Home / Places To Go / Queensland / Cairns

Cairns

  • by

A tourist city in Queensland’s north.

Its location as Queensland’s most northern city and at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, makes Cairns a major tourist city. While the gateway to the northern Cape York Peninsula, Cairns has many impressive local attractions. 

Cairns Esplanade - Pier (Shangrila Hotel)
Donaldytong / Public domain
Cairns Esplanade Lagoon Pool with Mantra Esplanade in the background - panoramio
Alex Monckton, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cairns Lagoon

A central feature of the Cairns foreshore is the lagoon.

The lagoon is a salt water swimming area for all ages and covers 4, 800 square meters.

It provides a safe swimming location all year round using filtered water.  It is open most days from 6 am to 9 pm.  

Cairns Botanic Gardens

The botanic gardens include within several specialised gardens including the Flecker Gardens that were established in 1886.

The gardens are relatively compact and easy to transverse and show a remarkable array of subtropical and tropical flowers and plants.

Clifton Beach View (2669071887)
cogdogblog [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Tropical Beaches

Clifton Beach is just one of the tropical beaches that can be found and explored around Cairns.

Several beaches provide specially protected areas for swimming to avoid jelly fish stings which, although stings are rare, when they do occur they can be fatal. 

Leaving Cairns for the Reef (2670061099)
cogdogblog / CC0

Close to the Great Barrier Reef

Located at the southern end of the Great Barrier reef, tours regularly leave from Cairns to visit the local islands and tourist pontoons anchored on the edge of the reef. 

Gg kuranda
The original uploader was Aboumael at French Wikipedia. [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr], via Wikimedia Commons

Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail

A tourist railway which runs the from Cairns to the township of Kuranda on the Atherton Tablelands.  The journey is 34 kilometers and goes from sea level to a height of 328 meters. 

The line passes through the World Heritage rainforests, with spectacular views of the regions rivers and waterfalls. 

Tyrconnell gold mine battery, Hodgkinson goldfield, 1936 (7464838796)
State Library of Queensland, Australia [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Hodgkinson Goldfield

The Tyrconnel gold mine at the Hodgkinson goldfields circa 1936.

Cairns was established in 1876 and used briefly as a sea port for the Hodgkinson goldfields miners travelling to the region to make their fortune.

The arrival of the railway in the late 1880s was far more significant for the area.