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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    13 things about living in tropical Cairns that southerners just don't get


    People from Tropical North Queensland scoff when it's suggested that daylight saving be introduced in Queensland to come into line with the rest of the eastern states.

    There's good reason for that - living so far north is very different to living in the south.

    There are good points, bad points - and very good points. Tropic Now has come up with 13 of them that southerns respond to with either a blank or quizzical stare.


    1. Fridge space is at a premium

    Medicines, cosmetics, sunscreen, perfumes - generally, they all have to be stored under 30 degrees Celcius. In the tropics, room temperature just ain't gonna cut it, so an entire shelf in your fridge is taken up by non-food items.

    Oh, then there's stuff like choccy biccies that also have to be refrigerated unless you love a melted mess.


    2. Still on that....

    The heat combined with a gazillion per cent humidity leads to make-up melting straight off your face.

    Superstay/colourstay/longwear/24-hour stuff is your summer saviour. 


    3. Warm rain

    The rain falls in summer, so it's warm....and usually very welcome.


    4. Parking dilemmas

    Do you find a spot in the shade further away and have to walk really far in the heat?

    Or do you park in full sun and allow the car to become an oven as a sacrifice for a quick walk to the shop's air con? And are the third degree burns from touching any metal surface inside the car really worth it?


    5. Sweating is your default state

    Have you just come from a gym workout? Nope…you just got out of a cold shower.


    6. Cold intolerance

    It's going to be 25 degrees!? You'd better grab a jumper.


    7. Creepy creatures

    Geckos, cane toads, ants and every conceivable type of both flying and crawling bug are part of your living space. You know they're there, they're part of everyday life, yet they still manage to creep you out sometimes.

    Then there are the bigger ones, like crocs. Yes, we live among them and we swim in their territory - but only when the water's clear!


    8. But you can eat green ants!

    A childhood rite of passage in the north, the bellies of these critters offer a sour, citrusy burst of flavour. 


    9. You go to the beach in winter

    Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are at your doorstep but the stingers are out in the warmer months so winter is beach weather.

    Summer is for visiting our amazing swimming holes and waterfalls.


    10. There's so much to do!

    Living in a tourist town means there are heaps of weekend advetntures and day trips to take advantage of.

    You can spend every weekend for a year exploring and only just scratch the surface.

    Port Douglas, Mission Beach, the Atherton Tablelands, Great Barrier Reef islands...and that's just in the immediate radius.


    11. You rock out in a WWII oil tank

    And it's awesome! What a music venue the Tanks Arts Centre offers - intimate, a bit of an industrial vibe, first-rate acoustics, in the middle of a rainforest setting. Performers love it, too.


    12. Pricey piece of paradise

    Apart from housing, the cost of living in Cairns is high - insurance premiums are through the roof and fuel prices are always a good 10 cents higher than in the capitals.

    Plus, there's no competition in the electricity market and even food costs more because of transport costs.


    But most of all...


    13. People are just happier

    Despite the high prices, the bugs and the heat, the tropical north's lifestyle and community trumps everything.

    Neighbours speak to neighbours, families bond, everything you need is a 20-minute drive away and children ride their bikes down to the beach to throw in a fishing line.

    Plus, there are really great cafes, restaurants and bars to socialise at - as well as a thriving arts scene.

    You just love living here!