When is the best time to visit Cairns?
As you probably can imagine, every time of the year is a good moment to visit Cairns. The truth is that the tropical north of Queensland is like heaven on earth, from its amazing views, happy locals, luxury resorts to the unbelievable wonders that Cairns natural habitat boasts.
Doesn't matter when you arrive in Cairns, you will always get amazed by its beauty and vibrant lifestyle. Anyway, the weather can drastically affect your plans, depending on what you want to see and explore.
Help yourself with our recommendations about the best time to visit Cairns.
If you are from Queensland there is no doubt you know how wet our summers can get. If you are not from the region, you should consider that the north of Queensland, where Cairns is located, has two marked seasons: wet and dry.
The wet season starts in December and finishes around March and April. The heaviest rains fall during January and things start to go back to normal through March.
As it happens, Cairns’ wet season has some conveniences for visitors!
To start with, waterfalls and rainforests life and beauty are beyond compare. So if you are planning to visit Cairns between December to March, take advantage of the vibrant environment and book an adventure tour through the Daintree Rainforest, a World Heritage Site. The 2 hours drive from Cairns to Daintree will be totally rewarding.
There are many surreal waterfalls near Cairns worthy to explore. Barron Falls is a very well known attraction that offers a breathtaking experience to visitors and it should definitely be on your bucket list. Located only 42 minutes drive from Cairns, Barron Falls can also be appreciated from the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
You can easily fall in love with plenty of other waterfalls in the area. Josephine Falls, Crystal Cascades and Fairy Falls are only some of them. Don´t forget to take your swimsuit, a good towel and your rain jacket to take a dip in these natural pools. There are some important precautions you should take especially when flash flooding occurs, as it can become quite dangerous.
For the adventurers that are not satisfied with only appreciating these natural wonders as only observers, rafting in the Tully River or the Barron River can be their plan for the day.
Another good thing about visiting Cairns during the wet season is that there are fewer people, fewer crowds and more paradise for yourself. And this doesn´t mean you can´t have some fun! Cairns CBD counts with magnificent dining and cocktails offer so you can shelter from the rain and the humidity at a local restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal. Ochre Restaurant is very popular as well as Salt House and Ganbaranba.
Besides the rainy days, you can still discover the gems of the Great Barrier Reef during the wet season. In fact, the water temperature is just perfect. Remember to always use a wetsuit while you are in the ocean as wet season also means strings season.
Winter brings the dry season to Cairns. During April it´s still quite hot, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 29 and fewer rains. The dry season officially begins in May and the lower temperatures in June.
Some specific activities are only possible with no rain, like skydiving, bungee jumping or hot air ballooning, and visibility is also better for diving and snorkelling.
The shoulder season in Carins lasts from April to May. So if you are looking for lower accommodation prices, better deals and fewer crowds, this would be your best option!
Many visitors claim that the best moment to visit Cairns is between June to August, where the pleasant temperatures range between 17 and 26 degrees and the conditions are most of the times perfect for sailing tours. But there is a huge reason why winter is so amazing in this region and it is because our favourite visitors come to Tropical Cairns. Around 5,000 or so Humpback Whales migrate from the south to the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef. These beautiful giants are highly protected animals and although is not allowed to disturb them and get too close to them, the odds are quite good you will spot more than one of them during your snorkelling tour.
There is nothing like spring in Tropical Queensland when flowers start to blossom and colourful birds sing around. Days are not excessively hot between September and November and it feels like summer but with fewer people and a little bit earlier.
Although during November the rains start to approach, it is also the magical time of the year where the coral spawning takes place. Even in your wildest dreams, you couldn´t imagine such a spectacular event, where thousands of corals simultaneously release masses of pink eggs and sperm into the waters to form larvae.
Wet, dry or spring, every season in Cairns present amazing opportunities to get face to face with wilderness, while you enjoy the comfort of a 5-stars city with rich aboriginal culture and natural gifts.