Are you desperate for an adventure? Fangin’ for some fun? Feeling like you need to conquer something? You can tick all of that off the list without even leaving the country. All you have to do is go on a cheeky getaway to Queensland and you’re covered.
More specifically, I mean get your ass up to Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef. You can journey into the adventure capital of Aus to get your adrenaline pumping and soak in some stunning sights while you’re at it.
Wander into waterfalls
Now, this is living, Barry. You’ve got a few Cairns Canyoning adventures to pick from. Behana Canyon is a ripper choice for canyoning beginners. A series of waterfalls all meet in one bowl which is where you kick off your cliff jumping, sliding, swimming and abseiling. Crystal Canyon is also a goodie for newbies and is located at one of the most popular waterfalls in Cairns. The beauty of this bad boy? A bloody 30-metre zipline into the water. Spillway Canyon kicks things up a gear if you’re ready to test yourself. It’s a full-day experience where you’ll head up to Lake Morris (Copperlode Dam) and includes abseiling down a whopping 52-metre drop.
And for a more relaxing adventure in the waterways? You can float gently through the rainforest at Behana Gorge or the Mulgrave River on a half-day Aussie Drifterz tubing tour. Departing from Cairns, you can hop on a tube and idle down a freshwater stream to take in the sights.
And don’t listen to TLC – you should definitely go chasing waterfalls. There’s plenty of them close to Cairns, too. Scope out Fairy Falls (about a 15-minute walk from the Crystal Cascades). The hidden gem is nestled away in the dense rainforest with dangling vines and a deep blue pool to swim in. Another worthy waterfall to find is Spring Creek Falls in the Mowbray Valley. At the end of Spring Creek Road, go off the beaten track to follow the creek and find waterholes to have a dip in on your way to the falls.
Take the plunge
Keen to feel your stomach drop? You won’t be short on options.
To skydive, you can get a transfer down to Mission Beach – it’s about a 90-minute drive south from Cairns. Or, if you’d prefer to catch some city views as you soar through the sky, you can also give it a crack about 15 minutes south from Cairns, too.
Perched 50 metres above a deep natural lagoon and surrounded by treetops is also Skypark Cairns – Australia’s only bungy jump. Running rain or shine, you can throw yourself off the edge in a stack of different ways. There are 16 different ways to bungy and a multi-person Giant Swing that can speed up to 120km/h in just 3.5 seconds.
If you want a slightly tamer option, you can also try to Walk the Plank. Mind you, it’s not as easy as the pirates had it – you’re 140m above sea level when you walk this bad boy. We suggest you scream “argh” as you reach the end of the plank.
Once you’ve conquered your own jump, pop downstairs to scoff some food and have a drink as you watch the next batch of brave jumpers give it a go.
Go for a thrill ride
If you’ve got a need for speed, Cairns can get you flying.
Tear through the waters of Trinity Inlet on the Bad Fishy jet boat. It takes you on a 35-minute ride where the captain also gives you the local lowdown on the waterway, wildlife and if you’re lucky – might find a croc for you to cop a look at!
And if you’re keen to keep getting soaked, schedule in one hell of a rapid ride with Raging Thunder. Barron River is a half-day op with grade two and three rapids, so it’s perf for first-timers. But if you want to take things up a notch? Tully River once hosted the World Rafting Championships so you know, it’s a wild ride through grade three and four rapids.
If you want to go for a ride ~underwater~ you can do a scooter tour of the coral reef. The Great Adventures Scuba-Doo lets you pilot your own scooter three metres below the surface. Wearing one hell of a window over your head and shoulders, you’ll be clear of the water and able to take it all in.
Chuck some more adventure onto your bucket list this year with a trip to Cairns. Go on, I double-dog dare you.