Prices are in Australian Dollars.

Cairns travel guide

Cairns tourism | Cairns guide

You're Going to Love Cairns

Cairns is a cosmopolitan city with 140,000 residents in North Queensland. The city serves as a base for visitors to explore some of Australia's most spectacular natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, the Daintree Rainforest, and Kuranda.

There are a number of beach resorts close to Cairns and the city itself also has plenty to offer, with great nightlife and a wide variety of accommodation. The food is good, too, with a huge range of restaurants offering Asian and international cuisine. Japanese food is a particular strong point.

Cairns is a renowned hub for backpackers and that helps to create a buzzing atmosphere in the city's many pubs and clubs. Look out for the tropical fruit wine that is made locally in the surrounding fruit farms.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cairns

Top activities & attractions in Cairns

When to Visit Cairns

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The peak tourist season in Cairns is from May to November, when temperatures are cooler at 78 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity is low. The wet season starts in December and runs through to February, with temperatures reaching 89 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity hitting 62 percent.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Cairns

How to Get to Cairns

Airports near Cairns

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Where to Stay in Cairns

Cairns has a compact city center and most tourist accommodation is fairly central. The Cairns Beach House Backpackers Hostel offers shared dorm accommodation, and has a good pool and bar onsite. The Holiday Inn Cairns has a great location on the Esplanade. The Sebel Cairns is a good upscale hotel with spacious rooms and excellent views over the city and harbor.

Popular Neighborhoods in Cairns

Where to stay in popular areas of Cairns

Most booked hotels in Cairns

How to Get Around Cairns

The Cost of Living in Cairns

Shopping Streets

There are Night Markets every night on the Esplanade, with stalls selling clothes, games, and local crafts. Cairns Central is the city's main shopping mall, with 180 stores and lots of restaurants. Here you can buy a wide range of fashion and household goods. The area is also known for its pearls, with the best coming from Torres Strait. They are widely available from stores in the city center.

Groceries and Other

Smithfield Shopping Centre has two supermarkets and is a good option for food shopping, while Rusty's Market on Grafton Street specializes in local produce. A quart of milk in Cairns is around A$1.25, while a pound of apples will cost A$2.20.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Cairns

The area around the Esplanade is packed with restaurants and bars, with lots of grills and seafood. Japanese food is also extremely popular. Sushi Express serves up its dishes from a sushi train designed to look like the Kuranda Railway. Dishes range from A$2.50 to A$4.50, and they also serve tempura and sashimi. Rattle 'N Hum is a popular grill on the Esplanade, offering main dishes from around A$20. The wood-fired pizza is good and it has a number of excellent local beers. Villa Romana Trattoria is a good Italian with some tasty seafood dishes.

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