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Facing east directly over the Pacific Ocean, Cairns is considered the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and is a tropical paradise. At it could be your new home.

Named after William Wellington Cairns who governed Queensland in the late 19th century, the city was founded in 1876 to serve miners who were heading towards the Hodgkinson River goldfield. They found a more accessible way a few years later from Port Douglas, but Cairns was already well on its way to becoming the international city which it is today. By the early 20th century, the city soon developed itself into a major port for exporting gold, agricultural produce, and other precious metals to surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland.  

Due to the city’s location, it experiences a tropical climate and maintains temperatures of around 30-degree centigrade in the dry season. If you are a kiwi looking to re-locate in Australia and you like this sort of weather, then heading to Cairns is a brilliant idea. Not just the weather, but the city’s infrastructure is one of the best in the world. Today, Cairns’ heart is almost entirely tourism, so don’t be surprised to see colourful dive shops, restaurants, and cafes lining the streets. It’s a welcome change from your typical central business district, where grey skyscrapers and glass buildings take up most of your view. With an airport which serves four major Asian destinations and a wide range of ethnic and international restaurants, Cairns truly is a global city.  

If you are looking to move across the ditch, then choosing Cairns is a logical decision you will not regret. The information below will undoubtedly help you cross the T’s and dot the I’s before taking the plunge. 

The summer is perfect in Cairns

Remember the immensely satisfying feeling you get when you touch the water in your bathtub, and the temperature is just right? Well, the weather in Cairns is just like that.  

During the summer season, the surrounding rainforests of the city are at their finest. This is the time when Cape Tribulation and the Daintree are bursting with life, and waterfalls and rivers are gushing to their fullest. Ideal for activities like white water rafting and rainforest tours, which you can easily do with any professional operator. Water temperatures are ideal, and this is the only time you get visibility up to an incredible 50 metres over the Great Barrier Reef.  

great barrier reef australia

The weather changes slightly as April comes around and settles down a bit. This marks the beginning of the dry season and is perfect for activities like hot air ballooning and bungy jumping. Temperatures range from 22 to 29 degrees celcius, and although it gets a bit warm, you will seldom feel uncomfortable. 

Embrace comfortable and pleasantly warm winters 

June marks the beginning of the winter months, and the city is at its most pleasant during this time. It lasts till August and brings in temperatures ranging from about 18 to 26 degrees, which is marked by distinctly clear skies and gentle winds. Wave goodbye to frosts and chipping ice from your windscreen.

This type of weather is perfect for just about anything, and most people take advantage of it to go sailing over the blue waters. Fun fact, this is also the time of the year when Humpback whales begin their migration. Maybe, if you are lucky, you might get to see Migaloo the white whale making his way across the sea!

 Experience a colourful springtime and wet monsoons 

September ushers in spring and gradual warming again, which is an absolute delight to experience. Plant life blooms everywhere, and there is an increase in animal activities which makes it the perfect time to visit gardens, wildlife attractions, and parks. Even the Barrier Reef springs back to life with the yearly coral spawning event, while birds go about their colourful mating rituals. The temperatures during daytime might soar to 30-degrees, but the evening brings with it storms which make for a spectacular and breathtaking light shows. It’s akin to a standing ovation by the skies to welcome the season which lasts till early January. 

January marks the beginning of the wet season accompanied by torrential rains. Locals call it the ‘green season’ which is an apt name as the rivers and creeks are crystal clear, and the rainforests are at their luscious best again. Temperatures around this time range between 24 to 31-degrees which make this month the hottest of the year. Rains tend to fall later during the afternoon and continue overnight and give way to plenty of sunshine hours in the morning. In February, the cloud cover increases slightly, with hot days and warm evenings. This month is also a great time to visit the rainforests as they are at their verdant best.   

A few things to remember 

Now that you have a good idea of what to expect from the weather in Cairns, there are a few things you should keep in mind - 

  1. Summer months experience the longest days of the year with sunrise usually occurring around 6:10 am and sunsets around 6:12 pm, significantly shorter daylight hours than Kiwis are used to
  1. The average temperature of the sea in Cairns is around 29-degrees centigrade with a high of about 31-degrees centigrade with constant cloud cover in January 
  1. While living in Cairns, it is advisable to check the UV index from local reports and arm yourself with hats, sunscreen, and goggles accordingly.

Now let’s take a look at the vibrant lifestyle and culture the city is famous for. 

Things you can do in the city  

By now, you have realised that Cairns is a place of amazing natural beauty that comes from the surrounding rainforests, and its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. The key recreational area in the city is the Cairns Esplanade which runs alongside the coast. You will notice a lot of people relaxing and admiring the beauty, walking, or enjoying food and drink around a BBQ with friends and family. The esplanade ends at the Lagoon, which is an artificial beach and is quite popular with the locals.  

If you make your way a bit further down and reach the Marlin Marina Boardwalk, you will find some fantastic restaurants which serve some delicious seafood. Continue walking, and you will ultimately reach the Reef Fleet Terminal from where you can charter a boat to check out the Great Barrier Reef. There is a daily boat service, so you needn’t worry about missing out on anything if you happen to reach after the day’s boat has left, simply try again tomorrow.

Apart from the surroundings, what makes Cairns a city with so much character are the local people. They are a relaxed and friendly lot and always happy to help if you need it. 

Cycle to restaurants, cafes and bars  

Essentially, Cairns is a tourist hub. You won’t have any difficulty in finding a fantastic restaurant or a lively bar. The city is full of hotels, tour desks and cafes. A huge positive is that Cairns is very bike-friendly, which should be great news if you like commuting to work on a bicycle, or just enjoy riding one.

The city has really low levels of elevation, which makes riding entirely stress-free, safe, and effortless. There are bike racks at almost every vital location throughout the city which makes parking no problem at all. You can easily commute to your workplace on a bicycle without having to invest in a vehicle.

Sampling the delicious local food 

If you consider yourself a connoisseur of coffee, or if you simply require it to survive, then you should definitely head to “Sing Sing Espresso” which is a petite little café tucked away off busy Lake Street. Tastefully decorated with wooden seats, straddling each side of the narrow walkway, bathing in the famed Cairns sunshine, this tiny place is sure to impress you.

You can also head over to “Noa”, a restaurant famous for their breakfast offerings and cocktail menu. Be sure to pop in for a tipple in the form of a Tropical Margarita, or a few of their famous tapas plates if you are in and around Edge Hill.  

However, if you are someone who enjoys exploring different restaurants, then Cairns is one of the best cities in Australia to go about it. “Salt House” is a name that you will find jumping off everyone’s lips when you ask about the best restaurants in town. Located in the prized Marina location which is walking distance from the city and esplanade, this chic venue offers some of the best seafood dishes in the city. You can even sample some of their choicest cuts of meat cooked in an Argentinian grill which is delicious. If you are looking for a more casual dinner, then they have a pizzeria right next door. 

Some of the other good restaurants to visit include Haruka Japanese Cuisine for their bento boxes, Ganbaranba for the best ramen, C’est Bon, and Tamarind. All of them are considered excellent if you are looking for some fine-dining experience, Cairns style. 

Other places of interest in Cairns 

Apart from the places mentioned above, there are a few other areas of interest which you can visit after your move to the city. If you are interested in street art then you must check out the Cairns Laneway Art which has fresh and funky paintings by street artists. Tucked away on Grafton street, this area is also the boutique shopping hub for the city.  

Did you know that The Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven marine turtle species? These ancient creatures have been known to capture the hearts of visitors from all around the world and are exquisitely replicated through a stunning statue on the Cairns Esplanade. Top tip, there is a brilliant café called Wharf ONE which serves the local produce.  

Believe it or not, mariners in the 18th and 19th centuries used to believe that you can hear the sea if you put a shell to your ear. That might not be true, but you sure can test it out at the Cone Shell on the Cairns Esplanade. This shell is also called Telescopus, was created by Dominic Johns, a local artist.  

Last but not least, be sure to visit the Tanks Art Centre which is Cairns’ premier entertainment venue and a brilliant example of urban recycling. Three former WWII tanks have been transformed into a performance and exhibition space, nestled into the foothills on Collins Avenue, Edge Hill.  

How to get around Cairns 

As mentioned earlier, the city is flat with wide roads, which provides you with ample opportunity to cycle anywhere you like. In case you don’t have a bicycle, you can always use the local bus transport system under the name Sunbus. The service is excellent, cheap, and will get you anywhere you want to go. Cairns also has a robust Black & White taxi service which you can call to book yourself a vehicle. The service is great, with reasonable prices and timely pick-ups.  

There are a few other modes of transport like Coral Coaches and Queensland Rail, but they are for journeys around the state and farther. 

Move to Cairns for an amazing lifestyle

It is a great idea to settle down in Cairns. Perfect weather, friendly locals, many attractions, along with great food and infrastructure are just the tip of the iceberg. So go ahead, contact us and make a move, and explore a tropical paradise which is the city of Cairns. We’ll send all your belongings, pets, car and even help you arrange insurance—you just have to decide how closely you want to live to the beach.

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Unlike many other movers, we will provide you with a fixed quote based on your specific list of items.

Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

Our Service Promise:

Our Service Promise:

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Free In-Home Consultation:

Free In-Home Consultation:

If you are moving the majority of your household items from New Zealand to Australia, one of Ausmoves experienced relocation consultants will visit your home to establish your specific packing requirements and any unique moving needs. Learn more about moving to Australia from NZ.

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