Cairns Cruise Port
One of Australia’s busiest cruise ports, Cairns Cruise Port frequently welcomes international cruise liners as well as handling domestic vessels daily. A convenient jumping-off point for the city itself—the dock is situated in the downtown—Cairns Cruise Port also provides access to the Great Barrier Reef and the UNESCO-listed Daintree Rainforest.
If you have just one day to spend in Cairns and the surrounds, depart for Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, Atherton Tablelands, or Fitzroy Island direct from the dock during a shore excursion. Options for exploring the Great Barrier Reef include glass-bottom boat trips, snorkeling, swimming, or diving excursions, while the rain forest can be enjoyed by taking the Skyline Rainforest Cableway to the artsy town of Kuranda.
Alternatively, and if you have more time to spare, explore the city itself independently or as part of a guided tour that will provide cultural and historical context for the region.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Some larger cruise ships dock offshore and transport passengers to land by tender (small boat).
- Shore excursions are the most convenient ways to explore Cairns’ two top nearby attractions, the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.
- There are plenty of eateries, ATMs, restrooms, and shops close to the Cairns Cruise Port. However, Wi-Fi and luggage storage are not available.
- Expect Cairns to be generally hot and humid year-round—it can be best to wait for your ship at nearby cafés instead of the terminal itself.
How to Get to Cairns From the Cairns Cruise Port
The cruise terminal is located within walking distance of the heart of the city, although taxis are also plentiful for those wanting to go farther afield. Larger cruise ships may have to anchor in the harbor, in which case tenders will carry you from the ship to the port. Those departing for the Great Barrier Reef will probably do so from the nearby Reef Fleet Terminal.
The official language is English and the local currency is the Australian dollar. ATMs are widely available and are the best way to obtain local currency. Most shops and restaurants will also accept credit cards.
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