Cairns, the international gateway to tropical Far North Queensland, is a fantastic choice for international students. Cairns has a vibrant and exciting energy with a moderate population of about 150,000, making it easy for students to navigate and get around. The city boasts great weather, a low cost of living, friendly locals and plenty of seasonal job opportunities.
Cairns is located in the Wet Tropics region; it is hot and humid during summer, and mild and dry during winter. The average annual temperatures are a minimum of 17°C and a maximum of 33°C. The wet season generally occurs between January and March, with an average rainfall of 1992mm over an average of 154 days of the year. The dry season runs from April to December, averaging warm temperatures, sunny days, and fantastic blue skies.
Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with a long history of immigration. Cairns stands as a cultural hub; it is home to more than 150,000 people from all corners of the world. People in Cairns are generally very cheerful, positive, and laidback; the city has a very relaxed and easy-going culture. Many people in Cairns are on holiday, or work within the tourism industry, giving the city a very holiday-like feel.
Cairns is an incredibly affordable place to live in and study in, with average weekly costs ranging from as low as $300 a week.
Cairns Airport has daily flights to and from most key international and Australian destinations, including direct flights to and from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Airlines include: Qantas, Virgin Blue, JetStar, Continental Airlines, Cathay Pacific and JAL. Taxis and shuttle bus services are available to and from the City Centre and the airport (approximately 7km).
The Cairns Railway Station is right in the centre of town, just a few minutes’ walk from the college. It connects Cairns to Queensland’s capital, Brisbane (1729 km to the south) and beyond on modern trains with both sleeper and seat options.
Sunbus is the transport partner of Translink, operating regional bus routes across the Cairns region. Their services connect people from Palm Cove to Gordonvale with central Cairns, universities and key shopping centres. If you wish to travel further afield and explore the Far North region, other bus services such as Greyhound Australia and Pioneer will get you there.
Excellent sealed highways link Cairns with the national road network. Brisbane is a 22-hour drive from Cairns. Most of the big car rental networks in Australia allow one-way car hire options.
Even though Cairns is so compact and easy to walk around it also of course offers all the transport methods expected of a modern city.
A local bus service links the centre of Cairns to the suburbs and the main city bus stop is right outside the college.
Taxis are available 24 hours a day to take you on short journeys. There is a taxi rank just outside the college.
Car rentals are another option if you have a driving license and want the independence of self- drive in, out, and around Cairns.
Bicycle hire is great for those students who like to make their own way around the city. Cairns is mostly flat and has an easy city layout with wide pedestrian and bicycle pathways. Many students advertise their bicycles for sale when they leave so you can usually pick up a cheap one if you want easy transport. Make sure you wear your helmet!
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