When to fly:
July to October is high season. Flight prices are not at their cheapest but crowds still fly in from all over Australia to attend ‘the Cairns Show’, a three day event of fun-packed entertainment which has grown to almost 80,000 visitors a year, making it the biggest community event in Cairns. Originating from themes such as agricultural, pastoral and mining, the show now features a variety of other entertainment such as extreme sports, fireworks, wood chopping and the Queensland pole climbing competition. More than 200 local industries travel to promote their products and services attracting large international and national business to the show.
The "wet season" is low season. It runs from November to April when there are torrential rains and humidity levels are high. If you're willing to brave the rains it's a good time to book cheap flights to Cairns and take up the discounts offered by tour operators, hotels and apartments. Divers will experience the best underwater visibility during the "wet" months, more than 50 metres sometimes. Stinger (Box jellyfish) Season is November-May and bathers should ensure that they follow the lifeguards' advice about swimming within enclosures and between lifeguard flags.
May through to June are the shoulder months throughout Cairns, however there are still events occurring to be enjoyed by all. Cairns festival made its grand entrance into the regions event calendar through the opening on a brand new jetty on Green Island in 1961. Attendees can soak up a three-week long packed itinerary full of enjoyable entertainment for all such as food and wine exhibitions, live music, quest performances and multicultural and community celebrations that displays the region’s diverse talent. Although the festival takes place during the shoulder season, flights and accommodation prices to Cairns may be subject to increase.
Cairns is perhaps Australia's most unabashed tourist-friendly city. Every year, more than two million tourists book cheap airfares to Cairns for its near-perfect climate and its proximity to the jaw-droppingly awesome attractions of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Cairns is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Areas meet.
Cairns city is a great base and has plenty to occupy tourists while they're between reef or rainforest trips. There's a wonderful Esplanade that's comprises a swimming lagoon that's open between 6am and 10pm daily, an amphitheatre, picnic and barbecue spots, walking trails, a children's playground called Muddy's and shops, restaurants and markets both day and night. Just 4km from the centre of the city are the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Lush and very, very green, these 38km of gardens are made up of the Flecker Gardens and Centenary Lakes, where a boardwalk will wind you through mangroves and tropical rainforest. Behind the gardens, Mt Whitfield Conservation Park is more than 300 hectares of forested mountain range.