Cairns was officially founded in 1876 as a frontier town to support the gold rush. The city of Cairns takes its name from the State Governor of the day, Sir William Cairns.
The initial settelement was a swampy tent settlement. Then it was chosen as a starting point for a railway line that serviced the Atherton Tableland.
After the gold rush Cairns began to die out and the people had tofind other ways to make a living. The flat coastal lands became sugar cane plantations.
In 1984 when the international airport was build, tourism began which transformed Cairns from a sleepy town to the thriving city of today.
The major tourist attraction in Queensland pushed the tourism industry in Cairns: The Great Barrier Reef. It is the largest coral reef in the world, roughly parallel to the coast of Queensland, Australia, for almost 2,000km.