aerial babinda boulders

Blog Post

10 Instagram locations near Cairns

TNQ Writer

With endless picturesque places on the doorstep, you’re spoilt for choice as soon as you touch down in the tropics. Send your holiday posts to the top of the feed with these Instagram locations near Cairns.

Nudey Beach

The viewpoint worth 1000 postcards

Get a snap on the swing

Perch on a boulder

Crowned “Australia’s Best Beach in 2018”, it would be rude not to include Nudey Beach on the list of top Instagrammable locations near Cairns. This stunning coral beach is at Fitzroy Island, located just 45 minutes from Cairns via ferry, making it an accessible and popular island escape for tourists and locals alike. After you capture that postcard-perfect picture to brag on social media, explore the other equally scenic parts of the island, including The Summit Track and cocktails at Foxy’s.

Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland

Find out why they call it nature's playground with the natural waterslide at Josephine Falls

Bathe in the crystal clear waters of Josephine Falls

If natural swimming holes are more your thing, look no further than the rainforest retreat of Josephine Falls. Located in the Wooroonooran National Park, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of World Heritage-listed rainforest as you glide down natural water slides, hang from vine swings or lounge on giant granite boulders. There are also several walking tracks in the area, including the eastern approach to Queensland’s highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere.

Behana Gorge Road, Gordonvale

Photo by

Photo by

Two words: Walshs Pyramid. The best part about this “Insta-worthy” photoshoot location is you won’t even break a sweat capturing the highest freestanding natural pyramid in the world. Let your imagination run wild with photo ideas, from minivans and skateboards to holding hands and simply walking along the sugarcane lined Behana Gorge Road. Afterward, venture to Behana Gorge itself to cool off and grab a holiday snap diving into the refreshing crystal clear water.

Palm Cove

Palms on palms at Palm Cove

Nu Nu Restaurant's Instagrammable food

Peppers Beach Club Palm Cove

It should come as no surprise that the sleepy holiday village of Palm Cove graces this list. From standing under the swaying palms, Insta-worthy smashed avos or swimming in one of the many resort swimming pools, putting the camera down in this seaside heaven is far from easy.

Cairns Lagoon, Esplanade

Does it get more iconic than the fish sculptures?

Enjoy pretty pastel sunsets at the Cairns Lagoon

Get the perfect family snap

On a balmy evening, the Cairns Lagoon on the bustling Esplanade is a popular watering hole for many looking to cool down in the Tropical North Queensland heat. For a great frame, angle your camera to give the illusion of an infinity-like pool over the Coral Sea. A local fun fact is the iconic Woven Fish sculptures at the Lagoon are giant interpretations of traditional Torres Strait Island Culture practices of weaving smaller fish forms with palm trees.

Babinda Boulders

The rainforest surrounding Babinda is kept lush due to area's high annual rainfall

Babinda Boulders is the perfect place for a dip in the tropical heat

Float the day away in the rainforest

If you didn’t already know, Tropical North Queensland is home to a number of seriously spectacular swimming holes and waterfalls, including Babinda Boulders. Boasting beautiful swimming and picnic areas, this tropical rainforest paradise is just over an hour from Cairns near the sleepy town of Babinda. Wander along the gentle 2km rainforest walk to three lookouts where you can admire thundering water surging over giant granite boulders creating mini waterfalls. Or float in the large rainforest pool near the the car park. Local tip: Make a pit stop in town to explore the art deco heritage-listed architecture and satisfy your curiosity at the Babinda Museum, where you can learn unique stories from the town’s fascinating past. Then, swing by the famous Babinda Bakery to stock up on delicious treats, whether savory or sweet.

Rainforest Canopy

Skyrail is a unique experience over the rainforest canopy

Skyrail's glass floor Diamond View Gondolas

Take a photo with Barron Falls in the background at The Edge Lookout

Glide above the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, either starting your journey at Smithfield, or at the top of the range at the colourful village of Kuranda. For a little extra coin, treat yourself to the Diamond View Gondola for sweeping views through the glass floor. One of the best pictures along the trip is of the mighty Barron Falls. During the wet season, you’ll likely hear it before you see it.

Cuddling a Koala

Photo by

Photo by

Photo by

It doesn’t matter whether you are coming from Sydney or a tiny European village, the experience of cuddling a koala in Australia is pretty special. These cute creatures are native “down under” and can only be held in three states, with Queensland being one of them. The easiest way to hold one of these furry friends is to visit Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome on the rooftop of The Reef Hotel Casino. Be prepared to battle off with rock–paper–scissors if you both have the same “good side”. 

Great Barrier Reef Scenic Flight

Experience the sheer grandeur of the reef

Land on Vlasoff Cay for a private picnic

Surrounded by the reef, spot tiny Vlasoff Cay in the distance on Nautilus Aviation

The Great Barrier Reef is undeniably special to witness, especially from above to appreciate the sheer size of the world’s largest coral reef. There’s also something so glamourous about a private chopper or plane ride. Turn up the swank on your holiday and take a thrilling scenic flight over the reef with Nautilus Aviation, with the option to land on Vlasoff Cay for your own private gourmet picnic.

The Great Barrier Reef

Dive into an underwater wonderland

Master the snorkel selfie

Capture the reef and island with a split shot

Last but certainly not least, no trip to Tropical North Queensland is complete without visiting the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef. Whilst it is incredible to see from above, the real magic happens underneath, with the underwater wonderland a sight to be reconned with. Take your underwater camera or ask the friendly team on your reef tour to capture those special moments of you swimming with marine life over the colourful coral.

The gateway to Tropical North Queensland

From the moment you arrive, there’s so much to see and do in Cairns

Sing Sing Espresso coffee cafe
Cairns & Northern Beaches
10 Cafes in Cairns for great coffee

With such a vibrant foodie culture, finding the best cafes in Cairns can be overwhelming. Fuel your caffeine addiction with these local favourites for a guaranteed quality cup of coffee.

Read more
Rustys Markets Cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
11 Best markets near Cairns

Soak up the colour and the character, the smells and the sounds clunk and clash in a cacophony of the excitement of these 11 great markets.

Read more
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Where to stay in Cairns, Port Douglas & Palm Cove with Accor

Choosing to visit Tropical North Queensland is easy. Choosing where to stay, that’s a lot harder.

Read more
family at cairns lagoon
Cairns & Northern Beaches
8 Free ideas for family fun in Cairns

Outdoor loving families will have a tonne of fun in Tropical North Queensland and the best part about holidaying in the tropics is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy yourself. Here are our top 8 free things to do as a family in TNQ.

Read more
Cairns & Northern Beaches
A backpacker’s guide to nightlife in Cairns

Cairns may be known as the gateway to the reef and rainforest, but don’t be fooled… the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down around here. In fact, you’re guaranteed a party every single night of the week in this vibrant small-town city. Find out exactly where to go in this handy nightlife guide.

Read more
Emerald Creek Falls
20 waterfalls near Cairns

Mighty mountain ranges and Wet Tropics Rainforest create the optimum environment for a myriad of extraordinary waterfalls. Fall in love with these 20 waterfall wonderlands only a short drive from Cairns.

Read more
Red Arrow article tile
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Guide to the Red Arrow walking trail in Cairns

Throw on your best activewear and prepare to stretch your legs as you venture into the natural playground of Mount Whitfield. You’ll feel worlds away from city life as you delve into the depths of the rainforest, despite being less than ten minutes from Cairns CBD.

Read more
Friends enjoying seafood platter at Prawn Star Cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Seafood lovers’ guide to Cairns

As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is teeming with an abundance of restaurants offering fresh, local catches and exceptional seafood. Find the stand-out seafood dishes in Cairns below.

Read more
Running at Cairns Esplanade
Cairns & Northern Beaches
An active traveller’s guide to Cairns

Boasting nature’s ultimate keep-fit playground, nutritious local produce for those post-workout gains, and plenty of idyllic spots for some all-important recovery time, Tropical North Queensland is an active traveller’s dream. Here are our top tips to exploring the region like a top athlete:

Read more