Experts in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific


a harbor filled with lots of small boats in a body of water
Marlin Marina View

Cairns Holidays

Cairns is the bustling hub of Tropical North Queensland. With the Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest on your doorstep, holidays to Cairns place you right at the heart of the action.

With its laid-back atmosphere, a Cairns holiday certainly calls for flip-flops (or 'thongs' as Aussies call them). Laze on the sandy shores of Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Or take a leisurely stroll along Cairns’ waterfront boardwalk.

While Cairns may not have a beach – the city's foreshore is mudflats and mangroves – there are several beach suburbs just a short drive away. Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach and the popular Palm Cove are some of the top picks.

For the evenings, you’re only ever a short stroll away from a variety of bars and restaurants. Cairns Marlin Marina also has an impressive range of dining options with sensational views across the harbour.

Cairns is also the ideal gateway to explore the sprawling wilderness of Queensland’s Wet Tropics. Venture into the Daintree Rainforest and enjoy a scenic railway trip up to Kuranda. Sail out to see the famous Great Barrier Reef. Or take a mini road trip up the coast to the resort town of Port Douglas. Relax here for a few nights before continuing on to Cape Tribulation – where the rainforest meets the reef.

What to do in Cairns

Take a look at all the escorted tours and excursions on offer for your next trip to Cairns.

Choose your adventures

Places to stay in Cairns

From self-catered apartments to all-inclusive luxury hotels, find the ideal accommodation for your Cairns holiday.

Choose your accommodation

Recommended experiences

What kind of holiday experiences are you looking for?

Select your travel interests to find the experiences you’ll love.

There are 7 itineraries to choose from below. Use the filters to refine your options.

Queensland Classic Self Drive

15 Day Suggested Itinerary
From £2,499 per person

This 15 day itinerary gives you the opportunity to do all of these things - under your own pace driving from Brisbane to Cairns.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Beaches & boats
  • Self-drives
  • Wildlife & nature
a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background

APT East Coast Adventure

12 Day Guided Tour
From £4,399 per person

This luxurious holiday takes you to Sydney, the Gold Coast and Cairns - iconic Australian holiday destinations.

Great for
  • Beaches & boats
  • Escorted tours
Australian Signature Highlights

Australian Signature Highlights

21 Day Suggested Itinerary
From £5,995 per person

Soak up some city life in Sydney, discover the famous monolith of Uluru from the skies and explore the Great Barrier Reef aboard a cruise.

Great for
  • Adventure
  • Beaches & boats
  • City sights
  • Culture & history
  • Food & wine
  • Wildlife & nature
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Tropics and Tablelands

7 Day Self Drive
From £565 per person
Great for
  • Adventure
  • Self-drives

Other places to go in Queensland

What kind of holiday experiences are you looking for?

Select your travel interests to find the experiences you’ll love.

a group of fish in the water
Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Hamilton Island, Queensland
Whitsunday Islands

Hamilton Island

a person standing on a rocky beach
Port Douglas

Port Douglas

a body of water with a mountain in the background
Whitsunday Islands

Whitsunday Islands

an island in the middle of a body of water
Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

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Traveller's guide

  • Travellers Guide: 

    Useful information

    Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)

    Language: English

    Time difference: GMT+10

    Flying time: approx. 24 hours + 1 stop

    Airport: Cairns Airport (code: CNS)

    Departure tax: included in the cost of your airline ticket

    Visa: all visitors to Australia (except New Zealand citizens) with a British passport require an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or eVisitor visa. This enables you to stay in the country for up to three months. Your Travel Designer can organise your visa at the time of booking.

    Best time to visit Cairns

    With its tropical climate, Cairns is warm year round. However, the weather is characterised by two distinct seasons – the wet and dry season.

    High season: summer (Dec to Feb)

    • Temperatures range from 23-31°C.
    • Hot and humid, this is the start of the wet season which lasts throughout the summer months.

    Shoulder season: autumn and spring (Mar to May and Sep to Nov)

    • Autumn temperatures range from 21-29°C
    • Spring temperatures range from 20-29°C.

    Low season: winter (Jun to Aug)

    • Temperatures range from 17-26°C.
    • The cooler temperatures and lower humidity of dry season makes it one of the most popular times to visit Cairns.
  • Travellers Guide: 

    Getting to Cairns

    Cairns has an international airport which most major airlines fly into and has plenty of regular domestic flights too. The airport itself is only a short 15-minute drive to the city centre.

    Also be sure to check out our stopover destinations to add on to your holiday to Cairns.

    Approximate flying times:

    • Brisbane to Cairns = 2 hours 20 minutes
    • Sydney to Cairns = 3 hours
    • Melbourne to Cairns = 3 hours 30 minutes
    • Perth to Cairns = 5 hours 20 minutes

    Getting around Cairns

    Cairns is a compact city so getting around isn’t a problem. Most tour companies out to the reef are concentrated around the waterfront, as are most of the hotels. Otherwise, there are plenty of buses and taxis. Or why not take advantage of the sunny weather and hire a bike? But, to explore the region's other must-see sights, it’s best to hire a car.

    Approximate driving times:

    • Cairns to Port Douglas = 1 hour
    • Cairns to Palm Cove = 30 minutes
    • Cairns to Cape Tribulation = 3 hours
    • Cairns to Cooktown = 4 hours 30 minutes