The Best Time to Go to Cairns

The pool at Cairns esplanade
Cairns Esplanade

Cairns by seasons

Cairns is completely different to Britain in that it experiences its seasons at very different times to when we experience them. But no matter when you visit, the temperatures are usually pleasant and each different season has its merits, especially when it comes to planning your trip to coincide with great events happening throughout the year. Follow our guide below to make sure you pick the time that’s right for you:

Beach in Cairns

June to August

Winter in Cairns is nothing like the winter in the UK. The coldest it’ll get is around 17ᵒC, but you can expect temperatures anywhere up to 26ᵒC – positively tropical! Humidity and rainfall are low during this time, so it's actually one of the best times to visit for ideal, rain-free weather.

Go for…

Cairns Show: The country’s biggest regional agricultural show.

The beaches: Cairns’ beaches are pretty secluded year-round, but spring offers the ideal temperatures for being a beach bum, without getting burnt to a crisp.

People snorkelling near Cairns

September to November

With temperatures and the humidity on the rise (20-29ᵒC), Cairns wildlife, marine life and surrounding rainforests become really active in the spring, making it a great time to visit.

Go for…

Salt House Food and Wine Festival: Sample global wines, liquors and cuisine at this waterside day-long event.

The Great Barrier Reef: The Reef comes to life in the spring – think spawning coral, waters at the perfect temperature and less crowds. Just be wary of jellyfish come November; always wear a stinger suit.

The Daintree Rainforest

December to February

One word to discover summer in Cairns? Tropical. And while, yes, there is a fair bit of thundery weather, we still think it’s a fabulous time to visit. Known as the ‘Green Season’, the rainforest thrives in this climate and, best of all, you’ll have more of the region to yourself and it’ll be cheaper too, as less tourists visit this time of year.

Go for…

New Year’s Eve: Cairns does NYE with a difference. Sure, there’s the standard multitude of firework displays, parties and live entertainment, but there are few places where you can nurse your 1st January hangover with a cool, early-morning trek through the rainforest.

Daintree: The rainforests around Cairns are at their finest this time of year, with waterfalls and rivers in full flow, and flora and fauna lush with a million shades of green.

Kuranda Skyrail

March to May

Wave goodbye to the rain in autumn; from April this season is very dry, making it a great time to visit Cairns. Temperatures float around 21.5-29ᵒC and those who prefer chillier weather will be cooled down by the breeze.

Go for…

Kuranda: Experience the rainforest from above aboard the Kuranda Skyrail.

Undara Outback Rock and Blues Festival: Every April for three days, this all-encompassing music festival brings together local musicians and music fans from all around the state. There are great melodies, swags under the stars and plenty of alternative entertainment.

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