Cairns is the northern-most city in Tropical North Queensland and is renowned for its unique environment. It’s the only place in the world where two world-heritage areas meet- the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Find out more about the Cairns region.
Population: 155 000 (2014)
Weather: Tropical summers reaching up to 31°C, and milder winters with daytime temperatures of 26°C.
The Studying and Living in Cairns Guide for international students provides potential students with practical information about moving to and living in Cairns.
There are a variety of services available to the Cairns community from multicultural groups to health care services. Find an extensive list of services in the Community Services Directory.
Some services include:
- Migrant Services: to help individuals and families participate in community life.
- JCU Multifaith Chaplaincy Centre: for multicultural faith contacts, information about special events and different services.
- JCU Counselling: professional psychological services for both academic and personal purposes.
- Lifeline and Centacare Cairns: counselling for individuals, couples or families.
Cairns is a thriving city with a variety of cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the city and along the beachfront. Cairns Dining provides some inspiration, or head to the city centre or the Cairns Esplanade to explore the options for yourself. Ask other students for their recommendations.
Shopping centres and supermarkets
Shopping in Cairns has a list of great shopping locations in Cairns from the latest fashions to souvenirs to fresh produce. The closest shopping centre to the Cairns JCU campus is Smithfield Shopping Centre.
Markets are held regularly in Cairns and are great places to buy affordable local produce, woodcraft and handmade goods.
Cairns Markets: this list will direct you to the markets closest to your location.
Cairns Attractions: includes Cairns Night Markets (retail, food, goods) and Farm gate Market (fresh produce).
Rusty’s Markets: for an abundance of food and specialty products head to this popular market.
Second-hand shopsThere are a variety of second hand shops in Cairns that may be useful for buying goods such as furniture, clothes, kitchen utensils and books.
Locations and hours on the Australia Post website will show you where all post offices in Cairns are located.
Cairns has a vibrant music, arts and cultural scene. To find out what’s on around Cairns, visit Entertainment Cairns.
See what’s on:
- For Entertainment venues across the city see Lonely Planet’s Entertainment in Cairns
- For a calendar of events around the region What's On
- If outdoor adventures is your form of entertainment Things to do in Cairns
- To watch the latest movie Cairns City Cinema, Cairns Earlville Cinema or Cairns Central Cinema.
All cinemas offer student concession prices when you present your JCU student identification card.
In Australia you must be over the age of 18 to enter venues that sell alcohol. When entering a bar or nightclub Queensland State Law requires venues to sight identification for age verification before allowing you on the premises. Your JCU student card or International Student Card (ISIC Card) are not acceptable as proof of age.
If you have a driver’s licence that has your photograph, date of birth and is in English you can use this as proof of age. By carrying your passport as your only form of identification you can risk it being stolen or lost. To prevent this apply for an Adult Proof of Age Card (18+ Card) through the Queensland Government.