Relocating to Cairns
Cairns is a city where you will find yourself surrounded by concrete jungles and lush forests. Aside from having a good number of business establishments, this city is the gateway to one of the 7 wonders of the world in the Great Barrier Reef and home to breathtaking natural attractions like the Daintree Rainforest. Tourists are not the only ones who take a day or two to visit these World Heritage sites, they are also popular to the locals who are looking for something interesting to do during weekends.
Living in Cairns Guide
If you’re moving to Cairns from capitals cities, you may be surprised by the sudden change of scenery and lifestyle. Read the list below to learn more about this city and be prepared for your move.
Cost of Living
The price of commodities and the cost of living in Cairns is less expensive, compared to the cost of living in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Average monthly household rental payment – A$1,249
Average monthly household mortgage payment – A$1,694
Basic lunchtime menu in the business district – A$20
Combo meal in fast food restaurant – A$10
12 large eggs – AU$5.87
500g of local cheese – AU$9
Bread for 2 people for 1 day – A$2.08
1kg of apples – A$4.24
1L of whole fat milk – A$1.32
Cold medicine for 6 days – AU$11
1 box of antibiotics – AU$18
Tube of toothpaste – AU$3.64
4 rolls of toilet paper – AU$2.49
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ) – AU$5.33
Depending on the industry you’d like to work in, you may have a hard time finding job opportunities in Cairns. According to a census conducted by .ID in 2016, the Health Care and Social Assistance industry has the most number of employees (10,311), followed by Retail trade (7,621). While there are thousands of job opportunities in the area, the competition is serious in landing a job. It is highly recommended that you find a job in the area before moving in.
If you plan on moving to Cairns, you’ll hardly find any problems in getting a good school you can get into. Cairns has a good number of reputable schools to choose from. The city has more than 50 primary/secondary schools and 8 colleges/universities.
The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforests are just some of the few attractions that residents and tourists like to visit almost all-year-round. Thanks to its tropical climate, it is possible to explore and enjoy the city’s outdoor activities during the dry season. The city comes alive with green colours of nature during the wet season. No matter the season, there are plenty of activities that you can enjoy, especially if you’re new to the city.
- Undara Volcanic National Park
The Undara Experience offers a unique outback experience. The Undara Volcanic National Park located in North Queensland is known for its open woodlands, savannah, and the famous Undara lava tubes. There are only 23 countries with lava tubes, and the Undara lava tubes are known to be the world’s longest.
The park offers several activities and facilities that guests can access during their visit. Biking, bushwalking, and camping are some of the activities that you can try during your stay. The highlight of the park is the 2-hour guided tour to the Undara lava tubes. As you walk along the boardwalk, your guide will explain and talk about the tubes’ exciting environmental, geological, and historical features.
- Cairns Botanic Gardens
The Cairns Botanic Garden is renowned as one of the best tropical garden exhibitions in Australia. The garden’s are made up of a variety of plants from SouthEast Asia, South America, and Africa. The garden has 3 main areas that visitors can explore. First, the Flecker Botanic Gardens which features the main botanic collection, an orchid house, a fernery, and an aboriginal plant use garden. Second, the Centenary Lakes where visitors can enjoy walking on the rainforest boardwalk and marvel at Amazon pond lilies, saltwater and freshwater lakes, native fruit trees, and many more. Lastly, the Mount Whitfield Conservation Park which is known for its red and blue arrow hiking tracks. Some parts of the tracks offer a spectacular view of Cairns and Trinity Inlet.
- Cairns Aquarium
Cairns Aquarium is one of the newest attractions in the area. The aquarium showcases the aquatic wildlife from the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Walk around the aquarium to get a closer look at some of the most elusive animals on the planet. It is the home to more than 16,000 animals from up to 10 different ecosystems.
The aquarium has a wide range of activities that children and adults can enjoy during their visit to the museum. Some of the presentations include Terrestrial Encounter Touch and Talk, Coral Sea Life of Sharks and Rays, Ribbon Reef Denizens of the Deep, etc. To complete your Cairns Aquarium experience, you can dine at Dundee’s while watching the schools of fish and sharks swimming by in the aquatic display.
- Michaelmas Cay
Michaelmas Cay is a low sand cay located 41.3km North-east of Cairns. The island can be easily accessed from Cairns by boat, making it a popular location for diving, and snorkelling. Protected under the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Michaelmas Cay is an important nesting site for different kinds of seabirds.
Unlike other islands located near the Great Barrier Reef, Michaelmas Cay is off-limits to campers.. Visitors can take relaxing walks along the shore, enjoy the pristine waters, and admire the beauty of the surrounding reefs.
- Australian Armour and Artillery Museum
Opened in 2014, the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum showcases a vast collection of armoured vehicles, artillery, and tanks from WWII and the post-war periods. The museum also houses one of the world’s largest collections of AFVs. Visitors can take a tour around the museum to see vehicles, artillery, and other weapons and learn how they were used during the war.
For a unique experience, you can try to ride one of the museum’s decommissioned Armoured Personnel Carrier or APC. These vehicles were reconfigured to accommodate 10 passengers for this army style adventure. The ride is available every day from 11 am to 2 pm. The museum has an underground shooting gallery where adults can try firing a .303 or K98 Mauser. Children may take photos dressed as real soldiers and try real army gear at the Kids Corner.
While public transportation is largely available for the residents and tourists, the majority of the residents prefer using private cars to go to work or move around the city.