Flights to Cairns

Cairns and Port Douglas

Cairns Flights

Ah the Tropical North. If your idea of a holiday is a lush tropical retreat beside a crystal clear ocean fringed with palm trees with the option of afternoon reef snorkelling to keep things interesting; it's time to book your flight to Cairns. The food is not bad either, with some of the country's finest chefs setting up five star restaurants in the luxe outpost of Port Douglas. 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.

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The basics
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The temperature is generally a very pleasant 24°C–28°C, although it can reach 30°C–35°C during summer (December to February), while the minimum can fall to 16°C during winter (June to August). The wet season is November to April with rain showers generally in the afternoon and high humidity, typical of any tropical climate.

Explore Cairns and the Tropical North

There's much to like about Cairns in its own right – it's got the palm trees and warm waters expected of a lush and tropical oasis, and stunning beaches nearby, but it's no longer the sleepy place of old. New Cairns is a buzzy tourist town, stretching along a narrow coastal strip from Ellis Beach to the north as far as Mirriwinni to the south.

Cairns CBD

The CBD is bounded by Cairns Central Shopping and the railway station to the west, the airport to the north and the council buildings to the south. Most services and places of interest are concentrated around the Reef Fleet Terminal with wharves, a marina and shopping centre at The Pier.

Edge Rock

Edge Hill to the north of the city centre is a good walk (when the weather is not too hot) for the Botanical Gardens, Tank Arts Centre and Mt Whitfield National Park. There is also an easy walking track from there to Centenary Lakes.

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 Beach, Holloways Beach and Yorkey's Knob – these residential areas also have cafes and holiday accommodation and there's good wind-surfing at Yorkey's Knob. Next up is the shopping hub of Smithfield and from here the beaches run Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach and Clifton Beach to end with swanky, spa capital Palm Cove. After Palm Cove there is the wide sandy beach of Buchan's Point and Ellis Beach.

Port Douglas

Most importantly for well-heeled suburbanites of Sydney and Melbourne, Cairns is an access point for Port Douglas, Australia's favourite tropical retreat. You'll find all the big glitzy oceanfront resorts as well as world class restaurants in this tiny little beach outpost. A wide flat beach 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 Gorge is one of the region's star attractions. Start at 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 this world heritage listed national park, accessible by ferry, but it's worth every penny. Enjoy empty Robinson-Crusoe style beaches, pristine bushwalking tracks through the rainforest and one of Australia's richest diversity of flora and fauna.

Things to do in Cairns and the Tropical North

Most visitors know they'll use Cairns as a base from which to make boat trips to the Great Barrier Reef, car trips to Palm Cove and the cool hills of Atherton Tablelands, tropical Port Douglas and Mossman and 4WD tours to lush Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest. But there are other great experiences within the city precincts and beyond:

World’s Oldest Tropical Rainforest

  • Thrill seekers can head out on safari and spot local saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat- the Daintree River is a popular spot for this, or visit Harley’s Crocodile Adventures.
  • Sail over the rainforest in a gondola in the iconic Skyrail
  • Go jungle surfing! Zip through the forest on Zip Lines
  • Mossman Gorge is a must-se to be immersed in the rainforest, with a short walk suitable for children and guided indigenous from the Visitor Centre

Great Barrier Reef

  • Take a walk underwater at Green Island whilst keeping your hair dry on Green Island Sea Walker
  • Snorkel some of the world’s most beautiful reefs with Passions of Paradise or Low Isles Sailaway
  • Enjoy a helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef

Tropical Lifestyle and Culture

  • Tropical Tablelands as the name suggests is a foodies paradise. This region offers many food trails including coffee, fudge and many other regional delights
  • Wharf street in Port Douglas has many award winning restaurants
  • Top Restaurants - Nunus in Palm Cove , Ochre in Cairns, Salthouse, Cairns

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

  • The ever popular Tjapukai Cultural Park (recently refurbished and now includes new experiences), located near Skyrail provides day and night time tours and activities.
  • Mossman Gorge Visitor Centres offers guided walks through the rainforest from local Kuku Yalanji tour guides.
  • Join a tour such as ‘The Tropical Traveller’ that includes indigenous heritage into the tour itineraries.
  • Visit the UMI Art Gallery, Canopy Artspace or Centre of Contemporary Art in Cairns for displays of traditional art.

Bestselling tours in Cairns and Port Douglas at right now…

  1. 4-Day Cairns and Great Barrier Reef Tour
  2. Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns
  3. Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary Day Tour
  4. 2-Day Best of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
  5. Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

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Getting around Cairns and the Tropical North

Qantas offers flights to Cairns Domestic Airport from which you can arrive in Port Douglas via a cheap transfer or your own car hire.

If you are staying in Cairns, the town is small enough to get around on a bicycle. Alternatively, the bus system is reliable and taxis are a convenient option, too.

If you want to travel to places like the Atherton Tablelands, Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge or Cape Tribulation, you'll need to hire a car or take an organised tour.

Your flight to Cairns with Qantas

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Note that food and beverage offerings vary between flights. Audiovisual entertainment is not available on most QantasLink operated flights. Also note that all flights are subject to last minute aircraft changes. Seating configurations and product features may vary between aircraft, including aircraft of the same type.

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Take off from Cairns in your own car and visit Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation and the luxe beach destination of Port Douglas. Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn 3 Qantas Points^ per A$1 spent on the Base Rate within Australia

QBE Travel Insurance

QBE has a range of travel insurance policies for both annual multi city and international travel as well as single international trips+


* For card payments on international bookings at, add A$30 for credit/charge cards or A$10 for debit/prepaid cards including Qantas Cash™, per passenger per booking. For card payments on domestic and Trans-Tasman bookings at, add A$7 for credit/charge Cards or A$2.50 for debit/prepaid cards per passenger per booking. For Points Plus Pay bookings, immediate payment by card is required, and no card payment fee applies when using a Debit Card. Also add A$60 per passenger for international bookings or $35 for domestic or trans-Tasman bookings made on 13 13 13, and through Qantas airport locations. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for card payments which vary. Prices may fluctuate if carrier charges, fees, taxes or currency change. Prices are one way or return as specified and are valid on Qantas services only.

^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. Join online now. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. The minimum number of Qantas Points earned is quoted based on the most direct routing.

# Prices are per night based on twin share and include all fees and taxes. The applicable fee can be viewed on the payment page before your confirm your booking.

+ Product disclosure statements are available at Policies are only valid upon acceptance of payment by the insurer. The insurer is QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited ABN 78 003 191 035 of 82 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901 is its authorised representative and receives a commission for policies sold. To earn Qantas Points on insurance, Qantas Frequent Flyers must provide their membership number to QBE when purchasing a policy. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Qantas Frequent Flyers cannot earn Qantas Points on any cancellation and baggage insurance.