Introduction to Cairns

From a mining and cane town to cosmopolitan seaside resort city, Cairns has come a long way, baby. With a compact city centre, manmade saltwater lagoon and boardwalk, marina, and international and domestic airport, the attractive tropical north Queensland locale is nestled between world-class tourist attractions like the Great Barrier Reef on the Coral Sea, the Daintree Rainforest and lush fertile Atherton Tablelands and verdant mountains to the west.

Post-World War II and the establishment of the Cairns Airport in the ‘80s saw the city become an international destination and a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland. Infused with a laidback holiday vibe luring visitors from Australia and overseas, Cairns is a hub for dining, entertainment and shopping with a renowned party scene and accommodation for everyone from high rollers to backpackers travelling on a shoestring budget. Add to that a warm-to-hot tropical climate, indigenous culture and welcoming atmosphere and it’s no wonder tourists end up staying. Locals love that you can soak up the rays and wear shorts during the ‘winter’ months while the majority of Australia shivers.

As well as the natural attractions of the reef, islands, rainforest and mountains on your doorstep, Cairns is also known as an adventure seeker’s paradise where visitors can go skydiving, white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, hang gliding, waterskiing, horseriding and on ATV tours to get the adrenalin going. Explore the surrounds by diving or snorkelling, taking a scenic drive or checking out the view from above, or simply sit back and relax, Cairns-style.

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