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Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, and a handful of international carriers, arrive in and depart from Cairns Airport, located approximately 6km from the city centre, with direct services to all Australian capital cities except Canberra and Hobart, and to regional centres including Townsville, Weipa and Horn Island. Direct international connections include Bali, Singapore, Manila, Tokyo and Port Moresby.

Hinterland Aviation has at least two flights daily from Cairns to Cooktown.

Skytrans services Cape York communities and the Torres Strait Islands.

To & From Cairns Airport

The airport is about 6km north of central Cairns; many hotels and hostels offer courtesy pick-up. Sun Palm meets incoming flights until about 6.30pm and runs a shuttle (adult/child $15/7.50) directly to your accommodation; its Airport Connect Shuttle ($6) runs between the airport and a stop on Sheridan St just north of town. Cairns Airport Shuttle is a good option for groups; the more passengers, the cheaper the fare.

Taxis to the city centre cost around $25 (plus $4 airport surcharge).


Almost all reef trips from Cairns depart the Marlin Wharf (sometimes called the Marlin Jetty), with booking and check-in facilities located inside the Reef Fleet Terminal. A handful of smaller operators may have their check-in facilities boat-side, on the wharf itself. Be sure to ask for the correct berth number.

International cruise ships and SeaSwift ferries to Seisia on Cape York dock at and depart from the Cairns Seaport.


Car & Motorcycle

Major car-rental companies have airport and downtown (usually on Sheridan St) branches. Daily rates start at around $30 for a compact auto and $80 for a 4WD. Cruising Car Rental and Rent-a-Bomb have cheap rates on older model vehicles. If you're looking for a cheap campervan, Jucy, Spaceships, Lucky Campervan Rentals and Hippie Camper Hire have quality wheels at budget prices.

If you’re in for the long haul, check hostels and a for used campervans and ex-backpackers’ cars.

If you prefer two wheels to four, try Choppers Motorcycle Tours & Hire or Cairns Scooter & Bicycle Hire.

4WD Rental

If you're heading to Cape York you'll need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle or suitable trail bike.

Bear Rentals

Captain Billy's Bushranger

Cairns 4WD Hire


The Kuranda Scenic Railway runs daily; the Savannahlander offers a miscellany of rail journeys into the outback from Cairns Central Railway Station.

Queensland Rail operates services between Brisbane and Cairns.