It's a very touristy town which is both good and bad. Bad--I don't feel like I got to experience "Australia" here since it's hard to find a native with a place is crawling with backpackers. Good--the place is crawling with backpackers!--Awesome ones! This means that there are always like-minded people who are looking for adventure on a budget like me. People who are fun, open-minded, love to travel, laugh, and spend good time making lasting friendships. Everywhere I go, there are numerous languages I can listen to and I meet someone from a different country every 5 minutes...I love it! There are always deals on tours because companies must compete, and the area is set up to feed hungry, budget-minded folks like me. I haven't had to pay for a dinner all week! Meals just keep popping up for free all over the place!
Over the past week, I formed some wonderful friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. My time in Cairns would not have been nearly as memorable without them and I feel really fortunate to have met such wonderful friends--thanks Anja, Elin, Emma, Bert, and Gert--miss you all already! : )
In summary, I tend to stay more "local" and away from tourist spots but I'm quite happy with the way this one turned out so I may need to re-think the rest of my trip to include chances to meet other backpackers as well as locals. For now, I'm off to wash some clothes in my sink and try not to melt in the heat!