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Cairns

Clear Sky Humidity: 88%
Wind: ESE at 1.5 M/S

Getting To Cairns And
The Great Barrier Reef

Cairns and Port Douglas in north Queensland offer the fastest access gateway to the Great Barrier Reef - the world's largest, most spectacular coral reef system.

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Tropical North Queensland

Accessing The Reef From Cairns

Cairns is the central hub of Tropical North Queensland and as such is generally the starting point for visiting the Great Barrier Reef.

Reaching the Barrier Reef from Cairns can take from 35 minutes up to one and a half hours depending on the location on the reef you are visiting and how you are traveling. The reef covers a large area and the more remote destinations may take from two and half to three hours to reach the lesser visited snorkelling and diving spots.

Cairns By Air

Cairns Airport is the main gateway to Tropical North Queensland. It receives international and domestic flights, serviced by many major international, national and state air carriers. There are many direct flights for international travellers from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Guam and Papua New Guinea as well as Singapore via Darwin.

Cairns By Train

The Sunlander offers passengers a comfortable and scenic way to view the inland coast of Queensland with return schedules from Brisbane to Cairns three times per week, travelling through inland coastal towns of Bundaberg and Gladstone through to the sub-tropical region in Mackay, Proserpine and Bowen, until reaching its final destination of Cairns.

Passengers can travel in first or economy class sleeping berths and seating is also available. Waterways Restaurant also provides an excellent array of meals as well as a licensed buffet car.

The Spirit of Queensland service operates in each direction between Brisbane and Cairns and is outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities and catering. Providing a smooth and comfortable ride, the Spirit of Queensland is a good choice to explore any of the amazing spots along the Capricorn and Coral Coasts including Fraser Island, Hervey Bay, Rockhampton and more.

Cairns By Boat

Cairns is well serviced by a rising number of overseas cruise ships, with over 200 international and domestic cruise ship visits a year providing a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a 213 berth Marina accommodating a variety of personal cruising vessels, superyachts and reef vessels.

Cairns By Road

Cairns has conveinient road access via several inland and coastal routes giving you the chance to experience city to country Australia on your road-trip. All of the well known hire/rental car organisations are represented in Cairns allowing either one-way or return travel options.

Cairns is approximately;

  • 1700km from Brisbane
  • 2700km from Sydney
  • 2800km from Darwin
  • 3100km from Melbourne

Cairns By Coach

Coach travel is an efficient and pleasurable way to see the countryside over an extended travel period. Major coach companies operate luxury, air conditioned vehicles with express services between most major Australian cities and Cairns.


Acknowledgement Of Country
Reef Teach acknowledges, recognises and respects the Elders, families and forebears of the the Bama Peoples – the Aboriginal rainforest people who are traditional custodians/owners of the lands that cover our region. We also acknowledge, recognise and respect other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who call our region and the Great Barrier Reef their home.