Cairns is an attractive city in the northeast of Australia, in the state of Queensland. Especially Japanese tourists come in crowds to Cairns, which can be seen from the inscriptions found in many places in English and Japanese. The area of the city is beautiful, with tropical rainforests and beaches to the north and south of Cairns. It is also the starting point for trips to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world. There are also beautiful golf courses located in the neighborhood of Cairns.
Cairns has more than 150,000 inhabitants, but the population is growing fast. Many Australians and immigrants choose Cairns as their home because of the tropical climate and beautiful surroundings.
Cairns lies on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula, in the northeast of Australia, between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range. North of the city lie many beaches which together are called the Northern Beaches. All these beaches are easily accessible by rental car, because there are exits on the Captain Cook Highway leading to the northern tip of Cape York Peninsula.
Tourism is the largest source of income for Cairns. After Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Cairns is the most popular destination for foreign tourists in Australia. Tourism is closely followed by the sugar production and the export of sugar, oil and gas via the port of Cairns. The same port also plays a large role in the tourism to the Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns International Airport lies 7 kilometers to the north of the city center and is easily reachable by rental car: the airport lies right next to the Captain Cook Highway (turn right at Tom McDonald Drive). From Cairns you can reach many Australian destinations: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Furthermore, there are international connections to Auckland, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Guam, Port Moresby and Singapore.
The Marlin Coast Sunbus maintains a regular service from the central market (in the Central Business District) to the suburbs and to the Northern Beaches.
There is also a high speed train to Brisbane and there is a special train ride for tourists: the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
A rental car is an ideal way of transportation to visit the many attractions around Cairns. The center of the city should be avoided, and we don't recommend driving there during rush hour. Parking spots are plentiful in Cairns. In the center of the city you have to pay for street parking, but around the center you can often find places where you can park up to eight hours for free. There are also several parking garages and lots.
Cairns has a very wide range of overnight possibilities. There are hundreds of accommodations, varying from Bed & Breakfasts and youth hostels to luxurious international hotel chains. Also between these extremes, there is a wide range of hotel rooms. Furthermore, there are five camping sites around the city, where you can set up your tent, rent a caravan, or park your camper. In the high season (June to September), it is recommended to book your hotel room well in advance.
For more information on Cairns, we recommend Google and the following sources: