Thanks to the presence of an international airport just a few kilometres outside the city centre, Cairns has established itself as the capital of the far north and one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. Moreover, it serves as an ideal base for those wishing to explore the far north of the Queensland region thanks to its location as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests of Cape Tribulation.
The first settlers to arrive in the area were the Aborigines and they were followed by Dutch navigators led by Captain James Cook. He claimed the coast for Britain and in doing so paved the way for European settlement to commence.
The city itself was founded in 1876 as a port for inland mines and has developed from a frontier town to an international metropolis which was named as Australia’s most desirable residential regional centre in 1995. It has also been classified as the country’s fastest growing resort city for the last two decades. Cairns is now home to almost one hundred thousand residents but despite the city’s relatively rapid growth, the good news is that everything has remained close and accessible. The main activity in the city centre takes place around the Esplanade where you will find a concentration of excellent pubs, restaurants and shops.