Cairns is touted as the "gateway to the Great Barrier Reef" and other destinations such as Kuranda and the Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland, Australia, although the city has little to offer to travellers besides tour agencies, a handful of restaurants, cafes, and backpacker bars, and a long walk along the esplanade looking out at the swampy shoreline. Its 150,000 residents are regularly outnumbered by domestic and international visitors.
The Cairns area was historically inhabited by the indigenous Walubarra Yidinji people. Mapped by James Cook and named Trinity Bay in 1770, it was officially founded in 1876 as an export port for gold and renamed after the then-Governor of Queensland. The city's name is pronounced "Canz" by locals; use of the accepted pronunciation of the governor's surname, the Scottish town, and piles of stones is obsolete.