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Cairns is a tropical city on the northeast coast of Australia which is one of the country's top destinations for international tourism. Just an hour by boat from the Great Barrier Reef, many travelers use Cairns as a base from which to see Far Northern Queensland's most impressive natural features, including the reef, the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and the Atherton Tableland.

A relaxed coastal town with its roots in the sugar cane industry, Cairns' main income derives from tourism and its vast offering of recreational activities reflects this. Great Barrier Reef and island cruises in every guise are available from the pier and for those staying on the mainland, 4WD tours, wine tasting, bird watching, eco tours and golf are just some activities on offer.

For keen anglers, Cairns is a great place to do a spot of charter fishing, with fly fishing, sport fishing and game fishing (Cairns is the 'black marlin capital of the world'). Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve offers an entirely different upclose experience with animals, its resident big cats free to roam a vast acreage of savannah-like plains, with shows and guided tours on daily.

Back in town, the life of most tourists and locals revolves around the beach. A paved esplanade and pretty lagoon form the hub of the town's beachside activity with a skate ramp, barbecue areas, amphitheater and children's playground. The lagoon here can accommodate up to 1000 swimmers and offers a safe and clean place for families to cool off from the intense Australian sun.

While Cairns is by no means a party city, it has plenty to keep night owls entertained. A smattering of clubs and bars in the center of town stay open late and visitors can immerse themselves in Aussie culture in one of the town's pubs, watching sports on the big screen with a cold Tooheys in hand. The Reef Casino offers gambling, wining and dining, while the esplanade and pier offer dozens of restaurants of varying price and cuisine.


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