Unmissable Sights In Cairns

The Best Affordable And Unmissable Sights In Cairns

Are you planning a trip to Cairns and want to know the best affordable sights to see? Perhaps you want to complete your trip on a tight budget and need assistance? Finding cheap or free things to do can be tricky, but it doesn’t need to be. 

We have teamed up with Travellers Autobarn in Cairns to help you! Our brief guide today outlines Cairns’s best affordable and unmissable sights, allowing you to create your perfect trip without breaking the bank. 

Let’s dive into our list of the best sights!


The Best Affordable And Unmissable Sights In Cairns
The Best Affordable And Unmissable Sights In Cairns

Trek Between Bartle Frere And Bellenden Ker 

Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker are the highest points in Queensland, and between them, there is a sensational trek. Known as the Goldfield Trail, it is ideal for anyone who loves hiking but doesn’t want to climb a steep incline up the mountains. 

You will need to drive an hour south of Cairns to take the trail at Babinda Boulders, heading 19 km up the Wet Tropics rainforest in Wooroonooran National Park. This can take all day or longer if you want to make the round trip, so pack plenty of snacks and any hiking gear you have. Those who don’t want to commit to a 19 km trek can walk 4.5km to the large creek filled with king ferns, the perfect space to enjoy your lunch before turning back. 

Enjoy A Dip In A Waterfall 

There are plenty of waterfalls around Cairns. Most are just a short drive out of town. You can jump into the cool water and watch the waterfall pour behind you. These are best enjoyed on a clear day when you can soak up the views. 

You can head to one waterfall, or if you have a full day, you can drive and dip in each of them! Take plenty of snacks if you plan to do this, as not many waterfalls are near restaurants or shops. 

Crystal Caves 

The Crystal Caves are a must when you visit Cairns. The man-made museum in Atherton shows you the growing collection of Rene Boissevian’s crystals. You can also check out the fossils and gemstones created millions of years ago as you weave through tunnels and grottos. This is a fantastic experience, but it is not the best for anyone uncomfortable in tight or dark spaces. 

Visit The Butterfly Sanctuary 

Take a trip to the mountain village of Kuranda and visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. This is the largest butterfly sanctuary in the Southern Hemisphere, home to over 1,5000 free-flying butterflies and moths. It is the perfect experience for animal lovers and children who adore butterflies. 

The views are beautiful, too, with the rainforest gardens providing the perfect backdrop for pictures. There is also a free guided aviary tour, helping you get your money’s worth and learn more about a butterfly’s life cycle. You can also visit the breeding laboratory, which houses 4,000 caterpillars. 

You will need to pay an entry charge for the sanctuary. Still, you can purchase a package that provides discounted entry to the sanctuary, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and the Rainforestation Nature Park. 

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Kuranda
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Kuranda

Swim In A Volcanic Crater 

Lake Eacham and its volcanic crater are a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you must consider! You can easily spend a full day here without needing much money, making it the perfect choice for a budget trip. 

The crater was formed roughly 10,000 years ago and is the perfect place to cool off. You can enjoy the beautiful views surrounding it, as well as the scenic drive through the Cairns highlands. We recommend bringing a little cash, as the shores of Eacham’s twin crater are home to a stunning teahouse, where tea and scones are served fresh. 


Lake Eacham Volcanic Lake In Queensland
Lake Eacham Volcanic Lake In Queensland

Visit The Prawn Star 

Those who want to experience delicious seafood should head to the Prawn Star, a trawler based in Cairns Marlin Marina. The joint is known for quirky, no-nonsense seafood sold at affordable prices. There are some tables onboard for a sit-down meal, or you can order takeout and enjoy the views of the marina. The esplanade has plenty of picnic spots to choose from. 

The prices are affordable, especially if you opt for cooked prawns or a dozen oysters instead of a jumbo platter! However, their prices can change, so be sure to check the boards before ordering. 

Final Thoughts 

You don’t need to spend a fortune to make the most of your trip to Cairns. From free hikes, waterfalls, and cheap eateries, there is plenty to do that allows you to experience Cairns without blowing through your cash. 


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