Cairns has taken the role as capital to Far North Queensland, and is backed by beautiful rainforest and only a short distance from the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Whatever activity you want to get involved in you are likely to find it at Cairns, whether its bungee jumping, canoeing, horse riding, scuba diving, skydiving or white water rafting.

Cairns is home to more than 130,000 people from all corners of the world. The region's climate is hot and humid during summer months with mild, dry winters. The rainy season generally occurs during summer between January and March.

Cairns, Far North QueenslandCaptain Cook journeyed up the North Queensland coast on his first Voyage of Discovery in 1770, aboard the Endeavour. The journey was not a pleasant one as the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most difficult waterways to navigate in the world. Captain Cook was the first known European to visit the site where today's city of Cairns is located.

Cairns EsplanadeThe main street along Cairns shoreline is the Esplanade, where you will find many of the accommodation places, and several restaurants. There are also plenty of pubs and clubs around here, with many offering live music and an almost guaranteed good time.

Cairns Night MarketsMore restaurants and many of Cairns shops and shopping arcades can be found on the roads off of Sheilds Street, near Cairns Harbour. The Pier Marketplace hosts some wonderful little boutiques, although if you are looking for a bargain you should head here at the weekend when the Mud Markets are held. More weekend markets can be found along Spencer Street at the busy Rusty's Bazaar.

Cairns Regional Art GalleryAround Cairns there are a number of historical buildings worth visiting, as well as the interesting Cairns Museum, Cairns Regional Gallery, and Royal Flying Doctor Service. For those of you who may not be brave enough to go out to the Great Barrier Reef, you can see plenty of sealife at the Undersea World.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural CentreAnother great place to visit in Cairns is the fantastic Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Centre which holds various Aboriginal performances and educational demonstrations on the Aboriginal culture and history.

Buchans Point, CairnsThere are some wonderful gardens around Cairns, and beautiful landscapes to see. It is definitely worth following the Esplanade Walking Trail along the pretty coastline (ignoring the brown sea around Cairns).

Just north of Cairns are the lovely Flecker Botanic Gardens, and the nearby boardwalk through some fabulous rainforest to the Centenary Lakes and Saltwater Creek with further rainforest within the Whitfield Range Environmental Park.

From Cairns there are various tours which you can join to the nearby rainforests and reef. Tours which are available include trips to the Atherton Tableland, Cape Tribulation, Cape York Peninsula, Cooktown, Daintree, Kuranda, Undara Lava Tubes National Park and of course the Great Barrier Reef, including Fitzroy Island, Frankland Islands and Green Island.

Cairns to Port DouglasIf you want to get the most out of your trip out to the reef, it is worth following one of the many diving courses offered at Cairns.

Ellis Beach, CairnsThere is a range of accommodation around Cairns, situated around town as well as along the nearby beaches. Accommodation includes apartments, hostels, hotels, camping grounds and resorts all of which can be booked online on Australian Explorer.

You can also head north to Port Douglas by driving along the scenic coastal road between Cairns and Port Douglas.

A number of flights can be caught to Cairns, many of which arrive and depart daily to several places around Australia. Greyhound offer services to and from Cairns Transit Centre at Trinity Wharf, with Coral Coaches and White Car Coaches offering local services around Cairns. There are also several train services to Cairns, although prices tend to be a little higher than other forms of transport.

Tourism plays a major part in the Cairns economy and is a popular destination for international tourists and Australians with it's close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics of Queensland, and the Atherton Tableland.

Cairns Accommodation

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