Known as a huge center of Japanese tourism in the 1980s, Cairns is now a favorite destination for intrepid travelers from all over the world and also Australian holiday-makers from the southern cities. The nearby Daintree rainforest and its shimmering wealth of natural attractions waits in the west and a number of gentle nearby towns brim with charms.
Because it has welcomed so many millions of visitors over the past few decades, Cairns boasts a restaurant and nightlife scene that would be the envy of cities ten times its size. Visitors to Cairns are spoilt for choice, though one thing that never changes here is the weather. Sticky humidity and high heat is the rule, every day of the year.
The historical center of Cairns is The Esplanade, where all community events and meetings are held. Young people particularly flock to the area for its skateboard ramps and other visitors enjoy the thriving restaurant culture that has grown up around this part of Cairns.
Downtown Cairns is a readily navigable set of streets that fan out around major landmarks like the Reef Casino. Bars, hotels, restaurants and tourism facilities like tour groups, information centers and travel agencies are all located here, as are all the major shopping malls.