Cairns Post Pets For Sale – Cairns, a tropical city in northern Queensland, nestled between cliffs and rainforests, is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. But what about visiting Cairns with a dog? There are plenty of dog options where you can stop and eat. Find out more about visiting Cairns with a dog…
Although many of the attractions in and around Cairns are dog-friendly, from day trips from the Cliff to the Skyrail to Kuranda, consider exploring dog-friendly attractions with your best friend.
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A popular choice with local dog owners and tourists alike is walking along the Esplanade, which runs along Cairns’ coastline through tropical gardens. There is a combination of hiking trails and bike paths, and leashed dogs are allowed with you.
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Note that the lagoon area is off limits to dogs, plus the central blocks of the Cairns CBD (between Wharf and Aplin Streets, from McLeod Street to the Esplanade), but the Esplanade is between the two. I’m not sure how often the dog ban is enforced in the CBD – it’s stated on the Cairns Regional Council website, and I’ve never seen any signs on the street.
There is an overflow area at the northern end of the Esplanade, adjacent to the mangroves, between Smith and Lilly streets. However, although it is listed on the council’s website, there is no sign of a grassed area, so I am not sure if it is available at the moment.
The center of Cairns is close to mudflats and mangroves, and if you head north of Cairns you’ll find sandy beaches.
One of the most popular places among tourists is the settlement of Palm Cove. There are many high-end hotels and restaurants across this one-kilometer stretch of beach. Take your child for a walk on the sand (except around the surf club), then walk behind them, under the palm trees. Keep your dog off the beach and off the road.
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At the north end of Palm Cove there is a section that needs to be cleaned between the jetty (no dogs allowed) and the reef, but when I got there there was no sign, but the usual sign saying dogs are allowed . belt
Another beautiful beach near Cairns is Trinity Beach, which is popular with locals. Trinity Beach is an area that stretches along the northern and southern ends of the coast. We went to the north end which starts after the playground. The only downside is that the beach is a bit narrow at high tide.
If you’re enjoying the beaches, don’t forget to visit the resort of Port Douglas, an hour’s drive north of central Cairns and only 40 minutes from Palm Cove.
Port Douglas is a beautiful four-mile stretch of beach that runs south of the city. At the east end of the beach, dogs are not allowed near the surf club, dogs are allowed on a leash with the rest, and there is a leash section at the end.
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The off-leash area that stretches from Four Mile Beach Park to Helmut Street was recently expanded. However, with the sign at the Cowie Street entrance, the old departure point, I surprisingly didn’t see a sign saying that dogs must be on a leash.
But the locals let their dogs out so we followed suit. At the entrance to Cowie Street there is a suitable tube to wash your dog.
While in Port Douglas, the Flagstaff Hill Walkway is a great walk you can take with your dog.
The easiest way to get there is from the north end of Rex Smeal Park, where there is a parking lot. Then follow the 1.1km trail along the valley to the steps down to Four Mile Beach. There is also a 175m detour to Flagstaff Hill Lookout.
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If you want to enjoy the scenery without walking, you can drive up Flagstaff Mountain, but the first bend may be too steep for some campers. There are beautiful views along the four-mile stretch of beach.
Unfortunately, many waterways, beaches or rivers around Cairns are off limits to dogs due to the danger of crocodiles. Fortunately, one of Cairns’ best parks offers safe swimming spots.
Goombura Park is located on the west side of Cairns, in the suburb of Brinsmead, off the Western Arterial. Halfway down the grassy lawn, to your right as you enter, the rest of the park (except the playground) is a designated off-leash area where dogs are allowed.
At the edge of the park is a dense forest with a freshwater creek running through it, and a dog swimming beach adjacent to the off-leash area. Very popular with locals and visiting dogs alike!
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In the highlands behind Cairns is the rainforest village of Kuranda. You won’t be able to visit it on the Skyrail or Scenic train with your dog, and it’s a 20-minute drive from the Smithfield countryside to the scenic highway.
Kuranda Main Street is lined with shops and cafes and has not one but two markets. The Original Rainforest Forest Market has signs at each entrance asking for dogs to be leashed. I used the same for the Heritage market and no one said anything. Please note that dogs are not allowed in the rainforest behind the Nature Market or other animal attractions.
My choice of the two was the original rainforest market with high-energy hippies, clothing and jewelry stores, and jungle mini-golf. Petite Cafe Creperie was very busy when I visited and allowed dogs on the outside tables.
Unfortunately, Kuranda has been hit hard by the closure of the international border, with many shops empty, but hopefully it will recover.
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The entire Atherton Tablelands region has more to explore than Kiranda to the Highlands behind Cairns. Within 30 minutes of Kuranda is the farming town of Mareeba, home to Australia’s largest coffee plantation and the friendly Emerald Creek Falls.
The Atherton Highlands also has a rich history, with several museums both indoor and outdoor. A must see is the charming historic town of Herberton, just 90 minutes from Cairns.
There are many attractions for dogs in the Atherton Tablelands, and I recommend you spend a few days in the area. Check out our dog guide to the Atherton Tablelands for more recommendations.
Babinda, a small town south of Cairns, is perhaps best known for the Babinda Boulders. Huge granite boulders along Babinda Creek, with a swimming hole next to it, unfortunately no pet dogs allowed.
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However, go further afield and join a kayak with Babinda Kayaking, which welcomes four-legged visitors with enthusiasm. Both half- and full-day self-guided kayak and paddleboard SUP tours are available, including return to the starting point. (Double check your dog’s program when you pick it up.)
The Cairns regional government is home to a large number of dog training facilities, with 51 listed on its website. However, in a few places like North Cairns and the beach at Palm Cove, I saw no signs at all.
One of the best parks in Cairns is Goombura Park with its swimming river. See above for more information.
Eleven of the off-leash areas are fenced, including Little Barlow’s bungalow garden. One of the closest off-leash parks to the city centre, it is fully fenced with two gates and has a fountain and park benches. The restricted area is specified in the council list.
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For a full list of dog-friendly beaches in Cairns, see the list on the council’s website. Most beaches in Cairns have off-leash areas for dogs, usually at the end of a beach or two.
We went to the Trinity Beach area. Dogs are allowed from the north end past the playground (see signs on the beach) and at the south end south of Peacock Street. Other beaches include Bramston Beach, Buchan’s Point Beach, Clifton Beach, Ellis Beach, Holloway’s Beach, Kewarra Beach, Muchang’s Beach, Half Moon Bay Beach and Yorkey’s Knob Beach.
Before entering the water, it’s a good idea to check local signs for recent alligator sightings and bite warnings. With crocodiles, it is better to stay away from the river that flows into the sea, and see what the locals are doing.
There are several dog friendly tours in and around Cairns, but most of them require dogs on a leash. As mentioned above, some popular options include the Esplanade in Cairns and the Flagstaff Hill Walkway in Port Douglas.
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