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  • Writer's pictureIndy Escapes Crew

Cairns: Before you go!

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Without question, Cairns is top on your list of Australian sites to visit. However, there are a few things you should know before you go to Cairns. There are numerous reasons to visit this tropical resort, with the reef on one side and rainforests and mountains on the other. We've collected some of the best information and suggestions to assist you in your Cairns tour.


The city was founded in 1875 and was named after Sir William Wellington Cairns, Queensland's Governor, from 1875 to 1877. It was established to serve miners traveling to the Hodgkinson River goldfield but declined when a more leisurely route from Port Douglas was discovered. Later on, it developed into a railhead and major port to export sugar cane, gold, minerals, and agricultural products from the surrounding coastal areas and Atherton Tableland.

In June 2019, the population was 153,952, increasing by an average of 1.02 percent annually over the preceding five years. The city is the fifth most populous in Queensland and the fourteenth most populous in Australia. Cairns is a popular tourist destination due to its tropical climate, proximity to tropical rainforest, and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's seven natural wonders.


The Cairns Regional Council local government area covers an area of 1687 square kilometers on a narrow coastal strip between the Great Dividing Range and the Coral Sea. It stretches from the Eubenangee Swamp in the south (near Mirriwinni) to the Macalister Range north (near Ellis Beach).

The region is located within Australia's Wet Tropics. It is bounded on the west and north by the lush World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest and the east by the Coral Sea and the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. These characteristics contribute to the region's international reputation as a tourist destination.

Cairns city is the region's principal hub, centrally located along the coastal strip, with sub-regions to the north and south consisting primarily of high-quality agricultural land and areas of significant ecological significance. The region is a vital gateway to the nearby Atherton Tablelands, Daintree and Wet Tropics rainforests, and outback Savannah beyond the Great Dividing Range.

How to Get Around Cairns

Everything in Cairns, particularly along the waterfront, is within easy walking distance. While Translink operates a public bus service between Cairns and the surrounding suburbs, walking is the best option within the city.'

What To Do In The Evenings/Where To Find Food?

Returning to Cairns' tourism focus, there is no shortage of evening activities. Our recommendation is to visit the Night Markets. It's just what you do in Cairns, and you'll understand when you arrive. Additionally, this area has an abundance of restaurants and pubs, particularly along Shields Street for Cairns for singles. We would recommend Rattle n Hum or The Woolshed for dinner, drinks, and, if desired, dancing.

That being said, if you're looking for something a little more low-key or relaxed, take a stroll around the block. There are restaurants and takeaways to suit every palate. And if you're looking for something a little more upscale, head to the waterfront, particularly the location of all the reef cruises.

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