Fly from Melbourne to Cairns

Want to escape the cold for a tropical getaway? Fly direct from Melbourne to Cairns with Jetstar.

Flight facts

Average direct flight time 3 hours and 20 minutes
Average distance by plane 2950km
Departure airport Melbourne Airport (MEL)
*Also indirect from Avalon Airport (AVV)
Arrival airport Cairns Airport (CNS)
Aircraft Airbus A321, Airbus A320-200

Need to know

Flight time from Melbourne to Cairns
The average flight time for direct flights from Melbourne to Cairns is 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Distance from Melbourne to Cairns by plane
The average distance by plane from Melbourne to Cairns is 2950 kilometres.

Time difference between Melbourne and Cairns
From March to September, there’s no time difference between Melbourne (AEST: UTC +10) and Cairns (AEST: UTC +10). During Daylight Savings (October – April), Melbourne is 1 hour ahead.

Number of airports in Cairns
There’s one airport: Cairns Airport opens in new window (CNS).

Distance from Cairns airport to the city centre
The airport is 6 kilometres from Cairns city centre.

Transport from Cairns airport to the city centre
Transport options are car hire, taxi, limousine, rideshare and airport shuttle bus.

Green turtle swimming in blue ocean, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Green turtle, Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns travel tips

Where should I take the kids?
There are heaps of free things for kids to do in Cairns, especially if you head to the Esplanade for waterside activities.

Is it worth flying to Cairns for a long weekend?
Absolutely! It’s only a few hours away. Check out our tips on how to spend a long weekend in Tropical North Queensland.

Should I stay in Cairns or Port Douglas?
They’re both great, with a slightly different flavour. It depends on your style. Try these things to do in Cairns and Port Douglas for size.

Is Cairns a foodie destination?
If you love super-fresh seafood, tropical produce and cult ramen, you’ll love it. Make sure you check out the Port Douglas food scene too.

What are the best things to do in the Daintree?
Hike, helicopter, boat or zipline through the ancient rainforest – you really can choose your own adventure in the Daintree.

Tropical rainforest boardwalk in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Tropical rainforest boardwalk, Cairns.

How much is a...

Cappuccino AUD $3.50–4
A ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway AUD $27.50–82
Lunch and drinks at a mid-range restaurant AUD $30–50
Room at a 3-star hotel AUD $70–150
Taxi from the airport About AUD $30

Things to do in Cairns

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef region are exciting and exotic, offering visitors the chance to explore two World Heritage sites. Snorkel or dive the waters of the Great Barrier Reef to see spectacular corals and marine life. Then explore Daintree National Park – the world’s oldest living tropical rainforest.

Find the best things to do and places to see in Cairns

Weather and 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.