Cairns and Port Douglas

Cairns and Port Douglas


Need some "you time"? This is where to head. In fact, why not make a long weekend of it, with the sun shining, Mondays always look better from here.

Cairns is the major jumping-off point for the extraordinary Great Barrier Reef, the lush Daintree Rainforest and slow road trips through the beautiful countryside of the Atherton Tablelands. The food is great too, with some of the country's finest chefs setting up five star restaurants in the luxe outpost of Port Douglas. 

Paradise through your lens Paradise Through Your Lens invited passionate travellers who love to document their travels to visit Tropical North Queensland to capture paradise through their own lens. Ten travellers produced stories about the Great Barrier Reef, nature, the rainforest and wildlife, outdoor adventure, off road exploring and Indigenous culture. The highlights of their footage has been used to create this trailer.

Flights to Cairns

Don't miss

Most visitors use Cairns as a base from which to plan their itinerary. There is a variety of great things to see and do.

Where to go

You'll fly into Cairns Airport ten minutes from the CBD. Make this your hub for exploring the tropics and reef. Alternatively by car 25 minutes north of Cairns is Palm Cove, an hour is Port Douglas and two and a half hours is the Daintree.

Cairns CBD

Cairns CBD

The CBD is bounded by Cairns Central ShoppingOpens external site in a new window and the Cairns railway stationOpens external site in a new window to the west, the airportOpens external site in a new window to the north and the council buildings to the south. Most services and places of interest are concentrated around the Reef Fleet TerminalOpens external site in a new window with wharves, a marina, restaurants/bars and shopping centre at The PierOpens external site in a new window.

Edge Hill

Edge Hill to the north of the city centre is a good walk (when the weather is not too hot) for the Botanical GardensOpens external site in a new windowTank Arts CentreOpens external site in a new window and Mt Whitfield National ParkOpens external site in a new window. There is also an easy walking track from there to Centenary LakesOpens external site in a new window.

North of Cairns and Palm Cove

Northwest of the city Stratford and Freshwater are residential suburbs with some trendy cafes while to north from there is a string of beach suburbs that run in order: Machans BeachOpens external site in a new window, Holloways BeachOpens external site in a new window and Yorkeys KnobOpens external site in a new window – these residential areas also have cafes and holiday accommodation and there's good wind-surfing at Yorkeys Knob. Next up is the shopping hub of SmithfieldOpens external site in a new window centre and from here the beaches run Trinity BeachOpens external site in a new window, Kewarra BeachOpens external site in a new window and Clifton BeachOpens external site in a new window to end with swanky, spa capital Palm CoveOpens external site in a new window. After Palm Cove there is the wide sandy beach of Buchan's Point and Ellis BeachOpens external site in a new window.

Port Douglas

Port Douglas CBD

You'll find all the big glitzy oceanfront resorts in Port DouglasOpens external site as well as world-class restaurants in this tiny little beach outpost. Four Mile BeachOpens external site with gently undulating waves makes it a very popular destination for young families.

Mossman Gorge

Part of the Daintree Rainforest and located 20km north of Port Douglas, Mossman GorgeOpens external site is one of the region's star attractions. The new Mossman Gorge Centre, an indigenous eco-tourism experience where local Aboriginal guides give visitors a genuine, authentic and unique insight into the local area. Relax afterwards in one of Mossman's historic pubs.

Cape Tribulation

You'll need a 4WD to get around some parts of Cape TribulationOpens external site in a new window, a world heritage listed national park, accessible by ferry but it's worth the trip. Enjoy empty Robinson-Crusoe style beaches, pristine bushwalking tracks through the rainforest and one of Australia's richest diversity of flora and fauna.

Quick facts



Australian Dollar (AU$)



220-240V / 50 Hz






There are two distinct weather seasons Cairns experiences each year like the rest of Queensland. Winter falls between April and September, with slightly cooler but warm temperatures and minimal rain. Summer is October to March with hot, sticky temperatures and heavy rainfall periods.

Getting around

From the Airport

From the airport, there are plenty of transport options to get to Cairns or your hotel. Airport ConnectOpens external site in a new window is a public transport link that gets you to the city centre or the northern Beaches. Taxis and Rental Cars can be booked from the Airport upon arrival. Transfers and LimousinesOpens external site in a new window and the Sun Palm BusOpens external site in a new window can be pre booked to pick you up and take you to your hotel.

Around town

Getting around Cairns CBD is best done on foot. To get to surrounding areas it is best in your (hire) car as it gives you freedom to get out and explore the surrounding area and enjoy the best of the region. Alternatively the local public transport SunbusOpens external site in a new window is great to get to most surrounding areas in Cairns and the beaches. 

Cairns car hire

Take off from Cairns in your own car and visit Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation and the luxe beach destination of Port Douglas. Qantas Points per A$1 spent on the Base Rate within Australia.

Getting you there

Your flight with Qantas

Complimentary meals, entertainment and baggage included on every Qantas flight.

Enjoy a range of entertainment on every flight, including news, TV, film, radio and more.

Complimentary meals, entertainment and baggage included on every Qantas flight.

Pack more into your trip with complimentary checked baggage allowance on every flight.

Complimentary meals, entertainment and baggage included on every Qantas flight.

Enjoy larger portions and a greater menu variety on every flight when you fly with us.

Make The Qantas Club your first destination for business or leisure.

Eligible customers can relax in style before their next flight in our stylish Cairns Qantas Club.

Other destinations

Hamilton Island Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island

Brisbane Brisbane


Mackay Mackay


Important Information

Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.

~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.