qconnect is an initiative of QLD govt to meet the needs of Cairns.
Sunbus has new timetables and route numbers which came into effect May 2011.
Some of the routes have changed -- (please note:some streets are no longer in service.)
Extra services are in operation after a survey regarding the demand for more public buses.
For example: Inner Northern Beaches Cairns Monday to Sunday route servicing.
112 Smithfield Shopping Centre,James Cook University,Smithfield Heights,Yorkeys Knob.
113 Cairns City Mall,Sunbus Depot
120 Cairns City Mall,Machans Beach,Smithfield Shopping Centre.
( formerly routes 1C,1D,1H.
110 Cairns City Mall,Smithfield,James Cook University,Clifton Beach,Palm Cove.
111 Cairns City,Smithfield,James Cook University,Trinity Park,Trinity Beach,Kewarra Beach.
(formerly routes 1X,1N,2,2A
130 Cairns City Mall,Edge Hill,Raintrees Shopping Centre.
131 Cairns City Mall,Botanical Gardens,Whitfield,Raintrees Shopping Centre.
(formerly routes 5,5A,6,6A,7)
123 Cairns City Mall,Manunda,Raintrees Shopping Centre,Brinsmead,Smithfield Shopping centre,James Cook University.
133 Cairns City Mall,Westcourt Plaza (DFO) TAFE,Raintrees Shopping Centre,Mooroobool,Stockland Shopping Centre.
(formerly routes 4,8
You are able to pick up the timetables from information booths and tourist centres,or via Queensland Government,transport and main roads.There are 8 timetables covering Cairns.
If you need a translator an interpreting service is available on 13 14 50
qconnect has introduced a zonal fare system to make it easier to get around and don't forget the hail 'n' ride Cairns Sunbus offer...this means you can board or get off a bus between schedules bus stops.Just signal the driver by placing your hand out when the bus comes along and ring the bell when you want to get off and go to the front of the bus and let the driver know.The driver will let you off at the nearest safe spot.
Lots of people ask "how far is it to?"such and such a place so I decided to put up a few distances from Cairns to some popular tourist places. The driving speed on highways in QLD is 100klms an hour or 80klms an hour.In towns and city's it is 60klms an hour on main roads and 50klms an hour in residential areas and side streets.You will need to slow down to 40klms an hour in school zones at specific times.And any roadwork signs that advise you to slow to 40klms an hour.Be aware of where you park and at what time in towns and city's.
Be very careful and mindful if you are driving early morning or at dusk as many wildlife cross the roads,wallabies,snakes,Cassowaries etc,also flocks of low flying birds and insects that can scare the daylights out of you if they hit the windscreen..whatever you do please don't swerve to miss them as this could cause the car to go off road and many accidents occur by doing that.As you travel around you will witness road-kill but most times this is unavoidable.
Happy touring,safe driving and hope this helps you.
From Cairns in kilometers
Palm Cove 26
Port Douglas 72
Cape Tibulation 140
Mission Beach 141
Cruise ships and liners have a new Terminal in Cairns Trinity Inlet,finishing touches are still being done but servicable at this stage.When it is completed it will be a show piece for Cairns.
Passengers will disembark from a modern tropical terminal with tropical gardens and seats and is only a stroll into the CBD or the Cairns Esplanade via the boardwalk along Wharf street and the pier.
The old terminal is still there but this will be dismantled as soon as the new part opens.
Each seat has a plaque engraved with the history of Cairns, the wharf and Trinity Inlet.
The Cairns city and outer areas have a rather good reliable Bus system.
Sunbus is the company. You can catch these around town and the main depot in the city is in Lake Street. Here you can see signs with routes and times on them.
If you are going to one of the Northern Beaches or Port Douglas you can find the bus at the airport, you can also buy a ticket here.This is the company that do this...Sun Palm Express
If you are travelling in a group it could be cheaper to hire a car for the day, pick up at airport and drop at Port Douglas.
Sunbus (city bus)
Australia Coach (airport bus)
Sun Palm Express (Cairns to Port Douglas/Daintree)
Whitecar Coaches (Cairns to Tablelands)
Country Road Coaches (Cairns to Cooktown)
Premier Motor Service (interstate)
Queensland Rail (trains)
Having an accommodation about 5 km’s outside the city centre we had to use the local bus in Cairns. Sunbus is servicing all parts of the city and specially during weekdays they are running frequently. We also used the bus for visiting Cairns Zoo and you could easily do the same for the Sky rail Terminal and Tjapukai Aboriginal Park or the beaches north of Cairns.
Depending on the destination (3 zones) there are day tickets for the use of all Sunbuses. We paid AUD 6,30 for ours to the city and AUD 10,20 for Cairns Tropical Zoo.
Buses leave to all suburbs from the Transit Centre, in the midlle of the city centre of Cairns.
The first entry point on your trip to Cairns will most likely be the airport. As Cairns is located in Tropical North Queensland, you must be ready for a couple day drive if you are not going to arrive via airplane.
Cairns International Airport has two terminals, one for domestic and one for international. The domestic terminal includes Qantas, Virgin Blue, and Jetstar. The international terminal services Qantas, Australian Airlines, JAL, Air Nuigini, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, and continental Micronesia.
One thing to watch out for is that since Qantas services both domestic and international itineraries, that you make sure you find out which one you are departing from, as you may be in the wrong place with all your baggage otherwise!
This is a monopoly. Only 1 airline flies this route.
The journey is about 5.5 hours and the airline used to be Australian Airlines.
Qantas has announced in that they have plans to phase out Australian Airlines in order to focus their resources on Jetstar and Jetstar Asia.
JETSTAR now flies between Singapore and Cairns directly.
Virgin Blue Air provides reliable, relatively cheap transportation around Australia. I got some great deals with Virgin, and I never had issues with cancellations, delays, or anything similar. Highly recommended!
If you'd like to see Kuranda but aren't willing to spring for the $40-90 per person that it takes to ride the SkyRail/train, there are buses that go to and from Kuranda about 5 times a day. These buses range anywhere from $4-8 per person, and they depart from downtown Cairns. Two companies I have heard of are John's Kuranda Bus (which I used) and Trans North Bus & Coach Service (see website below). The buses are nothing special, but they are efficient, cheap, and they get you where you need to go.
The bus system in Cairns does not have perfect timing. I've waited anywhere from 10-30 minutes after the scheduled time for a bus to arrive. Usually it's not a big deal, but if you need to be somewhere by a specific time and intend to use the bus, make sure to give yourself a bit of extra leeway just in case they're having a slow day. That being said, they do have good deals (you can get day passes or week passes that work really well if you will be using the bus a lot) and most of the drivers are helpful.
There is no need to do everthing with a tour, the bus from Cairns to Kuranda for instance, was (april 2010) about A$ 5 each way, quite frequent, leaving Cairns from Lake street Transit Mall (next to Shields street). Kuranda is small enough for walking
I was very impressed with Cairns buses. They are very neat and clean and new....air con is a bit cold ;o) and the price average.
We went for a day to Trinity Beach by bus and has no problem finding the right one - Stand F. Directions are clearly marked and if in doubt, just ask one of the friendly bus drivers.
If coming from overseas, more than likely you will fly into Cairns from another large city as Cairns does not have many international flights. My advise is to have a look at www.flightcentre.com.au to compare prices. Quantas can be expensive and the alternate airlines like Virgin Blue and JetStar often have good specials.
I flew via Quantas as it was the only airline available for a direct flight from Hamilton Island on the Whitsundays. The view of the reef as you come in for a landing is lovely and not to be missed!
We had always heard that Cairns was the most beautiful destination in Australia ever since we landed in 2006 and had always wanted to go there.We had heard about the friendly Queenslanders also.So we were very excited to come to Cairns despite a 1.5 hr delay.We must say we had a wonderful stay there but must warn people of a car rental company called East coast rentals.They were so prompt in all the email correspondence but when we went to pick up our car, we were treated quite shabbily.As soon as we entered their reception area, one woman kept calling my last name and when we responded she quickly pointed us to another cute girl and said she would deal with us.Now the cute girl called Lia who worked with Mini car rentals,said the guys next doors didnt get their fleet of 30 toyota corollas they were expecting and she was just helping her "friend" next doors.We were tired and hungry and just didn't question her honesty.After 2 minutes it sunk in,as to what was happening.They probably had people who had no reservations and were adjusting us and telling us that they were doing us a favour.To cut the long story short we took a Kia rio,came back the nest day to get a corolla sedan and were given a sedan hatch.Reason being we were just "Two of us". Very dodgy.Now the cute girl was nice,but my partner did give the girl at East coast a piece of her mind and she deserved it.She had the audacity to say "Theres nothing i can do,and you havent paid for the car" and my partner told her that this is the worst customer service and she did say a sheepish "I apologise" a bit too late in the day.Now the cute girl tried to diffuse the situation by slight threats of 'do you want the car or not,else I have other people waiting for it'.That sounded like you were in China or middle east.The best part was that the bosses were not around.As people who've travelled all over, we have realized that customer service in Australia sucks but having said that the owners at Trintiy beach club resort,Jenny and Wayne made up for East coasts rude behaviour.They were so nice.So guys try Trinity and be wary of East coast car rentals.Go for the big guys like budget or Thrifty,at least they will do dodgy things with panache.):
Please be aware that the Daintree River Ferry fees will increase and take effect as of 1st July 2009.
Motor car for private use=$11 one way or $20 return.
Buses 6 to 8 seaters=$12 one way or $23 return.
Passenger,Bicycles and pedestrians=$1 one way or $2 return.
Motor Bikes=$5 one way or $9 return.
Or you can purchase a multi Day Pass (5 return car/ute trips =$40.
All Australian dollars.
see all Cairns member meetings