While the sea-change and tree-change decentralisation is reigning havoc on regional and coastal communities, it’s never been a more hostile time for big city types on holiday.

As regional towns buckle under a flow-on housing crisis that they have inherited from the capital city property pyramid scheme, the once harmless tropes of ‘locals only’ and ‘blow-ins’ are increasingly more serious.

However, there is one town that seems immune to this kind of anti-outsider rhetoric, because it is impossible to tell who is only holiday and who has lived there 50 years.

Cairns, Far North Queensland.

A recent report by the North Queensland Secession Society has found that it is almost impossible to tell the elderly tourists apart from locals of their same vintage.

Once a sleepy fishing village that served as a low-key port for Asian drug trafficking throughout the 1970s, the town emerged as an exciting Deep North metropolis throughout the back-end of the 20th century.

The Bjelke-Petersen State Government of the 1968-1987 saw unbridled growth and tourism in the region, this was helped by a mob of bribe-happy hotel developers and Japanese investors who broke every law they could to turn Cairns into it’s current self: The Irukandji Miami.

The new study shows that not only do elderly Cairns locals and elderly Cairns tourists look and dress the same, but they also do the same things – namely play golf, eat seafood and sunbake”

“This basically means that the locals are permanently on holidays” says lead researcher Professor Manning Chataway”

“And by elderly locals we mean the cashed up Southerners who followed Skase and Alan Bond up here in the 80s… Obviously we aren’t talking about the local mob or the off-grid fishermen”

“We’re talking about the silver-haired leathermen you see draped in linen on the main piers. Did they arrive here in the 80s or did they land on the 3pm from Melbourne? It’s impossible to tell. They are the same person. Some of the permanent residents even live in hotels too”

The report has also found that aside from the occasional trip to the Mirage Golf Course in Port Douglas, neither of these two archetypes have ever seen the Far North Queensland that exists outside of the Esplanade.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here