Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cairns, Australia

Cairns is located in Queensland roughly 1961 km (1218 miles) from Sydney.  Cairns is a provincial city and home to almost 145,000 people.  Cairns is the 5th largest city in Queensland and the 14th largest in Australia.

The tropical climate, surrounding rainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef makes Cairns the 4th most popular destination for international tourists after Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Cairns was founded in 1876 and served the gold miners of the time.  Later on it became a major port exporting sugar cane and gold.

The War Memorial was built in 1925 to honour those lost in WWI.  When it was built, due to the clock, it was the most expensive soldier statue memorial in Queensland.

The Bishop's House was built in 1930.  Originally it was a Catholic monastery.

The former town hall was built in 1930.  In 1999 it was reopened as the Cairns City Library.

The trees surrounding the library is home to a nursing colony of spectacled flying foxes, which is the fancy way of saying bats.  You hear them screeching during the day and see them fly in packs at night.

St. Monica's War Memorial Cathedral was consecrated in 1968.  It is the only cathedral in Cairns.

The Cairns Aquarium is the world's only aquarium dedicated exclusively to the species and habitats of North Queensland.

The Cairns School of Arts was completed in 1941.  Today it is the local history museum.

The former post office building, in the central business district, was built in 1882.

The Night Market has more than 70 shops with lots of souvenir stalls.  There's a great food court too.

There's a historic Chinatown but the memorial for it seems bigger than the actual Chinatown.

The promenade makes for a nice walk.  Surprisingly, there's no real swimming beach area to speak of.

The lagoon is a free public swimming pool where people sunbathe on the grass.

I can tell you that the sun is quite strong in November.  After just a couple of hours and I looked like the flag of Austria.

The Kuranda Scenic Railway makes for a great day trip to see the local tropical rainforest.

No visit is complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Update:  There was a record heat wave on 26-27 November.  Temperatures went over 42℃ (+107℉) and almost ⅓ of of the country's bats perished.  The bats were annoying but it's sad that about 23.000 bats dropped dead.

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