The question we are most frequently asked is "What to do with little kids"? Not only for free activities but also what tours and day trips work.
When you are travelling in the tropics with small children 5 years and under, be aware of the effect of the heat, sun and humidity. That sounds obvious hey??!! and as adults and with older children, it is easy to recognise the effects but the little ones can become quite overwhelmed and they won't know why. With these little kids, if you are out and about, be sure to plan your day around the hottest times and try to make sure you spend these in the shade or water play.
I love Hartley's Crocodile Adventures for young kids, there are so many things to see and do and all of it the great outdoors and very engaging. It can get hot there though, so consider getting there early and get some of the activities over before it gets too hot, then spend some time at the restaurant cooling off. You can take your own picnic into the restaurant and dine there or you can order from their menu's. Just don't take alcohol.
Avoid tours that are long days like some of the ones up to Cape Tribulation. These can have you on and off tour buses, stops that may not suit little ones and if you are departing from Cairns it means a pick up around 7 am and a return around 6.30pm. Choose a trip to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation very carefully or self drive.
Likewise for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Your young child will have a fabulous time for sure and especially if you consider the following 2 ideas. Choose a tour that has you landing at a pontoon eg Quicksilver from Port Douglas - click here - or Sunlover from Cairns - click here - as there is plenty you can do with all ages of children on these. Alternatively, choose an Island and I love Low isles from Port Douglas - click here - where you can view the coral in a glass bottom boat, snorkel from the beach, walk around the island and best of all, get up close and personal with a lighthouse.
For fabulous free things to do, there are parks everywhere!! Cairns has 3 of the best; The Pirate Ship, Muddy's Playground and the Fig Tree and there is also a marvellous nature park at Centenary Lakes. This park has balance logs, rocks, ropes for climbing and slippery slides set into mounds. So, so, so much fun.
There is a terrific park at Trinity Beach near the shopping centre, Palm Cove has the one right on the foreshore and in Port Douglas, head to Rex Smeal Park to watch the boats come back in the afternoon. Bruno Redweig Park in Port Douglas is one of my all time favourites as it is right on the beach, has shady areas and is also delightful for a picnic.
Then there are all of the animal attractions apart from crocodiles though you will always see these as well. In Port Douglas there is the Wildlife Habitat, In Cairns get up to the Dome right in the centre of town, in Kuranda there are the Koala Gardens and Birdworld and the butterfly house is wonderful fun with little kids.
Finally, find your way to some of the locals favourite swimming holes. For this one, it is best to ask the locals as these swimming spots can be seasonal. Or give us a ring and we will help out with the local knowledge. We know this place like the back of our hands so ring us on 1300 731 620 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than anything, we want you to enjoy our backyard as much as we do.
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