Cairns Business Directory
A Guide to Cairns
Cairns is located on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, North East Australia. It is often used as the gateway to the tropical rainforests of Daintree, the Great Barrier Reef and the islands of this region, with people passing through Cairns on their way, but the city has plenty of attractions that make it worthy as a destination in its own right; Cairns has beautiful beaches, great shopping and an excellent nightlife.
The city was founded in 1876 and named for a former Queensland Governor General. It developed as a major port handling the plentiful raw materials of Queensland - gold, minerals, sugar cane and agriculture produce. As the world discovered the delights of holidays, so they found the natural assets of Queensland and the economic focus of Cairns changed. Today, thanks to its proximity to the Atherton Tableland, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics, Cairns is a stylish city and is one of the top 5 Australian destinations for international holidaymakers.
Cairns is 1,700 miles north of Sydney and around 1,000 miles from Brisbane. It is served by a large international airport - the 7th busiest in Australia.
The Attractions of Cairns
Much of the attraction of Cairns is in the breathtaking countryside surrounding the city, where the forests and mountains provide endless bounty for walkers, cycling, riding, wildlife viewing, bird watching, rock climbing, abseiling, hang gliding and more. There are sights in the city however, and activities to be enjoyed. Along with the gorgeous beach, there is a picturesque marina and pier as well as the following:
Foreshore Promenade - runs for 2 miles along the beachfront. Its centrepiece is the Esplanade and a huge saltwater lagoon. It's the ideal location for beach lovers as well as skateboarders and those who love to barbecue on the free facilities provided.
Cairns Wildlife Dome - A huge glass dome atop the Reef Casino Hotel containing a rainforest environment, complete with indigenous bird and animal population. See cockatoos and parrots, crocodiles, koalas, turtles, pythons and wallabies.
Flecker Botanic Gardens - 38 hectares of gardens, lakes, conservation areas and visitor centres. Visit the Tanks Centre - an exciting visual arts centre.
Tjapukai Cultural Park - A showcase of indigenous (aboriginal) culture including the story of creation, an art gallery, a dance theatre and regular demonstrations of boomerangs and spear throwing. A must - do is a kayak ride on the lake to spot turtles.
Mount Whitfield Conservation Park - The mountain backdrop to the city and the last remaining area of rainforest closest to Cairns. Circuit walks trail through the forest, up the mountain slopes and along the coast.
Cairns Museum - Small but interesting exhibits about the construction of the Cairns - Kurunda railway, history of the Palmer River and Hodgkinson River goldfields, and also a collection from the interior of a Chinese temple.
Captain Cook Statue - a fitting tribute to the man who discovered Australia stands on Sheridan Street.
Shopping - Main centres are Westcourt, Cairns Central and Pier Shopping Centre.
Kurunda Village - 15 miles outside the city, Kurunda is a tropical rainforest/mountain retreat and a stylish arts and crafts centre, best visited on a scenic train journey or rainforest cableway.
Cairns Festival - Held in August/September annually.
Palm Cove Fiesta - Outdoor food and wine festival held annually on the Palm Cove Esplanade.