Cairns is a popular travel destination for foreign tourists because
of its tropical climate and proximity to many attractions. The Great
Barrier Reef can be reached in less than an hour by boat.
Where is it?: Queensland: North. Cairns is located 1,678 km north west of Brisbane via Bruce Highway.
May: Port Douglas Carnival; July: Cairns Show; August: Cairns Festival; September: Festival Cairns
The Great Barrier Reef is made up of over 900 islands but only some
of them are good for visiting, staying on, exploring and playing on.
Many of these more popular islands are located a short boat ride away
Green Island is a small coral cay, is a beautiful spot with golden
sand beaches surrounding what looks like a totally green island due to
the abundance of National Park. There is a 46 luxury resort where
people can holiday, or you can come across for a day or half day visit.
Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation (130 km north) are
popular areas for experiencing a tropical rainforest. North of Daintree
National Park and Cape Tribulation is Cooktown, the starting point for
people wanting to explore Cape York Peninsula.
Atherton craterAtherton Tablelands: Less than an hours drive from
Cairns, The Atherton Tablelands is an area of world heritage
rainforests, waterfalls, national parks, crater lakes and volcanic
formations, set a backdrop of rolling green hills. Its numerous
villages cater providing services such as accommodation, dining and
shopping facilities for locally grown produce like wines and coffee.
Travel on one of Australia's finest tourist railways to the picturesque
mountain retreat of Kuranda, the world famous village in the rainforest.
A pleasant day's drive north from Cairns takes in Mossman Gorge and
the the resort town of Port Douglas. Along the way, you can stop off to
see crocodiles in their natural environment at Hartley's Crocodile
Adventures. Set on 10 hectares of World Heritage land, this
eco-adventure facility gives an introduction to Far North Queensland's
interesting wildlife. Spot a crocodile, discover a cassowary, walk
through an innovative wildlife park and then visit the Crocodile Farm
for insight into these feared creatures.
Surrounded by thick, lush rainforest, the Babinda Boulders (65km
south) is a popular swimming hole and tourist attraction. It is a
classic example of the fast flowing tropical creeks in the area that
are perfect for afternoon dips in the cool water to combat the tropical
Cairns is located on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula on a
coastal strip between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range. The
northern part of the city is located on Trinity Bay and the city centre
is located on Trinity Inlet. Some of the city's suburbs are located on
fertile flood plains. The Mulgrave River and Barron River flow within
the city's boundary but not through the city itself. The city centre's
foreshore is located on a mud flat. The highest mountain in Queensland,
Mount Bartle Frere, is located within the city's boundaries.
Though the sugar industry is still a major income producer for Cairns,
tourism is number one these days and this is reflected in the way the
city has opened its doors and laid out the welcome mat for visitors
from all over the world. The city is very visitor friendly - when
walking on the Esplanade by the swimming lagoon on the ocean side, or
the many cafes, restaurants and shops on the city side, one feels safe
and comfortable, even late at night when all these visitor facilities
are still open.
The city has used its natural surroundings to its advantage, with the
construction of several small theme parks for tourists. Among them are
Rainforestation Nature Park, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, and
Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which extends for 7.5 km over
World Heritage rainforest. Cairns is also a major international
destination for scuba diving due to its close proximity to the Great
Barrier Reef. Other recreational activities popular with tourists
include whitewater rafting and snorkelling.
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How to get there
Cairns is reached by road via the Bruce Highway runs for 1700 km
from Brisbane and terminates in Cairns on the corner of Mulgrave Roads
and Sheridan Streets in the CBD. At this point, the Captain Cook
Highway (also referred to as the Cook Highway), between Cairns and Port
Douglas approximately 70 km to the northwest, commences.
Cairns is served by long distance coaches to Brisbane, and regional
cities to the south. Coaches also operate west to Mount Isa via
Townsville and the Northern Territory. Desert Venturer Coaches operate
twice weekly to Alice Springs and Darwin (weekly service in wet season).
Cairns is the terminus for Queensland's North Coast railway line, which
follows the eastern seaboard from Brisbane. Services are operated by
Queensland Rail (QR) and include the high speed tilt train.
Cairns International Airport is located 7km north of Cairns City
between the CBD and the Northern Beaches. It is Australia's sixth
busiest in terms of international and domestic passenger movements. The
Airport has a domestic terminal, a separate international terminal, and
a general aviation area. The airport handles international flights, and
daily flights to major Australian cities, tourist destinations, and
regional destinations throughout North Queensland. It is an important
base for general aviation serving the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf of
Carpentaria Communities. The Cairns airport is also a base for the
Royal Flying Doctor Service.
A public transport network is operated throughout the city by
Sunbus. A transit mall is located in the CBD through which all services
operate. Services include most parts of the city, from Palm Cove on the
Northern Beaches to Gordonvale in the south, all travelling via the
CBD. Bus services operated by Whitecar Coaches run to Kuranda and to
the Atherton Tableland. A smaller minibus service, Jon's Kuranda Bus
runs between Cairns and Kuranda.