Cairns is a city that is situated in Queensland, Australia. It is named after William Wellington Cairns who was the governor of Queensland at the time the city was formed. This city covers an area of one hundred and eighty-eight square miles and has a population of approximately one hundred and twenty-three thousand residents. Cairns is situated about a thousand miles from Brisbane and about fifteen hundred miles from Sydney. It is nestled on Cape York Peninsula’s eastern coast between the Great Dividing Range and the Coral Sea. The layout of the town is linear and runs south to north, from Edmonton to Ellis Beach. Originally, the area upon which Cairns is located was occupied by the Walubarra Yidinji, a native aborigine tribe. During the eighteenth century, Captain James Cook mapped the area and named it Trinity Bay. A century later, several expeditions through the area discovered the inherent potential that it had for development as a port. In 1876, Cairns was founded and the surrounding mangrove swamps were removed to make way for its development. The area soon developed a thriving agricultural trade and the economy of the city boomed. After World War II, the city began to develop itself as a center of tourism. This focus continued to escalate until the 1980s when Cairns established itself as a tourism destination with the building of the Cairns International Airport and the Cairns Convention Center.
Today, the city has continued to reinvent itself and secure its position as a top travel destination. It has done this through the shee number of attractions that are available to guests of the city. One of the most popular attractions in Cairns is Paronella Park. This park is situated about seventy-five miles south of Cairns and was founded in the 1930s by Jose Paronella. As he was building the park, he added a cinema, ballroom and tennis courts. In 2004, Paronella Park won the ”Emerging Business Award” by the Queensland Government and has been named the number one attraction by the Queensland Department of Tourism. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is another prominent attraction in Cairns. This scenic cableway runs above Barron Gorge National Park, from Cairns to Kuranda. It was founded in 1995 and spans a length of four and a half miles. Guest can stop at two mid-stations and explore the rainforest through a series of boardwalks. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has four stations which include Caravonica Terminal, Red Peak Station, Barron Falls Station and Kuranda Terminal. Over the course of its life, this cableway has won a variety of awards which include Best Tourism Development Project, Best Major Attraction, Wet Tropics Management Authority Cassowary Award and the International Environment Award. Barron Gorge National Park is a popular attraction in Cairns among tourists and locals alike. This gorge is situated in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Center. It contains two waterfalls, Surprise Creek Falls and Stoney Creek Falls. This park can trace its history back to the late nineteenth century, when it was observed by Archibald Meston that the Barron Falls rushed like wild horses. In 1935, Barron River was harnessed by the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station. This generated the first hydroelectric power in the Queensland’s region. It is no longer in use, but the buildings that were left over from this power plant is currently being used by the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
The Great Barrier Reef is a major attraction, not only in Cairns but also throughout Queensland. This reef is the largest coral reef system in the entire world and is made up of almost three thousand individual reefs and nine hundred islands. It stretches out sixteen hundred miles over an area of one hundred and thirty-three thousand miles. The Great Barrier Reef is situated in the coral sea and is the world’s largest single structure made by organisms. It is so large, that it can be seen from outer space. In 1981, it was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It was also named one of the seven natural wonders of the world by CNN. A big portion of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. A popular beach in Cairns is Yorkeys Knob Beach. This beach is just eight miles north of the city and contains a number of small shops which include a bakery, post office, bottle shop and supermarket. There are also a number of restaurants which include Half Moon Bay Marina Restaurant. There are grilling and picnic areas and a large variety of wildlife. Here tourists can see sea eagles, bush stone curlews, king fishers and flying foxes. There are also monitor lizards, fiddler crabs and sand bubbler crabs. Islands in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park include Beanley Island, Turtle Head Island, Howick Island, Chapman Island, Blackwood Island, Beesley Island, Halfway Islet, Bewick Insel, Beanley Insel, Bewick Island, Blackwood Insel, Clerke Island, Lady Elliot Island, Beesley Insel and Howick Insel.
Other attractions in the city of Cairns include Paradise Palms Country Club, Atherton Tableland, Sugarworld Waterslides, Skydive Mission Beach, Centenary Lakes Botanic Gardens, Ocean Free and Ocean Freedom, Cairns Wildlife Dome, Trilogy Medi Spa, Wait-a-While Rainforest Tours, Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Passions of Paradise Reef Tour, Cairns Dive Center, Deep Sea Divers Den, Northern Explorer Tours, Raging Thunder Tour, Tropical Horizons Tours, Cairns Golf Club, Great Adventures, Reef Magic Cruises, Down Under Cruise & Dive, World Heritage Kuranda Tour, Norman Reef, Seastar Cruises, Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventures, Adventure North Australia, Down Under Tours, Wilderness Eco Safaris, Reef Experience, Food Trail Tours, Billy Tea Bush Safaris, Turtle Tours, Gallo Dairy Land Farm, Far North Queensland Travel Center, Silverswift, Reggaetown Festival and Starry Sky&Animal Watching. The city also has a number of prominent hotels and restaurants which include Pacific International Hotel, Hides Hotel Cairns, The Sebel, Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel & Resort, The Reef Hotel Casino, Hog’s Breath Cafe, Cairns Colonial Club Resort, Ochre Restaurant, C’est Bon French Restaurant, Mercure Cairns Harbourside, Aspect Central Motel and Cherry Blossom Japanese Restaurant.