Cheap Flights to Cairns

Cairns overview

Cheap Flights to Cairns

When is the best time to fly to Cairns?

Peak season

The city is one of Australia’s most visited destinations between July and October so you’ll need to be on the ball to secure your cheap flights to Cairns. The number one drawcard that has tourists clamouring for flight tickets to Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef, closely followed by Daintree Rainforest. Cairns city itself has plenty of diversions between reef or rainforest, with an energetic nightlife, exotic flora and fauna and numerous outdoor activities. The Cairns Show in July attracts 80,000 visitors and is the biggest community event in the city so avoid this month if you want a quieter visit.

Off Season

November to March is the wet season, which brings torrential rains and high humidity, and a good chance of cyclones. Travellers come to Cairns during the off-season for diving specials and accommodation discounts. If you're willing to brave the rains it's also a good time to book cheap flights to Cairns.

When is the best time to book a flight to Cairns?

August is the optimum time to visit Cairns as this is when the temps are comfortable in the mid-20Cs and there is less humidity and rainfall. It is advised to book flight tickets as early as possible if visiting in August to avoid disappointment. In general, April to May is the best time to dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. June and July are not as suitable for swimming, but still warm enough to enjoy other attractions, and the months you’re likely to get the cheapest flights to Cairns. The right side of the plane is recommended as the best side for views of the Great Barrier Reef as you’re flying north.

How long is the flight to Cairns?

Flights from Sydney to Cairns – 3 hrs 7 mins
Flights from Melbourne to Cairns - 3 hrs 19 mins
Flights from Brisbane to Cairns – 2 hrs 20 mins
Flights from Adelaide to Cairns – 2 hrs 55 mins
Flights from Perth to Cairns – 4 hrs 5 mins

Which airlines operate flights to Cairns?

All major Australian cities have direct flights to Cairns Airport which services a total of 30 domestic and 18 international destinations. Sydney to Cairns is the most competitive route with approximately 10 direct flights per day to far North Queensland. Travellers should look for cheap flights to Cairns with Jetstar, Tiger Airways, Virgin Australia and Qantas.

How to get from the airport to the city centre?

Cairns Airport (CNS) is located 7kms north of central Cairns. The cheapest way to reach the city after your flight has landed is to take the courtesy hotel shuttle if your accommodation offers it. If not, then the airport shuttle bus connects with certain hotels and the city centre, as well as other destinations in the region. For between $15 and $20 you can catch a taxi to the CBD or rent a car if you want an independent means of travel.

Cairns insider information

  • Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Australia's Tropical Rainforests. If you are looking to book a flight you must check out our selection of 20 things to do in Cairns.
  • Whether you are on a luxury break or visiting family you can still get the most out of your visit by reading our guide on Cairns and Port Douglas on a budget.

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How much do things cost in Cairns?

Petrol (1 litre)
$ 1.36
Taxi - fixed fee
$ 2.91
One-way ticket (local transport)
$ 4.51
1 km taxi journey
$ 2.27
Large bottle of water
$ 1.42
Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre)
$ 5.14
Bottle of beer (imported beer)
$ 6.52
Imported beer (0.33 litre)
$ 8.02
$ 4.57
3 course meal for 2
$ 77.71
Cheap meal
$ 15.04
How much does an apartment cost in Cairns?
1 bedroom apartment in city centre
$ 1027
3 bedroom apartment in city centre
$ 1955
1 bedroom apartment outside of centre
$ 921
3 bedroom apartment outside of centre
$ 1608

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