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People have been flocking to Cairns in search of treasure since the first gold rush. However, the prospectors of today come to mine the abundance of natural and environmental treasures that surround the city. With the tropical rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef in close proximity, Cairns attracts a young and intrepid crowd that adds to the vibrancy of this lively and welcoming city.

The City

The city’s landmark is the Esplanade, which fringes the shoreline for 2 km and provides a place for locals and visitors to walk, cycle, lounge by the lagoon and generally enjoy the sun. The focal point of the city, the Esplanade is always alive with various musical and cultural events and is also home to many fine restaurants and bars. Just north from the Esplanade is the city's urban centre, with plenty of shopping and eating opportunities and many of the city’s cultural and entertainment attractions. Dotted around this area, particularly along Wharf Street, you will find a number of older and historical buildings with their signature wide verandas and porches. Outside of the Central District, the suburb of Edgehill is home to the Tanks Centre, a lively local arts space, the Flecker Botanical Gardens and the Whitfield Range Environmental Park. While for those looking to hit the beach, there is a bus service running to some spectacular stretches of sand about 15 minutes north of the city. The Northern Beaches consist of a number of beach communities extending north along the coast. As a rule, each beach suburb is at the end of a spur road extending from the Captain Cook Highway, so you can get there relatively fast yet not be bothered by traffic noise once you're there.

Do & See

Cairns offers endless possibilities to explore, learn and meet interesting people. The nature is breathtakingly beautiful and the people friendly and helpful. There’s always something exciting going on and if you’re all adventured out, there are plenty of options when it comes to taking it easy, and hey — why not get a nice tan while you’re relaxing?


The cuisine of Cairns is similar to the rest of Australia in that it has absorbed many influences from the migrants who have arrived at its shores. Thus, there is a fusion of South East Asian and Mediterranean influences with more European style traditions. Cairns also draws on the natural environment for its sources, and there is an abundance of fresh seafood, native meats and locally produced fruit and vegetables.


Cairns cafe scene has seen a growth and whatever your preferences of coffee might be, the Cairns CBD has it covered. There is a myriad of healthy cafés that serves nutritious, fresh and tasty meals so you can eat and drink with good consciences, and if you have a sweet tooth, don't worry there are plenty of yummy treats on offer too. Esplanade is a great area to head for when looking for a place to have a relaxing break, here you will find plenty of coffee shops scatter around the area and many with amazing sea views.

Bars & Nightlife

After a hard day trekking through the rainforest or diving on the reef, hit the town and share a few stories (and a few beers) with the crowds who converge on the city’s bars after dark. Everything to cocktail bars to pubs, clubs and nightclubs can be found by the waterfront and the CBD, many which are lined along Spence Street, forming a strip with some of the city’s best and wildest entertainment venues. So hit one of Cairns vibrant nightclubs where the party continues until the early morn and be prepared to have a fun night out!


If you are in the mood for shopping, Cairns has a great variety of shopping locations: everything from charming markets offering local products to shopping centres with all the latest and hippest fashion trends from well-known chain stores. There is also a bunch of boutiques providing international and Australian clothes for any occasion, for the beach or just for a night out in the town, they have it all, for every taste, style and budget, the retailers never seem to fail to deliver here in Cairns. Looking for the perfect souvenir to bring back home? There are stacks of shops in Cairns that offers all the typical Australian souvenirs from pearls and UGG boots to printed t-shirts, kangaroo leather products, Aboriginal paintings, boomerangs and opals. Check out the art galleries for something a little more special like paintings, ceramics, glassware and sculpture to take home as a reminder of your trip.

Tourist Information