Fast Facts: Cairns & Tropical North Queensland

October 11, 2011 by

Local Guides, Local Recommendations, Travel Tips

If you want to avoid an encounter with a "stinger",
it's best to visit the Great Barrier Reef in the winter

When to visit:
Australia is popular over summer, which in the southern hemisphere starts in December and ends in late February.  This is the best time to enjoy the famous Australian beaches along the south, east and west coasts and experience Aussie culture at its best.

Summer in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is quite a different experience. December through to February bring the “wet season” with humid weather and monsoonal rain. Ocean swimming isn’t always possible at this time due to increased numbers of jellyfish (‘stingers’).

Winter (June to August) in the Cairns region is the best time to visit. While the southerners (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide) are pulling out their woollens and getting ready to hit the snowy mountain slopes, Cairns celebrates with crystal clear skies, cool breezes and perfect scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Language:
Australian-English is of course the main language of the region. This is normal English peppered with the occasional greetings of ‘G’day mate’ and ‘How’s it going?’ and other Australianisms. Due to Cairns’ long-standing popularity with visitors from Japan, Japanese is commonly spoken in the tourism industry here and some shop signs are even written in Japanese. Reflecting a more recent change in travel trends, Mandarin Chinese is also becoming an increasingly spoken language in the Cairns region.

Electricity:
220-240V 50Hz

Country Dialing Code: 61
Queensland Dialing Code: 7

Mobile phones:
Australia operates most Global Roaming carriers with both digital and G3 phones.

Internet:
Australia supports Wifi and Bluetooth systems. Broadband is not available everywhere. Most broadband is via ADSL services, not cable.

Driving:
Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road. For more information on Driving Rules and Regulations in Queensland, go to the Queensland Transport website.

- Emma McMahon

Planning a Trip? Browse Viator’s Cairns tours and things to do, Cairns attractions, and Cairns travel recommendations. Or book a private tour guide in Cairns for a customized tour!

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