Flights from Gladstone to Cairns

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Cairns Guide

What's on in Cairns?

Cairns Festival

Cairns Festival is one of the biggest annual events to take place in the city. It usually happens towards the end of August, and features a line-up of music, art, theatre, and comedy. Most of the events are free to attend. Families travelling on return flights to Cairns that will put them in the city while the festival is on can use one of the kid-friendly events as a fun day out.

The Grass is Greener

Want to spend your holiday at a music festival? Book your tickets to Cairns around The Grass is Greener festival. This October event showcases some of the best Australian musicians. It is an all-ages festivals, so families buying flights to Cairns can bring their little ones along.

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Taking place in July, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair attracts more than 40,000 people each year. Held over three days, the program features artworks from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists, offers free traditional dance and musical performances, art workshops, film screenings and more. If you want to learn more about Tropical North Queensland Indigenous culture, you won't regret planning your flights to Cairns around the event.

What are the best places to stay in Cairns?

The Esplanade

The Esplanade is at the centre of all the action in Cairns. Travellers buying return flights to Cairns will love staying here if it's their first time in the city. Some of the best coffee shops, bars, and markets are close by, and you can attend free fitness classes in the parks during the summer. If you need to cool off from the heat of the day, visit the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. This man-made swimming spot is a great go-to for families with young children.

Parramatta Park

Buying cheap flights to Cairns and want to stay somewhere affordable? Book a hotel room in Parramatta Park. It is close to the CBD and is only 10 minutes’ drive from Cairns International Airport (CNS). The average rate of accommodation in the area tends to be slightly lower than central hotel stays. Cairns Showgrounds is also in Parramatta Park, so keep an eye out for events happening while you're in town!

City Centre

If you're searching for return flights to Cairns and you want to experience the city's nightlife, the city centre is the best place to stay. There are hotel options for all budgets, and there are dozens of cosy coffee shops, pubs and cocktail bars to explore.

Trinity Beach

For a quieter neighbourhood, look for hotels in Trinity Beach once you’ve secured your flights to Cairns. The suburb is only 15 minutes’ drive from Cairns International Airport (CNS), and is a particularly convenient option if you’re thinking about hiring a car and wanting to head out on day trips. If you want to explore closer to home, the neighbourhood has a beautiful beach, plenty of restaurants and a laid-back nightlife scene.

When is the best time to visit Cairns?

April to September is one of the best times to travel on airfare to Cairns. You'll miss the Christmas and summer crowds, and still arrive to pleasant weather and good conditions for exploring. Tickets to Cairns may also be cheaper during this off season. If you're considering buying tickets to Cairns for the end-of-year holidays, the rainforests around the city are at their finest. It's one of the best periods to explore Cape Tribulation, Daintree Rainforest, and see the waterfalls.

The wet season starts in December for Cairns. You should pack a small umbrella or a raincoat in case a downpour starts while you're outside exploring. The Great Barrier Reef is at its best between June to October. Water temperatures are ideal, and you may be treated to visibility of up to 50 metres. These months are some of the best times to buy return flights to Cairns if you're a diver or you want to spend your holiday snorkelling over the reef. Those booked on flights to Cairns during the winter months (June to August) may see migrating humpback whales off the coast.

One of the things you need to be mindful of when planning flights to Cairns is stinger season. These poisonous jellyfish are active between November and May. If you want to go swimming, snorkelling or diving, it is recommended to wear stinger suits. The risk of stingers is slightly lower in the waters around the Great Barrier Reef, however some tour operators still provide them upon request.

Best time to visit Cairns

When is The Best Time to Visit Cairns?

Cairns has a tropical climate and two distinct wet and dry seasons.

The best time to visit Cairns is during its winter months. From June to August, temperatures are most pleasant, ranging around 20-26°C. The calm winds and dry sky mean these months are perfect for sailing. Plus, you'll be in time for the migrating humpback whales!

During summer (December to February) the Cairns rainforests are at their best. The waterfalls and rivers inside the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are pulsing and are ideal for white river rafting. The Great Barrier Reef also has visibility up to 50 metres, making it one of the best times to go diving in the region.

April is when the dry season begins. Temperatures range from 22 to 29°C, and the lack of rain means it's prime time for activities like bungee jumping or hot air ballooning.

Springtime is from September to December. The weather starts to warm up and plant life in the national parks is in full bloom. There's also plenty of animal activity, making it an ideal time for any wildlife attractions. The only downside is that there is more rain during this time of year. But luckily, the storms usually take place in the evenings, giving you enough time to explore during the day.


Airports in Cairns

Cairns Airport

Cairns Airport is the seventh busiest airport in Australia. It operates direct flights to 18 international and 30 domestic destinations. The airport is a hub for Jetstar Airways, and Skytrans Airlines and is a focus city for Qantas.

Getting To and From Cairns Airport

The cheapest way to get from the airport into Cairns is with the Airport Connect bus. It only costs AUD 4 and will take you to the Sheridan Street bus stops. From there, you can transfer to a Translink bus heading into Cairns City for AUD 2.20.

If you're using Uber, follow the Ride-Booking signs. The pick-up location is in the T2 Domestic zone and the north end of the public pick-up lane.

The airport offers a door-to-door shuttle service. The buses leave every half hour and cost between AUD 15-17. But if you're staying at select hostels, you can get a discounted rate and only pay AUD 10 for a return trip.

The taxi ranks are located in front of each terminal building. On top of your fare, you'll also have to pay an exit fee of AUD 4.40.

There are also six car rental companies in the Arrivals Halls of T1 and T2.