Cairns Travel Information

On this page you have all the Cairns travel information you need.

Cairns is the only real city in the Cape York area

It is one of Australia's smallest cities, but the second largest (after Townsville) in north Queensland.

It is Australia's most tropical city, located in the only corner of Australia where there are tropical rainforests.

The good thing about it is that it is surrounded by beautiful green rainforest-covered mountains, which give the city a very special tropical look.

The not-so-good thing is that rainforests mean just that - it rains a fair bit in this part of Australia.

cairns pier

cairns vacation

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cairns central
But the rains are not that bad when the climate is hot. And there are many sunny days in Cairns too.

Cairns is a city that sees a lot of travellers.

The city itself may not have a lot of museums, but it's a very enjoyable, colourful city, perfectly fine without them.

And more than anything - there are many attractions outside it.

Kuranda, Daintree Rainforests and Port Douglas are just a day trip away (even though they are worth more time than that).

Cairns (along with Port Douglas) is the best place in Australia to take a trip to the world famous Great Barrier Reef.

You are likely to come to Cairns on your way to Cape York whether you fly here from overseas or drive from elsewhere in Australia.

It is a good place to stock up your supplies and whatever may be missing from your camping gear, before you head to the Cape.

It may be a good idea to stay for a bit and enjoy some great shopping, restaurants and accommodation - because in Cape York, you have a lot of bush camping ahead.

cairns lagoon

Things to Do in Cairns

cairns attractions

Cairns Attractions
Some touristic things to see are Cairns Museum, Cairns Regional Gallery, The Reef Casino and Wildlife Dome, Tanks Art Centre, Botanical Gardens, and Cairns Tropical Zoo and Cairns Night Zoo.

cairns adventures

Cairns Adventures
Cairns is known as Australia's adventure capital and there are a fair few activities such as skydiving, white water rafting and parasailing; and Cairns is the only place to do bungee jumping in Australia!

cairns activities

Other Activities
Other great Cairns activities are sailing, snorkelling and scuba diving. You can also go horse riding, join a
fishing trip or a bike tour, or take a scenic helicopter flight or go hot air ballooning.

things to do in cairns

Other Things to Do
But there are also some FREE things to do in Cairns! There is some great fishing, swimming that is safe from crocodiles, and there are some lovely rainforest walking tracks and scenic drives.

cairns day trips

Day Trips

There are some great day trips to do from Cairns.  You can take day trips to Kuranda, Port Douglas, Mossman and Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef, Atherton Tablelands and Cairns Outback.

cairns tours

An easy way of doing it is on an organised tour where you are picked up from and delivered to your accommodation and the whole day is organised for you. There are all kinds of different tours available.

cairns marina

Accommodation, Getting Here and Getting Around

cairns accomodation


and There is a lot of different accommodation from backpacker hostels to caravan parks, B&B guesthouses, resorts and motels to five star hotelsholiday apartments. And it's not all expensive.

cairns flights

Cheap Flights to Cairns
Cairns has got an international airport so from many destinations you can take direct flights. But many flights do stop in Sydney, Brisbane, or Darwin before you get here.

cairns transport

In the large, southern cities public transport is the way to get around - parking is expensive and hard to find. In Cairns, the only public transport is buses, while getting around by a car is easy.

cairns vacation rentals

Cairns Vacation Rentals
There are many places to rent different vehicles from cars, utes, 4WDs, and mini buses, to campervans and caravans - particularly handy if you want to do your own trips outside the town.

cairns esplanade walk

Practical Information

cairns shopping

Cairns shopping is great. The central streets are packed with shops that even stay open night time. There are also a few good markets; and as you would expect some big shopping centres.

cairns restaurants

Cairns has got some excellent restaurants and you can eat anything from local seafood to beef, crocodile, kangaroo and emu. And of course, almost any international dish that you can imagine.

events cairns

There are many different events and festivals in this city. Two most known ones are Cairns Show in July and Cairns Festival in September. 

cairns street entertainment

Like any city, Cairns has quite a lot of entertainment - from street musicians and acrobats to cinemas and theatres, as well as live music in the pubs, and some lively nightlife.

cairns rsl

When to Go

cairns weather

Cairns has got a beautiful tropical climate with a Dry Season with sunny days and temperatures in 20s (Celcius), and a Wet Season with lots of rain and temperatures in 30s. It's never too cold :-)

cairns information

Cairns Information Centres
Here is where you can find more information about things to see and do in Cairns. There are many visitor centres in the city centre and all have helpful staff to answer your questions.

cairns wildlife

Maps and Photos

cairns photos

Cairns Photos
Cairns is also a very photogenic city with lots of contrasting colours and good lights, often with dramatic, dark storm clouds in the background. Have a look at some photos.

cairns map

Below is a great Cairns map, and a Cairns Street Directory. It is handy to have one with you instead of running around the city trying to find one. There are many different maps available but there is nothing to beat HEMA.

cairns backstreet

Cairns Car Rental

budget rentals

thrifty car rentals cairns

crown rentals cairns

all one car rentals cairns

a1 car rentals cairns

travel car rental cairns

Below you have the summary of Cairns car rental.

It does not get you to Cape York, but if you want a cheaper way than a 4WD to get around in Cairns, this is it.

There are buses, and that's the only other option.

So what choices do you have?

There are a fair few Cairns car rental companies, and since the scene changes constantly, don't expect me to be able to cover them all at all times.

Further down the page is a search box where you can find the current ones.

Here is a bit of a description:

Budget, Avis, Britz and Thrifty are huge companies covering the whole Australia.

Hertz and Europecar are world-wide as you probably know.

Sargent is also found in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

1300 Meteor is a north Queensland one, also found in Townsville and Mackay.

And then you have the local ones - Cruising Car Rentals, Sugarland Rentals, A1 Car Rentals, Crown Rentals, Travel Car Rental, All One Car Rental and the Cairns Older Car Rental - scattered around the town.

One thing you probably want to consider, apart from the price, is the location of the rental company.

The larger Cairns car rental companies are usually at the airport, which makes the pickup really handy if you are flying to Cairns.

The smaller ones are mostly along Sheridan Street (which is the main road from the airport to the city centre), as well as in central Cairns.

cairns hop on hop off sightseeing bus

Cairns Information

cairns travel information

cairns visitor information

cairns info

cairns tourist information

If you have a tourism related question about Cairns, below are some of the many tourist information centres that you find in Cairns.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland
51 Esplanade, Cairns
1800 093 300

Cairns Tourist Information Centre
cnr Aplin street and Esplanade street, Cairns
(07) 4031 1751

Reef Charter
100 Abbott Street, Cairns
(07) 4051 5777

Cairns Tour Advice & Booking Centre
103 The Esplanade, Cairns
1800 833 304

A1 Tourist Information Centre
100 Abbott Street, Cairns
(07) 4041 5008

Trek North Safaris
5 / 1 Shields Street, Cairns
(07) 4041 7125

Celtic Travel
20 Lake Street, Cairns
(07) 4051 6220

Cairns Travel Maps

cairns map

Cairns Map by HEMA

If you want to get your own map, here is my favourite one.

I would never recommend anything but top quality things on my website.

It has a street map as well as the areas around Cairns, which is great because there are a lot of things to do just outside the city.

cairns region map

Cairns Street Directory

If you want even more, here is HEMA atlas and street map covering Cairns and the region.

Both the map and the atlas are perfectly detailed; and if you buy any of them, they will be sent to you by Amazon and arrive only within a few days.

Cairns Photos

cairns queensland

   cairns esplanade  cairns australia

cairns marina

cairns casino

cairns war memorial cairns rsl

cairns restaurant

cairns big things

cairns at night

cairns christmas


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Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.

Plan and Bring to the Trip... the full Destination Cape York Travel Guide

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This complete 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my vehicle-recovery-guy partner). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)

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