Caribbean Cruise Destinations

Australia teems with exotic wildlife, unusual geological formations, and beautiful tropical waters. Explore Aborigine culture, scuba the Great Barrier Reef, and more on an Australian cruise.

Tropical Weather

Atlantic/Gulf Coast

All Clear for Cruisers

 

Eastern Pacific

All Clear for Cruisers

More Port Calls

Adelaide
Auckland
Bay of Islands
Brisbane
Cairns
Christchurch (Lyttleton)
Christmas Island
Dunedin
Hobart
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney
Tauranga
Thursday Island
Wellington

Cairns Weather

Click for Cairns, Queensland Forecast  

Need to know

Hurricanes

Cairns' tropical cyclone season lasts from November to May.

Crime

Like most cities dependent on tourism, be aware of your surroundings. Secure your valuables and avoid wearing flashy clothing. Don't wander the streets alone in the late hours.

Medical Facilities

There is a tourist medical facility available at 15 Lake St., Cairns, QLD, 4870. Ph: +61 0740411699, Website: http://www.ctlmedical.com.au

They are closed on Sundays and have limited hours on Saturday. Monday-Friday they are open 8am-6pm.

Most Pharmacies are open to about 9pm.

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Getting around  

By foot

Staying in Cairns, it's easy to navigate the city's grid pattern. The Esplanade is a popular walking destination and is near the Reef Terminal where boats depart for the Reef.

Bicycle

Cairns is flat and easy to get around. Hotel, tour desks, and hostels offer bikes for hire.

Taxi

The Black & White Taxis operate stands around the city, including in front of Reef Terminal and the Esplanade.

Public Transport

The central bus and taxi hub is City Place and the Lake St. Transit Centre. Operated by Sunbus, Buses run all over Cairns and he surrounding areas. bus fares are zone dependent. Zones 1 & 2 are $2.40-$2.90 AUD for a single ride.

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Area Events

Australia Day

On 26 January each year, Australians come together to celebrate their national day. The date commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet from Great Britain, reflecting the nation’s diversity and achievements, its past and its future.

Reef and Rainforest Carnival

A 10-day festival in Port Douglas in May. It is characterized by vibrant colors and raucous celebration. All handicrafts and artwork connect to the reef and rainforest themes.

Festival Cairns

In August-September, experience a taste of Cairns with 40 events spanning music, sport, dining, and theater.

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ports > destinations > Cairns
 

Cairns

For many cruisers, the port of call in Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Lagoon at Esplanade at Cairns, Australia, Cruise Port of Call

Photo by 04marjess at en.wikipedia, from Wikimedia Commons

Port Entry Getting Around
Hurricanes Things to Do
Good to Know Beaches
Personal Safety Area Events
Medical Services Great Barrier Reef 

 Visitors to Cairns can experience rainforests to reefs. The tropical city is the access point for several World Heritage-Listed sites like the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.

Map of Cairns, Australia from Wikimedia 

Cairns is located on the northeastern coast of Australia. The city provides access to Cape Tribulation, the northernmost reaches of Australia, to aborigine villages and historical sites, and natural wonders. The city caters to tourism and is known for a laidback beach town vibe.

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Good to Know

Port of Entry

Cairns Seaport
Address: Grafton & Hartley Streets
    PO Box 594
    Cairns, Queensland 4870
    Australia
Phone: +61 7 40523888
Website: www.cairnsport.com.au
Email: enquiries@portsfnq.com.au

Time Zone

GMT + 10 (Daylight Savings) (Australian Eastern Time)

Map Coordinates

16° 55' 47" S, 145° 46' 50" E

Climate

Like much of Australia, Cairns has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. The rainy season builds in December and lasts from January to March. Tropical cyclone season lasts from November to May. The average temperature during the wet season is 24°-31°C (75°-88°F). Water temperatures are typically near 29°C (84°F).

The dry season is typically June-August, Australia's winter. Daytime temperatures average 18°C (61°F) and the water is typically 22°C(72°F).

Currency

Australia has a decimal currency system, with 100 cents to the Australian dollar. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are found around Sydney at most bank branches and in some clubs and pubs. Foreign exchange offices are located throughout the city including at American Express. Major credit cards accepted in Australia are Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express. Travelex travellers’ checks are widely accepted throughout NSW. Banks are open from Monday to Friday 9.30am until between 4pm and 5pm, depending on the branch.

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent applies to most goods and services. It is included in the ticket price of goods and in restaurant menus. Departing travellers may be able to claim a refund for GST paid on goods bought in Australia under the Tourist Refund Scheme. As a rule, tipping is not expected in NSW and is rarely added to bills automatically. However, if you're happy with the service, 10 per cent is an acceptable amount especially in restaurants, for taxi rides and in hotels.
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Electric

The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so you may need an adaptor.

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Things to do and see

Daintree Rainforest

The world's oldest surviving rainforest is a wonder to explore. Crocodiles, turtles, and platypus hide in the sparkling streams. Rainy season is the best time to visit to experience the rushing waterfalls and streams. Walk the aerial walkway or one of the many hiking trails to immerse into this ancient landscape.

Kuranda

Ride the railway 25km northwest of Cairns to the mountain retreat of Kuranda, the village of the rainforest. The arts and craft culture flourishes in markets and the many shops selling local wares and produce like honey and tropical fruits. There are many nature walks departing from Kuranda.

Tully River

Ride the raging waters of the Tully River on a white water adventure over 45 rapids.

Cairns Promenade

Stroll along the Cairns Foreshore Promenade with a saltwater lagoon, restaurants, bars, and beautiful waterfront vistas.

Barron River Whitewater

Perfect for beginners or families, the Barron River winds through a gorge with exciting rapids.

Atherton Tablelands

A popular location for hot air ballooning.

Port Douglas

This seaside resort town is perfect for finding arts and crafts treasures. It's another jumping off point for the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

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Beaches

Mission Beach

To the south of Cairns lies Mission Beach, a 14km stretch of golden sand sitting between World Heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

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Great Barrier Reef

The options to explore from the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef are endless. Tour operators offer helicopter and airplane rides, glass bottom boat rides, sailing, snorkeling, and diving day trips and liveaboards to the outer reef and its surrounds. Check with operators to see which specific reefs they offer.

Whale season runs from June-August. Spy Dwarf Minke on the north reef or Humpback whales on the outer reef along their annual migration.

Ribbon Reefs

This string of 10 reefs along the outside of the Great Barrier Reef is often listed in top 10 lists. The coral is spectacular and the fish abundant. See Dwarf Minke whales during their season.

Agincourt Reef

A series of smaller reefs with 16 major diving attractions. Spot giant clams, clownfish, Maori wrasse and more.

Green Island

A 6,000-year-old coral cay with a unique reef and rainforest environment. Hike into the forest or canoe, kayak, or snorkel around the island.

Lizard Island

See giant clams, spotted rays, and another marine wildlife off this remote resort island.

Fitroy Island

Close enough to be seen from Cairns, this large island is the peak of a mountain chain. There is a nude beach, hiking, snorkeling, and diving available.

Cod Hole

Feed gigantic potato cod, a highlight of many scuba diver's trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

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