Cairns lies on Trinity Bay in Far North Queensland, and is one of the coastal cities resting along the Great Barrier Reef. The city is the southern gateway to the wild, sparsely inhabited Cape York Peninsula. The wet tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - two World Heritage Sites - are near the city. Before 1879, when the city of Cairns was established, the only inhabitants of this region were the Aborigines, the culture for which Australia is perhaps best known. The city's historic museum reveals the traditions of this ancient Australian tribe. From Cairns you can visit the Great Barrier Reef, take the rainforest train up to Kuranda and return skimming over the trees below by the Sky Train.
The British explorer and navigator James Cook named Trinity Bay on Trinity Sunday in 1770. The area that is now Cairns was surveyed and settled by Europeans in 1876 as a port for the Hodkinson River goldfield 100 km (60 miles) inland. The settlement was named after William Wellington Cairns, who was the governor of Queensland in the mid 1870s.
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