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Rafting & tubing tours in Cairns

Cairns, Australia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s largest coral reef and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It’s so big it can be seen all the way from space!

Aside from the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is also a paradise of tropical temperatures and is surrounded by lush rainforest. Take a relaxing drift in a tube down the Daintree River and experience the one-of-a-kind ecosystem first hand, or turn things up a notch and hit the Barron Gorge National Park for some white-water rafting. Either way, you’re not likely to be disappointed!

Whatever your experience - even if you don’t have any - there is guaranteed to be a white-water rafting or tubing package in Cairns that’s just perfect for you, whether it be on the Barron River or one of the other rainforest hotspots local to this tropical paradise.

Barron Gorge Half-Day White-Water Rafting

Get to know the Barron Gorge National park in the most exhilarating way possible as you rush through the Barron River rapids and then finish off by floating serenely through the beautiful landscape of cliffs, ravines, and rainforest. This may sound like an adventure for experts only, but it’s open to all levels of experience! Each raft holds 7 people.

Mulgrave River Tubing

Get picked up directly from your hotel in Cairns and then make your way to the Mulgrave River where you’ll be supervised by trained local experts as you first fly over rapids, then float down a calm rainforest river in a relaxing rubber tube. Take in the gorgeous sights and sounds of the ecosystem, no matter what your tubing experience...if any!

Family White-Water Rafting Adventure

This package is perfect for families traveling with small children and looking for fun and inclusive vacation activities in Cairns, as it is designed for children aged 6-11. This is a great way to take in the Barron Gorge National Park with its gorgeous rainforest wildlife and majestic cliffs. Choose between a half- or full- day excursion and make once-in-a-lifetime memories with your family.

Cairns ATV Adventure Tour and Afternoon Rafting  Combo

When you book this exciting package, you’ll be picked up right in front of your hotel and spirited off to the quad bike site in the mountain town of Kuranda. Once there, you’ll receive a quick introductory lesson and then spend the next hour and a half zipping around on a sweet ATV.

After that, you’ll take a quick break, relax with some tea, and then head to Barron Gorge National Park for the second part of your adventure: white-water rafting on the Barron River! You’ll likely be tired after a full day of adventure, but not to worry - you’ll be transported right back to your hotel, it’s all part of the cost.

How much will rafting or tubing in Cairns cost?

Going rafting in Cairns will normally cost you between AUD 75 and AUD 100. That price covers the national park fees as well as hotel pickup and drop off in an air-conditioned coach, all the necessary equipment, and an experienced guide.

Depending on the package, snacks may or may not be included, and there may be additional fees to pay upon arrival at the sight. Make sure to check with your activity provider in advance so that you don’t get caught off guard!

How long will rafting or tubing in Cairns take?

Most of the rafting and tubing packages in Cairns last between 2.5 and 4 hours, with options for a full day also available. In that time, you’ll receive all the training necessary for your experience level from expert river rafting instructors. The combination rafting and ATV quad bike packages are all slotted to last a full day.

Do I need experience with rafting or tubing before I book?

You may be worried about going rafting for the first time, but no absolutely no previous rafting experience is necessary. There are packages available for all experience, and local guides and safety experts will always be on hand to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

When is the best time to go rafting or tubing in Cairns?

The best time to hit the rainforest in Cairns for a rafting or tubing excursion is between May and September.These are winter months in Australia, so the weather isn’t as deathly hot as it is during the summer and it doesn’t rain as much either. The temperatures during this period are absolutely perfect. The catch is that since May to September is high tourist season, you have to deal with lines.

Travel Tips

White-water rafting and tubing in Cairns is perfectly safe, and local experts and guides are always on-hand to make sure that the experience goes down as smoothly as possible. With that said, it never hurts to be prepared! Here are a few things to keep in mind before you hit the book button on one of these stellar packages.

  • For the white-water rafting packages that aren’t family packages, the minimum age is 12 years old, and children between the ages of 12 and 17 may require a parent or guardian to sign a waiver.
  • White-water rafting and tubing is not recommended for those who are pregnant.
  • White-water rafting and tubing packages in Cairns are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Some medical conditions may be turned away - make sure to check with your tour provider!
  • Maximum capacity on some packages is bound to fill up quickly, so make sure you book well in advance, especially if you’re planning on going during the high season between May and September. Don’t worry, you can cancel with up to 24 hours notice!
  • Some packages may require additional entry fees and certification costs upon arrival.
  • The minimum age for tubing is 5 years old.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a towel, a swimsuit, and insect repellent, as things can get pretty hot and sticky in the rainforest!