Cairns is a regional city in Far North Queensland, founded 1876. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns, then-current Governor of Queensland. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold and other metals, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region.
Cairns is located about 1,700km from Brisbane, and about 2,700km from Sydney by road. It is a popular travel destination for foreign tourists because of its tropical climate. It serves as a starting point for people wanting to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland.
Cairns experiences a tropical climate, specifically a Tropical monsoon climate. A wet season with tropical monsoons runs from November to May, with a relatively dry season from June to October, though showers are frequent for most of this period. Cairns' mean annual rainfall is 2,015.9 millimetres. Average top temperatures vary from 25.7 °C (78.3 °F) in July to 31.4 °C (88.5 °F) in January. Monsoonal activity during the wet season occasionally causes major flooding of the Barron and Mulgrave Rivers, cutting off road and rail access to the city.