Most visitors will arrive at the Cairns International Airport ( CNS ).  Both terminals (domestic & international) are only a short 10 to 15 minute ride from the center of town most of the time.  Travel time can increase to 15 to 30 minutes due to traffic.  Travel time to Palm Cove ranges between 25 to 45 minutes.  Travel time to Port Douglas ranges between 70 to 90 minutes.  

Airport Bus/Shuttle - There are a numerous operators in the region, so lots of options only if you book prior to arriving at the airport.  Sun Palm Tranport operates the only service desk inside the airport terminals but are very expensive compared to other transport operators, so it is essential that if you want to travel with one of the other operates you must book before arriving at Cairns Airport. 

Hotel Shuttle - Some hotels and backpackers properties have airport transfers include it in your room rate or free, so check with your accommodation before you arrive.

Limousines - there are a handful of options when it comes to booking a private car from the airport to the city centre, suburbs, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas.  It is essential to book prior to arriving at Cairns Airport, this will ensure the driver will meet and greet you at Cairns Airport.  Once luggage is collect you will be on your way.  Prices for transfers from Cairns Airport to Cairns city ranges between $45-70.  It is worth emailing each operator for a quote.  A private transfer from the Cairns Airport is often a great option as you don't have to wait in line for a taxi, you know what the price is going to be already (it can be cheaper or same as a taxi), they can drop you off at your door (just like a taxi), you depart as soon as you are ready, you get to just sit back and be chauffeured. Local operations include Cairns Luxury Limousines + 61 7 40336557  Cairns Limousine +61 7 4032 1599 or , Coral Reef CoachesCoral Sea Coaches,  ExemplarHughes LimousineRainforest Limo,  Southern Cross Stretch LimousinePalm Cove Limousine and Paradise Limousine offer this service.  

Taxis - Taxi ranks are located outside the arrival hall of both terminals.  Depending on your arrival time you may have to wait for taxi, as there may not be any taxis at rank.  A fare to the city will generally cost between $20.00 and $30.00.  A fare to Palm Cove will generally cost between $65.00 and $80.00. A fare to Port Douglas will generally cost between $190.00 and $250.00. Call Cairns Taxi (previously Black & White Taxis) on 13 1008. You will be charged a $3.50 airport fee on top of your fare and night rates apply.


Coral Sea Coaches offers city transfers  return 2 passengers $36, Trinity Beach  and Palm Cove transfers return 2 passengers $70. Port Douglas shuttle available 5 times a day -  oneway 2 passengers $85, return 2 passengers $135.  Rates reduces with the number of passengers i.e. 4 passengers to Port Douglas return $200.  Conditions apply, bookings are essential.  Book early to save.  For further information about rates and contact details visit Coral Sea Coaches website, to make a Online Booking

Eclipse Transport have great transfer rates and offers city transfers coach company meets all flights arriving or departing into Cairns Airport. It costs $12.00 per adult and $6.00 per child one way to Cairns City. Coach Transfers to Palm Cove at $20.00 per adult or $ 10.00 per child one way. Transfers to Port Douglas at the cost of $32.00 per person one way or $16.00 per child. For bookings or enquiries contact Eclipse Transport via or via 02 4032 2721 or vist the

Exemplar Coaches and Limousines sometimes will make stops in Palm Cove on the way to Port Douglas(1.25-1.5hrs). They will meet you in the baggage collection area with a sign with your name on it and depart when all passengers on your service are ready. Cost from $36.00/Person and they have family packages. Phone - (07) 4098 5473  For further information about rates and contact details visit Exemplar website

Krystal offers Cairns/ Airport  non stop to Port Douglas from $37 per adult. Discount rate apply for group of 5 or more. Children under Year 15 half fare. Free provide child retrainst and booster seater.  Transport Private Charter also available rate from $90.  For further information about rates and contact details visit Krystal Transport website 

Sun Palm Transport offers city transfers (approximately one service per hour). It costs $16 per adult and $8 per child to city. Also transfers to Northern Beaches costs $28 per adult and Port Douglas costs $47 per adult. For further information about rates and contact details visit Sun Palm website



Renting a car is another way in which you can way to travel between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas.  Cairns Airport has all the majors and is serviced by licensed independent "Off-Airport" operators. You can also hire vehicles in Port Douglas after getting a bus transfer there.

   On Airport Majors:

 Off airport operators:

  • Acer (Cairns)
  • All Day Car Rentals (Cairns)
  • Apex (Cairns)
  • Cairns Older Car Rentals (Cairns)
  • East Coast Car Rentals (Cairns)
  • Jam Jar (Port Douglas)
  • Paradise Car Hire (Port Douglas)
  • Port Douglas Car Hire

Make sure you book ahead to ensure your rental car is ready on arrival.