Cheap flights to Cairns

Flights to Cairns in 2022

Flight route prices based on searches on Cheapflights within the last 3 days, monthly prices based on aggregated historical data.
Popular inDecemberHigh demand for flights, 12% potential price rise
Cheapest inMarchBest time to find cheap flights, 2% potential price drop
Average priceR18 021Average for return flights in January 2022
Return fromR16 240From Johannesburg to Cairns

Cairns 2022 flight deals

Cheap flights to Cairns found for this year
Mar 18 - May 20
JNB

Johannesburg OR Tambo

CNS

Cairns

2 stops

57h 45m
CNS

Cairns

JNB

Johannesburg OR Tambo

2 stops

34h 10m
R16 240

Emirates

View Deal

Deal found 1/21/22

Mar 18 - May 20
JNB

Johannesburg OR Tambo

CNS

Cairns

1 stop

36h 15m
CNS

Cairns

JNB

Johannesburg OR Tambo

1 stop

29h 15m
R16 481

Qantas Airways

View Deal

Deal found 1/21/22

Mar 18 - May 20
JNB

Johannesburg OR Tambo

CNS

Cairns

1 stop

36h 15m
CNS

Cairns

JNB

Johannesburg OR Tambo

1 stop

29h 15m
R16 557

Qantas Airways

View Deal

Deal found 1/22/22

Can I fly to Cairns from South Africa right now?

Information is based on travel restrictions from South Africa to Cairns

Most visitors from South Africa will not be allowed to enter Cairns.

COVID-19 testing requirements
Visitors from South Africa must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departing to Cairns.

Documents
Travel Authorization Form - Travelers who are not in an exempt category may request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions using this form.


Can I fly back to South Africa from Cairns?

Returning to South Africa from Cairns

COVID-19 testing requirements
Visitors from Cairns must present a negative RT-PCR (NAAT) test taken 72 hours before departing to South Africa.

Quarantine requirements
Visitors from Cairns are not required to quarantine after entering South Africa.

When is the best time to fly to Cairns?

Average Cairns flight ticket prices and weather conditions for 2022 and 2023 by month

ZA1 - CNS

Price

R13 679 - R22 587

CNS

Temperature

21 - 27 °C

CNS

Precipitation

20 - 430 mm

February is typically the best time to fly to Cairns, but there are other times where great deals are available. If you are looking for warm weather when you arrive off of your flight to Cairns then January is statistically the hottest. March is historically the period with most rainfall.

Which day is cheapest to fly to Cairns?

The cheapest flights to Cairns are usually found when departing on a Wednesday. The departure day with the highest cost at present is Saturday.

What time of day is cheapest to fly to Cairns?

At the moment, flights in the morning are likely to offer the best value for money for your Cairns trip. A flight in the afternoon will more often than not be of higher cost.

Cairns is perhaps Australia’s most unabashed tourist-friendly city. Every year, more than two million tourists take cheap flights to Cairns for its near-perfect climate and its proximity to the jaw-droppingly awesome attractions of the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Cairns is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Areas meet.

Cairns city is a great base and has plenty to occupy tourists while they’re between reef or rainforest trips. There’s a wonderful Esplanade that’s comprises a swimming lagoon that’s open between 6am and 10pm daily, an amphitheatre, picnic and barbecue spots, walking trails, a children’s playground called Muddy’s and shops, restaurants and markets both day and night. Just 4km from the centre of the city are the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Lush and very, very green, these 38km of gardens are made up of the Flecker Gardens and Centenary Lakes, where a boardwalk will wind you through mangroves and tropical rainforest. Behind the gardens, Mt Whitfield Conservation Park is more than 300 hectares of forested mountain range.

Cairns climate

There are two seasons – a wet season that runs from November to May (summer) and a dry season that starts about June and stretches to October (winter). January, February and March are the wettest months and there is the greatest chance of cyclones between December and April. Temperatures are pretty stable throughout the year. Daytime temps range between 14 and 26 degrees Celsius in the dry season while visitors can expect temperatures of between about 24 to 33 degrees during the wet season. Tourists should bear in mind that the Marine Stinger season stretches from November to May.

When is the best time to fly to Cairns?

Peak Season: 

July to October is high season. 

Off Season:


The “wet season” is low season. Wet season runs from November to April when there are torrential rains and humidity levels are high. If you’re willing to brave the rains it’s a good time to book cheap flights to Cairns and take up the discounts offered by tour operators, hotels and apartments. Divers will experience the best underwater visibility during the “wet” months, more than 50 metres sometimes. Stinger (Box jellyfish) Season is November-May and bathers should ensure that they follow the lifeguards’ advice about swimming within enclosures and between lifeguard flags. 

Shoulder Season:

May and June are shoulder months.

Getting around Cairns

Cairns’s city centre is small enough to walk around, but if you are planning on getting out to the Daintree National Park (a three-hour drive north of Cairns) or Kuranda Village (a 40-minute drive), renting a car is best. There are car-rental desks at Cairns Airport. Alternatively, you could take a four-wheel drive (4WD) tour. Several companies offer 4WD tours to the most popular destinations including Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, Cape York, Undara National Park and Chillagoe. If you’re visiting the region during the wet season (November-April) a four-wheel drive is the best way of getting around. Sunbus is the bus service around Cairns. There are eight routes, serving destinations such as the Botanic Gardens, Clifton Beach, Kewarra Beach and Yorkeys Knob. 

What is good to know if travelling to Cairns?

  • Walsh’s Pyramid is located about 20km south of Cairns. It’s the highest freestanding natural pyramid in the world. At 922 metres high, it is a popular, if strenuous, hike. 
  • Crystal Cascades is a little-known freshwater swimming hole in a tropical rainforest. To get there, drive to Redlynch, and then follow the signs to Crystal Cascades. When you see the Red Beret Pub, you’ll be just 10km from the swimming hole. 
  • Josephine Falls are considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland. Take the Bruce Highway, then drive towards Mount Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain. You’ll see signs to the falls. 
  • If you’re in Cairns between May and October, grab a picnic and catch a film at the Starry Night Cinema in the Flecker Botanic Gardens. The local film club screens non-mainstream films for a $10 entrance fee. Gates open at 6pm and the film starts at 7.30pm. 
  • Fitzroy Island is just 45 minutes from Cairns. Just 339 hectares, of which 324 is designated Fitzroy Island National Park. It’s a castaway island where you can snorkel, hike, or kayak.

What airport do you fly into for flights to Cairns?

If you book a flight to Cairns, you will be flying into Cairns, which is the city’s only airport. Cairns (CNS) is located 4,4 km from the center of Cairns.