainforest

  • Great Barrier Reef

  • Rusty’s Markets

  • Mossman Gorge

  • Cairns Night Markets

  • Cairns Art Gallery

  • Cairns Museum

  • Muddy’s Playground

  • Cairns Lagoon

  • SkyDiving

  • River Rafting 

  • Snorkelling with Whales 

5. Great location.

Cairns is in a great location for a holiday or even a weekend away from Brisbane (2.2 hours), Sydney (3 hours), Melbourne (3.2 hours), Darwin (2.5 hours)  or even Adelaide (3 hours). If you’re travelling elsewhere in Australia, the quick (and normally on sale) flight from many of Australia’s major cities makes it an easy stopover for a day or two, or more.


The Cairns Airport is the 7th busiest airport in Australia. It’s incredibly easy to hire a car, get public transport or catch a ride-share from the airport to your Cairns holiday home or accommodation. Plus, Cairns is along the Queensland coastline, making it a great stopover before Port Douglas. 

Where to Stay in Cairns, One of the World’s Top 10 Best Holiday Destinations

Cairns is home to some of the best accommodation in Australia, with hotels, resorts and more. If you’re looking for a home away from home, even with the luxury of a pool, spa or other comforts, then an Airbnb or holiday home in Cairns is a great option. It’s a great solution for travelling with a large group, with our own holiday villas sleeping up to 9. 

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