There's a meme making the rounds that describes every Aussie's family holidays as either, 'Up the coast', 'Down the coast' or 'Bali'. And it's funny because it's kind of true.
But this kind of thinking means that way too many of us are missing an experience that's not only right here on our doorstep, but whose stunning landscapes and surrounds make it the stuff of our paradise holiday fantasies.
Cairns, on the east coast of Far North Queensland, is the gateway to the incredible Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest and so much more.
Flying into Cairns looks like you're about to land in Jurassic Park, and within minutes of your arrival you certainly are aware that you've landed somewhere with magic in the air.
Oh and don't be fooled by the natural wonders, because you'll also find brilliant cafés, bustling markets and plenty of beaches on offer too.
If Cairns isn't on your family holiday bucket list, you might want to think about changing that, because when it comes to memory making fun, Cairns has child-friendly adventure in spades.
Cairns doesn't get its lush, tropical reputation for no reason.
There are two definite seasons when it comes to Cairns weather, summer and winter.
Summer (November to April) brings the wet season. The summer heat (25 – 30 degrees Celsius) coincides with some pretty impressive electrical thunder storms.
Meanwhile, in winter (May to October), you can expect plenty of sunshine and pleasant warm temperatures (around 17 – 25 degrees Celsius) with cool refreshing breezes and low rainfall.
However, locals say the best time of year falls in between the two, running from April to October. The bugs aren't around yet, the water remains free from stingers and the weather is clear and calm and missing the humidity of summer.
Regardless, the tropical Cairns climate means it is always a good time to visit Cairns.
You should also know that stinger season stretches from around the first of November to May. In those months you might be sharing the ocean with some very tiny and very nasty creatures, so it's recommended that you suit up in a full body 'stinger suit' if you're planning to swim in the sea. But don't let that scare you off, the stinger nets will be in the water as soon as there is any possible danger and local tour guides know all the ways to keep you safe.
Scroll on to see 15 things to do in Cairns with kids
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