Off the coast of Cairns are a number of spectacular tropical islands … the jewels of the Great Barrier Reef.


Green Island and Fitzroy Island, the islands closest to the city of Cairns, are visited daily by the tour boats leaving from the Reef Fleet Terminal on the Esplanade. The basic trips are relatively cheap, although it does cost more to stay on the islands overnight.


For longer visits, Lizard Island is an exclusive resort off the coast of Cooktown, reached by air and sea. Down south, Dunk Island is a popular family holiday spot with some cheaper options. Right next door is the exclusive Bedarra Island resort with its limited number of guests, no children policy and VIP visitors.


Even further south is Hinchinbrook Island which offers a cheap camping holiday option or an eco resort that only holds 50 guests at a time.


Day trips to Low Isles off Port Douglas and to the Franklin and Friendly island groups are also a great way of experiencing a tropical island holiday in the Cairns region.


Along the Cairns coast are great beaches to the north and south of Cairns city. With a spectacular backdrop of rainforest-clad mountains, the Cairns region’s beaches are a picturesque destination.


Whether you want to pitch your tent where you can watch the sun rise over the Coral Sea, sip champagne from a spa on the water’s edge or take a dip at a deserted beach, there’s a stretch of sand perfect for you.


The one thing everyone wants to do while they are in the Cairns region is to have a swim … in summer you practically live in the pool and even in winter it warms up enough during the day for visitors to jump into the water.


The Cairns region has a number of great places to go swimming from secluded freshwater creeks to major public swimming pools and the outstanding lagoon pool on the Esplanade.

Cairns is surrounded by tropical islands. Image supplied by TTNQ