Cairns (pronounced cans) is resort city and a popular backpackers destination in Queensland and a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships dock at Trinity Wharf right in town near the foot of Lake Street.
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Money and Tipping
||Australia's currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). Bills are plastic with coins for $2 and under. Australia has eliminated the penny and cash transactions are rounded up or down to the nearest nickel. Taxes are inclusive on sticker prices of items and tipping is not common. Money exchange can be done at any bank. When changing money, make sure you get a good rate and don't pay commission. ATM's are readily available. Tipping is not customary in Australia.
Most attractions are walkable in the city center. The Sun Bus can take you further out. http://www.sunbus.com.au
Search hotels in Cairns here
- Esplanade Lagoon - a great way to escape the heat (and avoid jellyfish in the ocean). Free.
- Cairns Wildlife Dome - located on the top of a Pullman Reef Casino, this small zoo gives you the opportunity to cuddle a koala. Entry fee $22 (extra $15 to cuddle koala with picture). 34-41 Wharf Street, Cairns QLD, 4870 http://www.cairnsdome.com.au/
- Carns Tropical Zoo - a larger zoo a bit further away by Palm Cove. Entry $33 (plus $16 to cuddle a koala). You can take sun bus 110 from City Place on Lake St (approx 60 min, $5.20 Dec 2011). http://www.cairnstropicalzoo.com.au
- Kuranda Scenic Railway - departs twice daily from Cairns Station to Kuranda. You can return part of the way riding the Cairns Rainforest Cableway though it is more difficult to get back to Cairns from the cable car station in Carivonica.
- Great Barrier Reef tours - many companies offer tours out to pontoons to anchored beside the reef. Snorkelling, diving, submarines, and glass bottom boat rides are typically offered.
Shopping & Restaurants
Cairns Central is a large air conditioned mall at the train station with over 180 stores including a Coles Supermarket, BI-LO, Target and Myers. There is a Woolworth's supermarket by City Place. Rusty's Market is a large, covered open air market open Fri 5-6, Sat 6-3 and Sun 6-2. Cairns Pier has boutiques and restaurants by the marina. There are restaurants throughout the city center and a food court by the lagoon.
There is a post office in the shopping center by the bus exchange on Lake Street.
Cafes and restaurants may provide free wifi for customers. Try Habib's Cafe on Lake St close to the cruise terminal. Most of the travel and tour offices have internet for their backpacker clients.
Cairns Weather Forecast
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