Photo of Cairns

About Cairns

A brilliant springboard for journeys along Queensland's spectacular east coast, seaside Cairns has long been popular with travellers from Australia and further afield. Thrill-seekers will be delighted with the plethora of activities available on both land and water, whilst the growing selection of accommodation options are sure to delight families and groups of friends as well as romantic couples. Check out our Gurus’ list of the best places to stay in Cairns as you start planning your trip.

Cairns’ lively centre abounds with cafés, bars and restaurants for superb seafood suppers, craft beers and a glass or two of top-notch Australian wine. Delve into the region’s rich heritage at the indigenous-owned Tjapukai Cultural Park, or take the little ones to the impressive Wildlife Dome for the afternoon. Soak up the sunshine at the town’s central lagoon, or head slightly north for relaxed days on beautiful beaches.

The surrounding sugar cane, coffee and banana plantations are criss-crossed with walking and cycling trails, perfect for adventuring. Head further afield to explore the striking Atherton Tablelands and to go bird watching in the Daintree Rainforest, or trundle along the Kuranda Scenic Railway for gorgeous views. There’s exceptional diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as kayaking, sailing and whale watching in season. Take to the skies on gliding, ballooning and skydiving excursions, before returning to unwind in blissful surroundings at one of the best places to stay in Cairns.

The Best Places to Stay in Cairns

For City Style

  • Crystalbrook Flynn is a swish high-rise hotel overlooking the ocean on Cairns' lively esplanade. Pick this place for the sociable vibe, with weekly lively music sessions, multi-course tastings evenings and events. Chic guest rooms feature pops of pink and blue, and families are welcome in spaces with rollaway beds and cots. A stylish and central spot.
  • Crystalbrook Bailey also welcomes families and groups, with a selection of 225 guest rooms and apartments. A contemporary hotel with a focus on responsible luxury, this city pad has two swimming pools, three restaurants and a fresh, inviting feel. Interiors are bedecked in pale wood, with bright bedspreads, soaking tubs and city views. Very hip.

For a Casino

  • Pullman Reef Hotel Casino has smart, sea-facing guest rooms along with three bars and four eateries. The casino is great fun for groups of friends, particularly after a delicious dinner at Cairns' best restaurant. BAR36 is another favourite for late nights, whilst the adjoining Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome will delight families. Multiple event spaces make this a fantastic choice for celebrations or conferences.

For Waterfront Luxury

  • Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns promises uninterrupted views of the ocean, the yacht-filled marina and Cairns itself across the hotel gardens. Slick, contemporary guest rooms and suites are very inviting, and there's a spa, gym and waterfront restaurant as well as a plethora of watersports right on your doorstep.
  • Crystalbrook Riley, a five-star hotel in the heart of Cairns, promises expansive ocean views from swish rooms and suites. Sophisticated rooms have pale wooden furnishings, crisp white linens and generous bathrooms with soaking tubs. Dark blue and mustard yellow tones add a sense of warmth. A sumptuous spa and three trendy restaurants await at this romantic hotel.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner

Travel Information

  • Fly to Cairns International Airport, and travel to your hotel by bus or taxi. You can also arrive by train from Brisbane — a long, but hugely scenic route. Many hotels will be happy to arrange an airport or railway station pick up in advance.
  • Queensland is great for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Like much of Queensland, Cairns really only has two seasons: the warm, dry season — from April to September — and the hot, wet season, between October and March. Visit during the warm, dry season if you can, avoiding the school holidays for quieter sights.



Monthly Weather in Cairns

Best Hotels in Cairns

  • Crystalbrook Flynn Cairns (Queensland) 311 rooms from £132

    City Style  -  A super stylish high-rise in a stunning location on Cairns' bustling esplanade, with chic interiors & all the mod-cons
    Hotel Entertainment  -  Gather for weekly Boardwalk Social Sessions with great live musicians, or for special multi-course tasting evenings
    Families  -  Family rooms have space for cots and rollaway beds, and there's a kids' menu at the Boardwalk Social
    Restaurant  -  Dine at Flynn’s Italian, Whiskey and Wine or the relaxed Boardwalk Social
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A swish sea-facing high-rise hotel right on Cairns' lively esplanade, this five-star spot has a sociable buzz & stacks of style. Chic guest rooms & suites overlook the city or harbour, with pops of pink & blue, big windows & a fresh feel. Expect buzzy bars & relaxed seasonal eateries, too. See More

    Check Availability
  • Crystalbrook Bailey Cairns (Queensland) 255 rooms from £132

    Families  -  Interconnecting rooms or multi-bedroom apartments are ideal for families, who will appreciate kids' menus and the playground
    Business meetings  -  The long-stay rates, state-of-the-art facilities and events spaces are ideal for business travellers
    Great walks  -  Follow trails through the Daintree Rainforest or trek up Earl Hill for marvellous views of Coral Island, Cairns & the coast
    Restaurant  -  Dine at steakhouse CC’s Bar and Grill or savour tapas and cocktails at poolside Pachamama
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    A stylish hotel championing responsible luxury, with 255 guest rooms & apartments, some of which have up to three bedrooms. Clad in pale wood with soaking tubs, bright bedspreads & city views, rooms are fresh & inviting. With two swimming pools & three restaurants, this is a lively holiday spot. See More

    Check Availability
  • Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns Cairns (Australia) 256 rooms from £137

    Hotel boats for hire  -  Sail on the Allure of the Reef, the hotel's beautiful 47-foot Riviera, for superb snorkelling and sun-drenched picnics
    Total relaxation  -  A wonderfully relaxing hotel on the marina, with a restorative spa and comfrtable rooms for unwinding in Cairns
    Wildlife Area  -  Discover the Mount Hypipamee National Park or Mossman Gorge with an expert cultural and wildlife guide
    Local exploring  -  Explore the best on Cairns on land and sea from this stylish harbour side hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Five star luxury with all the trappings. Large and spacious rooms all with balconies with views either over the city, gardens or bay. Excellent facilities including outdoor pool, fitness centre and spa, and waterfront dining. A great spot on the Marina away from the main street. See More

    Check Availability
  • Crystalbrook Riley Cairns (Queensland) 307 rooms from £143

    Families  -  Family Rooms promise additional beds for little ones, who will adore the swimming pool and child-friendly menus
    Yoga  -  Rise early for poolside yoga classes with expert instructors — an idyllic start to a beautiful day in Cairns
    City Style  -  A stylish, eco-minded city hotel with crisp white linens, pale wood and city views from luxury suites
    Cycling  -  Zip around Cairns on the hotel's bicycles, exploring in a way which reflects the sustainable ethos
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A 5* hotel in the centre of town. Slick guest rooms & suites are set around a large lagoon pool, the best have panoramic ocean views and all feature pale wood furnishings & beds topped with crisp white linens. Pops of mustard yellow & dark blue add colour. Three hip restaurants & a spa await. See More

    Check Availability
  • Pullman Reef Hotel Casino Cairns (Queensland) 128 rooms from £145

    Weddings  -  A wonderful venue for glitzy weddings, with a dedicated events team, top-notch catering and gorgeous private spaces
    Groups  -  A lively casino hotel with multiple bars and restaurants, this is a top choice for a fun-filled trip with friends
    Hotel Entertainment  -  The hotel's casino has a real buzz, as does BAR36 with its regular live music nights
    Restaurant  -  Savour fusion fare at Tamarind Restaurant, Asian flavours at Soy Kitchen Street Food & bistro dining at Flinders Bar & Grill
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A swish casino hotel with smart, sea-facing guest rooms & suites promising five-star style. Classic interiors are clad in cream tones, with floor-to-ceiling windows, sink-into tubs & private balconies. Three bars & four eateries include Cairns' best restaurant — perfect for an evening to remember! See More

    Check Availability