Australia: Cairns

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef on one side and tropical rainforest jungle that served as inspiration for Avatar in the other side. But that’s all that is – just a gateway. Other then that, the beach here is not swimmable or accessible (an artificial lagoon was built along the promenade). The promenade itself is the only worthy attraction in town (well, there is also an aquarium), with palm trees, the blue lagoon, several monuments, and a couple good seafood restaurants (that rudely shut down at 10pm). Tourist offices are everywhere, offering trips to the Great Barrier Reef and various offshore islands, trips inland to the rainforest, scenic flights, railway rides, and endless overpriced packages of the above.