The main gateway to Cairns is its airport which has both international and domestic terminals and is served by all the major international, national and state carriers. The airport is situated about three and a half kilometres north of the city centre and is served by the Australia Coach shuttle bus which meets all incoming flights and runs a regular service between the various terminals and the centre. A one-way fare will cost you $4.50 and a taxi for the same journey should cost you about $10.
If you arrive in Cairns by bus from any of the various destinations up the coast, most hostels have courtesy services which will meet your bus and take you to your accommodation.
There are also two major train services which operate between Cairns and Brisbane, ‘The Sunlander’ which runs three times per week and ‘The Queenlsander’ which operates once a week. Both are an extremely expensive and the journey takes about thirty-two hours. If you do avail of this service, however, you will arrive at the main train station in the city centre.
Bus : The main public bus service in the city is the Cairns Sunbus. This company provides regular buses throughout Cairns, the southern suburbs and the northern beaches. They run to the major shopping centers approximately every ten minutes and you will find schedules for all the major routes are posted at the main stop in the city centre which is the Lake Street Transit Centre in City Place. The advantage with Sunbus is that there is also a twenty-four hour service on a number of the bigger routes on Friday and Saturday. Quite a few of the hostels in the city also operate courtesy buses so you should enquire about this service as soon as you arrive.
Taxi : There is only one taxi company in Cairns, Black and White Taxi’s, which means that finding one when you really need it can prove pretty difficult. You should always book in advance to ensure that one will arrive in time for you but this means that a $0.90 booking fee will be applied before you even sit into the taxi. The good news, however, is that all taxis are controlled by two set tariffs so you know that you are not being overcharged whenever you do avail of this service.