Twin Cairns Island



Twin Cairns Island


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Twin Cairns Island is a small, uninhabited island in the Saint Lawrence Seaway, located about 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of Greenfield Park, Quebec. The island is connected to the mainland by a single causeway at its eastern end. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1982. The island is also known for its limestone cliffs, which are used for rock climbing and Kayaking.

Twin Cairns Island


The first inhabitants of Twin Cairns Island were the Mi’kmaq, who called it “Ka-gou-we”. The island was long occupied by the Basque fishermen and their families from Guernsey. These are probably the same people who established winter quarters on nearby Muchalatetchni in 1690.

By 1784, a group of 18 families had settled there permanently; they were joined by French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France during the late 18th century. In 1865 John Smith led an expedition to explore part of central Canada which included a stay on Twin Cairns Island.

St John’s Church was first built in 1841 to serve the “Twin Cairns Parish”, part of Crown Township, which included two other small islands and mainland residents’ dwellings along Gulf Drive between Greenfield Park and Pointe-au-Père.

A chapel had been constructed in 1895 at Little Harbour and later made over into a schoolhouse, then a town hall until being abandoned around 1920; it burned down after islanders could no longer afford its upkeep. 

In 1922 Quebec Provincial Police Constable Joseph Morissette found an ideal place to build and permanently reside on Twin Cairns, where he raised a large family. As more families moved in the island began to resemble an elderly village; of 12 children, six still lived there in 1982.

Imports were largely restricted by shipping seasonality: sailing dominated each spring and fall when ships gathered inside Wellesley Bay at Cap-aux-Meules or Saint John Harbour between June 1 and October 31 for loading iron ore onto ocean liners bound for England via Halifax or round trip over ice packs through St. Lawrence Seaway to Sorel Canal locks then resumed wintering off Labrador for the next route tanker period.


Twin Cairns’ climate is a tropical, humid climate (Köppen: Aw). Mean annual rainfall averages about , with the greater part during winter. Temperatures usually range from around 30 to roughly 80 degrees Celsius between January and May. Climate statistics for Twin Cairsn are as follows: mean monthly temperatures rising till 32-34⁰C in July; The driest month of the year has an average value of 2526 mm, which makes it 4 times more rain than usual that month .


Twin Cairns Wildlife

The unpredictable weather and scarce sunshine provides a challenge for wildlife where many residents have trouble growing their own food, so Twin Cairns maintains an active bird population. Bird species that reside there include: American Goldfinch (smaller than the common North America mount of this variety), Rock Dove, Blue Jay, Common Raven Teris decipiens (also known as Red-whitetailed Hawk).

Gray Jays are documented in the spring through early summer mating season from late March to May; however it is not uncommon to find them throughout all four seasons . 

During Spring these birds breed, raising chicks and performing most of the normal activities. Their mating behavior is one of their defining features around a colony where they mostly make nests onto juniper branches They feepiggin (gape bill) during courtship and are made to gap very wide but just as easily close back up again when threatened or alarmed These birds begin in late April-early May with pairs pairing off on all available territory; which includes every tree by these species .


The Cairns were originally occupied by the Aranda Aboriginal people who used these rock shelters for shelter, food storage and ceremonies. The paintings on the ceilings of many of Twin Cairsns’ caves testify to this long history.

The early European explorers who first encountered these dwellings mistook them for some type of natural formation because they could not find an entrance. They nicknamed it “Cairns” which is derived from the Scottish Gaelic word Ceanns meaning head or summit.


The Twin Cairns region is located in the Queensland electorate of Kennedy. These rocks are frequently visited by tour groups for tourism. The rate of visitation (over 10,000 visitors per year) is over 6 times the number that the town’s residents use. With problems with crowding or erosion in some areas and damage to trees many have called on Tour operator Koldivaag Tourism & Events Pty Ltd to stop overcrowding visiting their caves due to its negative impacts on local animals .

Government services

Twin Cairns Regional Council provides a wide range of local government services including road infrastructure, libraries, recreation and cultural facilities, water supplies and sanitation. The Twin Cairns Post Office closed on 31 January 2009. Twin Cairns is located on the Gulf of Carpentaria Highway, just a few kilometers in from the turn off into Uluru / Kata Tiemanga.


Twin Cairns island Tourism

The Twin Cairns region is a popular tourist destination with over 10,000 visitors per year. Many locals have called on the tour operator Koldivaag Tourism & Events Pty Ltd to stop overcrowding visiting their caves due to its negative impacts on local animals.


Twin Cairns Island is a paradise for nature lovers, hikers, and adventurers. Nestled in the Torres Strait, between the towns of Cairns and Innisfail, the island offers visitors an unspoiled wilderness experience. With its dense rainforest and crystal-clear lakes, Twin Cairns Island is a photographer’s paradise. With freshwater streams and lagoons, the island is also home to many wildlife species. If you’re looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Twin Cairns Island is the perfect spot for you.


What Are the Hours of Operation for Twin Cairns Regional Council Services?

Most council services operate from 8:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Some services may be available after hours or on weekends depending on the need. For further information please consult our website at or contact the local council office nearest you (listed below).

Which Library Service is Currently Available in Twin Cairs?

TwinCairns Regional Library has closed and its resources have been transferred across all libraries in Region Queensland as part of the Regional Library Network Strategy.

Is Twin Cairns Island Accessible by Wheelchair?

The island is partially accessible by wheelchair. Please note that all trails and major roads are unpaved and can be quite challenging for a wheelchair user, so please take this into account when planning your trip.

What is the Power Supply Like on Twin Cairns Island?

Residents have access to electricity through a generator. This is usually available from 7am until midnight, but can be switched off for periods of peak demand (such as during daylight saving). Visitors should bear in mind that there may be occasional blackouts due to weather conditions.

Can I Bring My Pet?

It is advised that you do not bring your pet to Twin Cairns Island as it is not a suitable environment for animals.

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