How to Make the Most of 48 Hours in Cairns

Ever fancied a romantic weekend getaway in tropical Queensland? Cairns is the perfect place for a short break, with its airport and regular flights from most capital cities, its proximity to a range of natural wonders, and its great accommodation options – from luxury getaways to rainforest cabins (Kuranda is only 45 minutes from Cairns city so you could potentially base yourself here if you prefer).

If you find yourself with 48 hours for a romantic getaway in beautiful balmy Cairns, here’s some inspiration for how to spend it. 

Friday night

Settle into Cairns with a gentle stroll around town before indulging in a fine dining experience to start your weekend in style.

Tamarind Cairns is a highly acclaimed restaurant in the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino. Known for its fusion-Asian cuisine, Tamarind has earned a prestigious Chef Hat award. It has been recognised as the continent winner for Fusion Cuisine in Australia and Oceania by the World Luxury Restaurant Awards. The restaurant offers a delightful menu featuring fresh, seasonal produce and an extensive selection of premium Australian and New Zealand wines. Guests can also enjoy a variety of house cocktails. Tamarind is a must-visit destination for couples seeking a romantic dining experience in Cairns. Reservations are highly recommended, as this restaurant is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. It is the perfect opportunity to indulge in the flavours of Cairns and start your holiday on a high note.

Saturday morning

Atherton Tablelands

Get up bright and early because you’re going to want to make the most of all the great activities and attractions on offer from Cairns. 

Cairns is surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage rainforest, which is a must-see on your itinerary. Head southwest of Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands, a drive that takes approximately 90 minutes. Here you’ll find gorgeous tropical forests, waterfalls, lakes, and a number of other impressive natural features. 

Visit the Crystal Caves, which involves donning a helmet and heading underground to take a look at fascinating gems and fossils – as well as a giant amethyst. 

Then there’s the beautiful Lake Tinaroo perfect for days out on the water, while the Lake Barrine crater lake is also worth checking out, with its water a stunning shade of blue.

Related: The Best Things To Do & See In Cairns

Saturday afternoon

You’ve likely been incredibly active in the morning, and this is, after all, your romantic 48 hour couples’ getaway in Cairns, so this afternoon is a great chance to take it easy and ingest some of the ‘break’ into your short break!

Visit one of Cairns’ indulgent day spas and pamper yourselves. Try the Vie Spa at the Pullman Cairns International, which offers a great range of relaxing and rejuvenating massages and body treatments. 

There are a number of different spa establishments throughout the city, however, so you get your pick of the bunch!

Saturday night

Head out for a unique dining experience with ‘Flames of the Forest.’ 

A 50 minute drive from Cairns, this tour and experience will have you enjoying delicious fresh food – plus you’ll discover plenty of local culture, too. An experience you will both remember as one of the highlights of your Cairns romantic getaway, Flames is not a restaurant … it is one of Australia’s unique cultural experiences, where you also get to dine on delicious food!

Head out to your candlelit table in the warm rainforest, where you’ll feast on delicious tropically-themed food matched with a gorgeous wine. Included in your evening will be a chance to explore Aboriginal culture through performances of song and dance, all amongst a gorgeous natural setting before you head back to your accommodation for the night. 


Great Barrier Reef

Sunday will be dedicated to one of the most wonderful features in the vicinity of Cairns – the Great Barrier Reef. A visit to the Great Barrier Reef is an absolute must for any couple, and if you’ve never seen this incredible natural wonder before, sharing the experience with the one you love will make even more special!

A number of tours of this gorgeous oceanic feature leave from Cairns. Depending on which part of the reef you head to from Cairns, you can expect a one- to two-hour travel time one way. 

There are so many different ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef. From heading out amongst the vast, bold and bright coral gardens and snorkelling to experiencing a deep-sea dive, the level of adventure is up to you. 

For the ultimate indulgence (it is, after all, your romantic getaway to Cairns!), opt for a scenic cruise or flight around and above the region. There are also options to head to deserted islands and beaches and laze the day away. 

One thing’s for sure – you don’t want to miss out on visiting this extremely unique natural environment, with all its enchanting offerings. 

There’s a lot for couples on a romantic short break to squeeze into 48 hours in Cairns, but with so much to enjoy you’re bound to love every second of it.

Related article: Discover Queensland’s Best Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Accommodation here.

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