The gateway to Queensland's tropical north

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.

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.

Delve deep

Dive, snorkel, take a personal submarine or cruise in a glass-bottomed boat. Whatever your preferred discovery mode, you’ll soon see why the spectacular Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Seaplane joyrides, diving with minke whales, parasailing off remote island beaches, viewing baby turtles make their first dash into the Coral Sea – you’ll find adventure at every turn.
Delve deep
Journey into the past

Journey into the past

Tropical North Queensland is home to Australia’s ancient evergreen rainforests steeped in Indigenous heritage and mystery. The cascading waterfalls and giant Kauri pines are part of the surroundings known as “home” to one-quarter of the country’s frog population, one-third of mammals and freshwater fish and nearly half of the nation’s birdlife.

The sky’s the limit

Venture deep into the forest onboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway opens in new window. A world first in environmental tourism, the cable-operated gondolas will have you suspended for either a 90-minute (one way) or 2.5-hour (return trip) tour above Australia’s World Heritage-listed rainforest. Better still, the Skyrail can be combined with other attractions (including the Kuranda Scenic Railway) for the ultimate half- or full-day regional tour.
The sky’s the limit

Airport information

Cairns Airport opens in new window (CNS)

Distance to city centre 7 km

Taxi A taxi will cost around AUD $20 (plus a AUD $4.40 airport surcharge), and take about 10 minutes to reach the city centre.

Shuttle The Sun Palm opens in new window shuttle bus meets all flights, and costs AUD $15 to Cairns, from AUD $27 to the northern beaches and Port Douglas (the trip to Port Douglas takes around 1.5 hours). Book ahead.

Bus Sun Palm also run a regular shuttle bus from the airport to the Sheridan Street bus station to link up with the local Translink bus services; the fare is AUD $4.

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.

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.

Getting around

The main taxi rank is located on Lake Street in the city centre. Local Translink opens in new window buses cover the suburbs, northern beaches and Palm Cove, with additional services to the smaller towns of Atherton Tablelands, Cooktown, Kuranda, Mission Beach and Port Douglas.

Any questions?

^Things you need to know:

Flight & Hotel Package

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