Around the World by Train: Australia
20319 · By Katie Shaw
Episode 4 of Channel 5's Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson sees the Blackadder actor head down under to uncover the unique quirks and incredible railways of Australia.Read more
James Cook discovered Cairns in 1770, inhabited by Walubarra Yidniji people prior to any European settlement. It was not until years later that the potential for a port was identified and in 1876 Cairns was used to export gold and other metals, minerals, agricultural products and sugarcane from the Atherton Tableland region.
The city of Cairns has recently been renovated to enhance its image and provide a relaxing place for tourists and locals. Cairns Esplanade, once a huge grassy park, now features a world-class facility incorporating an outdoor amphitheatre, a large sandy swimming lagoon, grassy picnic areas, walking tracks, free public barbeques, children's playground, shops and restaurants, and an environmental interpretation centre.
Cairns is also a hub to the attractions of Far North Queensland, and your options here are many and varied. Explore the many opportunities that north Queensland has to offer. Take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree National Park or visit Cape Tribulation.
The tropical rainforest north of Mossman, at around 1200 square kilometres is the largest on the Australian mainland. The Daintree National Park contains exotic flora and fauna which represent eight major stages in the earth's evolutionary history, including the Age of Pteridophytes, the Age of the Conifers and Cycads, the Age of the Angiosperms, the final break-up of Gondwana, biological evolution and radiation during thirty-five million years of isolation, the origin and radiation of the songbirds, the mixing of the continental biota of the Australian and Asian plates and the extreme effects of the Pleistocene glacial periods on tropical rainforest vegetation. The most important living record of the evolutionary history of the marsupials, songbirds and terrestrial vegetation, from the very first land plants to the higher angiosperms, is contained within the area.
In the heart of the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation is incredibly beautiful and is one of the only rainforests in Australia that runs right down to the water's edge. The wet tropical rainforests here are now protected by World Heritage Laws allowing tourist to visit the unspoilt virgin rainforest and crystal clear jungle creeks.