Central Cairns Shopping

Central Cairns Guide 2024

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Central Cairns

Central Cairns includes the CBD and the nearby inner-city suburbs of Portsmith, Bungalow and Parramatta Park.

The population of the area is around 15,000 people. Homes in these inner-city suburbs range from old Queenslanders and masonry block houses to modern unit blocks.

central cairns houses

Central Cairns Map

The below map shows the main streets in the central area of the city.

central cairns map

Central Swamp

Cairns Central Swamp has significant biodiversity value and plays an important role in reducing the risk and impact of flooding in the inner-city suburbs.

A map shows the current size of the swamp. Cairns City Council introduced planning instruments stopping any further reduction of the swamp area.

Cairns central swamp
Cairns Central Swamp

Central Cairns Apartments

50 years ago the Central Cairns built environment, consisted mainly of Queenslanders, cottages and commercial properties. However, today it is increasingly modern apartments that dominate the landscape. 

Central Cairns Apartments
Central Cairns Apartments

Central Cairns Shops

There is a vast array of shops in the area, from the strips down Mulgrave Road and Sheridan Street to the shops in the CBD.

However, the biggest collection of retail stores in one location is the Cairns Central Shopping Centre. Indeed this is Cairns’ biggest shopping centre. Initially opened in late 1997 it is the second multi-story shopping centre built in North Queensland.

Central Cairns Shopping Centre

The largest shopping centre in the area is appropriately called “Cairns Central”. It is the largest shopping centre in Far North Queensland and has been servicing the local region since 1997.  In 2021 the centre completed a $60 million redevelopment. 

The centre has a CBD location within walking distance of major tourist hot spots, such as the Esplanade Tourist Area, Cruise Ship Terminal as well major hotel chains.  This shopping centre is a must visit destination for domestic and international tourists visiting the region.

The centre is fully enclosed and offers an extensive range of stores and services. It has over 170 stores together with Myer, Kmart, Coles, Woolworths and Vmax screens at Event Cinemas.

Central Cairns Parks

This area contains numerous beautiful parks and green spaces. These range from high profile parks in the CBD such as Fogarty Park, Munro Martin Park and the Esplanade, right through to standard suburban parks in neighbouring suburbs.

While it is not a park as such Cairns Showgrounds is an important green recreational space. It is located in Parramatta Park.

Cairns Waterfront

Further, the Cairns Waterfront including the Esplanade and the Port are high profile and much loved parts of the city. Consequently, this area is popular with locals and tourists alike, who can be seen frequenting the local cafes and restaurants.


The entire area is located within Division 5 of Cairns Regional Council. In addition, the area is in the state electorate of Cairns. So the local MP is Michael Healy and the Commonwealth MP is Warren Entsch.

William McCormack Place
William McCormack Place

Central Cairns Restaurants

There are more good restaurants in Cairns than we can mention. The Urban List has done a review that should prove helpful when you are deciding where to dine out in Cairns.

CBD Restaurants
CBD Restaurants

Central Cairns and Climate Change

The area is low-lying land. Therefore, it has always been subject to the threat of storm surge and tidal inundation. However, as a result of climate change some levels of sea level rise is now certain. So climate scientists say these changes are now ‘baked into’ future climate predictions.

So this means much of the inner-city will face increased flooding now and in the future. Consequently Cairns flooding is a big issue for the area.

Thank you for reading about Central Cairns.

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