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When is the best time to visit Cairns?

Dreaming of sunnier climes? The sunshine state has the answer.

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Cairns is the destination of choice for beach worshippers, and if you’re one of them read on because we’ve sussed out the optimal time to visit when you won’t feel like a hot and sticky sardine on the sands.


When is the best time to visit Cairns?

April to September is the best time to visit for the ideal balance of affordable accommodation, warm dry weather and thin crowds. By popping in after summer, you’ll completely miss the Christmas crowds and the high humidity, while still being able to enjoy sunshine and warm days. Plus, you’ll only pay a fraction of the peak season price.


Why is April to September the best time to visit Cairns?

Located in the tropical north, Cairns enjoys hot, humid summers and mild winters with temperatures rarely dipping below 24℃ during the daytime.

Cairns is a popular destination for Australian families as it’s the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and offers family friendly beaches. To avoid the crowds, you should steer clear of Cairns during the school holiday period in June/July.

Travelling closer to winter means you’ll enjoy pleasant, dry days that are still ideal for beachside bumming or for exploring neighbouring islands and the Daintree rainforest.

If you're heading to Cairns to kick-start a Queensland road trip, travelling during the dry winter season will also mean there's less of a chance to encounter flooded roads - especially if you're travelling off the beaten track - that can put a real damper on your trip.


Weather and prices

Best time to visit Cairns, weather wise: April to September.

Cheapest time to visit Cairns: Search for flights and hotels in February or March when prices drop as it’s just after the peak holiday period.

Ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda
Ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda

RedBalloon

Go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef
Go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef

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Explore the Daintree Rainforest with a river cruise
Explore the Daintree Rainforest with a river cruise

RedBalloon


Best time to visit Cairns for...

  • Beaches: With a temperatures of 25-31℃ throughout the year, Cairns is good for beaches any time of the year, though it is best from June to October when it’s the driest.
  • Snorkelling: Snorkelling is good all year round though, the wet season between December and May will likely find you the best deals.
  • Diving: Similar to snorkelling, diving is good all year round with the best deals occurring from December to May, but the least chance it will rain while you're snorkelling is from June to November..
  • Riding the Kuranda Scenic Railway: Ride the rails on this iconic railway during the cooler and drier months of winter for clear views sans the stuffed carriages. The Kuranda Scenic Railway operates every day except Christmas Day.
  • Watersports: Available all year round, watersports such as jetskiing and parasailing are best enjoyed during dry warm months such as April and May or September and October.

Now that you know when to go, here are Cairns travel deals to save on your trip:

Hostelworld Hostelworld

Australia stays from $12/night

Available on select stay dates across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide and more. Sample fare is for a stay at Byron Bay YHA. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Up to 15% off tandem skydive with code

Available for 15,000ft tandem skydives at Cairns and Mission Beach. FNQ ID is required and must be presented on the day of your jump. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Kids activities at home from $15 + Extra $10 off with code

Available on activities such as online art classes, animal experiences, cooking classes and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Kids activities from $18 + Extra $10 off with code

Available on activities which can be given as gifts such as day tour cruises, zoo experiences, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Virgin Australia sale: Australia-wide flights from $69 each way

Available for flights on select dates from November 2020 - December 2021. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Sydney. Destinations include Launceston, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Ballina Byron, Coffs Harbour, Sunshine Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Domestic flights from $145 return

Available on select travel dates until February 2021. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Hamilton Island and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Byron Bay with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Up to 35% off last minute deals

Available on select stay dates across Sydney, Gold Coast, Canberra, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Australia-wide flights from $41 + one free date change

Available on Jetstar flights until January 2021 to Sydney, Ballina, Uluru, Brisbane, Darwin, Cairns, Hobart, Townsville and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne.

Last verified

Deal ends

Gift It Now Gift It Now

Up to 39% off Cairns experiences

Available on select travel dates for activities including tandem skydive, hot air balloon flights, zoo and wildlife interactions, sightseeing cruises and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Australia flights from $109 return

Available on flights until January 2021 to Hobart, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast, Uluru, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Cairns skydive from $219

Available on select travel dates. Includes return transfers from Cairns. Includes $20 merchandise voucher. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Klook Klook

Up to 69% off 4 days Cairns and Barrier Reef getaway

Available for travel until 31 March 2021. Includes stay at Hilton Hotel Cairns, breakfast, lunch, guide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Klook Klook

Up to 15% off things to do in Cairns

Available on select travel dates. Activities include getaways, zoo and animal interactions, scuba dive experiences and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 38% off Australia attractions and experiences

Available on select travel dates in Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Canberra, Melbourne and more. Attractions include SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney, Sydney Featherdale Wildlife Park, Madame Tussauds and Eureka Skydeck. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Qantas Airways: Domestic flights from $113 each way

Available on select dates until December 2020 to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, Cairns and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Hotels.com Hotels.com

Up to 63% off resort getaways

Available on select stay dates until October 2021 in Cairns and Port Douglas. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Get Your Guide Get Your Guide

Australia activities from $10

Available on select dates for activities like sightseeing tours, attraction passes, river cruises, hop-on hop-off tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Launceston, Melbourne, Cairns, Hunter Valley, Perth and more.

Last verified

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 30% off North Queensland stays

Available on select stay dates until 2021 in Cairns and Port Douglas. Minimum of 2 nights stay required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Experience Oz Experience Oz

Up to 50% off Australia activities

Available on select travel dates until 2021 on activities like skydiving, hot air ballooning, whale watching, sightseeing tour, wildlife interactions and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 30% off Australia tropical getaways

Available on stays until 30 June 2021. Destinations include Darwin, Port Douglas, Cairns and Broome. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 25% off Australia Christmas and New Year's Eve tours

Available on tours from December 2020 - December 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Uluru, Cairns, Melbourne, Blue Mountains, Great Ocean Road, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Airbnb Airbnb

Cairns stays from $16/night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is for a private room in Parramatta Park. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Viator Viator

Great Barrier Reef tours and experiences from $109

Available for travel on select dates in 2020 and 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 32% off Cairns escape with breakfast + flghts

Available for travel until 23 December 2021. Package includes return airfare, stay at Oaks Cairns Hotel, nightly glass of wine or beer, $50 dining credit and late check out. Valid for 2 adults. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Up to $20 off skydiving with code

Get $20 off per person when you book for 4 or more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Cairns, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Up to $40 off skydiving with code

Get $40 off per person when you book for 8 or more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Cairns, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages

Available on select dates until December 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 56% off Australia getaways

Available on stays until December 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 30% off last minute Australia stays

Available stays until October 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle, Rockhampton and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kiwi.com Kiwi.com

Up to 15% off Australia hotels

Available on stays until 4 January 2021 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 73% off getaways + Extra up to 20% off with code

Available for travel on select dates to Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane, Launceston, Newcastle, Noosa Heads, Cairns and much more. Maximum discount of $40. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Klook Klook

Up to 40% off local activities

Available on select dates in 2020 for activities including whale watching, hot air balloon flights, getaways, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes and more. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Australia car hires from $43/day

Available on select dates in 2020 in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Broome and more. Sample rate is for a compact car in Coffs Harbour. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 15% off Australia tours

Available on select 2020 and 2021 dates for trips to Byron Bay, Uluru, Perth, Whitsundays, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

DriveNow DriveNow

One-way car hire from $5/day

Available on select dates. Destinations include Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Cains, Sunshine Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off Australia tours

Available on select dates in 2021 and 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Broome, Uluru and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 85% off domestic activities

Available on select dates for activities including skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing, high tea and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Up to 18% off sightseeing cruises + Extra 10% off with code

Available on select travel dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Whitsundays, Perth, Broome and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Australia experiences for 2 from $38 + Extra $10 off with code

Available on select dates for experiences like tours, zoo and wildlife interactions, hot air balloon flights, skydiving and more. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Extra 10% off Australia activities with code

Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours, high tea and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Popular Cairns deals coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
23 Oct 2020 Up to 15% off tandem skydive with code LOC****
23 Oct 2020 Kids activities at home from $15 + Extra $10 off with code FDR****
23 Oct 2020 Kids activities from $18 + Extra $10 off with code FDR****
21 Oct 2020 Up to $20 off skydiving with code GRO****
1 Oct 2020 Up to $40 off skydiving with code GRO****

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