Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. Cairns is a cosmopolitan city with a population of approx. 140,000 that is very focused on the tourist industry; particularly popular with international tourists. Japanese tourists are especially catered for, with many shops' signs being written in Japanese, as well as English. The city is surrounded by rainforest and can be used as a gateway to destinations such as Kuranda and the Daintree. Besides tourism, the city is supported by agricultural activities which include sugar cane, bananas, coffee, tea and the world's first tropical fruit wine region.
The city is the 5th-most-populous in Queensland and ranks 14th overall in Australia. Cairns was founded in 1876 and named after William Wellington Cairns, Governor of Queensland from 1875 to 1877. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but declined 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. The population of the Cairns urban area at the 2016 Census was 144,787. Based on 2015 data, the associated local government area has experienced an average annual growth rate of 2. 3% over the last 10 years. Cairns is a popular tourist destination because of its tropical climate and access to both nearby tropical rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.