Located in far north Queensland, Cairns was originally a city that served the needs of miners from the Hodgkinson River Goldfield. Later, it became a railhead and transportation centre for exports such as sugar cane, agricultural products, gold, minerals and metals. Today, the city is quickly growing and tourism is its most profitable and flourishing industry. Located about 1500 miles from Sydney, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations due to the many tourist attractions located there, as well as for the pleasant tropical climate.
Cairns’ weather is classed ‘tropical’. This means it experiences monsoon weather from December to April, followed by a drier season from May until November. The average low temperature during the wet (summer) season is 23 degrees, while the average low during the dry season is 18 (winter). The area receives a copious amount of rainfall each year, although this is typically confined mainly to the wet season.
The city has spent the time and money to develop proper infrastructure for a tourism economy. Several major roadways, including the Bruce Highway and the Kennedy Highway, connect the city to other large urban areas. Coaches, buses and a rail system are also available to connect the city with the rest of the neighbourhood. Cairns also boasts of the Cairns International Airport as well as the Cairns Seaport. It is interesting to note that the Royal Australian Navy owns a base in Cairns.
Tourists flock to the area to enjoy its many attractions. It is very close to the Great Barrier Reef, the Atherton Tableland and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. Other popular tourist activities include golf, cruises to the reef, white water rafting, tours of the Daintree Rainforest, Paronella Park and the Atherton Tablelands. There are several local theme parks in the area. Another popular tourist spot is ‘the lagoon’. This man made watering hole was recently made topless, which has increased its popularity among foreign travellers who would like to spend a ‘no holds barred’ holiday. The town is also well known for its shopping districts, culture and entertainment media.
Tourists especially enjoy the day trips to the Great Barrier Reef. These trips, run by independent companies, provide an opportunity to tourists to experience the beauty of the renowned reef up close and personal. Some of the tours include arrangements for food, while others simply take you out to the reef and back. Scuba diving around the area is popular as well. The culture of the beach and the reef has permeated the entire region. This makes for a friendly and generous local population, making Cairns an exceptionally pleasant place to visit and stay.
Cairns is quickly becoming one of the best places to stay in Australia. The local government is moving forward with plans to expand its cultural centre, as well as the infrastructure of the city. Because it is a little bit further up the coast than a lot of the tourist destinations, this city is still relatively calm and not as busy as some of the larger tourist cities. It is very simply a town that has it all.