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Overview to Cairns: Travel Guide and Tourist Information


Tucked away in the far north of the country, few cities can match Cairns’ golden beaches, its wide range of adventure activities or laidback atmosphere. But Cairns’ appeal extends to a far wider range of people than the outdoorsy types and party hungry gap year travelers.

Cairns' main attraction is, undoubtedly, the natural beauty that surrounds it. Naturally, with the Great Barrier Reef, perhaps the world’s most precious natural resource on its doorstep, scuba-diving and snorkeling tend to feature quite highly on every visitor’s agenda.

Just outside the city, Mt Whitfield Conservation Park has some incredible, scenic walks. A little further afield lies the fabulous ‘Four Mile Beach’ of Port Douglas and the rich rainforest of Daintree, while inland, the Atherton Tableland is an array of wildly beautiful landscapes.

Cairns is also known as a top destination for adrenaline junkies, with the city having learnt to cater for every imaginable thirst for near-death experiences. Bungee jumping, whitewater rafting and sky-diving are among the many adventure activities on offer.

The Central Business District, a couple of blocks around McLeod St, makes up the center of Cairns. But the city is really crowned by the impressive Pier Marketplace, the Esplanade which runs along the coast and the fantastic lagoon on the Foreshore Promenade.

While the city can't claim to have as many museums, galleries or opera houses as its European rivals, what it does have is definitely worth visiting. The Cairns Museum and the Cairns Art Gallery (which promotes understanding of aboriginal art) are both fascinating.

The Tjapukai Cultural Park (owned and run by local aborigines) is an entertaining afternoon of didgeridoo-playing and boomerang-throwing. The Flecker Botanic Gardens, meanwhile, is known throughout Australia for its stunning collection of exotic and tropical plants.

While other more historical cities may seduce visitors with impressive architecture of their beautifully romantic old quarters, Cairns knows that its natural beauty and fantastic climate is more than enough. Gazing out at a sunset across Trinity Inlet, it would be hard to disagree.

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