Cairns celebrated the arrival of the first flight from Sydney with a water cannon salute and tropical carnival themed welcome inside the terminal to greet passengers.
More than 300 visitors from NSW arrived from Sydney on Jetstar and Qantas flights within the first hour of Queensland opening its borders.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen greeted guests alongside members of the tourism and business industry as they arrived at the terminal.
“Our small population base and wide-open spaces make the Cairns region a highly desirable destination for people or groups wanting to leave the crowds of the cities behind,” he said.
“Cairns and Great Barrier Reef is where you can swim with turtles, see cassowaries in the world’s oldest rainforest and dine on extraordinary regional produce in beautiful tropical resorts.”
A Virgin plane bound for Cairns also officially opened Brisbane Airport’s new $1.1 billion runway.
The ribbon was officially cut by Governor Paul de Jersey on the decade-long project that is set to match Brisbane airport’s capacity with major hubs like Singapore’s Changi.