The gateway to Queensland's tropical north
Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef region are exciting and exotic, offering visitors the chance to explore not one but two World Heritage-listed areas. Snorkel or dive in to the waters of The Great Barrier Reef to take in the astounding sight of the corals and marine life. Then explore Daintree National Park – the world’s oldest living tropical rainforest. Brave a bungee tower jump in cosmopolitan Cairns or relax in the coastal townships of Mission Beach, Palm Cove or Port Douglas. While you’re at it, head over to the Tropical Tablelands, venture across the Savannah Way or learn about the history and traditions of the area’s original inhabitants at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. You can also trek to the tip of Australia’s northernmost point, the Cape York Peninsula.
Book a flight to Cairns
When to go
Cairns is best described as having two seasons: wet and dry. The wet or “green” summer season begins in December and runs through to February or March. The cool, dry winter season arrives in April or May and generally lasts until September. October and November, which are regarded as “in-between months”, are the peak period for diving as the conditions are typically ideal.
Water temperatures on the reef range from 22°C (winter) to 29°C (summer) so there’s really no bad time to go. The same holds true for the rainforest, which is never more lovely than when it’s in full bloom. July and August offer the chance to see Minke and Humpback whales as they migrate up the coast and November marks the annual coral spawning, a spectacular sight.
Flying with Jetstar
Cairns is one of Jetstar’s major hubs, with many flights a day linking travellers to other Australian cities, as well as to New Zealand, Hawaii, Japan and many destinations in South-East Asia.
Find cheap flights to Cairns
The main taxi rank is located on Lake Street in the city centre. Call 131 008 or visit www.blackandwhitetaxis.com.au. Sunbus is a cheap and reliable mode of transportation. It travels to the suburbs, northern beaches and Palm Cove, with additional services to the smaller towns of Atherton Tablelands, Cooktown, Kuranda, Mission Beach and Port Douglas.
Travel time 10 minutes
Taxi Approx A$25
Sun Palm Shuttle Meets all flights. Adults A$16 to Cairns; from A$27 to Nth Beaches, on to Port Douglas