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Walking Art Trails

Being 'cultured' and doings tours feels like one of those fancy grown-up activities you do when you’re on holiday (or when you're not lying in bed binge-watching Netflix).

Cairns is teeming with incredible history, installations, public paintings and sculptures craftily hidden away in side streets, tucked into alleyways and suspended above our heads — you just need to make the time to seek them out.

There's also plenty of places to eat and drink along the way, too. So set aside some time to discover some of the hidden art this tropical city has to offer. Let's walk.

Cairns History Tours

Cairns may be a pretty face but its history goes back at least 40,000 years. Explore beyond the rainforest and reef with Cairns Urban Walking Tours to the ancient and recent history, complete with stories and photographable architecture, art and landmarks. Discover the significance of building from the early colony, including architectural styles, as well as indigenous outdoor artworks. Learn about the importance of the natural features of Cairns (reef and rainforest), the oldest living culture in the world and pre-colonial lifestyle. Chat about the challenges of colonisation, pesky pirates and the opium trade, the early gold rush, farming, business and the cultural melting pot that makes Cairns what it is today.

Culinary Meets Art

Everyone knows the best way to discover a city’s nightlife is to hang with the locals, right? Well, this salubrious tour was designed just for you, dear reader. What better way to get the inside scoop and where to go, where to imbibe and where to be seen (or not) that with a couple of locals who know their way around a cocktail list. Shake off the sand, dress up for cocktail hour and join Cairns Boutique Tours on an after dusk exploration of local liquor dens. Irresistible drinks – check. Lively atmosphere – check. Tall stories and wild tales about Cairns and its nightlife – you betcha.

If you're food-obsessed, and like history too, then you’ll love the Rusty's Market Food Lover's tour with Cairns Urban Walking Tours. Sample unique, tropical foods (fresh and cooked), learn about the history of how Rusty's Market got started, from being in old Chinatown and hippies; understand what makes the produce in the region so darn tasty, and get the insider's scoop on the best foods at Rusty's. The guide will also provide pointers to the best gourmet foods available in the markets and also the seasonal fruits.

Hipster and Street Art Tour

It’s hip to be cool, right..? With Cairns being the second hipster capital of Australia (with the Gold Coast coming in first, we do not tell a lie), it's no wonder it is so cool. Hot. Humid doesn’t really cut it or do anything for a quiff, so we’ll stop now...Anyway, what makes a place hipster and why do local creature hipsters play such an important role in larger society? Apparently, it’s all about the vegan eateries, tattoo studios, coffee shops, vintage boutiques, and record stores a centre has per 100,000 residents, determining those with a higher ratio to clearly be hipster-riddled centres. Hello, Cairns. Cairns Urban Walking Tours will explore the influential hipster culture through food, cafes, street art, elite barbers, and vintage shops in the most ironic and eco-friendly transport system possible - walking. Find out how much your life may be influenced by hipsters (or if you're a closet hipster). The tour provides an overview of the global hipster culture and how it has expanded in Cairns.

Diy Arts and Culture Walking Exploration

Cairns is best known for the reef and rainforest but if you scratch the surface you will also discover a region buzzing with arts and culture. The Cairns Arts and Culture Map has been developed by Cairns Regional Council to underscore the depth and breadth of the arts and culture in the region. Discover creative businesses, cultural organisations, festivals, public art, visual and performing artists, historical sites and so much more.