Cairns Cairns – Image courtesy of Skyrail.com.au

How to get to Cairns

Cairns is located on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula in Far Northern Queensland, around 1700km (1056mi) north of Brisbane.

The most convenient route to Cairns is by air to Cairns International Airport (CNS), located about 7km (4mi) north of the city centre.

From some international destinations this may require first flying into Brisbane Airport (BNE) – or Melbourne or Sydney – followed by a connecting flight to Cairns International Airport.


Flight times to Cairns

The following are the most convenient flights to Cairns International Airport (CNS).

Within Australia: Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar operate daily nonstop flights to Cairns.

Adelaide to Cairns is 3 hrs, direct flight
Brisbane to Cairns is 2 hrs 25 min, direct flight
Darwin to Cairns is 2 hrs 30 min, direct flight
Sydney to Cairns is 3 hrs 10 min, direct flight
Melbourne to Cairns is 3 hrs 20 min, direct flight
Perth to Cairns is 4 hrs 10 min, direct flight

Canberra to Cairns is 5 hrs, connecting flightˆ


From New Zealand: Air New Zealand offers the most convenient flights to Cairns.

Auckland to Cairns is 5 hrs 35 min, direct flight


From Singapore: SilkAir offers the most convenient daily flights to Cairns.

Singapore to Cairns is 6 hrs 30 min, direct flight


From China: Air China, Hainan, China Eastern Airlines, SilkAir, Qantas and Cathay Pacific offer the most convenient flights to Cairns.

Shenzhen to Cairns is 7 hrs 25 min, direct flight

Beijing to Cairns is 12 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ
Hong Kong to Cairns is 11 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ
Shanghai to Cairns is 11 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ


From United Kingdom: Singapore Airlines and SilkAir offer the most convenient daily flights to Cairns.

London to Cairns is 20 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ
Manchester to Cairns is 20 hrs 35 min, connecting flightˆ


From France: Singapore Airlines and SilkAir offer the most convenient daily flights to Cairns.

Paris to Cairns is 21 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ


From Germany: Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Lufthansa offer the most convenient flights to Cairns.

Berlin to Cairns is 21 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Dusseldorf to Cairns is 21 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
Frankfurt to Cairns is 20 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Hamburg to Cairns is 22 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ
Munich to Cairns is 20 hrs, connecting flightˆ


From United States: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia offer the most convenient daily scheduled flights to Cairns.

Atlanta to Cairns is 23 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ
Boston to Cairns is 25 hrs 5 min, connecting flightˆ
Chicago to Cairns is 23 hrs 17 min, connecting flight
Dallas-Fort Worth to Cairns is 22 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ
New York to Cairns is 24 hrs 25 min, connecting flightˆ
Los Angeles to Cairns is 17 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
San Francisco to Cairns is 19 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ


From Canada: Air Canada, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Virgin Australia offer the most convenient daily scheduled flights to Cairns.

Toronto to Cairns is 24 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
Montreal to Cairns is 25 hrs 10 min, connecting flightˆ
Vancouver to Cairns is 18 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ

(ˆincludes transfer time.)


Flying in

Cairns International Airport (CNS) is located about 7km (4mi) north of Cairns.

An airport shuttle bus services all the major hotels and city centre as well as the Northern Beaches, Palm Cove, Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation.

Cairns International and Domestic airports are only 10 minutes drive from the Central Business District. Taxis and hire cars are also available.


Entry requirements

UK, USA and Canadian nationals must have a passport valid for intended period of stay. A visa is required, except for those with Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). New Zealand citizens are granted a Special Category Visa on arrival.


Getting Around

On foot and by bicycles, which are easily hired. Buses, taxis and hire cars are all available. Tours operators provide a variety of transport options.


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More about Cairns…


Latest update: How to get to Cairns: 2 November, 2019


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