Cairns is a modern and vibrant city and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,
Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest. Cairns is an ideal base to explore the
wonderful attractions Tropical North Queensland has to offer.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's most extensive coral reef ecosystem,
covering approx 348,000 square kilometres from the Gulf of Papua in Australia's
north, to the Bundaberg region in the south. It is five times the size of
Tasmania or larger that the United Kingdom and Ireland combined! And is one of a
few living structures visible from space, appearing as a complex string of
individual reef structures along Australia's northeast coast.
Within the GBR there are some 2,500 individual reefs, over 900 islands, 300
coral cays and about 150 inshore mangrove islands. It is also home to an
extraordinary variety of marine life; there are over 1,500 species of fish,
about 400 species of coral, 4,000 species of mollusk, and some 240 species of
birds, plus a great diversity of sponges, anemones, marine worms, crustaceans,
and other species. No other World Heritage property contains such biodiversity!
Cairns is known as the 'Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef'. Located in Far North
Queensland (approx 2 hours flight from Brisbane), it is the closest departure
point for reef cruises to the outer barrier reef. Travel time to the outer
barrier reef takes just 90 minutes by boat, or a 30 minute helicopter flight. If
you want to see a tropical island then Green Island and Fitzroy Island are just
a 45 minute boat ride away. Reef trips depart daily and cater for all abilities.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN CAIRNS?
Cairns, in Far
North Queensland, experiences hot and humid
summers and mild, dry winters. The average
annual maximum temperature is 29°C (84.2°F),
with 62 per cent humidity. Plan ahead with our
information on temperature and rainfall.
Summer (December – February)
During summer in
Cairns, average temperatures range from 23.6 -
31.4°C (74.5 - 88.5°F). The wet season begins
building up around December, and most of the
region's annual rainfall (around 2000mm / 78.7
inches) occurs in the summer months.
Autumn (March – May)
It is still very warm in autumn,
both day and night, with temperatures averaging
between 21.5 - 29°C (70.7 - 84.2°F). The rain
subsides from April, however the weather can be
windy until August. Prevailing south easterly
winds continue until approx. October.
Winter (June – August)
Winter in Cairns brings slightly cooler
temperatures and lower humidity, making it the
peak tourist season. Average temperatures range
from 17.5 - 26°C (63.5 - 78.8°F) and there is
Spring (September – November)
In spring average
temperatures range from 20.5 – 29°C (68.9 -
84.2°F). This is the end of the dry season when
humidity starts to build with the onset of the
wet season from December. In November the reef
comes alive with the annual coral spawning.