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.

This is my paradise
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 torrential rain for a couple of hours each day 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, defined for most visitors by Ellis Beach and Gordonvale to the south and the impressive multimillion dollar Esplanade redevelopment at the seafront.

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.

White Rock

White Rock is one of the key suburbs south of Cairns. 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.

Cape Tribulation

You'll need a 4WD to get around some parts of this 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.

Mossman Gorge

Part of the Daintree Rainforest and located 20km north of Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge is one of the region's star attractions. See the gorge and relax afterwards in one of Mossman's historic pubs.

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 posh 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:

  • Visit Cairns Museum to learn a rich history – from goldfields tent city, to construction of a railway to the struggles of a cane town
  • Get up into the canopy with the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Take a night swim at Esplanade Lagoon, a 4800 sq m saltwater swimming pool complete with sandy beaches and timber decks for lounging
  • Walk to White Rock Peak for views of Cairns
  • Ride the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Visit the artists' studios and galleries at Tanks Arts Centre
  • Take the rainforest boardwalk from Flecker Botanical Garden to Saltwater Creek and Centenary Lakes

Bestselling tours in Cairns and Port Douglas at qantas.com 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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FLIGHTS TO CAIRNS

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GETTING AROUND CAIRNS AND PORT DOUGLAS

Book car hire in Cairns

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

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