Getting around Cairns

Public transport

The only public transport available in Cairns is the public bus service, run by Sunbus (tel: +61 7 4057 7411; Buy tickets on buses or at the Cairns City Bus Station on Lake Street between Shield and Spence Streets. All buses can either be caught at bus stops or hailed at any point along the route. Single, daily and weekly passes are available, and a return is typically transformed into a daily ticket.

Buses ply most of Cairns, and head all the way to Palm Cove (bus 110). Buses 130 and 131 head to the Botanic Gardens. Popular beaches, including Holloways Beach and Yorkeys Knob, can also be reached by bus (112, 113 and 120) via Smithfield or Cairns Central. 


The sole provider of taxis in Cairns is Cairns Taxis (tel: 131 008, in Australia only).


Having a car in Cairns is a great way to get out and explore the nearby scenery. Within the city, there's some free parking, usually with a time limit. For metered parking, you need exact change in coins, or a Visa or MasterCard. Parking ticket machines can accept 10c, 20, 50c, $1 and $2 coins. Signs indicate whether parking is ticketed or not. Parking on a solid yellow could result in a AUD$116 fine.

Car hire

Most of the car hire companies in Cairns are located on Lake Street, between Florence and Aplin Streets, or at the airport. These include Avis (tel: +61 7 4033 9555;, Budget (tel: +61 7 4048 8166;, East Coast Car Rentals (tel: +61 1800 327 826; and Hertz (tel: +61 7 4051 6399; It is advisable to book in advance, particularly for 4-wheel vehicles.

Bicycle hire

Bicycle hire is daily or weekly, though sometimes it's only slightly more expensive to hire a bike for a month than it is for a week. Cairns Electric Bikes, 34 The Esplanade (tel: +61 7 40 391 450/ +61 07 391 450; and Cairns Scooter and Bicycle Hire, 47 Shields Street (tel: +61 7 4031 3444; both rent out bikes.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.