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CAIRNS & THE TROPICAL NORTH

As well as being the international gateway to Tropical North Queensland, Cairns is Australia’s premier regional city, boasting warm, tropical days year-round.

A vibrant and cosmopolitan destination, Cairns offers visitors adventure tourism, nightlife, dining, shopping and a plethora of things to see and do.

As well as being home to some of Australia’s best tourist attractions, Cairns provides direct access to two World Heritage listed wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforests.

In Cairns, you can relax on one of the many tropical beaches, dive on the reef, stroll through the ancient rainforests, or just soak up the tropical ambience of this friendly city; where the locals will show you the kind of warm and courteous hospitality that has become the envy of other areas.

Geographically speaking, some of Cairns’ key ‘attractions’ are as follows: Cairns City, Palm Cove and the Northern Beaches, Cairns Highlands and Kuranda, Cooktown, Wet Tropics Rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.

No other destination in the world can offer you such high standards of service and safety, so enjoy Cairns and its many attractions during your stay!

 

Cairns City

Cairns Esplanade at dusk Cairns Esplanade Lagoon Trinity Inlet

Cairns city, with its International and Domestic Airport, is the first stop for most visitors who want to see the real Australia. As well as providing direct access to the reef and the rainforest, the city itself offers a plethora of things to see and do.

Enjoy a stroll along the famous Esplanade and Marina, or take a swim in the ultra-modern Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, where you can cast your eyes across the calm waters of Trinity Inlet and see coastal mountains and mangrove areas that have changed little since the site was named by Captain James Cook in 1770.

With a favourable climate, Cairns is extremely well suited to walking or getting around by bicycle; there are many well trodden routes and dedicated walking tracks. Feeling peckish? – A visit to one of the city’s many multi-cultural, diverse and award winning restaurants is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

In Cairns, the hardest thing to do is make your choices to create the kind of holiday experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

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Palm Cove and the Northern Beaches

Trinity Beach Palm Cove Ellis Beach Palm Cove Shops

Palm Cove and the Northern Beaches have gained their own reputation over the years, for their palm-fringed, golden sands and calm tropical waters.

The pristine, unspoiled beaches of Cairns stretch more than 26 kilometres along the Coral Sea, and are within a short driving distance of the Cairns CBD.

There are eight beaches in total; each providing a delightful escape for a languid relaxing break and some fun in the sun.

Palm Cove is perhaps the most well-known of Cairns’ beaches; it is just 25-minutes north from the airport and has been named Tropical North Queensland’s friendliest beach and Australia’s cleanest beach.

Although Cairns’ other beaches may be lesser known, each has its own unique character and identity. Machan’s Beach is just 10 minutes from Cairns; it offers some of the best views of Trinity Inlet and the Coral Sea. Holloway’s Beach is great for long strolls along the ocean’s edge, whilst nearby Yorkey’s Knob has the 200-berth, international, Half Moon Bay Marina.

Trinity Beach, 15 minutes from the airport, is sheltered between two headlands, providing calm waters and a long, golden beach, whilst nearby Kewarra Beach is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. A little further north we have Clifton Beach, which features a premier golf course and is the last beach before Palm Cove. Ellis Beach is the last of Cairns’ beaches, and is half-way to Port Douglas.

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Cairns Highlands & Kuranda

Undura Tubes Barron Falls

The Cairns Highlands & Kuranda is one of Tropical North Queensland’s best kept secrets.

Whether you want to experience the closeness of the unique, World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests, see the wide open spaces of the outback, or get up close and personal with the native flora and fauna, the Cairns Highlands and Kuranda has it all.

This unique region is comprised of several areas, including Kuranda, Mareeba, Tolga, Tinaroo, Atherton, Yungaburra, Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine, Chillagoe, Irvinebank, Malanda, Milla Milla, Tarzali, Herberton, Ravenshoe and the Gulf Savannah.

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Cooktown

Cooktown Sunset Historical Buildings Mardja Boardwalk

Cooktown is one of Australia’s most exciting, new, destinations. Nestling on North Queensland’s stunning tropical wilderness coast, this small historic town, with its pristine environment steeped in Aboriginal culture, has everything to offer those looking for a taste of real Australia.

Named after Captain James Cook, who landed here in 1770, Cooktown has a rich modern history, complemented by an Aboriginal history which stretches back tens of thousands of years.

During the gold rush era, Cooktown was Australia’s second busiest port, but today, the town has a population of just 2,000.

For the discerning traveller, searching for the most rewarding of destinations, Cooktown defies its size in the range of experiences on offer. As Australia’s closest town to the Great Barrier Reef, Cooktown offers the opportunity to enjoy a day sailing and visiting still un-named and little explored reefs. Or you can accompany Aboriginal Elders to ancient rock art sites.

This town is rich in history, rich in nature and rich in spirit: it is well worth a visit.

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Wet Tropics Rainforests

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Boardwalk Southern Cassowary

The Wet Tropics Rainforests stretch along Tropical North Queensland’s coastline from Cooktown in the north to Paluma in the south.

World Heritage listed as a natural site in 1988, the Wet Tropics Rainforests are comprised of several national parks, including the Daintree, Barron Gorge and Wooroonooran, as well as some freehold properties.

Covering approximately 900,000 hectares, the Wet Tropics are the oldest, continually surviving tropical rainforests on earth and are internationally recognised as being one of the most ecologically fascinating natural areas on the planet.

They are home to an amazing diversity of plant life, including ferns, cycads, conifers and orchids; in fact, there are more than 3,000 different plant species living in the rainforests.

Apart from the plants, the rainforests are home to some of Australia’s most interesting animals, including two types of tree-kangaroo, the Southern Cassowary, the largest, flightless bird in the southern hemisphere, and several different possums.

There are many ways you can visit the rainforest, but whatever you do, make sure you pick one, as a visit to the rainforests is a ‘must-do’ on your visit to Cairns.

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The Great Barrier Reef

Outer Reef Pontoon Learn to Dive Clownfish

The Great Barrier Reef is undisputed as one of the world’s most important natural assets.

It is the largest natural feature on earth, is the only living organism visible from outer space and is believed to be about 500,000 years old (in its modern form for 8,000 years, having developed after the last ice age).

Stretching more than 2,300km along Queensland’s north-eastern coastline, the Great Barrier Reef occupies approximately 348,000 square kilometers.

World Heritage listed as a natural site in 1981, the Great Barrier Reef system contains more than 3,000 separate reefs, which range in size from one hectare to over 10,000 hectares.

It contains fringing reefs, barrier reefs, continental islands and coral cays; it is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 400 species of coral and 4,000 species of molluscs. It is one of the most ecologically diverse systems on earth!

The Great Barrier Reef is definitely a ‘must-do’ attraction, not only in Cairns but in your lifetime, as is evidenced by the more than two million people who visit it each year.

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View the Welcome to Cairns E-Book View the Cairns Highlands E-Book View the Welcome to Port Douglas E-Book View the Welcome Central Australia E-Book View the Welcome to Darwin E-Book View Welcome to Mount Isa E-Book View the Winter Getaways E-Book
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