For a long time now Cairns has been one of Australia's favorite holiday destinations. It used to have that final frontier feel about it in the days when Zane Grey made his annual pilgrimage to Cairns in an effort to catch the world record black marlin. There was a bit of Ernest Hemingway about the old town. At that time Cairns had wide streets, 52 hotels, a marlin wharf and very little else. The local radio station crossed to live reports from the marlin boats when someone hooked a grander. Now the tourists come for different reasons. The streets were wide enough to turn a bullock team around, and that is precisely why they were made that wide. Today it is a blessing as the city does not have the traffic problems that develop with growth. All the streets in the city have two lanes in each direction with parking on each side so the traffic moves really well despite the fantastic growth that the tourism industry has created over the past twenty years.
Today Cairns is all about environmental tourism. This is the place to come and see the majesty of the Great Barrier Reef or the magnificent rainforests in the Daintree National Park. Take the "Skyrail" to Kuranda with your gondola practically in the canopy of the rainforest and then take the train back to Cairns and cross the rickety bridge over the roaring Barron Falls. The Great Barrier Reef is now the biggest draw card. Hundreds of cruise boats operate out of Cairns each day. Day tours to dive or snorkel on the reef are plentiful. Serious divers take live aboard trips to remote reefs to feed the sharks or swim with the friendly potato cod and fantastic sailing catamarans speed before the wind on a day trip to nowhere. Green Island is a true coral cay situated right on the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can experience its beauty while staying in five star air conditioned luxury and just walk in off the beach to snorkel over the coral. Cairns is now a tourist icon and the numbers of visitors have driven a surge in production in the Cairns accommodation industry. New apartments and hotels have sprung up everywhere and all the old ones now have been turned into backpacker hostels. There is plenty of great accommodation in Cairns and at the beaches to the north. Palm Cove and Trinity Beach have plenty of beach front resorts to stay at for a relaxing holiday.
Cairns has its own international airport and has direct flights from most Australian destinations as well as from Asia and the Pacific. Japanese and Chinese visitors come here in droves. This is now a cosmopolitan city and it has all the necessary infrastructure to cater to this growing army of tourists. There are great restaurants, cafes and souvenir shopping. More tours than you could poke a didgeridoo at and something for everyone when it comes to night time entertainment.
If you want to visit an Australian icon on your holiday then come to Cairns in >Far North Queensland and stay for a few days.