Cairns is the gateway to tropical north Queensland and is a popular travel destination because of its tropical climate and proximity to many attractions. The Great Barrier Reef is only one-and-a-half hours away by boat. The Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, about 130km north of Cairns, are popular areas for experiencing a tropical rainforest. It is also a starting point for people wanting to explore Cooktown, Cape York Peninsula, and the Atherton Tableland.
Cairns city itself is a modern, sophisticated city in the heart of the tropical north, with international standard restaurants, boutique shopping, modern art galleries and classy nightclubs to keep visitors entertained. Cairns also boasts outstanding hotels, offshore island resorts, big Reef-cruise catamarans in the harbor, and too many souvenir shops. The only beach right in town is a man-made 4,000-sq.-m saltwater lagoon and artificial beach on the Esplanade.
Things to See and Do
* Hartleys’s Crocodile Adventures
* Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
* Snorkeling on the Barrier Reef
* Wild-World – The Tropical Zoo
* Rainforest Skyrail to Kuranda
Cruise Season – Jan – Dec
Currency – Australian Dollar (AUD$)
Language – English
Land Area – 488.1 km²
Population – 145,000 approx
Electricity – 2 angled pins and 1 flat pin centred below Australian style
Time – GMT plus ten hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 61
Port Location – Cairns Seaport is the closest port to the Great Barrier Reef and is located on Trinity Inlet. It is a picturesque port, with passenger terminals and marina facilities located virtually in the central business district.
Transport Links – The Cairns International Airport is located only several minutes drive north of the city centre. Direct flights are available to and from Cairns from most eastern states. Several international carriers serve Cairns from various Asian cities and New Zealand. Long-distance trains operated by Queensland Rail’s Traveltrain, run from Brisbane several times a week. Greyhound Australia buses pull into Trinity Wharf Centre on Wharf Street in the center of town. Buses travel from the south via all towns and cities on the Bruce Highway, and down north from Darwin and Alice Springs.
Buses, taxis and rental cars are available for getting around Cairns.