Far North Queensland

This vast and economically diverse region includes the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Far North Queensland draws millions of domestic and international tourists each year.


287,000 (2017) – expected to increase to 362,000 by 2036.


4.7% unemployment rate based on Cairns, Local Government Area (2019)


  • largest region, covering about 20% of Queensland
  • direct international air and sea access
  • two university campuses
  • proximity to booming Asian markets
  • home to two World Heritage listed areas; Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Area
  • abundant fertile agricultural land, mineral wealth and natural resources
  • established local supply chains
  • innovative culture
  • resilient and diverse economy

Main industries

  • agriculture, horticulture and livestock
  • aviation
  • construction
  • defence
  • education
  • health and research
  • manufacturing / engineering
    • transport equipment manufacturing
    • food product
    • primary metal and metal production
    • fabricated metal production
    • machinery and equipment
    • manufacturing hub - marine, aviation and food manufacturing incubator
  • marine
  • tourism

Key projects

  • Cairns Convention Centre Expansion
  • Trinity Wharf Cairns
  • Smithfield Bypass
  • Bruce Highway Southern Access Corridor stage 3 and 4

Find out more in the FNQ Major Projects Pipeline booklet (PDF, 9.9MB).

Last updated: 24 Mar 2021