Aerial drone views of the Babinda boulders in Queensland, Australia

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Cairns (pronounced ‘cans’) has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a boggy swamp and rollicking goldfields port. As the number-one base for Far North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, today Cairns heaves under the weight of an ever-growing number of resorts, tour agencies, souvenir shops, backpacker bars and reef boats. This is a tourist town, and unashamedly so – luxury hotel development in 2018 and an increasingly busy cruise-ship port suggest it's only growing busier.


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(AUSTRALIA OUT) Katrina Goudkamp videos coral with the help of Aboriginal trainee Lwayne Boslem as The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority conducts a survey of the bleaching on the Reef from Gladstone to Cooktown, 6 April 2006. THE AGE Picture by SANDY SCHELTEMA (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Sustainable Travel

How Australia scuba tour guides are saving the Great Barrier Reef while tourists are away

Apr 29, 2020 • 4 min read

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