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How To Reach Cairns

Planning A Trip To Cairns? Here are some guidelines on how to reach Cairns

Popularly known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a major tourist destination in Australia with a population of over 1.5 million people. Its major source of Revenue is tourism which ensures the best of services and amenities in this city. The beauty of this city lies in its tropical climate and its tropical fruit wine industry, the first of its kind in the world. The natural beauty, modern approach to tourism and its myriad offerings will surely make you wonder how to reach the beautiful city of Cairns. Being a major tourist destination, Cairns is well connected to Australia and other parts of the world by air and sea.

By Air

By Air:  How To Reach Cairns
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Cairns International Airport will be your point of entry into this beautiful city if you’re taking an international flight. The airport has two terminals located at walking distance; a dedicated terminal for international carriers and a domestic terminal for flights from within Australia. Some of the major airlines that fly to Cairns include Jetstar, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific among others. The major domestic carriers include Virgin Australia, Quantas, Jetstar and Tiger Airways.


Located 7 km from the city centre, tourists can avail hourly shuttle buses that ply from the airport to the main city. These have to be pre-booked. The tickets for these range between $15 to $17 for a one way drop off. A cheaper option would be the local bus called Sunbus, which charges $2 to $3 per person for a one way drop off. A Taxi would cost over $15 and will be a 10-minute ride to the main city. 

By Rail

By Rail:  How To Reach Cairns
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Cairns is not connected to all parts of Australia by Rail. However, Brisbane and Kuranda have regular trains plying to and fro. The Sunlander connects Brisbane to Cairns twice weekly. This is a 24-hour journey which terminates at Cairns Railway Station in the heart of the city.


The Kuranda Scenic Railway goes to and fro twice daily. This is a 1-hour 45-minute journey through the World Heritage listed Kuranda Rainforest region and must surely be experienced once in a lifetime. The rail journey can also be supplemented with a visit to the rainforest or a cable car ride. You can get the complete details on the official website of the Kuranda Scenic Railways.

By Road

By Road:  How To Reach Cairns
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Cairns is located close to the coast and is a 22-hour drive to the state capital of Brisbane via the Bruce Highway. Ideally, you should make this a 2-3 day drive to enjoy the coastal route and stop at the small towns along the way for the night and for some sightseeing.


However, having said that, taking a flight will be a more convenient and time-saving option. 

By Sea

By Sea:  How To Reach Cairns
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A number of cruise liners also pass by Cairns. You could plan your trip in a way that your terminating destination would be Cairns. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to arrive by a yacht service. 

Getting Around in Cairns

Getting Around in Cairns:  How To Reach Cairns
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Cairns is a small place and the main city centre can easily be covered on foot. There are frequent buses run by Sunbus to take you to the outskirts and the Northern Beaches. We suggest purchasing a daily bus ticket on the days you want to travel to the suburbs. You could also rent a bicycle to explore the city. Taxis are an option too, however, they are expensive and okay for the rare occasions when you want to splurge. 

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