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Cairns - The Gateway to a Tropical Paradise

Cairns, the well-known gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Queensland, is one of Australia's most popular holiday destinations. Reasons for this are the numerous natural highlights in its surroundings, which create the ideal holiday atmosphere in combination with the vibrant city life.

Cairns Harbour

Geography - Starting point for trips into Australia's tropical regions

Cairns is a city in Tropical North Queensland, which has about 160,000 inhabitants. The short distance to natural highlights like the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree National Park, Green Island, the Fitzroy Island National Park, Cape York Peninsula and the Atherton Tablelands makes Cairns the ideal starting point for expeditions into Australia's tropical north. The tropical climate throughout the year creates hot, humid weather with a maximum temperature of 34 °C and heavy rainfalls. A short dry period occurs in winter (June to September).

Panorama of Cairns

Culture - A mix of nature and art

Cairns was originally founded as an export harbour for gold and other natural resources in 1876. The new settlement was named after Queensland's former governor William Wellington Cairns. After the end of World War II, tourism began to grow and the former small town developed into one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations. This was partly due to its stunning landscape and the many natural highlights in its surroundings. The city also offers a number of cultural attractions such as the Cairns Museum, the Cairns Regional Gallery and the Centre of Contemporary Arts. One special sight are the Flecker Botanic Gardens in the suburb of Edge Hill. They do not only contain over 10,000 plant species but also inform travellers about the fascinating culture of the aborigines with the Gondwana Evolutionary Trail. In addition, the extraordinary Tanks Arts Centre with galleries, studios workshops and a weekly art market takes you into the creative world of regional artists.

Botanic Garden in Cairns

Experience - A saltwater lagoon instead of a bathing beach

You best enjoy the city's atmosphere along the wonderful waterside promenade Esplanade, which accommodates several restaurants, hotels, green meadows, picnic locations, the water playground Muddy's Playground and an artificial saltwater lagoon. The latter is the ideal replacement for the missing city beach with wonderful turquoise blue water and exotic plants. The city centre offers numerous boutiques, individual shops, colourful markets and great shopping centres. In addition, you find countless bars, night clubs, restaurants and cafes in Cairns' Central Business District.

Swimming poll in Cairns

Activities - Australia's diving capital

Due to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is often considered Australia's diving capital. Numerous tours and diving courses set off to the colourful World Natural Heritage site every day. Surrounding beaches like Ellis Beach and Palm Cove offer great conditions for water sports such as sailing, swimming, surfing or fishing. In addition, you can do different kinds of action sports in and around the city. Travellers who are in need of a rush of adrenaline can go bungee jumping, parasailing, flyboarding or parachuting here. The surrounding landscapes are popular destinations for rafting and cycling tours as well as for hikes.

Diver near Cairns


Cairns can be travelled throughout the year. However, there may be many poisonous box jellyfish in the local bodies of water between November and April. Despite the nets that are put up, many beaches are closed at that time. Most travellers arrive at the international Cairns Airport, which is connected to the city's Central Business District by an Airport Shuttle.

Cairns is the ideal starting point for expeditions into Tropical North Queensland. The surrounding landscape fascinates lovers of nature and active holidaymakers, who get their money's worth in the colourful corals of the Great Barrier Reef or the impressive rainforests of the Daintree National Park.

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