Located in northern Queensland, Cairns is a natural harbour that is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Surrounded by extensive natural rainforest, visitors can explore the area via the sky rail cable car or the Kuranda Railway. At the Rainforestation Nature Park, visitors can explore the wildlife of Australia and take an army duck to explore the rainforest on land and water. Within the same area visitors can explore the aboriginal culture at the Tjapukai Aboriginal culture park. For adrenaline Junkies, AJ Hackett of New Zealand has set up a bungee jumping tower of 44m in height. The main attraction, however, in cairns is the proximity of the Great Barrier Reef. Many boats make the hour long journey to the reef where visitors can scuba dive or ride submarines in the amazing marine world. The port itself experienced expansion with the discovery of gold in 1876. Today its main exports are sugar cane, gold and precious metals and agricultural industries.
First sighted by James Cook in 1770, the area was surveyed more in-depth with several official expeditions. On the discovery of gold in the area the town of cairns was established. During the Second World War the allies used the port as a base for attacks in the pacific. After the war, cairns expanded its tourist operations. With the creation of an airport and the cairns convention centre, the city established itself as a desirable destination.
The main draw for visitors is both the lush rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. The forests can be explored by the railway, cable car or Jeep and army duck ventures. The Reef can be explored by the many boat and plane expeditions that leave the port everyday.