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Top 7 cheap family activities to do in Cairns

Cairns is a haven for families on vacation, with ample free or cheap activities to keep everybody entertained. Make your travel budget work harder by taking advantage of these seven affordable family-friendly activities.

1. Muddy’s Playground

Head on down to the Cairns Esplanade and behold Muddy’s Playground. This modern splash playground and parkland is completely free, yet offers a safe and entertaining space for your little ones to frolic and cool down. 

With plenty of toilet facilities, BBQs, picnic tables and grassy lawns nearby, this is an ideal spot for families to setup camp for the entire day to take advantage of the fun and energetic atmosphere.

2. Spend the day by the man-made lagoon

If you thought the esplanade couldn’t get any better, make sure you also spend some time by the completely artificial lagoon. This manmade beach offers safe, year-round swimming with its saltwater lagoon, sandy shores, and sweeping lawns. 

Considering Cairns’ main ‘beach’ is more accurately a vast, low tide swamp, this is the closest you’re going to get to a family beach outing near Cairns’ town centre. Better yet, it’s free to use!

3. Walk among the butterflies

Grab yourself a rental car for the day and cruise up the coast from Cairns to visit the largest butterfly sanctuary in the southern hemisphere. Located in Kuranda, this protected natural sanctuary is home to over 2000 tropical butterflies and moths. Expect to pay around $20 per adult.

4. Visit the military museum

Regardless of whether your kids are into history, they’re sure to be impressed by the vast collection of tanks, mortars, tank destroyers, howitzers and other World War I and II armoured vehicles that can be found at The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum. Adult entry is around $25.

5. Lose yourself in the local markets

Like many Australian towns, Cairns has a thriving local market scene. Head to Rusty’s Markets in the CBD to find cheap, yet tasty, freshly sourced fruit and veg.

6. Experience local Aboriginal culture

It’s important to teach our kids about the immersive and fascinating cultures of our country’s original inhabitants. Head to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and learn about the Djabugay people who run the program.

7. Ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway

Take the iconic train ride from Cairns to Kuranda to be treated with unmatched views of the surrounding rainforest as you soar above the treetops.

Make the most of your family’s travel play money by getting a rental vehicle from Ace Rental Cars so you can take advantage of the many affordable attractions in the surrounding area.

Ace Rental Cars Cairns Airport Location

Address: 147 Lake Street Cairns Australia Get Directions
Phone Number: +61 3 9222 2595 Toll Free: 1800 620 408
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Open 7 days a week



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