Cairns Geography

Geography of Cairns

Cairns is the gateway to two of the world's greatest natural attractions and World Heritage listed treasures - the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforests.

No matter which direction you go in you will find a lifetime of memorable experiences.

Cairns City is located on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula on a long, narrow coastal strip edged between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range. The Cairns City Council covers more than 1670 sqkm and extends from Ellis Beach in the north to the Johnstone Shire Boundary in the south.

Cairns' coastlineMountains, beaches, tidal wetlands, freshwater lakes, mudflats, mangrove swamps, bays, rivers, estuaries and rich coastal plains are all features of this diverse tropical region. It is also home to the State's highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere.

Cairns is the major business hub of Far North Queensland and is the most populated in the north with 150,920 people choosing to live here in 2010. Cairns is approximately 1700 km north of Queensland's state capital, Brisbane.

Recently the city of Cairns has experienced much urban sprawl so that the township has grown on three different sides. The Northern Beaches are the suburbs which extend north along the coast and can be accessed by the Captain Cook Highway.

Many of these suburbs are popular with tourists and have gorgeous, quiet beaches like Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach and Palm Cove.

Further inland was once sugar cane fields and now residential suburbs and are bordered by the Great Dividing Range and can be located on the Barron River flood plain. To the south are a grouping of suburbs that can be accessed by the Bruce Highway.