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By Car

A car is useful if you are looking to visit surrounding areas but is not necessary for the city center. If you are visiting Cairns for the beaches, the Great Barrier Reef and the local attractions a car is not necessary. If you want to get out on your own and explore Queensland and the surrounding areas at your own pace a car rental might be a good idea. Captain Cook Highway stretches from Cairns up to the Far North Queensland town of Mossman passing through towns such as Palm Cove and Port Douglas. Rental car agencies are available at the airport.

By Foot

The city center is small enough to walk around by foot with The Esplanade stretching for 2 miles along the coastline. Cairns is flat and laid out in a grid pattern making it fairly easy to navigate with places situated close together within the CBD (central business district).

By Bike

Cairns is the perfect destination to take a bike ride, the city center is flat with some great cycling paths and circuits that criss-cross and take you all around the city. The Esplanade, The Botanic Gardens, and Centenary Lakes are some great areas for a bike ride. Bikes can be hired around the city from tour desks, hotels, and hostels.

By Boat

Based on the fact that Cairns sits along the Coral coastline boats are definitely a useful way to get out and see the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical islands that lay offshore. The Reef Fleet Terminal is located across from the Cairns Marlin Marina at the south end of The Esplanade about a mile southwest of the CBD, provides passengers with the main departure point for boats in the area. You can take day or night cruises.

By Taxi

Taxis can be found in the city especially at the bus and train station, the CBD and tourist attractions. You can hail one from the street or look for a taxi stand. Also, have your hotel call and order one for you if you wish to be picked up from there.

By Bus

There is a daily bus that runs in Cairns with eight bus routes, timetables for the buses can be found at most hotels and at the bus stops around town. The service is provided by Sunbus and they service the beaches, suburbs and the city. A daily bus ticket can be purchased and last all day until that last service at night, services usually end between 10 – 11 pm at night.

By Train

The train in Cairns runs mostly to Brisbane onboard The Sunlander, it follows the coastline through Queensland the train station in Cairns is located by the Cairns Central Shopping center which is within walking distance from the city center and the waterfront. Queensland Rail also offers service in Cairns on board the Tilt Trains.