Cairns

Cairns is your gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s oldest wet tropics rainforest, and much more.

Sure, you can come here and simply enjoy soaking up the sun. With the boutique tropical village of Port Douglas just an hour up the road, it’s very tempting to slip on your flip-flops, and chill out by the pool. But you’d be missing out on some unique adventures.

Cairns from Auckland

per person one way from

19 January 2018
26 - 29 Apr valid on outbound flights ex NZ only, 5 - 27 May & 27 Jul - 9 Sep 2018
Add +$10 one-way for Economy class travel 13 - 23 Sep & 18 - 28 Oct 2018
Card payment fee may apply Fare conditions

Terms and conditions:  For credit or other card payments, a fee of $6 per person per one way journey applies. A booking is not completed until a booking reference number has been allocated and advised. Payment is required at the time of booking. Fares are shown in New Zealand dollars unless otherwise specified. Prices correct as at 8 Jan 2018. Offer is valid for new bookings only. New deals may be released at any time. Fares from or via Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch include airport and government costs, for travel from points other than these, New Zealand airport departure fees are payable at the airport. Customers who purchase fares using Airpoints Dollars™ online will be required to pay the government and airport charges which are included in this fare by internet banking or credit card. Fares displayed at the beginning of the booking process exclude applicable airport and government costs which will be displayed separately once an itinerary is selected. Direct flights only, unless otherwise specified. Child discounts not applicable. The airfare content is non‐refundable, and non‐transferable. Taxes on return sector will vary from those on the outbound journey. Getaway fares available on Virgin Australia operated aircraft only, if travelling on a Virgin Australia aircraft to Australia (identified by a NZ7000 series flight number) please note the following: No seatback entertainment. You can download the Virgin Australia Entertainment app to your device to access gate-to-gate inflight entertainment. The Works, Works Deluxe and Premium Economy are also not available for purchase on NZ7000 flight numbers. For Australia domestic flight connections operated by Virgin Australia, customers will receive Virgin Australia's domestic inflight offering. Works Deluxe and Business Premier customers will also receive the additional baggage allowance. For Business Premier flights operated by Virgin Australia, product will vary. Pre‐seating is not available. Unaccompanied minors are unable to be booked on a flight operated by Virgin Australia. Date or flight changes to your booking are permitted at any time prior to departure by paying a $100 change penalty (plus a $35 service fee where that change is made through a Contact Centre or at the Airport) and any difference in fare if a fare upgrade is required. Cancellation/changes: Air New Zealand’s conditions of carriage, Smart Saver terms & conditions and Airpoints™ terms & conditions apply. Connections from provincial New Zealand points requiring an overnight break in the journey will be at passengers' own expense. All promotional offers advertised on this website are correct at time of publishing, however Air New Zealand reserves all rights to modify, amend or withdraw any promotion offer advertised at any time, without further notice. TTY assistance is available for deaf and hearing impaired via NZ Relay on 0800 4 711 711.

People rave about the Great Barrier Reef, and that’s because it really is an astonishing natural phenomenon. Find out what makes it special on a full day outer reef cruise, snorkelling, diving and lazing in the sun. Or experience the magnificence of the reef region from the air with a scenic flight over the waves and rainforest.

Back on dry land, make sure you book a visit to one of Australia’s most cherished World Heritage sites, the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree Discovery Centre is a great place to start, and you can go deeper into the forest with Aboriginal-led tours, guided bird spotting and 4WD expeditions.

People rave about the Great Barrier Reef, and that’s because it really is an astonishing natural phenomenon.

You’ll experience yet another side of the far north on a trip to the Atherton Tablelands. This region of waterfalls, rolling hills and pastures produces everything from coffee to flowers. An early morning balloon flight from Mareeba in the Tablelands is an unforgettable experience, watching the kangaroos and wallabies roaming across the plateau.

After all that action you’ll be looking for a beach or two to relax on. Cairns has more than its fair share. Just 30 minutes drive to the north, Ellis Beach has a stunning backdrop of rainforest covered mountains plus views to Double Island. Our favourite is Trinity Beach with its beautiful palm-fringed sands and some lovely local restaurants.

Or if you’d rather stay in Cairns itself, you could end your day with a kilo of fresh prawns and a bottle of chilled New Zealand sauvignon blanc, sitting on the boardwalk and watching the world go by.

Essential information

Best time to go

Cairns has a tropical climate with hot, humid summers and drier winters. Most rainfall occurs between January and March. Visitors tend to come between June and October, which is a pleasant time of year with low rainfall, daytime temperatures in the mid 20s, and clear sunny days.

How much will it cost

There’s a wide range of accommodation in town, with budget hotels starting around AUD $70. You can eat well from AUD $40 per person, including the excellent local seafood.

Health

New Zealand has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia, meaning New Zealanders are entitled to some subsidised health services. This covers free treatment as a public in-patient or out-patient in a public hospital. Regardless of this, comprehensive travel insurance cover is a good idea.

Visas

New Zealand citizens can enter Australia without needing to apply for a visa. When you arrive in Australia you will be issued with a Special Category Visa (SCV), which is electronically assigned to your New Zealand passport. This entitles you to stay in Australia for as long as you need to. Note that foreign citizens who are New Zealand permanent residents cannot get an SCV – they may need to apply for a visa applicable to the passport they are travelling on.