Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, well, it’s the most well known tourist gateway as well as a total tourist beach town but it’s not cheesy in anyway. The town is quite dated but when you step to the boardwalk – it’s relatively new. Since you can’t swim directly in the waters surrounding Cairns for predatory reasons, the city has a wading pool-kiddie pool-beach area with lots of fun stuff for the kids to interact with as well as loads of BBQ stations and then across the street – shops and place to eat lining up. However, being the gateway means there a loads of tour options including heading out to Fitzroy Island or even going straight to the GBR itself and having a snorkel or scuba. Any which way you approach Cairns, the inviting frontage and beach town charm will make you feel at home every time!