Cairns is one of Australia’s hottest vacation destinations. Cairns boasts three of Australia’s great natural wonders. Just offshore, immense bastions of living coral form the Great Barrier Reef. Sixteen miles of superb beaches stretch to the north of the city -the famed Marlin Coast.
And inland lays the immense Daintree National Park. Cairns itself basks in tropical sunshine, balmy breezes waft in from Trinity Bay. The city’s graceful, tree-lined esplanade was once the gateway to the gold fields of North Queensland.
Cairns’s graceful, tree-lined esplanade was once the gateway to the gold fields of North Queensland. A travel tip – Cairns is pronounced: “cans.”
Cairns is a pretty awesome place but sometimes we forget that it is so much more than just the gateway to the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.
It is the home of the most dangerous bird in the world
Amazing and fearsome, the cassowary is native to the northeastern parts of Australia. Although not as tall as an emu, cassowaries are far stronger and more dangerous. The large black birds are easily recognized by their bright blue heads and dinosaur-like legs and feet.
Although they are omnivores, cassowaries mostly survive by eating tropical fruits found in their natural environment. However, just because they don’t want to eat people doesn’t mean they won’t harm you. They are incredibly wary of humans and are known to attack with incredible force. If you are lucky enough to come across one in person, be very quiet and do not disturb them, for everyone’s safety!
It has a sister city in Latvia
Before the year 2000, the idea of twin cities was incredibly popular around the world. The program allowed cities to pair up to create goodwill among people and share cultural, social, and community interactions. Cairns has twinning relationships with seven cities, including some in Japan, Papua New Guinea, China, Canada, and the USA. Our favorite twin city has to be Riga, Latvia! The cities joined together in 1988 and have been getting along well ever since.
Cairns is home to the highest mountain in Queensland
Along with an already long list of attractions, Cairns is also home to Queensland’s highest peak. Mount Bartle Frere is an incredible 1,611 meters high and is located south of Cairns.
There are many beautiful walks to enjoy up and around the mountain. The main trail will take you from Josephine Falls all the way to the Atherton Tablelands. If you want to reach the top, you will need to be an experienced mountaineer. The mountain is extremely demanding, and hikers should not underestimate how difficult the terrain can be.
Moth haters beware, Cairns has the largest moth in Australia!
The Mammoth Hercules Moth is the largest species of moth in the world, with a wingspan of over 27 centimeters. The largest ever found was 36 centimeters wide! The amazing moth is only found in this part of Australia and has more stunning features than just its size.
The Hercules moth has no mouth. So, how does he eat? Well, it’s not. The Hercules moth stores food while in the caterpillar stage so that it can survive after turning into a moth. Once it emerges from its cocoon, it will live up to 14 days before dying, so it spends most of its life searching for a reproductive partner. What a very bizarre life cycle!
Cairns is a quirky and quirky place that we absolutely love. Next time you head there for your tropical getaway, don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the other wonderful things here!