Cairns Travel Information
It is the only real city in the Cape York area. It is one of Australia's smallest cities, but second largest (after Townsville) in north Queensland.
It is Australia's most tropical city, located in the only corner of Australia where there are tropical rainforests. The good thing about it is that it is surrounded by beautiful green rainforest-covered mountains, which give the city a very special tropical look.
The not-so-good thing is that rainforests mean just that - it rains a fair bit in this part of Australia.
Cairns travel: the Esplanade
Cairns travel: Swimming Lagoon
Cairns travel: Accommodation
Cairns travel: Shopping
Cairns is a city that sees a lot of travellers. The city itself may not have millions of museums, but it's an enjoyable, colourful city, perfectly fine without it.
And - it is an excellent base from which to discover the many attractions outside it.
Kuranda, Daintree Rainforests and Port Douglas are just a day trip away (even though they are worth more time than that).
Cairns (along with Port Douglas) is the best place in Australia to take a trip to the world famous Great Barrier Reef.
You are likely to come to Cairns on your way to Cape York whether you fly here from overseas or drive from elsewhere in Australia.
It is a good place to stock up your supplies and whatever is missing from your camping gear, before you head to the Cape.
It it may be a good idea to stay for a while and enjoy some great shopping, restaurants and accommodation - because in Cape York you have a lot of bush camping ahead.
Cairns Travel Information - Things to Do
Some touristic things to see are Cairns Museum, Cairns Regional Gallery, The Reef Casino and Wildlife Dome, Tanks Art Centre, Botanical Gardens, Cairns Tropical Zoo and Cairns Night Zoo.
Cairns is known as Australia's adventure capital and there are a fair few activities such as skydiving, white water rafting, parasailing.. and Cairns is the only place to do bungee jumping in Australia!
Other great Cairns activities are sailing, snorkelling and scuba diving. You can also go horse riding, join a fishing trip or a bike tour, or take a scenic helicopter flight or a hot air ballooning trip...
Other Things to Do
But there are also some FREE things to do in Cairns! There is some great fishing, swimming that is safe from crocodiles, and there are some lovely rainforest walking tracks and scenic drives.
There are some great day trips to do from Cairns. You can take day trips to Kuranda, Port Douglas, Mossman and Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef, Atherton Tablelands and Cairns Outback...
An easy way of doing it is on an organised tour where you are picked up from and delivered to your accommodation and the whole day is organised for you. There are all kinds of different tours available.
There is a lot of of different accommodation from backpacker hostels to caravan parks, B&B guesthouses, resorts and motels to five star hotels and holiday apartments. And it's not all expensive.
Cheap Flights to Cairns
Cairns has got an international airport so from many destinations you can take direct flights. But many flights do stop in Sydney, Brisbane, or Darwin before taking you here.
In large, southern cities public transport is the way to get around - parking is expensive and hard to find. In Cairns, the only public transport is buses, while getting around by a car is easy and handy.
Cairns Vacation Rentals
There are many places to rent different vehicles from cars, utes, 4WDs, and mini buses, to campervans and caravans - particularly handy if you want to do your own trips outside the town.
Cairns shopping is great. The central streets are packed with shops that even stay open night time. There are also a few good markets; and as you would expect some big shopping centres.
Cairns has got some excellent restaurants and you can eat anything from local seafood to beef, crocodile, kangaroo and emu. And of course, almost any international fare that you can imagine.
There are many different events and festivals in this city. Two most known ones are Cairns Show in July and Cairns Festival in September.
Like any city, Cairns has quite a lot of entertainment - from street musicians and acrobats to cinemas and theatres, as well as live music in pubs and some lively night clubs.
Cairns has got a beautiful tropical climate with a Dry Season with sunny days and temperatures in 20s (Celcius), and a Wet Season with lots of rain and temperatures in 30s. It's never too cold :-)
Cairns Information Centres
Here is where you can find more information about things to see and do in Cairns. There are many visitor centres in the city centre and all have helpful staff to answer your questions.
Photos and Posters
Cairns is also a very photogenic city with lots of contrasting colours and good lights, often with dramatic, dark storm clouds in the background. Have a look at some photos and posters.
Here is a great Cairns map, and a Cairns Street Directory. It is handy to have one with you instead of running around the city trying to find one. There are many different maps available but there is nothing to beat HEMA.
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