Take off to Cairns with Flight Centre
Perfect for a sunny weekend getaway or an extended family break over the school holidays, Cairns is easily accessible from Australia's capital cities and many regional centres with flights on Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia. If you're keen to put your feet up and enjoy the laidback ambience, start the experience straight away by upgrading your flights to Cairns to First or Business class.
Cairns International Airport has direct links with Australian capitals and several regional cities, as well as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Denpasar and New Zealand. Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar and Tigerair all offer domestic services depending on day and place of origin.
The airport is 7 kilometres from the CBD with connections by taxi or Sun Palm shuttle buses, which serve key accommodation and transit points in Cairns, the northern beaches, Palm Cove and Port Douglas. Expect to pay $15 one-way to the CBD, $18 to Palm Cove and $33 to Port Douglas. You can book online. Expect to pay around $25 to the CBD in a taxi. Alternatively, Cairns Airport is a hub for major car rental companies
Average flight time: Three hours, 10 minutes from Sydney and about four hours, 30 minutes from Perth.
Daily flights from: Alice Springs, Brisbane, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville.
Major airlines: Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tigerair.
Cruise into Cairns
As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a popular port city. Book a cruise of the Queensland coast, a trip out to the reef or a short journey out to nearby Dunk, Fitzroy or Green Islands to experience Cairns on the Coral Sea.
Consider a Cairns holiday package
It's easy to book your Cairns escape with Flight Centre. Check out our great value holiday packages with something for everyone, whether you're thinking of a beach honeymoon, a great Australian adventure to the Daintree or a quiet break to the surrounding hinterland.
Tour the tropics in Cairns
For a small city, Cairns offers a lot to see and do on your holiday in the far north. Book a tour of the reef or the rainforest, get your heart pumping with a range of adventure activities or enjoy a scenic rail journey through the winding mountains.
See more with a hire car
One of the best ways to get around Cairns is by hiring a car – you won't have any trouble navigating around the city. Follow the signs to the quietly charming Tablelands, resort town Port Douglas or wild and wonderful Cape Tribulation.
More destinations to discover
With Cairns as your base, nature’s gifts abound in every direction. The drive north to Port Douglas – where another large marina offers a second gateway to the reef – is one of the country’s most scenic with the road so close to the sea in some parts you can feel the spray through the car window.
If Cairns is the gateway the Great Barrier Reef, then Port Douglas can rightly claim to be the gateway to Cape Tribulation, the spectacular Mossman Gorge, and some of the best northern reef dive and snorkelling sites including the outer reef hot spots Agincourt, Opal, St Crispin, Ribbon and Tongue. Accommodation and dining ranges from budget to five-star. There are lots of self-contained apartments here.
Focus of the Cassowary Coast, the economy of Innisfail is based largely on sugar and banana plantations, but plenty of support comes from the popular visitor destination of Mission Beach. Mid-way between Townsville and Cairns for those on a North Queensland road trip, the Mission Beach settlement of four villages linked by a 14-kilometre stretch of beach offers great restaurants, a range of accommodation, and access to beautiful Dunk Island.
The Atherton Tablelands have been labelled – quite rightly – the food bowl of Far North Queensland. Strike out from Atherton to explore some of Australia’s most productive agricultural land, including exotics such as rare tropical fruit and north Queensland coffee. Make sure you stop off at historic Mareeba, also a foodie lover’s highlight where you can visit tropical fruit farms, coffee plantations and ice-cream shops.