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Cairns, Australia

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Cairns, Australia. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

What do I need to know before moving to Cairns?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Cairns, they said:

"Cairns is a tropical city located in the far north of Queensland, known for its warm climate and natural beauty. Before moving to Cairns, expats should be aware that the city has a tropical climate, with a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May to October. The cost of living in Cairns is generally lower than in larger Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne, but still higher than many countries. Expats should also know that Cairns is a popular tourist destination, particularly for those looking to visit the Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Rainforest. This means that the city can get quite busy during peak tourist season, and the cost of certain goods and services may increase. Healthcare in Australia is of a high standard, and expats will be eligible for the public healthcare system once they have obtained their Medicare card. However, it's also recommended to have private health insurance to cover any additional costs. When it comes to finding a place to live, expats will find a range of options in Cairns, from apartments in the city centre to houses in the suburbs. Renting is a common option, and it's usually necessary to provide references and a deposit when applying for a rental property. Cairns is a multicultural city with a relaxed lifestyle. The city has a range of restaurants offering international cuisine, and there are also many opportunities to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and boating. Finally, expats moving to Cairns should be aware that the city is home to a variety of wildlife, including some potentially dangerous species such as crocodiles and jellyfish. It's important to be aware of local advice and warnings regarding wildlife, particularly when swimming or hiking," wrote a member in Cairns.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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William Russell
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