There are so many natural wonders and settings for adventure around Cairns, Port Douglas, Mossman, Daintree and the surrounding area and something for all levels, ages, and abilities. As such, our goals with Wanderstories are threefold: 1) to provide information, 2) to foster inspiration, and 3) to encourage inclusion. These three words – information, inspiration, and inclusion – not only resonate within our Wanderstories community but also among the numerous licensed and social walking, hiking, and adventure clubs and groups around Cairns and Far North Queensland.
The official clubs of the region include rock climbing, bushwalking, running, mountain biking, and kayaking Cairns Climbing Club, Cairns Mountain Bike Club, Cairns Bushwalking Club, and Tablelands Bushwalking Club, respectively. Note that there are other official clubs for different disciplines not mentioned below.
The Cairns Mountain Bike Club (CMBC) encourages all riders, from beginners to seasoned racers to get involved in the vibrant community of like-minded MTB enthusiasts. From skills clinics to trail building days to realising your racing potential, they have events for everyone. The Cairns Mountain Bike Club or the Great Northern Hill Tribe was formed in the late 1980s. It has produced a number of elite-level national and world cup riders in the cross country and downhill disciplines. Cairns was the first to bring World Cup events into Australia with 2 World Cup Rounds and the World Championships in the 1990s. With mountains, lush rainforest and hundreds of kilometres of quality riding trails, Cairns remains a popular destination for mountain biking in Australia. The club has strong ties with neighbouring mountain bike communities in Mareeba (The Mareeba Mountain Goats), Atherton (Tableland Cycling Sports) and the Townsville Rockwheelers. The Smithfield mountain bike park is the club's official base and has an area consisting of 30-40 km of cross country trails and a world cup level downhill course. Check out their website and Facebook group for more information on events, news, and for places to ride.
The Cairns Climbing Club has access to the climbing facility of the Northern Outlook in Redlynch and runs regular climbing nights for its members.
Everyone is welcome to join the club and be part of a small friendly community of climbers. That means there are no restrictions on age, prior experience, or anything else. See also the free bouldering park at Cairns Esplanade.
Cairns Road Runners is a non-profit organisation founded in 1979. It provides a fun and sociable environment to promote health and fitness for all runners and walkers regardless of ability are welcome to attend. They have something on offer for all types of runners such as road running and racing, track running, trail running, fun runs, social events, and training. You do not have to be a member of the Club to participate in the races. However, you will pay more for the experience.
The Cairns Bushwalkers Club is Cairns's only government-supported walking, hiking, and bushwalking group. This club is included under the 'umbrella' with all of the other bushwalking clubs around Queensland (e.g., Brisbane, Tablelands, Townsville, etc.) and is an incorporated not-for-profit group. The Cairns Bushwalkers Club conducts regular trips with most being within a two to three hours drive of Cairns, Far North Queensland. The club is funded by guests who join in on walks, its membership, its sponsors, and the Queensland Government's Gambling Community Benefit Fund. The Cairns Bushwalkers Club has decades of logbooks, hikes, and experience that a newcomer to Cairns and a Cairns veteran can both appreciate. Most of the walks that the Cairns Bushwalkers Club take include off-track hikes, true bushwalking, rock-hopping, and scrambling up scenic mountain creeks, through gorges, or up to mountain peaks. From the coastal Wet Tropic ranges with their spectacular scenery, fauna and flora; the historic tableland area rich in its fascinating geology and pioneer heritage; to the cool and lovely coastal creeks and waterfalls. We think the walks offered in this region are among the best in the world. Walks include day walks, overnight pack walks, and car camps. The club also holds a number of social functions throughout the year. Their website provides a few handy hints about what to expect when you come walking with us.
Cairns Ramblers are a bush-walking, rambling, and social club based in Cairns. The club was constituted in July 2020 and just a group of like minded people who enjoy walking. They walk, explore, and enjoy their local area in Far North Queensland.
The Tablelands Bushwalking Club Inc. was established in 1989 and incorporated in June 1990. It aims to promote and organize walking activities for residents and visitors to the Tablelands region of Far North Queensland. The Club has some maps available for members to use. Programs are issued four times per year and emailed or mailed to paid up members. The Tablelands Bushwalking Club Inc. adheres to a philosophy of environmentally conscious minimum impact walking. The walk leader is responsible for planning and directing walkers on the route to be followed. Walks are advertised at some Information Centres. North Queensland offers a range of habitats to explore, from rainforest to woodland to semi-arid regions. You may enjoy swimming or climbing. The landscape allows us to enjoy wildlife, botany, geology and history of the area in the company of like-minded people. These walks are conducted every second Wednesday and Sunday for most of the year and are usually not more than 1-2 hours by vehicle from the meeting place.
DSMRA is a nationwide network of licensed riders who enjoy exploring the bush trails and desert tracks of the great Australian outdoors. As the name "Dual Sport" implies, the club caters for enduro and adventure motorcycles on all terrains. From sealed roads to the toughest bush tracks, we ride responsibly, legally and respectfully. The DSMRA was formed in 1995, in response to increasing restrictions on access for recreational vehicles to public land. See the DSMRA Townsville & Cairns Facebook group.
The Chillagoe Caving Club is one of the larger caving clubs in Australia and has been nationally and internationally recognised for their member activities, and the high standard of their caving publications. The Club had its inaugural meeting in 1973. The intention of forming the Club was to bring together the active cavers already in the area, to enable them to share their knowledge, expertise and equipment, and to foster caving as a sport and science – particularly in the Chillagoe area. Over the years, the members of the Club have carried out thousands of hours of research into cave formation, karst management, flora and fauna and many other fields either as a sole Club project or in conjunction with visiting researchers. It has always been one of the tenets of the Club that this information needs to be passed on to the younger generations so that not only will the skills involved not be lost, but also that the research will continue in the future as the older cavers become "armchair cavers". The Club has an established Clubhouse in Chillagoe which is used as a meeting place, and a tackle centre and is available for accommodation both for members and visiting cavers. Cavers are adventurers, explorers, scientists, palaeontologists, geologists, surveyors and many others that like the challenge of finding something that no one has ever seen before. Chillagoe Caving Club is a focal point for these people to meet, share information, socialise and go caving together.
Cairns Kayak and Canoe Club
Cairns Kayaking is the official Facebook group for the Cairns Kayak and Canoe Club, and an easy contact point for the club. The purpose of this group is to generate interest in kayaking by promoting the local paddling scene and connecting like-minded people. The site has been set up to keep local paddlers of all standards 'in the loop' about club activities; whether it be posting a proposed trip, organising a training day, arranging a social event or posting a short trip report with a photo or two.
We're a non-profit club providing a safe fun environment to enjoy twisting the throttle! We are a recreational off-road club in Miriwinni Cairns Queensland Australia catering for the family & non-competitive motocross riders of motocross & ATV riding, while still providing natural terrain motocross, Enduro trails, pony express tracks and a 50cc junior motocross track for the training of competitive & non-competitive riders. Based on 100 acres at the base of Mount Bartle Frere ( the highest mountain in Queensland) & surrounded by a world heritage rainforest with swimming holes and rainforest walks for the whole family to enjoy.
Formed in 1975 by a group of adventurous-minded individuals with a passion for four-wheel driving, camping, exploration, and camaraderie, the Cairns Four Wheel Drive Club organises four-wheel drive trips for their members and visitors around Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia. They host day trips, weekend trips, and longer camping trips. At times, a group of the Club members venture out on the most iconic trip of the north, the Tip of Cape York. With a mix of young and old, they have regular social events. The Cairns Four Wheel Drive Club is a member of the Queensland Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs Inc. which is a State Body enabling our views to be represented on topical issues as required. They are also a member of the National Council of four-wheel driving clubs. This club follows the National Council Code of Ethics and these ideals are practised on all Club trips and supports four-wheel drive touring as a responsible and legitimate recreational activity.
There are many social groups in the Townsville and the Greater North Queensland area focusing on an outdoor adventure. Below are the most relevant, active, and useful groups to date; however, as you may notice, some groups are more active, with respect to events and activities, than others. Still, these social groups provide a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and a sense of community.
This adventure group was created in 2020 as a place to ask questions, share trip reports and photos, and share anything else adventure-, explorer-, or expedition-related. The Wanderstories authors work closely with the official clubs and Cairns Hiking - Come and Explore.
This is a group for hiking friendly activities in Far North Queensland. Sharing photos, videos, and track notes are welcomed. If you have any hiking questions, please feel free to ask the group. Far North Queensland is so lucky to be home to hundreds of hiking trails spread across the area.
This group is designed to bring hikers together, to get out in the wilderness and explore this beautiful part of the world.
A community interest hub for sharing your outdoor activities in and around Cairns. This group is focused to promote your existing personal event, organise a future event, or promote a local organisation outdoor adventure event.
Although not technically a group, this Facebook page fosters community and helps fellow hikers' questions with community-sourced answers. Bushwalking is the best way to get out and enjoy the outdoors but also stay healthy and fit. They connect bushwalkers in the Cairns and surrounding areas, share photos of walks, and suggest walks others would be interested in.
Cairns Tropical Walking Tracks group is great for reference and shares the walking experiences of its members. All posts meet a high standard of content information, sharing is encouraged.
This group is a place for anyone seeking to climb in the Cairns region which is mainly bouldering orientated and some sport and trad. Whether you're a local or visiting, this will be to organise, meet, and learn a bit. It's a place to share any climbing-related information or advice about the scene. Slackliners and hikers are also in the group, so post on the page and arrange an adventure.
This group's aim is to create a slackline community within the region using the page as a hub to meet, slack and learn. Whether you're an experienced slackliner or a beginner looking for the right direction, everyone is welcome. Feel free to update the page with new locations and advice as you please. The interweb is full of information and slack etiquette to follow regarding slackline rigging in the park or in the sky.
This canyoning group is about sharing canyoning information, trip reports, photos, and social trips in North and Far North Queensland. Canyoning involves a free-flowing watercourse that has drop-offs, waterfalls, gorges, canyons, and/or caves where you will be rock hopping, scrambling, jumping, abseiling, and swimming. You will likely get wet!
The Piss Poor Paddlers are a relatively informal group of kayakers who mainly paddle white water. There are plenty of whitewater rapids to paddle from an array of rivers and creeks around Cairns. One key value of this group is inclusion. They welcome all who like to have fun on the water, be it for short paddle trips, day trips, multi-day expeditions, or even a game of canoe polo. As kayaking is a risk-taking activity, it is important to note that this group is also known for looking out for one another. They post about their kayaking events and other activities on their Piss Poor Paddlers Facebook group.
Other Facebook and Meetup Groups
to be continued...
If we've missed any outdoorsy groups or you find a broken link, please contact Wanderstories.
This article, and all other articles, are for entertainment purposes only and are not to be used as a guide. Please see our Disclaimer for more information.