Cairns, gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, up near the north end of Queensland's eastern coast (and pronounced "cans"), is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, nearly 239,000 square miles in area (the only living thing on Earth visible from the moon) and teeming with thousands of species of sea life.

The prime business for local tour operators in Cairns is offering to trips to the reef, but on the mainland side of Cairns, don't miss the Kuranda scenic railway and Skyrail ( over a dense rainforest, or the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park ( just outside town, possibly the best place in Australia to get a quick (albeit theme-park-ified) overview of Aboriginal culture—and it is majority owned-and-operated by the local indigenous people.

Cairns tours

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.