Although Cairns city is generally thought of as a place where backpackers come for some fun, check out the Reef and basically have the time of their lives, there is actually a fair amount to do if you're traveling with family and have kids in tow. Cairns is a destination for everyone especially out at the northern beaches of Cairns like Trinity Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Palm Cove and Port Douglas. Have a look at the suburbs regional websites for more local information. Families just love the place as there is so much to see and do around Cairns. 

There's plenty of physical activity with swimming in the waterfalls, lakes and lagoons nearby; rollerblading on the Esplanade; mountain biking in Smithfield Mountain Bike Park; bushwalking in any of the National parks, State Forests or other wilderness areas; or horseback riding thru the rainforest or on the beach for riders of any level.

Small children will enjoys Muddy's play area on the Esplanade and the "Lagoon" man made beach, which is safe and sandy and has toilet/changing/snack facilities very nearby.

There are also a ton of different entertainment options in Cairns and the areas surrounding it - Sugarworld Waterslides theme park (Closed for maintenance 2010), Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon and Goldpin Lanes (tenpin bowling) are just some of the fun and exciting things to do. 

Cairns is a very safe destination for families as it is still a quiet little regional city that plays host to millions of tourists from the world over. 

 Visit one of the seven Natural Wonders Australia’s Great Barrier Reef  it has something for the whole family, spend a few days surrounded by the crystal clear blue waters, be amazed by the abundance of marine life onboard Reef Encounter

When it's time for a little less physical activity and a little more brain stimulation, bring the kids over to the Tjapukai Cultural Center in Smithfield just 20 minutes north of Cairns. Here parents and kids will learn all about the Rainforest People, the Kuku Yulangi and their customs through dance performances and an interactive village. Call for more details: (07) 4038 1555 . Make sure to benefit from the special children's activities, including a didge lesson, and boomerang painting (they get to take the boomerang home at no extra cost, which is a nice little plus)

If your kids crave an adrenaline rush, you could let them do a tandem jump with Paul's Parachuting ( 1800 005 006)  or a tandem bungee jump at the AJ Hackett Bungey Tower - of course, if bungee jumping is too scary for the little ones (and really, who wouldn't be scared of such a thing?!), then they can try the Jungle Swing  (07) 40577188.

If your little ones want to see animals, check out the zoo, or, if you are short on time, the Wildlife Dome on top of the Casino where they can cuddle a koala (for a price) and get up close with Goliath the salt water crocodile. Tickets at the Wildlife Dome are valid for a week so you can come and go a few times if you like.

If you need a babysitter or nanny in Cairns, Palm Cove or Port Douglas, Busy Bees Babysitting Services is a  local babysitting and nanny agency servicing Cairns, Port Douglas, and Palm Cove. Fay who operates Busy Bees has a fantastic small team of qualified and professional nannies, early child care educators, teachers and mums who provide quality care for newborns to teenagers.  They come to your holiday accommodation and  bring age appropriate toys, craft/ art and books to keep the children entertained and happy. So why not take some well deserved time out from the kids because you deserve a break too and relax on your holiday. You can contact Fay today and she will organise the best carer for your children, +61 417 794 507, email at or visit the website