New tours, attractions, events, and more to experience in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef
Cairns. A destination boasting a mix of vibrant city lifestyle and laidback outdoor lifestyle with natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef right on its doorstep.
Whether you’re a first-time traveller or a seasoned pro, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef have a whole heap of exciting new bucket list experiences and accommodation glow-ups to check out in 2022.
Here’s what’s new:
Tours and Attractions
Wunyami Cultural Walking Tour: a guided walking tour around an ancient coral cay with a fascinating cultural history. Participants will be led by Indigenous guides and learn about how the island is connected to an ancient journey of two ancestorial story-time beings, the cultural ceremonies of the GuruGulu Gungganji and Gimuy Yidinji tribes, and the connectivity of this iconic island to the ancient seascape.
Cairns Luxury Car Hire Tesla: In a first, visitors will now be able to hire an electric vehicle for the road in the form of a ruby red 2022 Tesla model 3 with a luxurious, eco-friendly experience alongside cutting-edge technology and safety.
Strait Experience: running small group tours of Thursday Island and other Torres Strait islands, you can visit the Torres Strait in just one day on a flight from Cairns or stay longer and discover Ailan (island) life, history and culture.
Far North Escapes: making a Cape York exploration a whole lot easier, here you’ll find premium private and small 4×4 group tours that cover a range of customisable itineraries and locations from crocodile tours to helicopter rides.
Reef Magic: explore the Great Barrier Reef on a day trip from a new pontoon that harnesses the wind and sun for power and has a dedicated laboratory for marine scientists.
Cow Cuddling Co: therapy dogs? No- therapy cows. Located in Goldsborough, South of Cairns, this cow therapy farm offers people living with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and anyone wishing to support their own mental health a chance to meet and cuddle with hand-raised therapy cows.
Gateway to Cape York: Lakeland’s $1.2 million Gateway to Cape York and sculpture park is now welcoming visitors by showcasing the history and ecology of Cape York in 16 artworks created by communities from across Cape York Peninsula.
Lyons Gallery at DFS Galleria: Paparazzi king Darryn Lyons has opened a Lyons Gallery in Cairns that showcases prints from the likes of Helmut Newton and Banksy and his famous photo of Princess Diana on her last yachting holiday before her death.
Madingalbay Ancient Indigenous Tours: 100% Indigenous-owned and operated, the unforgettable experience has launched its first scheduled tours for independent travellers. The tours, taking place on Mandingalbay Yidinji Country, include experiences such as an eco-cultural walk, camping on country, and a monthly Full Moon Dinner.
If you’re in need of more inspo, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree have released their new Discover Paradise brochure covering local restaurants, shops, tours, events, and suggested holiday itineraries.
Food and Beverage
Wolf Lane Distillery: You’ll find two new offerings of Australian gins and liqueurs at this well-loved spot. Annee’s Caphê Sua Da Vietnamese Coffee Liqueur, a collaboration between Wolf Lane and Australia’s original Vietnamese iced coffee bar, and Pineapple Island Gin, a refreshing tropical gin infused with pineapple and coconut.
Elixir Music Bar: Carins introduces its first-ever alcohol-free bar at this popular live music venue with herbal elixirs like Fresh Fruit Fassionola and Spiced Coconut Falernum.
Billycart Brewing Co: serving local brews in their taproom at Atherton on the Tablelands, this locally owned and independent brewery offers freshly crafted beers and a food van on Friday nights and weekends.
The Pullman Cairns International has just completed stage one of their $10 million rejuvenation program, which will see more modern design features, custom-designed furnishings and gorgeous local artwork from levels 3 to 11.
Talaroo Hot Springs will be introducing two new eco tents to their campgrounds. They will be set just 300 metres from the beautiful Einasleigh River, and campers will be invited to partake in exclusive guided tours led by the Ewamian Traditional Owners, experience the healing waters of the hot springs, and join in a traditional Yarning Circle of an evening.
Silky Oaks Lodge has been welcomed to the Travel + Leisure’s 2022 It List, recognising the 100 best new and reimagined properties in 35 countries around the world. The stylish rainforest escape includes a luxury spa and fine dining experiences for a completely lush getaway.
Crankworx: the world’s most-watched mountain bike event is hitting up Cairns in its 2022 tour, bringing 1200 athletes, 220 volunteers and an expected 34,000 spectators across the five days to the rainforest trails on October 5th-9th.
Red-Hot Summer Tour: on the 14th of May visitors and locals can watch the likes of Hunters and Collectors, The Living End and Killing Heidi perform all afternoon and evening at the Cairns Showgrounds.
Port Douglas Carnivale: experience a whole big weekend of events over the 20th and 22nd of May with the Tropic and Exotic Street Parade, a Family Beach Day, a Seafood Extravaganza, and adults-only circus performances from Rouge to Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows.
EcoFiesta Cairns: held at Martin Munro Parklands on May 29th, this event celebrates the natural environment and sustainable living in Tropical North Queensland with hands-on workshops, green-tech, local street eats, and ecotourism prizes.
Great Wheelbarrow Race: think you’ve got what it takes to be the best wheelchair duo around town? Taking place on the 20th to 22nd of May, the race will see competitors push a wheelbarrow between Mareeba and Chillagoe in three stages, raising funds for charities and local clubs.
For more information visit tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au
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Feature Image: Talaroo Hot Springs