Regions of Queensland: what’s new in Cairns and Far North Queensland?

Did you know?

Cairns sits on the Far North Queensland peninsular, 1,807km (1,120 miles) north of Brisbane. It is well known as the gateway to two of the world’s greatest natural attractions and world heritage sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world measuring 2011 km in length and 72 km across at its widest points.

Far North Queensland is also known as Tropical North Queensland, and for a breakdown the size of the population living in the different areas, see this interactive map by the Cairns Regional Council.

People from more than 47 nations choose to call Cairns home, with around 1300 immigrants granted Australian citizenship every year. It is the main regional centre for Far North Queensland.

Cairns has an international and a domestic airport which includes direct flights to more than 18 international and 30 domestic destinations.

Far North Queensland has 9 International trade ports, including the Port of Cairns, which is one of the country’s busiest cruise destinations. On the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Marlin Marina is the gateway to spectacular cruising grounds, providing first-class facilities and customer service for a diverse fleet including some of the world’s most advanced super yachts.

Latest in Industry, Business, Tourism and Projects 

Far North Queensland is well looked upon by business leaders for its international business opportunities, particularly with its proximity to Asia and world-class agricultural industry. The major projects happening in Cairns mainly fall into commercial, industrial, educational, retail, and entertainment sectors.

Some of particular interest include:

You can find out more about the current major projects on the Cairns regional council website.

Key Industries 

  • Agriculture – raw sugar, live cattle, horticulture
  • Marine Services
  • Aviation Services
  • Education
  • Construction and Mining
  • Tourism

For more information about investment and business, please see TIQ Far North Queensland investment opportunities and Far North Queensland brochure.

Settlement Information  

Arriving in a new city and region can be daunting, so it is useful to take advantage of the information which is out there to make the process of settling in easier.           


SunBus operates public transport services for Cairns and there are private bus lines operating services in Far North Queensland. However, it is advisable to buy a car to get around, depending on where you are living. Cairns is well connected with the world with an international airport, international cruise ship terminal, and passenger train services departing five times a week between Brisbane and Cairns.


The Queensland state government has an online search available for the public and private schools in Far North Queensland. Study Cairns also has a range of information on higher education, vocational education, English language and schools available. Other specialised training centres are located in Cairns, including the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre and the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College.

New Arrival Support

The Cairns Regional Council has a comprehensive New Residents Guide for those looking to move to Cairns and information on multicultural communities and servicesCentacare Cairns is an organisation in the area that may assist with settlement, counselling and migrant support.

Innisfail is the other urban centre in Far North Queensland, which is under the Cassowary Coast Regional Council.

Major Events and Festivals

There are many cultural and major events happening in and around Cairns, including:  

To find out more about what’s happening in the area, check out Tropical North Queensland Tourism, Cairns Regional City Council’s upcoming events, Things to do in Cairns, and Cairns events websites.

Other Useful links

Links to previous posts in the series: