7 Awesome Kid Friendly Ideas in Cairns and Port Douglas

Published on: 31 August 2021
River Drift Snorkelling

Looking for kid friendly ideas in Cairns and Port Douglas? Whether you’re visiting Cairns in the school holidays and looking for the best school holiday activities in the area or you’re a local wanting to share the fun with your children, Cairns and Port Douglas are overflowing with kid friendly ideas and activities to do. Discover some of the best below.

1. Cairns Aquarium

Image: Cairns Aquarium

Dive into the wonders of the deep at Cairns Aquarium, a family-friendly destination that promises an exciting and educational experience for kids.

Conveniently located in the heart of Cairns, this state-of-the-art facility is home to an incredible array of marine life from the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Young explorers can come face-to-face with vibrant tropical fish, mesmerizing sharks, and graceful rays. The aquarium’s interactive exhibits and touch tanks provide hands-on learning opportunities, making it a perfect way to introduce children to the importance of marine conservation.

Highlights include the impressive shark tank, the colourful coral displays, and the daily feeding and dive shows that captivate audiences of all ages. The Cairns Aquarium is more than just an attraction; it’s an underwater journey that brings the magic of Queensland’s marine environments right to your fingertips, ensuring a memorable day out for the entire family.

2. River Drift Snorkelling

River Drift Snorkelling - Back Country Bliss

Show your children the best side of the Daintree Rainforest with Back Country Bliss Adventures’ River Drift Snorkelling Tour. In this half day tour you can float and snorkel along the Mossman River learning about the 130 million year old rainforest and the incredible diversity of plants and fish found here.

If you can’t get enough of the rainforest (and who could blame you!) you can combine your River Drift Snorkelling Tour with a visit to Mossman Gorge where you will view the brilliant green rock pools and learn the ancient stories from the Kuku Yalanji people. The Back Country Bliss Adventures’ Mossman Gorge Adventure Day Tour (combining the River Drift Snorkelling and Mossman Gorge experience) spends more time in the rainforest than any other Tropical North Queensland day tour and is a great way to maximise your family time in Cairns and Port Douglas.

Learn more: River Drift Snorkelling Tour and Mossman Gorge Adventure Day Tour.

3. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

Family with baby looking at koala in wildlife park
Image: Tourism & Events Queensland

If crocodiles are what you want, crocodiles are what you’ll get at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Found in Wangetti, midway between Cairns and Port Douglas, at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures explore the various wildlife habitats before joining a crocodile cruise where you will see crocodiles up close and personal (from the safety of your boat!). Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is also a great stop for kids to break up the 70 minute drive between Cairns and Port Douglas!

4. Four Mile Beach

Port Douglas Carnavale
Image: Port Douglas Carnivale

If you’re looking for kid friendly ideas in Port Douglas, you can’t go pass Four Mile Beach. With stretches of white sand, fringing palm trees and (during stinger season) a dedicated swimming enclosure on the beach, Four Mile Beach is a great kid friendly activity in Port Douglas. If you time your trip with the Port Douglas Carnivale weekend in May, you can also enjoy the Carnivale’s Family Beach Day!

5. Great Barrier Reef with Quicksilver Cruises

Two turtles swimming on the Great Barrier Reef
Image: Quicksilver Cruises

There are a number of kid friendly ways you can explore the Great Barrier Reef. Quicksilver Cruises depart the Port Douglas Marina to take you to Agincourt Reef on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Here you’ll be able to relax on a spacious reef pontoon where you can snorkel the reef, enjoy a semi-submarine tour and those aged 12 and above can even try an introductory dive!

6. Muddy’s Playground

Kid friendly ideas Muddys Cafe and playground
Image: Muddy’s Cafe

You’ll find all the Tropical North Queensland local families down at Muddy’s. On the northern end of the Cairns Esplanade is a popular playground and water park. Here your children can play while you enjoy a coffee or smoothie at Muddy’s Cafe (and if you’re hungry, we recommend trying the tacos – they’re a locals’ favourite!).

7. Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

Girl leaning over bridge overlooking crocodile Port Douglas
Image: Wildlife Habitat

A popular family friendly experience in Port Douglas is Wildlife Habitat. Here you can wander through the exhibits and interact with the wildlife as they explore nearby. Expect to see kangaroos, koalas and emus plus those itching to see a crocodile can walk the Predator Plank over a crocodile exhibit (pictured above!).

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