|Population||153,951 (2019) (14th)|
|• Density||605.39/km2 (1,567.96/sq mi)|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|Area||254.3 km2 (98.2 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10:00)|
The city was founded in 1875 and named after Sir William Wellington Cairns, the Governor of Queensland from 1875 to 1877. It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but declined when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland.