Cairns Esplanade and Swimming Lagoon
The Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon is a massive crystal clear man-made salt water swimming sanctuary. The Cairns swimming Lagoon covers 4 hectares allowing for 1000 swimmers at a time. Go on and relax! Lay down those beach towels on the soft grass, bring along some food to cook up a family feast on one of the 12 public barbecues, eat at the picnic tables and enjoy all of this with the public change rooms and toilets within seconds of Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. On weekends join in and do a bit of shopping at the Cairns Esplanade Markets, activities and let the children dance to the live bands that pump out music just for fun for all age groups. The Cairns Esplanade and swimming lagoon really is a great place for families to gather and enjoy some free leisure time.
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Welcome to one of Australia's best kids playgrounds, where children can run through ankle deep water and splash in the shallows. From rope bridges, flying fox, slides, play houses, story-telling areas, to see-saws, Muddy's Playground in the heart of Cairns city has plenty to keep the little ones amused for hours and in turn keep the parents sane and give them some time to catch up with friends for a coffee or snack at the on-site cafe. Your children will beg you every single day for you to take them back to Muddy’s Playground they love it because it’s so interactive and interesting for them they find delight in all of the facilities and it’s totally safe and well protected from the sun.
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Cairns Esplanade Boardwalk
The Cairns Esplanade boardwalk is the gathering place for joggers, cyclists, power walkers, yoga enthusiasts, skateboarders, rollerbladers, volleyball competitions, photographers, wildlife watchers or for those that just want to relax and sit under the beautiful trees for a picnic or take a stroll along the timber boardwalk in the sunshine and just take in the fresh clean air, ocean and mountain views. The Cairns Esplanade boardwalk is a very busy place in the early mornings with the health enthusiasts powering up and down the winding pathways and the mums and dads taking the kids for a walk out in the prams. The wildlife is also on the move especially the Pelicans and other sea birds as they go fishing so it’s a great place to be if you are an enthusiastic birdwatcher.
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Cairns Skate Park
Cairns Skatepark is the biggest skatepark in all of Australia. It stretches 2300m2 and sits in the picturesque setting of the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon overlooking the Coral Sea. The park opens daily at 6:00 AM and is open late as many bright pod lights surround the Cairns Skatepark. A great place to roller skate, long board and let the little ones get around on their scooters whilst mum and dad set up the picnic table for a day of fun.
At the Cairns Skatepark you will encounter challenges like the following
- Clover bowls with rounded hips and pockets
- Moguls to negotiate
- Lots of intersecting paths that criss and cross one another
- Long runs with ledges, rails, banks, stairs and gaps all over the place.
The shaded areas that surround the skatepark are ideal for those desiring to watch the avid skaters who come daily to try out this skatepark heaven.
Cairns Baby Equipment Hire
Hire Baby Equipment and Travel Light from $30.00 per week. We can provide baby hire equipment including prams, strollers, twin strollers and car seats for holiday makers from Cairns to the Northern Beaches including Trinity Beach and Palm Cove
Interaction between animals and children can be a great learning experience and a great experience for a family to share, and in Cairns we have a range of interactive animal encounters for your family. The Cairns wildlife animal parks are open daily for self-guided tours or if you like you can dine alongside the wildlife for breakfast and lunch options including an informative guided tour with a wildlife officer. The children will love the opportunity to cuddle those cute Koalas a baby crocodile or a black headed python snake. Get the family a front row seat at the Crocodile Attack Show and venture inside the giant bird cage to hand feed the beautiful Native Australian birds. Why not try something different - try the Ropes Course, Pirate Climb or Dome Climb in the Cairns Wildlife Dome where families can get active! Ensure to visit the Cairns Aquarium - the kids will love the touch tank, and learn so much about the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. The Tropical North Queensland wildlife is just waiting to meet you and your family in the many multi award winning animal attractions in Cairns Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world as its coral reef system is visible from outer space and it has the enviable reputation as the cleanest water in the world that supports such a diverse range of marine life and variety of coral. Combine education with fun and book ahead to hop onto one of the Cairns Great Barrier Reef tours. Kids Great Barrier Reef tours are best done on one of the Outer Barrier Reef Pontoons as they provide lots of on-board interactive things to do and see that are specially designed for kids. A visit to a Cairns Great Barrier Reef Island is also another great option as the little children can have some space to run around, build sand castles and wade in and out of the water at their leisure. The Great Barrier Reef is accessible whether you are a swimmer, non-swimmer or beginner, there is absolutely something for everybody. All of the tourist boats carry floatation equipment such as pool noodles and floatation jackets. In fact, you don't even have to get wet to see the Great Barrier Reef. Just spend some time in the platforms underwater observatories gazing at the fish, the scuba divers and the snorkelers, then take a ride in the semi-submersible submarines or cruise around the reef on a glass bottom boat tour to see giant clams and coral gardens in the deeper water. There really is a tour suited to everyone to enable them to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
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Take a ride on the world famous historic Kuranda Scenic Railway up to Kuranda Village while sitting back relaxing and viewing the beautiful scenery going by. This charming old train travels thru world heritage rainforest and winds its way through 16 tunnels and waterfalls with a stop at the Barron River Falls for some photography. The Kuranda Village, otherwise known as the village in the rainforest contains many eclectic shops, small restaurants, cafes, pubs, and heritage markets that are so popular they operate daily. For the animal enthusiasts there are fantastic animal attractions and informative shows like at Birdworld, the Butterfly Sanctuary, the Koala Gardens the BatReach sanctuary and the Venom Zoo which members of your family will either love or hate with their creepy crawlies and flying critters.
On your way back down the mountain to Cairns, soar through the tree tops on the 7.5 klm long Kuranda Skyrail cableway gondola and make sure you have pre-booked a Diamond View carriage so you can see the rainforest canopies from the clear Perspex floors for that bit of extra heart pumping excitement. Be sure to stop at the two unique boardwalk stops the Red Peak Station & the Barron Falls Station on the way down to get the best views and photographic opportunities of the raging waterfalls and visit the rainforest interpretation centre and join a tour with an indigenous park ranger.
This is one of the very best family day tours in Cairns and it will suit both the teenagers as well as the little ones in a pram. You can make it a full day tour or just a half day tour and combine it with another half day tour activity to ensure you have the time to see everything there is to see and do in Cairns for families. Ensure to ask about adding on Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Kuranda Wildlife Experience or Rainforestation Nature Park to your Kuranda Family day trip.
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Although rainforest tours can be very long days, they are also fun filled and informative and some even include river boat cruises to see crocodiles in the wild, pythons hanging from trees, giant Cassowaries and lots of other unique native Australian animals in the wild. There are also some optional day tours that incorporate a visit to an animal adventure park into your day in order to split up the time for kids or those interested to see native Australian animals up close. The World Heritage Rainforests of Cape Tribulation and the Daintree are a big subject in kid’s school projects so why not let your little ones get a head start and see it for themselves whilst taking notes on what the tour guide teaches the family about the rainforests history, its secrets and mysteries. For self-drivers we highly recommend you pre-book to try out the Jungle Surfing zip line which is a multi award winning attraction that everyone as young as 3 and as old as over 100 years old can enjoy. For the older children we recommend you book a tour with Billy Tea Bush Safaris as they have some of the most knowledgeable rainforest tour guides in the business and they are one of the longest established tour operators in the Cape Tribulation and Daintree rainforest region
More information about The Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforests
If you’re the type of family that likes a bit of action and adventure then Cairns is definitely the best place in Australia for you to take your next holiday as there is a great deal to see and do so much so that its known as the “Adventure Capital of Australia” by tourists from all over the world. Your kids could be zipling through rainforest canopy, skydiving down onto beaches, flying down raging rivers in rubber rafts, jumping off 100 foot plus high towers with just a rubber band around their ankles or they could be riding a scooter under water with scubadoo.
Cairns is full of action, fun and adventure for all ages and suitable for all nationalities and fitness levels and the wonderful thing about family holidays is that you as the parents have the unenviable task of photographing it all and paying for it all too!.
Cairns Rafting for Kids
Cairns White Water Rafting has a minimum age of 12 years with options at Tully River or Barron River just 15 minutes from Cairns, with the thrills of the paddling rapids graded 1 to 2. Another adventure option is the Canyoning half day trip at Crystal Cascades minimum age of 8 years.
A parent or guardian must sign the waiver form for anyone under 18 years of age participating in this activity.
For the teenagers they can jump in an 8 man raft with the folks and ride the more challenging rapids down from the head of the river near the water release station for a half day of action and adventure.
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Cairns Hot Air Ballooning for Kids
Hot Air Ballooning is something that many people say is something that they have always wanted to do... Why not give the kids that family holiday memory at a young age that will last a lifetime? Kids aged 4-14 years are welcome to come hot air ballooning in Cairns with the presence and signature of a parent or guardian. Children just need to be tall enough and able to climb in and out of the hot air balloon basket unaided and the same applies for persons with disabilities or if they are elderly. The rates for Cairns Hot Air Ballooning are around $100.00 cheaper than in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and the scenery over the Atherton Tablelands in Cairns Australia takes a number one place in terms of beauty. So book now to take your family hot air ballooning in the cheapest location in Australia beautiful Cairns? FYI the reason it is cheaper to ride a hot air balloon in Cairns is because the weather is more stable the region has the capability to operate more take offs and landings which means more customers to cover operational costs so the tourists benefit from this discount.
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Cairns Horse Riding and ATV Quad Bikes
Any kids 4 years and older are more than welcome to join in on our Cairns Horse Riding Tours and those children 12 years and above are welcome for the ATV quad bike experience. Sit back and relax on these very calm Australian stock horses as they meander their way around the 18 acre Billabong that even has its own resident crocodile! The mangrove, sugar cane and rainforest pockets have never looked so thrilling and fun as it does while passing through on the back of a horse or racing through on an ATV quad bike. Those children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parents or guardian and those under the age of 18 must have their waiver form signed by a parent or guardian.
Get the family together and spend a full day or half a day and combine a horse ride with an ATV quad bike ride and see which type of horse power you prefer.
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Cairns Bungy for Kids
With the presence and signature of a parent or guardian, a child age 10 and with a minimum weight of 45kg can bungy jump solo! If your children are under 45 kg, this is still available but must be done in tandem with a parent, friend, or one of the great Cairns AJ Hackett Bungy crew if they are available. We highly recommend you pre-book the photo and video packages for those once in a lifetime keepsake memories! The patio area is open to friends and family of the bungy jumper or jumpees to watch their loved one jump in one of 18 different styles off of a 50 meter tower! For the not so game children or even parents perhaps join together and try out the Minjin Swing, which soars horizontally through the sky at 45 meters above the ground at 120 km/hr its sure to give you all a thrill.
If you are not game to try bungy jumping or the minjin swing you can just sit back and watch it all going on around you whilst you tuck into some refreshing drinks and pizza
Free coach transfers from Cairns city and coach transfers from Port Douglas for around $40 pp. Free entertainment at AJ Hackett Bungy every Sunday with face painting and jumping castle for the kids, licenced bar and musicians for the parents.
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Jungle Surfing Zip Lining thru the Rainforest For Kids
You can choose to take the family for a self-drive for a day trip to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation region and pre-book the experience of a lifetime and go Jungle Surfing high in the rainforest canopies just like Tarzan and Jane. The youngest jungle surfer can be as little as 3 years old and they can bring along grandma and grandpa for the ride also if they are willing to be strung up around 20 metres from the rainforest floor. The views from the platforms in the tree tops are just beautiful and the zip line guides make the day so much fun with their witty humour. If you are not so keen on a self-driving holiday and would like to include some wildlife attractions and other points of interest into the day then pre-book the Go Jungle Surfing Day tour that will pick you up from your accommodation and take you and your family out for a full day of adventure. Jungle Surfing is a multi award winning rainforest day tour and definitely not one to be missed on your Tropical North Queensland holiday as the teenagers and the little ones in the family just love it
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Great Barrier Reef Tours for Families
If you are looking for a Great Barrier Reef day tour that will suit everyone in the family and extended family then take a peek here at Ocean Spirit Cruises. This is a high performance catamaran that departs daily from Cairns Marlin Marina and heads out to a beautiful sand cay called Michaelmas Cay where the younger children are free to play on the sand and wade in and out of the water at leisure. For the older more adventurous teenagers they can take an introductory scuba diving lesson in the shallow waters around the sand cay or just snorkel the beautiful reef systems and discover the huge variety of marine creatures that live here.
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A Full Day or a Half Day Green Island Tour for Families
This island is the most popular place to visit for all newcomers and locals alike in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland Australia. Green Island is just a 45 minute catamaran ride on Big Cat Cruises from the Marlin Marina before you are surrounded by the azure waters of the Great Barrier Reef on a lush green tropical island. With the daily departure schedule of Big Cat Cruises you can have a half day or full day tropical island experience with all of your family members. When making your island adventure booking show the teenagers Seawalker as they will love the unique experience of walking on the bottom of the ocean with a helmet on their heads whilst interacting with the photo bombing Parrotfish called Gavin or they could try their hand at introductory scuba diving lessons. There are many pathways on Green Island so it’s perfect for taking a fold up pram or a relative that may be in a wheelchair or a person with some sort of disability. A day tour with the family to Green Island is a sure fire winner with everyone as there is so much to see and so much to do for all ages.
More information on Green Island Big Cat Cruises
There are so many full day tours, half day tours and even dinner shows and other things to see and things to do for families in and around Cairns and Port Douglas so we suggest you take a peek here for a bigger selection of tours to choose from for all of the family
Great Barrier Reef Tour | Cairns Pontoon | Dive-Snorkel | Helicopter | Glass Bottom Boat
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal Cairns
Special schedule from 25 Dec 2020 to 01 Jan 2021
90 minute cruise each way
4 hours on pontoon
Times are approximate
Families will love the Pontoon at Moore Reef - complete with Slide into the water, underwater observatory, semi-submersible tour, touch tank, glass bottom boat tour plus snorkelling!
Great Barrier Reef Tours | 2 In 1 Deal | Cairns Island and Outer Reef | GIGBRA
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence Street
7 hours (approx)
Enjoy the sandy beach of Green Island first and then take the boat out to the Great Barrier Reef in this great value 2 in 1 one day reef trip with the family! Includes snorkelling, a semi-submersible submarine tour, meals, plus the underwater observatory!
Kuranda Tours | Kuranda Train - Half / Full Day Tour | KQC
- Departs From: Cairns & Northern Beaches
Varies between 2.00 – 2.5 hours depending on how long you’d like to explore Kuranda. Refer to options in departure details.
Enjoy a family day taking in the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Journey over the Rainforest. Enjoy free time in Kuranda to visit the wildlife parks, markets and a bite to eat!
Hartleys Crocodile Adventures
- Departs From:
Self Drive: as long or as short as you would like
Bookings with transfers please see below
The kids will love seeing the Crocs up close - with a range of shows throughout the day and the Croc Attack show in the afternoon. Ask us about Feeding The Croc yourself - if you dare!
River Tubing | Behana Gorge or Mulgrave River | Cairns Half Day Family Tour
- Departs From:
4 hours Total with 2 hours River Tubing
Enjoy a half day river tubing day trip as you float down the freshwater river. Take in the views of this stunning landscape as you get off the beaten track with your professional guides. (Min age 5 yrs)
Cairns Horse Riding Tours - Yorkeys Knob ATV Quad Bike Combo Deal
- Departs From:
Experience the Aussie bush on Horseback - Suitable for children from 4 years of age, no experience necessary. Choose from 1, 2, 3 or 4 hour horse riding with all safety equipment provided.
Port Douglas Reef Tours | Great Barrier Reef Tours | QS
- Departs From: Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina Port Douglas
6.5 hours (approx.)
The kids will love discovering the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef - go snorkelling, check out the fish in the underwater observatory, and go beneath the water in the semi-submersible! A great day for the kids and the whole family.
White Water Rafting Barron River | Adrenaline Half Day Tour | FF
- Departs From: Barron River, Cairns
2 hours (approx) of rafting
Book a half day white water rafting tour for families with children aged 12 years and over. It's close to Cairns and a lot of fun getting the family out into the rainforest to spend a fun afternoon together.
Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome
- Departs From: Cairns
Sunday to Friday: 9:00am to 6:15pm (last entry 5:00pm)
Saturday: 9:00am to 8:00pm
Located in the heart of Cairns, Cairns Zoom & Wildlife Dome features a range of animals and shows throughout the day. Make sure to check out the Dome Climb or a Ropes Course - great family friendly activities!
Behana Gorge Cairns Canyoning Tour | Abseiling, Cliff Jumping, Rock Sliding Adventure | Half Day Tour
- Departs From: Cairns
6 hours (approx)
Great day of adventure for thrill seeking families with Abseiling, swimming, cliff jumping and floating down the gorge - with professional instruction from a certified instructor and with all safety equipment provided. (Minimum age is 10 years)
Daintree Rainforest Tours | Cape Tribulation | 4WD Bloomfield Track | BT
- Departs From: Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Cairns Beaches, Trinity Beach, Thala Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Clifton B
10.5 hours (approx)
Explore the world heritage rainforest of the Daintree National Park - hand feed kangaroos, enjoy an optional swim at fresh water swimming spot, plus a stop at Daintree Icecream Factory!
Cairns Reef Tours | Green Island Snorkel Tour | FULL DAY Great Barrier Reef Tour
- Departs From: Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence Street, Cairns
5 Hours on Green Island - 9:00am Departure (Big Cat)
4 Hours on Green Island- 11:00am Departure (Reef Rocket)
Return to Cairns at 5:00pm for both tours
Enjoy a family day at Green Island with choice of snorkelling equipment or glass bottom boat tour during your day. Optional extra activities available.
Cairns Great Barrier Reef Tour | Sand Cay Experience | Michaelmas Cay
- Departs From: Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal
8.5 hours (approx)
Enjoy a day on the reef visiting Michaelmas Cay - a stunning sand cay and which makes entry into the water easy for kids! Your day includes snorkelling plus a semi-submersible tour.
Mantra Trilogy Cairns
Located on the Cairns Eplanade, and close to the Cairns Night Markets, Mantra Trilogy is a central base to explore Cairns. Complete with a lap pool, children's pool and BBQ facilities, Mantra Trilogy is a great family holiday hotel in the heart of Cairns.
- Stay 5+ NIghts and SAVE Accommodation Specials
Cairns Plaza Hotel
Cairns Plaza is located on the Cairns Eplanade close to Muddy's playground, and only a short walk to the Cairns Lagoon.
- Children stay FREE (up to 12years)
- FREE Breakfast & FREE WiFi
Cairns Queenslander Holiday Apartments
Great value family accommodation with Kids staying FREE, close to Cairns Esplanade. and walking distance to Muddy's adventure playground.
Hilton Hotel Cairns
Hilton Hotel is located on the waterfront in the heart of Cairns with playgrounds close by and the Cairns Lagoon within easy walking distance.
- Children stay FREE (Under 18 years)
Beach Club Apartments Palm Cove
Located at Palm Cove Beach only 25 mins from Cairns Airport, Beach Club Apartments offer family friendly accommodation with spacious apartment style accommodation. Enjoy large resort pool with sandy entrance, pool bar for mum & dad, on site restaurants and day spa, plus located on Palm Cove beach with palm trees, beachfront playground and wide range of family dining options.
- Stay 7 nights get 2 Nights FREE
Amphora St Private Apartments Palm Cove
Located at Palm Cove Beach (25mins drive from Cairns) these private apartments within Amphora Resort offer family friendly accommodation with access to large resort swimming pool with kids wading pool and beachfront location. Enjoy the family friendly beach front location, beachfront restaurants, take away cafes with day trips to the Great Barrier Reef picking up daily.
- FREE Night Bonus Offers
DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns
Located on Cairns Esplanade, DoubleTree by Hilton is a great family accommodation hotel with great location, resort swimming pool, fitness room plus Kids Stay FREE Bonus Offer!
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
Great Family Friendly Resort located in the heart of Cairns, and close to Cairns Esplanade. The Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort features a large swimming pool, kids pool, swim up bar, restaurant & bar and kids corner.
- Family Holiday Packages available
- Kids Stay FREE & Eat Breakfast for FREE (up to 16yrs)
Fitzroy Island Resort
Only 45 minutes from Cairns, Fitzroy Island Resort is a great family holiday destination. Complete with resort swimming pool, indoor cinema & games room, restaurant & bar Fitzroy Island is a tropical paradise for families.
Green Island Resort
Indulge and experience the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef at night staying at the luxury Green Island Resort. Enjoy the range of complimentary island activities and ferry transfers during your stay. Outer Reef Trips also available from the Island on a daily basis.
- Children stay FREE with free transfers (up to 14 yrs)
- FREE Island Transfers & Island Activities
Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns
Great for families - complete with 3 swimming pools including a kids water play area, fitness centre, tennis and new Family Rooms with separate kids zone. Located on the Cairns Esplanade and only a short walk into Cairns and to Muddy's Adventure Playground. Ask us about our FREE night deals!
- Children Stay FREE (up to 12years)
Paradise Palms Resort
Great Family resort accommodation located at Cairns' Beaches - Paradise Palms Resort boasts a 2 acre Adventure Playground for the kids including jumping pillow, climbing spider, cubby houses, mini golf and slides. Parents will love the golf, and resort swimming pools and stunning mountain views.
- Unlimited Mini Golf & Adventure Playground
Reef Resort Port Douglas
Reef Resort Port Douglas is a great Family friendly resort with 4 Swimming Pools, kids playground plus gym, tennis and family friendly restaurant. Choose from One, Two or Three bedroom villas to suite your family and ensure a memorable family holiday.
FREE Continental Breakfast Bonus
Port Douglas Holiday House - VSOR
Enjoy your next family holiday staying in your own private Port Douglas Holiday Home with swimming pool (heated in winter), multiple living areas, and walking distance to Four Mile Beach. Ensure to book early as holiday homes are very popular with families!
FREE Night Bonus Offers
Sea Temple Port Douglas Private Apartments
With a massive 3000 sqm lagoon swimming pool, families love the private apartments at Sea Temple Port Douglas. Choos from spacious One, Two or Three Bedroom holiday apartments - or why not embrace the tropical lifestyle and enjoy a Swimout Apartment with direct access to the swimming pool, or Penthouse with rooftop Spa, or perhaps a Private Plunge Pool!
FREE Night Bonus Offer
Alamanda Palm Cove Private Beachfront Apartment 11
Enjoy a beachfront family holiday staying in this stunning beachfront suite at Palm Cove, 25mins from Cairns. Located on the ground floor this spacious holiday apartment offers beach access along with use of resort's facilities including 3 swimming pools, beachfront restaurant plus day spa.
FREE night bonus offers
Park Regis City Quays Apartments Cairns
Located a short walk from Cairns Reef Fleet terminal, Park Regis City Quays offers a great central location with one or two bedroom holiday apartments suitable for families. Kids will also love the Treehouse playground located nearby at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal grounds.