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Cairns (, locally (listen)) is a city in the Cairns Region, Queensland, Australia. It is on the east coast of Far North Queensland. The city is the 5th-most-populous in Queensland and ranks 14th overall in Australia.
Cairns was founded in 1876 and named after Sir 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 June 2018 was 152,729, having grown on average 1.1% year-on-year over the preceding five years.
Based on 2015 data, the associated local government area had experienced an average annual growth rate of 2.3% over the previous 10 years. According to Cairns Regional Council in February 2020, Cairns had experienced an annual growth rate of 1.9% over the previous ten 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.
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