Cairns is situated in Far North Queensland. Its remote location makes it a destination for travelers seeking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Australia’s main tourist centres, Melbourne and Sydney. Cairns is a 26 hour, 2,421-kilometer car journey from Sydney. Its remote location is one of the major draws that lure travelers from all around the world.
The city is Australia’s Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Over 2.86 million tourists visit Cairns each year with many travelers heading straight for the Great Barrier Reef and the islands off the coast. The Great Barrier Reef is not the only reasons tourist descend on Cairns. The Queensland city has incredible natural surroundings and historical attractions well-worth exploring.
How to get in and out of Cairns
The city is home to a Cairns International Airport which welcomes travelers from around the globe. Tourists from
New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Philippines, and Papua New Guinea
can fly directly to and from Cairns. Flights from other countries will enter Australia in
Melbourne, Sydney, or Brisbane
. Tourists will switch plans
in one of the three hubs before taking a domestic flight into Cairns International Airport. Once arriving, travelers can use the luggage storage Cairns provides while sightseeing if they don’t plan to stay long in the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns International Airport:
Flying into Cairns International Airport
is the most convenient way to reach the city in Far North Queensland. Domestic
flights make it possible to reach the city as well as international flights.
Cairns’ only public transport is the bus service which can be used to get
around the city. Travelers can book a rental car at the airport.
Cairns’ location makes it difficult to reach. From Sydney, it is 2,421 kilometers away. Brisbane, which is home to an international airport, lies 1,700 kilometers away (making it a couple of days to take the trip).
Cairns Cruise Terminal:
Cairns Cruise Terminal has seen growth in recent years as more and more cruise ships dock in the port. The terminal is situated in the centre of
the city, making it possible to disembark a cruise ship and walk to one of Cairns’ top-rate hotels. Travelers will find baggage storage Cairns locations in and around the cruise terminal.
Spirit of Queensland Rail:
Cairn may be remote, but it is possible to reach the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef via railway. The Spirit of Queensland Rail runs between Brisbane and Cairns. It takes around 24 hours to make the journey between the cities. The trip is one of the best ways to see Queensland. The railway operates five times per week.
How to get around Cairns
Cairns doesn’t offer visitors many choices for getting around the city. There are just over 160,000 people living in Cairns. The small population compared to other cities in Australia means there is no need for a metro system or extensive public transport network. There are still options for getting around to reach the best parts of Cairns easily.
The Lake Street Bus Terminal is the main station where travelers can
hop on a bus. The terminal isn’t one of the better baggage storage Cairn
locations. Therefore, be sure to drop off your luggage at the hotel. The city’s
bus routes reach a variety of points including the northern beaches and the
suburbs of Cairns’ southern regions.
Cairns has 450 kilometres of paths available to cyclists and
walkers. These paths provide safe lanes to riders allowing them to be active
when on the move between Cairns’ top-rated attractions. There are also bike
lanes marked on the city’s streets. Be sure to use bagged storage Cairns’
hotels provide before cycling around the city.
Travellers can get around the city via rideshare companies such as
Uber and Lyft. Other rideshare companies such as Ola and Shebah also operate in
the city and ferry customers all over Cairns, including to and from the
What to do in Cairns
Cairns may be in a secluded, difficult to easily reach part of Australia, but it is a thriving tourist destination. The city’s main attractions centre around the great outdoors and its stunning natural scenery.
The Great Barrier Reef is the main attraction that brings travellers to Cairns. It is the largest coral reef in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is perfect for swimming, scuba diving, and exploring.
Kuranda Scenic Railway operates between Cairns and Kuranda, and passes through lush green forests. Built over a century ago, the railway has become a popular way for tourists to see the local area.
Cairns has a rich marine life that lives off its shores. Visitors can whale and dolphin watch throughout the year. According to research, 35% of the world’s living dolphins and whales live around the Great Barrier Reef, allowing travellers to see amazing sealife.
Green Island is a popular
tourist destination. Situated 27 kilometres off the shore, the coral cay is just 300 metres by 650 metres. Travelers will find white sand beaches, rainforests, and pristine waters.
Cairns has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. The region experiences four seasons but they are not as distinct as in other parts of the country.
Summer lasts between December and February. The rainy season occurs at this time of the year.
Autumn takes place between March and May. The weather remains warm as the rain slows down.
Winter is between June and August. Visitors can expect lower humidity and temperatures - this is a comfortable time to visit Cairns (bring some jumpers / warm clothes).
Spring runs from September to November. Spring is the best time to see the reef as the wet weather builds up.
Fun Fact about Cairns
Cairns is home to the Hercules Moth, the largest moth specie in the world. It has a wingspan of more than 27 centimetres. The moth is only found in the Cairns region. The largest Hercules Moth ever seen had a wingspan of 36 centimetres!