About Cairns, Australia


The City of Cairns– World-Class Tourist Destination in Australia.

Cairns is located on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is in close proximity and a primary starting point for tours to some of the world’s greatest natural environments; including the Wet Tropics Rainforest of Queensland, the Atherton Tableland and – of course – The Great Barrier Reef! Because of its location, Cairns is one of the foremost centres for Reef tours.

Famously discovered by European explorer Captain James Cook, Cairns’ difficult terrain and harsh environment kept it from being settled until gold was discovered in the 1870s. With the ensuing gold rush, mining camps sprang up giving way to the city’s formal establishment in 1879. Sugar production replaced gold-mining and remains part of Cairns’ agricultural exports, though on a much smaller scale. Remnants of old plantations are still visible along the coastline. Today, Cairns is a first class seaport, significant big-game fishing destination and center of tourism. Its many attractions are a major contributor to Queensland’s economy.

Museums and tours in the Cairns area tell the story of the Aborigines that have inhabited Australia for 50,000 years. The arrival of the first European settlers can be observed through Aboriginal Art that illustrates a colorful history of the Cairns’ people. Once known as a secluded haven of natural beauty, Cairns is now a hubbub of activity with top class dining, hotels and bars. First rate restaurants provide gourmet fare, while other restaurants specialize in authentic Australian bush tucker meals served with unconventional wines and extraordinary liqueurs made from the tropical fruits that thrive in Cairns’ balmy tropical climate. There are so many things to do in Cairns are endless; with tours to crocodile farms, waterfalls, caves, white water rafting, bungee jumping, fruit picking, coffee plantations, horse riding, sky diving, hot air ballooning, rainforest excursions and wildlife sanctuaries.

Surrounded by mountainous rainforest and bordered by the crystal clear waters of the Coral Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Cairns is a popular tourist destination with nearly 800,000 tourists passing through each year. Cairns’ biggest draw without question is its proximity to one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World, a site so incredible the World Heritage Committee deems it one of the most precious places of outstanding natural beauty and biodiversity on earth, The Great Barrier Reef!

To read more about the reef, see our ‘Great Barrier Reef‘ page.

Find things to do in Cairns 

For more information about Reef Encounter, see  Reef Encounter, ‘Accommodation, Dining and Facilities‘, and ‘Why Choose Reef Encounter‘. To learn about the great trips on offer, see

Liveaboard Snorkel Tours

Liveaboard Resort Tours

Liveaboard Scuba Dive Tours

Learn to Scuba Dive

Top Deck Club Snorkel

Top Deck Club Resort Dive

Top Deck Club Scuba Dive

Top Deck Club Learn to Scuba Dive