48 Hours In Cairns

Thanks to COVID-19 cancelling all our international travel dreams, it seems that domestic destinations are the next best thing for the foreseeable. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Australia holds some of the most stunning scenery, exciting adventures and craziest clubs. Argued as the ‘Hawaii’ of Australia, the tropical city of Cairns holds some of the wonders of the world. Here is Pelikin’s must-do’s while spending 48 hours in Cairns.

Must-Do’s in Cairns

48 hours in one city is a tight squeeze to fit in all the activity they have to offer, you may not be able to fit in all our recommendations. But instead, just pick the ones that suit you, so your experience in Cairns is the best it can be.

Scuba Dive in The Great Barrier Reef

Are you a true Aussie if you haven’t done a scuba in the big GBR? The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest coral reef system! It is the best place to view all the colours of the corals in the mysterious big blue. Get up close and personal with the thousands of fish, turtles and maybe sharks while scuba diving within the Great Barrier Reef. There are so many tours that will take you out and give you the option to snorkel or scuba dive. If if you have never scuba dived before, there are tones of tours that are perfect for beginners who just want a taste of scuba diving and seeing inside the ocean such as Quicksilver Cruises, Passions of Paradise and ReefQuest

Take a Trip To The Waterfalls

Feeling the heat of the tropical Queensland? Why not rent a car for the day and take a trip to the wonderful waterfalls that surround Cairns! There are many rental car companies around and taking a day drive will allow you to see the best spots and viewpoints during your 48 hours in Cairns. Here are the top waterfalls we recommend to visit, you will be able to visit 3 or 4 depending on how early you set off and how long you stay at each one, so pack up a picnic and get going;

Milla Milla Falls

Get that money shot at the home of the Herbal Essences advert at Milla Milla Falls. This is the most popular of waterfalls in Cairns, which could be due to the Aussie star Peter Andrea filmed his all-famous ‘Mysterious Girl’ music video. Although during the shoot of the video, we believe Peter must of been wearing some thermals under his boards, as the water is ice cold! But walk through the lush rainforest and plunge into the pool as this is a site you won’t want to not see.

Josephine Falls

Ranked one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland, the Josephine waterfalls and swimming hole have also been used in many television commercials. Swim in the crystal clear waters, and relax on the sandy beach. Some people even take tents and camp out overnight here, but is also a great spot for a quick swim, half day or full day. Although watch out for the snakes that may be lingering around the forest as you are on your way in.

Other Waterfalls

Other amazing waterfalls surround Cairns that you can visit include; Little Millsteam Falls, Crystal Cascades, Fairy Falls, Wallaman Falls and Murry Falls.

Cape Tribulation

Cape tribulation is a unique world heritage. Go to the only place where the reef meets the rainforest. The Daintree Rainforest National Park is full of sketchy secret walks for those dare-devils, zip-lining through the jungle activities, but most importantly, release your inner Steve Irwin and get abroad a close-up, croc hunting cruise on a (safe) boat tour. There are so many tours that can take you to Cape Tribulation but it will take up a full day of your 48 hours in Cairns. You could even stay overnight in a hotel in the middle of the rainforest, which wouldn’t cost you much more but it would take up all of your trip. If you want to get a slice of what Aus is about and see some rare animals then this should be on your list.


If you’re looking to soak up some of the Queensland sun then head to the Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon. There are plenty of nearby restaurants and coffee shops at and near the swimming lagoon, bring a picnic to take to one of the many tables located in the surrounding park grounds under the huge Banyan Trees, or even use the BBQ facilities and throw some shrimps onto the Barbie. It’s a free spot to chill for a few hours while the sun is out and making the most of what Queensland has to offer if your 48 hours in Cairns.

Nighlife In Cairns

Gilligans Club

Gilligan’s knows how to throw that perfect party you will love. Whether it’s a daytime soiree, late afternoon beer or an adventurous clubbing experience, they are one of the most popular and pumping places in Cairns. No matter what day you will be in Cairns there is a party opportunity every night; from live music, talent competitions on Mondays, bingo and wet t-shirt competitions on Tuesdays, beer pong and jelly wrestling on Wednesdays, trivia and pole dancing competitions on Thursdays, DJ’s on Fridays, Wet club on Saturday and Pool party on Sunday. You’re be guaranteed a goof night in Gilligans, making it a must-do for your 48 hours in Cairns.

The Pier Bar

If you’r e looking for a more chilled night or a place to pre-drink before heading to the club then check out The Pier Bar. Grab a bevvy, nab a table out on the terrace before the crowds begin to flock, and enjoy the beautiful sea views while you’re still sober enough to appreciate them. Enjoy the local live music that is played most nights to get a feel of what Cairns is all about.

Salt House

If you fancy something a bit more sophisticated then the Salt House is one to visit. glamorous day beds and creative cocktails, the Salt House may seem calmed and chilled vibes at the night begins but when the DJ comes out, the party really begins to erupt.

Other Bars and Clubs

Other bars and clubs that you could visit within your 48 hours in Cairns include; P.J O’Briens Irish Bar, The Cotton Club, The Woolshed and The Jack.

Travel With Pelikin

Don’t forget you can still use your Pelikin card when in Australia, so remember to take us with you on your. travel adventure. If you haven’t signed up to Pelikin yet then find out what we are all about here. Not only do we avoid those nasty transaction fees while you are overseas, but we provide some awesome Perks when you’re part of our squad. find out all about our awesome features and sign up here, or download our app now;

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