Laid-back and tropical, Cairns is a Far North Queensland city nestled between two iconic world-heritage spots: The Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest.

A gateway to one of The Seven Wonders of The World and a nature-lovers haven, Cairns itself is a mecca of boutique shops, cafes, hotels and markets.

From swimming in the iconic Cairns lagoon, to tasting the finest seafood dishes at an award-winning restaurant, to exploring the ancient fauna of the Cairns Botanical Gardens, there's a tropical escape to suit every taste.

The location of the city makes it the perfect base from which to explore the stunning environment of Tropical North Queensland. Beach bums can get their vitamin D fix at the Northern Beaches, whilst nature-lovers can get lost in the serene beauty of The Atherton Tablelands.

And, of course, the iconic Great Barrier Reef is just a short sail away from the Cairns Reef Terminal.

Below: An aerial of Cairns Esplanade and Lagoon. Photo by Tourism & Events Queensland

cairns weather

Cairns is lucky to have a Tropical Climate, meaning it's pretty much 'Summer' all year round! Cairns has two distinct seasons; wet and dry season, which consist of hot and humid Summers and milder, dry Winters.

December- November: The wet season
- Tropical monsoon rain with the chance of tropical cyclones
- High temperature and humidity.
- Marine stingers present in ocean.
- Average of 10-19 rainy days per month
- Day time maximum temperature is between 28 and 31 degrees Celsius
- Day time minimum temperature is between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius

April- November: The dry season
- Dryer with less rain and very little chance of cyclones
- No marine stingers present in ocean
- Average of 8-13 rainy days per month.
- Day time maximum temperature is between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius
- Day time minimum temperature is between 17 and 22 degrees Celsius

When is best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef?

You can visit the Outer Barrier Reef any time of the year and often, when it's cloudy or rainy in Cairns, it can still be sunny out at the Reef!

As for the stingers, wear a stinger suit. These stylish pieces stop you from getting that dreaded sun burn too.

The water temperature is 22 degrees at its coolest, meaning it is comfortable to dive and snorkel The Great Barrier Reef all year round.

Below: Sunrise over Cairns Esplanade. Photo by Tourism and Events Queensland/Andrew Watson and

Cairns attractions

With so many natural attractions and tours in Cairns, you'll never be stuck for something to do!

The city itself has a large swimming lagoon, which is free for everyone! This large space is 100% croc free guaranteed and is the perfect place to relax with a book under a palm tree.

Tantalise your taste buds in one of the city's many restaurants. We recommend wandering up the Esplanade and along the Pier and seeing what takes your fancy!

The City itself has a number of boutiques and gift shops and more serious shoppers can take a quick walk to Cairns Central.

If you're feeling cultural, the cities museum and art gallery may tickle your fancy. Those who prefer their art living can take a short bus ride to the Cairns Botanical Gardens and Centenary Lakes.

Cairns is lucky enough to be home to two world heritage sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. Soar over the world's oldest rainforest on a Skyrail cable car tour. Ending in the funky rainforest of Kuranda, this experience allows you to really get into the tropical spirit! Tick some of those cute marsupials off your must-see list by adding a trip to Rainforestation nature park.

Tick the big one off your bucketlist with an Outer Barrier Reef tour. Our Moore Reef tour takes you to pristine Moore Outer Barrier Reef, where you can experience all the Great Barrier Reef activities you dream of! Snorkel the colourful coral, find Nemo, or try Cairns scuba diving with an introductory scuba dive.

Once you have seen your dream marine life up close, why not get up close with the creature you would never want to get up close and personal with: a crocodile! Hartley's Crocodile Adventures allows you to see huge crocodiles, cassowaries and more! If you want to stay on an adrenaline-high, finish off your Cairns holiday with a day of white water rafting. This experience takes you down the Barron River and is a hit with beginners and adrenaline junkies alike!

THE great barrier reef

Welcome to the Great Barrier Reef! Stretching across 2,300 KM of pristine coastline from Fraser Island in balmy Southern Queensland all the way to Cape York and beyond in tropical Far North Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed area of colourful coral gardens, abundant marine life and over 900 unspoilt islands waiting to be explored. 

From snorkelling to scuba diving or a leisurely helicopter flight to fully appreciate its awesome scale, Sunlover Reef Cruises and our expert team of locals will take you beyond the postcards to experience this marine wonder in all its glory.

Guests from all over the world can also choose from a variety of optional extras including certified or introductory dives with professional scuba diving instructors, qualified Marine Biologists and Seawalker helmet diving, Sunlover Reef Cruises offers many options for our guests to discover the beauty and diversity of the Great Barrier Reef.