Customs and etiquette
Cairns is a tropical, tourist town and visitors on holiday and locals from inland who earn a living in the tourist industry combine for an atmosphere that is always casual. Even five-star hotels encourage shorts and t-shirts but swimwear is discouraged away from the beach.
Australians are quite laid back and enjoy life in a tolerant and progressive culture. The huge mix of cultures in Cairns, however, means that cultures from all over the world need to be respected to avoid misunderstandings and confrontations. Visitors from all parts of the world should feel comfortable in Cairns.
The currency of Cairns is the Australian dollar (AUD). Denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 are brightly colored plastic notes, while the AUD$2 and AUD$1 are gold coins.
Tipping is the norm in a city like Cairns due to tourism, and bills at restaurants or bars can generally be rounded up to the nearest zero, for example, a café bill for AUD$36 can be paid with two twenty dollar notes left on the table or bill plate. ATMs are plentiful in all areas of Cairns and Great Barrier Reef trips are fully catered and no cash is required.