Defined by its stunning views of the Coral Sea, Cairns is a city that blends cosmopolitan style with a laid-back oceanfront living. Its sun-kissed Esplanade Foreshore is the heart and soul of the action, lined with a colourful string of cafes, bars, clubs restaurants and shops. Cairns is also a major gateway to Australia’s magnificent Great Barrier Reef.
The city serves up an infectious holiday atmosphere, backed with a wonderful tropical climate and friendly locals. While there’s no beach in the city itself, northern stretches of sand are just minutes away by local bus ride or car. Alternatively, the dazzling Esplanade Lagoon is an idyllic place to soak up the sun.
Cairns is serviced by the Cairns Airport, with the drive from the CBD taking around 15 minutes. Public buses run throughout the city, with a central railway station linking Cairns to other nearby towns and cities. Most visitors choose to rent a car and explore Queensland’s gorgeous coastline at their own pace. The Cairns Seaport is another major hub, serving as a drop-off and pick-up point for daily reef trips.
While today Cairns is a stylish resort city, it wasn’t always so glamorous. In its early days, it was little more than a swamp, which was later turned into a settlement for miners working at the Hodgkinson River goldfield. Today it’s a major tourist destination, with visitors using it as a jumping point to Queensland’s kaleidoscopic Great Barrier Reef.