World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Australia > Queensland > Cairns > Cairns Airport

About Cairns Airport (CNS)

Cairns Airport is the largest airport in northern Queensland, and is a gateway to major destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef and Cape Tribulation. Our Cairns Airport guide provides useful information regarding terminal facilities, public transport access and nearby accommodation options.


Information points are located in the public areas of both terminals. Airport Ambassadors dressed in turquoise uniforms can also assist with any queries. General information about the airport and flight times can be found by contacting the airport information line (tel: +61 7 4080 6703).


Driving directions:

From central Cairns, head north on Sheridan Street for approximately 5km (3 miles), then turn right onto Airport Avenue, which leads to Cairns Airport.

Transfer between terminals:

The terminals are located 250m (820ft) apart, and are connected by a covered walkway.

Airport Info

Airport Avenue

Cairns Airport is situated 7km (4 miles) north of Cairns city centre, in northern Queensland.

No. of terminals:

+61 7 4080 6703

Public Transport

Public transport road:

Shuttle:Sun Palm Express (tel: +61 7 4099 1191) operates an airport shuttle bus service to hotels and the city centre (fare: A$15.00), as well as routes to the Northern Beaches, Palm Cove and Port Douglas. These minibuses are available at the front of the arrivals areas of both terminals and can also be pre-booked online.

Most of the hotels in the region operate their own courtesy shuttle bus services to and from Cairns Airport.

Taxi:Several taxi companies serve the airport including Cairns Taxi (tel:+61 131 008; Courtesy telephones for ordering taxis are located in the arrival halls, and the taxi ranks are immediately outside the arrivals area of both terminals. The fare into central Cairns is about A$25-30 depending on time and day, and cabs can be pre-booked online.

Terminal facilities


ATMs are located in the arrivals area of the international terminal and the check-in, departure and arrival areas of the domestic terminal. Currency can be changed at booths in the baggage reclaim area of the international terminal and the departure lounge of the domestic terminal.


There is one café in the public area of the international terminal and an additional eatery post-security. The domestic terminal has a handful of places to eat and drink, including a licensed bar, a pizza restaurant and a burger outlet.


The departure areas of both terminals have shops offering a wide range of items from jewellery, souvenirs and local products to fashion clothing, designer surf wear, sunglasses and equipment for trips to the outback. Duty-free items can be purchased at an outlet in the international terminal.


A baggage storage service is available at both terminals. Contact the Car Park Service Kiosk (tel: +61 411 617 686) for queries or assistance with locker storage. Luggage trolleys are positioned at key points (free for arriving international passengers) and porter assistance is also available. For lost items, call Cairns Airport's information hotline (tel: +61 7 4080 6703). 


Showers, first-aid rooms and baby change facilities are located in both terminals.

Airport facilities

Conference and business:

There are no conference or business facilities at Cairns Airport. Passengers seeking these faiclities will need to travel to the nearby Cairns Sheridan Hotel (tel: +61 7 4031 6500;, which offers a number of meeting and conference rooms. The award-winning Cairns Convention Centre (tel: +61 7 4042 4200; is also a short drive from the airport.

Communication Facilities:

Paid-for Wi-Fi is available throughout Cairns Airport, and internet kiosks are also available within the departures areas of the terminals. Additionally, postboxes are available in both terminals.

Disabled facilities:

Facilities for people with physical disabilities include lifts, designated toilets and hearing loops. There are disabled parking spaces in each car park, as well as dedicated pick-up and drop-off areas at the entrances to both terminals. Any passengers who may require additional assistance are advised to contact their airline before travelling.

Car parking:

Short- and long-term parking areas are located outside Terminal 2, while the budget car park is opposite Terminal 1. The first ten minutes in each car park is free of charge to enable the pick-up and drop-off of passengers. Parking bays for the disabled are located in front of the departures and the arrivals doors. Advance booking is available via the airport website.

Car rental:

The following car hire companies are stationed at Cairns Airport: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Red Spot and Thrifty. Desks for these operators are located in the arrivals halls of both terminals. The parking area for hire cars is at the northern end of the car park opposite Terminal 2.

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