Best Time to Travel to Cairns

Finding the best time to travel to Cairns will depend on what you plan to do during your holiday.

Cairns seasons are characterised by two distinct periods: the wet season and the dry season. During the wet season, rainfall is highest, but diving conditions are also at their best. The dry season offers much better conditions for some adventure-seekers, particularly if you wish to go up in a hot-air balloon or do some hiking.

Whatever time you choose, you can rest assured Cairns will be stunning.

Summer

Summer in Cairns means hot, humid weather, thanks to the tropical climate. Day temperatures range between 23-31°C and Cairns rainfall is at its highest during this time, particularly in January and February. While the wet season is dominated by rain, it also offers beautiful water temperatures and fantastic diving conditions. Be sure to abide by any signs that indicate whether beaches are safe to swim at.

Appropriate clothing: Shorts and a t-shirt.

Don’t forget: Umbrella, sunscreen.

Autumn

While the start of autumn in Cairns has lingering rainfall from the outgoing wet season, April and May mark the start of the dry season. Temperatures are still quite high during the day, between 22-29°C, but the days are also much drier. Autumn is a great time to explore the natural surroundings, including Cape Tribulation.

Appropriate clothing: Shorts and a t-shirt.

Don’t forget: Sunscreen.

Winter

Winter in Cairns is a welcome escape from the cold weather many other parts of Australia are experiencing. The temperature ranges from 17-26°C, with postcard-perfect clear skies making this a perfect Cairns season. Winter also marks the start of the migration of humpback whales, which makes it a fantastic time to enjoy whale-watching.

Appropriate clothing: Shorts and a t-shirt with a jacket for cooler evenings.

Don’t forget: Binoculars for whale-watching!

Spring

Daytime temperatures during spring in Cairns average a low of 21°C up to a high of 30°C. Much like other parts of the world, spring kickstarts new blooms of plant growth. Coral spawns, gardens come to life with flowers, and the weather is stunning. Rainfall tends to be during the evening, giving you the whole day to enjoy being outdoors.

Appropriate clothing: Shorts and a t-shirt.

Don’t forget: A rain jacket for the evenings.