Prices are in Australian Dollars.

CNS - SYD

Find cheap flights from Cairns to Sydney

Return
Economy
Cairns (CNS)
Sydney Kingsford Smith
Tue. 10/12
Tue. 17/12
Any month
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Information for flights to Sydney from Cairns

Avg. flight duration 3h 01m
Flights arrive in Sydney
Flights depart from Cairns
Flight price $261
Distance 1,972 km
Airlines Tigerair Australia, Jetstar, Virgin Australia

Good to know

Low season:
March
Best time to beat the crowds
3%
expected price decrease
High season:
December
Most popular time to fly
7%
expected price increase
Average price:
$310
(avg. price over the last 2 weeks)
Good deal:
$266
or less (return)

When to book flights from Cairns to Sydney

Average price per month
Flight prices as travel date approaches
-1 day
-2 days

Top tips for finding a cheap flight

Looking for a cheap flight? 25% of our users found flights on this route for $265 or less.
The cheapest flight from Cairns to Sydney was found, on average, 49 days before departure.
Book at least 5 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price.
Morning departure is around 18% cheaper than an evening flight, on average*.
*Average of the lowest prices shown in KAYAK’s search results for departures within the next 30 days
Non-stop flights from Cairns to Sydney are quick and easy to find with domestic airlines like TigerAir Australia and Jetstar. Flights between the two cities are generally affordable and will arrive at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. Sydney Airport serves the entire Sydney area and is located approximately 8 km from the city centre.
Once your flight lands, you can easily reach hotels and destinations in central Sydney by using public transport. One of the most popular ways to reach the city centre is to take the train. Trains leave from the northern end of the terminal approximately every ten minutes and cost around $19.
Renting a car is a good alternative if your travels around Sydney involve areas not served by public transport routes. There is a long list of different rental car agencies that operate at Sydney Airport, including Hertz, Budget and Avis. The car rental kiosks are located on the Arrivals level in Terminal 1.
Parking at Cairns Airport is affordable and accessible compared to other busy Australian airports. All car parks are located a short walk away from the terminals, and can be conveniently booked ahead of time via the Cairns Airport online booking system. Fees for parking start at approximately $7 per day.
If you’re booking a return or transit flight from Cairns to Sydney, you can grab a bite to eat and relax in one of the many airport lounges located at Sydney Airport. There are varying entrance requirements for the seven different lounges, but six of them can be accessed with single-entry passes starting at approximately $50.

FAQs for booking Cairns to Sydney flights

How long does a flight from Cairns to Sydney take?
The average direct flight takes 2h 55m, covering a distance of 1971 km.
How many flights are there between Cairns and Sydney?
There are 356 (direct) flights between Cairns and Sydney per week, averaging 52 per day.
Which airlines provide the cheapest flights from Cairns to Sydney?
In the past 3 days, the cheapest return tickets were found on Tigerair Australia ($261), Jetstar ($326) and Virgin Australia ($478).
Which airlines fly most frequently between Cairns and Sydney?
Qantas Airways (9 times daily), Jetstar (5 times daily), Singapore Airlines (4 times daily) are the most frequent flyers on this route.
What’s the cheapest day of the week to fly from Cairns to Sydney?
For Cairns to Sydney, Thursday is the cheapest day to fly on average and Monday is the most expensive. Flying from Sydney back to Cairns, the best deals are generally found on Friday, with Thursday being the most expensive.
Which airports will I be using when flying from Cairns to Sydney?
When flying out of Cairns you will be using Cairns, often referred to as Cairns Airport. You will be landing at Sydney Kingsford Smith, also known as Sydney Airport.
Does Cairns Airport offer free Wi-Fi?
Whether you need to make a last-minute booking, get some more information on your destination or finish up some work, you can stay connected with the free Wi-Fi offered in all areas of both Cairns Airport terminals. Access is unlimited and granted after a short and simple registration process.
Does Cairns Airport have parents’ facilities?
If you’re travelling with infants, you can take care of changing, feeding and the rest of your parental responsibilities in one of the several parenting rooms at Cairns Airport. Parents’ facilities are conveniently located both before and after security control in T1 International and T2 Domestic.
How much is a taxi fare to Sydney city centre from the airport?
Taxis can be easily hired at the taxi ranks outside the arrivals area on Level 1 of the terminal building for travellers who prefer a private transfer to their final destination. The duration of the trip between Sydney Airport and the city centre can be anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes, with fares at around $45-55.
Does Sydney Airport have an on-site hotel?
For travellers with early return flights, or those that simply wish to stick close to the terminal, the Mantra Hotel and Ibis Hotel are a short walk from Sydney Airport’s Domestic Terminals 2 & 3. Ibis offers both standard and budget accommodation to serve travellers on any budget. Rates can fluctuate depending on the season, so try to book early for a good price.
How does KAYAK find such low flight prices?
KAYAK processes over 2 billion travel queries annually and displays results from hundreds of airlines and third party sites, allowing it to find a variety of flight prices and options. It also displays results from 2M+ properties along with car hire, holiday packages, activities and millions of verified reviews so users can see as many available travel options as possible.
How can Hacker Fares save me money?
Hacker Fares allow you to combine one-way tickets on different airlines when it can save you money over a traditional return ticket.
Does KAYAK query more flight providers than competitors?
Yes, KAYAK has access to more data and information than online travel agencies and consistently outperforms the competition in accuracy, globally.
How does KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool help me choose the right time to buy?
KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a given destination and date is likely to change within 7 days, so travellers know whether to wait or book now.

Book cheap flights from Cairns to Sydney (return)

Airports
Origin
Cairns
$261
only
$261
Destination
Sydney
$261
only
$261
Thu., 20 Feb.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
3h 00m
Mon., 24 Feb.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 5 days
6.7Good Show reviews
Overall 6.7 Good
Based on 12 reviews
Overall
6.7
Boarding
6.8
Comfort
6.4
Crew
7.4
Entertainment
5.2
Food
5.9
OOL
SYD
Okay 5.3

Cons: Travelling on time. The flight was 1 hour late

BNE
SYD
Okay 4.0

Pros: Not much.

Cons: Boarding exceptionally slow due to intensive screening of each passengers hand luggage. Opportunististic for making an extra $36/bag if a gram over 7. Seat unable to recline. Literally not enough room for legs and needed to sit sideways and I’m not that tall!

MEL
SYD
Excellent 8.0

Pros: Boarding was quick

Cons: The flight had a lot of turbulence

TSV
MEL
Okay 4.6

Cons: No issues with the flight itself or crew however the flight was rescheduled after booking from 11.45am departure to 8.35pm (then urther delay of 30m on day).

CNS
SYD
Mediocre 3.0

Cons: Did print barcodes on ticket so had to wait. Paid for queue jump but didn't print out on ticket. Rough landing.

Wed., 13 Nov.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
2h 55m
Tue., 19 Nov.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 7 days
6.3Good Show reviews
Overall 6.3 Good
Based on 133 reviews
Overall
6.3
Boarding
6.6
Comfort
6.1
Crew
6.9
Entertainment
5.1
Food
5.3
CNS
SYD
Okay 5.6

Cons: A bit chintzy to be charged for water, soft drinks and coffee. I thought at least getting water was a safety issue to prevent de-hydration. The airplane seats were not very comfortable. I had paid for extra baggage but the check in desk could find no record of it. We would up not needing it, so I guess that money is just lost in cyberspace.

CNS
SYD
Excellent 10.0

Pros: Crew were really nice

Cons: Was a dylay but not too long

CNS
SYD
Excellent 8.0

Pros: on time departure and arrival

Cons: the extra service fees for luggage, and they didnt actually check at the gate

CNS
SYD
Mediocre 3.0

Pros: Departed and arrived on time

Cons: I always travel with a backpack so I don't have to check anything. I fly with it all the time. I have never, ever been told it is too big... that is absurd! An agent stopped me at boarding and weighed it... it was a hair over and they charged me $50 to check it. Really? I can understand charging for roller bags that take up space, but it fits under the seat!

CNS
SYD
Good 6.8

Pros: The base price is very low. We were slightly over ~1kg our allotted 7kg/passenger and they let us go.

Cons: No entertainment on the flight whatsoever. The space in the seat is a bit tight, doesn't recline very much either.

Sat., 28 Dec.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
3h 00m
Sat., 4 Jan.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 8 days
8.0Excellent Show reviews
Overall 8.0 Excellent
Based on 63 reviews
Overall
8.0
Boarding
8.1
Comfort
7.9
Crew
8.4
Entertainment
7.3
Food
7.2
CNS
SYD
Okay 4.3

Cons: booked months in advance and put in last row! Really

SYD
BNE
Good 7.0

Cons: Announce the app download well before boarding so that I can get it. I never had a chance

ADL
BNE
Excellent 9.6

Pros: Seats recline far, great for sleeping. Crew members very helpful and cheery. Food was surprisingly good.

Cons: There was no option through Kayak to choose a meal option, but the standard meals were ok so wasnt the end of the world.

LAX
SYD
Good 7.0

Pros: The food was very good and It felt spacious for economy class.

Cons: The flight attendants on Virgin seemed very crabby. It would of been nice for them to smile once in a while and give eye contact.

CNS
SYD
Excellent 9.6

Pros: flight crew, food service

Cons: no leg room, limited complimentary beverages

Thu., 5 Dec.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
3h 00m
Sat., 14 Dec.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 10 days
6.7Good Show reviews
Overall 6.7 Good
Based on 12 reviews
Overall
6.7
Boarding
6.8
Comfort
6.4
Crew
7.4
Entertainment
5.2
Food
5.9
MEL
SYD
Okay 4.3

Pros: Watching the hand luggage scale being wheeled out by a cranky employee was delightful

Cons: A woman who clearly couldn’t speak English having her weighed parcel thrown off said scale when the worker got too impatient with her. A cup of sunshine wouldn’t have gone astray

MEL
OOL
Mediocre 2.0

Cons: This companies business model is high friction. I ended up with two tickets for my daughter on the same flights as one of their affiliates had problems with their website so it told me I wasn’t successful booking when i later found out the message was wrong. In the interim i booked the small flights on Tiger. I called both companies 4 times got the usual Asian call center responses and finally someone had the guts to tell me they would do nothing about it. Just insane and that’s what you will be if you ignore my advice. My daughter ended up with two flights she could never use and they would not do a single thing to help apart from go through their call center script to keep their jobs. You have been warned. Kayak should never refer people to gotogate.com. They offer similar customer service and would also do nothing.

CNS
SYD
Good 6.0

Cons: Crew in the air were fine, crew at check in was very unfriendly and tried to say I was over with baggage - 2 bags at 10kg for 2 people - I dont think so.......7kg each

CNS
BNE
Good 6.6

Pros: The window seats are good for sleeping.

Cons: No major issues on this flight.

BNE
SYD
Okay 4.0

Pros: Not much.

Cons: Boarding exceptionally slow due to intensive screening of each passengers hand luggage. Opportunististic for making an extra $36/bag if a gram over 7. Seat unable to recline. Literally not enough room for legs and needed to sit sideways and I’m not that tall!

Thu., 13 Feb.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
3h 00m
Sun., 23 Feb.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 11 days
6.7Good Show reviews
Overall 6.7 Good
Based on 12 reviews
Overall
6.7
Boarding
6.8
Comfort
6.4
Crew
7.4
Entertainment
5.2
Food
5.9
CNS
BNE
Excellent 10.0

Pros: Staff were nice and kind.

Cons: Nil.

CNS
SYD
Good 6.0

Cons: Crew in the air were fine, crew at check in was very unfriendly and tried to say I was over with baggage - 2 bags at 10kg for 2 people - I dont think so.......7kg each

SYD
BNE
Excellent 10.0

Pros: Friendly crew, helpful

Cons: Seat pitch was very tight. Boarding by stairs and not jetway.

BNE
SYD
Okay 4.0

Pros: Not much.

Cons: Boarding exceptionally slow due to intensive screening of each passengers hand luggage. Opportunististic for making an extra $36/bag if a gram over 7. Seat unable to recline. Literally not enough room for legs and needed to sit sideways and I’m not that tall!

MEL
CNS
Good 6.0

Pros: Friendly crew

Cons: A normal glass of water Some snack or pretzel Wifi on board

Sat., 30 Nov.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
2h 55m
Sat., 7 Dec.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 8 days
6.3Good Show reviews
Overall 6.3 Good
Based on 133 reviews
Overall
6.3
Boarding
6.6
Comfort
6.1
Crew
6.9
Entertainment
5.1
Food
5.3
CNS
SYD
Mediocre 2.8

Pros: The flight was on time.

Cons: I just don't like Jetstar. An airline of pick pockets, and crooks. You're best to only bring your toothbrush, and nothing else.

CNS
SYD
Excellent 10.0

Pros: For the amount of time on a flight, it was as good as it gets

CNS
SYD
Mediocre 3.0

Pros: The on time arrival

Cons: Everything else: boarding cattle call, $190 in baggage charges for 2 bags, knees in my back for 3 hours, etc etc etc

CNS
SYD
Excellent 10.0

Pros: Crew were really nice

Cons: Was a dylay but not too long

CNS
SYD
Good 6.0

Cons: Ordered food online. Would be better just buying when on flight. Egg sandwich both flights. No choice.

Tue., 3 Mar.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
3h 00m
Fri., 13 Mar.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 10 days
6.7Good Show reviews
Overall 6.7 Good
Based on 12 reviews
Overall
6.7
Boarding
6.8
Comfort
6.4
Crew
7.4
Entertainment
5.2
Food
5.9
MEL
SYD
Mediocre 2.5

Pros: There is absolutely nothing about this flight or this airline that I enjoyed in the slightest.

Cons: Everything. The staff was completely unorganized and understaffed and incredibly rude and unhelpful.

SYD
MEL
Mediocre 2.0

Cons: Delayed by nearly 3 hrs

MEL
SYD
Excellent 8.0

Cons: Delay

PPP
SYD
Excellent 9.5

Pros: We had emergency exit seats so very good leg room and seat back magazine small item holder.

Cons: Flight was 20min late.

CNS
SYD
Excellent 9.5

Pros: crew was friendly, online checkin opens 72 hrs before and they send notification email as a reminder.

Sat., 23 Nov.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
3h 00m
Thu., 28 Nov.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 6 days
6.7Good Show reviews
Overall 6.7 Good
Based on 12 reviews
Overall
6.7
Boarding
6.8
Comfort
6.4
Crew
7.4
Entertainment
5.2
Food
5.9
BNE
CNS
Excellent 8.0

Pros: N/A

Cons: N/A

MEL
SYD
Excellent 10.0

Pros: Free upgrade to exit seats because I’m tall! Didn’t even ask!

Cons: Nothing, was everything we could have expected of a short hall flight!

BNE
SYD
Mediocre 2.3

Cons: We did not get on the flight, there was no staff available to check in our bags. Everyone we spoke to was rude and abnoxious at Brisbane airport. The only people were lovely and helpful were the volunteers in the blue shirts who tried to direct us in the right direction. We finally got on a flight and still had to pay for it.

MEL
PER
Good 7.5

Pros: Seat didnt have adjustable head rest, seat did not recline. Lights stayed on nearly the entire time even though it was a flight from 10-2am AEST.

BNE
MEL
Good 7.0

Pros: Clean and tidy aircraft, pleasant crew, on time

Cons: wouldnt want a longer journey as the seats are narrow and uncomfortable

Tue., 31 Dec.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
2h 55m
Fri., 3 Jan.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 4 days
6.3Good Show reviews
Overall 6.3 Good
Based on 133 reviews
Overall
6.3
Boarding
6.6
Comfort
6.1
Crew
6.9
Entertainment
5.1
Food
5.3
CNS
SYD
Mediocre 3.0

Pros: The on time arrival

Cons: Everything else: boarding cattle call, $190 in baggage charges for 2 bags, knees in my back for 3 hours, etc etc etc

CNS
SYD
Mediocre 3.0

Pros: Timing of flight was convenient

Cons: Being charged $50 to gate-check a carryon bag, when that same bag had not been a problem on the Syd-Cairns flight! Being charged $4 for a can of mostly flat pepsi...

CNS
SYD
Okay 4.0

Cons: Boarding was late and congested Not organized

CNS
SYD
Mediocre 3.0

Cons: Paid $30 upfront for a 15kg checked bag, was told at counter I could carry on, but unable to refund money. At the gate, was told it was over the 7kg carry on max (was 9.2kg) and required to check... for an additional $60. The $30 I paid previously would not be applied. Complete scam. Friend I was traveling with also paid for a 15kg checked bag upfront, but was only charged $21. I was also concerned about checking as I needed to transfer terminals from domestic to international with a tight connection and since the plane was delayed, had even less time to grab bag, catch train and go thru customs. No consistency. No customer service.

CNS
SYD
Good 6.8

Pros: The base price is very low. We were slightly over ~1kg our allotted 7kg/passenger and they let us go.

Cons: No entertainment on the flight whatsoever. The space in the seat is a bit tight, doesn't recline very much either.

Mon., 30 Dec.
CNS
Cairns
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
15h 55m
Sat., 4 Jan.
SYD
Sydney Kingsford Smith
CNS
Cairns
3h 05m
Trip: 6 days
8.0Excellent Show reviews
Overall 8.0 Excellent
Based on 63 reviews
Overall
8.0
Boarding
8.1
Comfort
7.9
Crew
8.4
Entertainment
7.3
Food
7.2
BNE
PER
Good 7.6

Pros: The crew were excellent. Seating ok.

Cons: The flight could have been better if there was entrainment on the Boeing 464 return flight from Brisbane to Perth for the travellers that do not know how to use a laptop, IPad etc.

LAX
SYD
Good 7.0

Pros: The food was very good and It felt spacious for economy class.

Cons: The flight attendants on Virgin seemed very crabby. It would of been nice for them to smile once in a while and give eye contact.

CNS
SYD
Excellent 10.0

Pros: Professional service

Cons: Food was not very appetising

SYD
MEL
Excellent 8.0

Pros: Crew were good but looks like they forgot to serve snacks for few of us at the back, otherwise service was good.

Cons: Put more attention to customers.

SYD
OOL
Okay 4.6

Cons: Quality of snacks Quality of in flight entertainment still very poor

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The fares displayed include all taxes and fees for economy class travel and were found by the provider in the last 72 hours. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights and days. Fares are subject to change and may not be available on all flights or dates of travel. Some carriers charge additional fees for extra checked bags. Please check the carriers' sites.
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