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Sunday, October 1, 2023

When to Visit Cairns: 5 Essential Tips

Located in far North Queensland, Cairns is one of Australia’s most popular and loved tourist destinations. Cairns is a gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef and receives more than 3 million tourists year-round. According to locals, anytime is the best time to visit Cairns. Still, it is always good to check beforehand the best season and time to visit and explore any tourist destination.

Tropical North Queensland and the Cairns region experience two distinct seasons: the Dry season and the Wet Season. Both seasons have their charms and beauty. The wet season in Cairns is hot and humid, and the season begins to develop in December and lasts through March. By April, the Dry season starts developing.

Cairns’ weather is less humid during this time. However, there is no such best time to visit Cairns. The small city has the charisma to offer tourists irrespective of Cairns weather and season.

1. Best Time To Visit Cairns

August is the best month for visiting Cairns and experiencing the beautiful tropical paradise. The blue waters are stinger free, the nights are comfortable, and the days are warm and sunny, thus making it the ideal time to visit.

best time to visit Cairns
Image by Gaby Stein from Pixabay

The locals love Fitzroy Island, a 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns. The island offers picturesque scenic beauty and splendid coral beaches.

You also get to snorkel and dive amongst the Great Barrier Reef, experiencing beautiful marine life. You can also go for a boat tour if you are not into water sports. You can enjoy the beautiful sunset in the evening while sipping your favourite cocktail drink from nearby restaurants and bars.

2. Summer And Wet Season In Cairns

Cairns’ wet season is also called the Green season. This season is accompanied by a lot of humidity and heavy rainfall of 1992 mm year round. The daytime temperatures can range between 21 to 31 degree Celsius and a cool evening rainfall follows a hot day. Moreover, there are also chances of a hurricane at the end of March, which causes occasional flooding, thus blocking the roads up and down the beach.

Like most of Australia, Cairns experiences summer from December to February. During this time of the year, Cairns has very few tourists who come to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with friends and families. Tourists can dive and enjoy an amazing view of marine life at the Great Barrier Reef.

However, during the wet season, you can cover and enjoy the beauty of Cairns at a lower budget. The prices of hotels, day trips, and domestic flights considerably fall. The Daintree Rainforest looks vibrant and lively, with green vegetation and rivers and waterfalls flowing freely. If you are planning to visit Cairns during this Wet season, it is advisable to carry rain boots and raincoats and be ready to be flexible with your trip planning.

3. Stinger Season In Cairns

The beaches in and around Cairns look beautiful, just like a tropical paradise. However, you may encounter many deadly jellyfish from November to May. Box jellyfish and Irukandji are highly active in the water during this season. They have highly powerful venom, which is harmful to all human beings. The stings can cause vomiting, headaches, pain, and death.

best time to visit Cairns
Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

The jellyfish are mostly found in shallow water, so you have a rare chance to encounter them while snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef. During the stinger season, many tourists wear special stinger suits provided by dive companies. However, it is still okay to snorkel and dive during this time if you abide by the authority rules and wear stinger suits for protection.

4. Peak Season in Cairns

The dry season from the month of April to October is the ideal time to visit Cairns. The tropical paradise is filled with tourists and activities as the dry season begins. It is better to book your hotels, day trips, and flights in advance as the options can get pricy or could easily fill up.

However, day tours can only be reserved a few days before your Cairns vacation. If you want to visit the Great Barrier Reef and other beautiful islands, it is a good option to take an early morning trip. Cruises for Green Island are available and highly popular during October. The days are pleasant and lovely, thus making your trip enjoyable.

best time to visit Cairns
Photo by Jodi Nelson on Unsplash

The temperature is 26 degree Celsius between June to August. The water temperatures are pleasant, making it favorable for tourists to experience sports like scuba diving and jet skiing. Tourists can also experience hot air ballooning or sailing at the beaches.

Moreover, tourists can come across migrating humpback whales. The whales migrate between Port Douglas and Lizard Island around the Ribbon Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. During June and July, you can get a chance to swim together with the dwarf minke whales.

5. Famous Events in Cairns

Tourists mostly visit Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and other rainforests surrounding Cairns. However, some famous events are celebrated in Cairns.

On 26 January, Australia Day is celebrated in Cairns. You can enjoy delicious food from the food stall while listening to live music on the Esplanade. The arts and cultural Cairns festival is celebrated at the end of August and the start of September. You can witness fireworks and an iconic Grande Parade in Cairns.


Cairns makes one of the spectacular holiday destinations in Australia because there is so much to see and do in Cairns. The dry season is the favorable and best time to visit Cairns. A trip to the Great Barrier Reef or floating above the rainforest and enjoying dinner at one of the city’s main restaurants and bars are some of the must-do things you should experience in Cairns. Visit Cairns with your family and friends and have a gala time along the tropical beach.

Ankita M Bose
Ankita M Bose
Ankita has completed her Masters in English and has a great interest in traveling and exploring beautiful destinations. She loves writing travel contents and also keeps an interest in exploring beautiful Australian beaches, deserts and wildlife. She will guide you through some of the popular and exciting destinations to visit in Australia from her research.

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