Our Region

The Tropical North

The ‘Tropical North’ also encompassing the Torres Strait Islands, experiences a summer monsoon (wet season) from November to April, followed by a lower rainfall winter and early summer dry season from May to October. It is home to two World Heritage listed areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest and is the only region to have an international border.

Region Details

  • Total area of 273,157.4 square kilometres covering 15.8% of Queensland’s land mass
  • Population of 286,799 people with 54% living in the Cairns urban area, 35% in the Douglas/Cassowary Coast and Tablelands area and only 11% in the Gulf, Cape and Torres area. The population is expected to grow to over 467,000 by the year 2050.
  • More than 60 Traditional Owner Groups and one of the highest indigenous populations at about 14%, or 57,929 people.


  • Labour Force: 148,000 / Unemployment: 8.5% 
  • Key Industries: tourism, agriculture, mining, health, education, marine, aviation and construction. 
  • Current Gross Regional Product (GRP) is estimated at $15.4 billion (Source: National Institute of Economic and Industry Research 2016). 
  • 23,900 businesses / 1,138 medium size companies / 165 large size companies