Visitor & General Information About Cairns

Barrier Reef

Entry and Exit Requirements / Immigration

A current passport and a visitor's visa is normally required for international visitors to enter Australia. However you can find the latest information on the following website:


The latest custom information can be accessed on: Australia has strict quarantine regulations and for further information contact the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service GPO Box 858 CANBERRA ACT 2601 Telephone: 02 6272 3933 Facsimile: 02 6272 5697


No compulsory immunisations are required before arriving in Australia unless you have been in a yellow fever epidemic zone within 14 days preceding arrival. It is also forbidden to carry fruit, vegetables and plants across state borders.

Where to stay - what to do

With a HUGE choice of accommodation and tours in all price categories it is difficult to decide. But with a little help from everything will get a bit easier ... and you are in charge!

Drivers Licence

Generally any current drivers licence is acceptable for driving in Queensland. However it has to be in English and an international drivers licence for overseas tourists is recommended. Many rental car companies require the driver to be 21 years old or older.

Banking Hours

Hours are:
9.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Thursday,
9.30am - 5.00pm on Friday,
9.00am - 1.00pm on Saturday (not all)

Most banks and stores have electronic banking machines 24 hours a day.

Credit Cards, Foreign Exchange, Travellers Cheque

Major credit cards are mostly accepted. Foreign currencies can be exchanged in most banks, at the airport and at local currency exchange bureaus. Many of them are open 7 days a week. It is also possible to get money from the automatic teller machine with a EC card or other credit cards and PIN number.

Post Offices

Hours are:
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday and in some shopping centres on Saturday morning. Stamps can also be obtained from some hotels and motels.

Trading Hours (guide only)
Hours in non-tourist areas:
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am - 1.00pm Saturday

Hours in tourist areas with tourist-needs:
8.00am - 9.00pm Monday to Friday, 8.00am - 5.30pm Saturday, 1.00pm - 6.00pm Sunday
Hours in shopping centres differ: 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 2.00pm Saturday

10.00am-2.00pm Sunday Big food and department stores differ with late trading hours.

Duty free stores are in Cairns, Port Douglas and at the airport.


Most religious denominations are represented in Cairns. Further details can be obtained through your accommodation reception.

Medical Services

Cairns Base Hospital Ph 4050 6333
Innisfail Hospital Ph 4061 5411 Accident/Emergency Ph 4061 5426
Tully Hospital Ph 4068 1144
Atherton Hospital Ph 4091 1211

Many doctors (GP) and specialist are located throughout the region. Please see the phone book.

Weather and Climate

Temp Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day 31.5 31.1 30.5 29.2 27.5 25.8 25.6 26.5 27.8 29.4 30.6 31.4
Night 23.6 23.7 23.0 21.5 19.9 17.6 17.0 17.5 18.6 20.5 22.2 23.3
Ocean 29.5 28.5 28.5 26.9 25.6 23.7 22.7 23.0 24.0 25.9 28.0 27.9
Rain 405.4 434.2 424.3 197.9 99.9 49.1 30.0 27.4 35.3 38.3 89.4 175.6

Average temperature in degrees Celsius and rain in millimetres. Many people appreciate the rain during the summer months as it brings the temperature a bit down.

What to wear

Sunscreen! The sun is quite strong here in Tropical North Queensland. A good idea is to buy a good sunscreen locally as they are often cheaper and better than overseas products. Factor 15+ and higher is recommended. Comfortable clothing, walking shoes, hat, sunglasses and swimwear is excellent for our climate. A casual dress and perhaps a light jacket for evening wear in the winter.


The domestic electricity supply is 240 Volts and 50 cycles (240V/50HZ), TV/Video system is PAL

Useful Local Phone Numbers

Emergency (fire - ambulance - police): 000
Cairns Base Hospital: 4050 6333
Weather: 1196
Time: 1194
Electricity: 131258
Translating Service 13 1450
Yellow Pages on the phone: 131319
White Pages on the phone: 013

What not to do

Swimming in the sea is possible all year round, however, during the stinger season (October - April) caution is required close to the mainland. Many beaches have stinger nets and visitors can safely swim in those. There are normally no stingers found out at the reef.

Beware of Crocodiles: In some rivers and estuaries, crocodiles can be found. In regards to your own safety do not go close to or into those waters. In many cases these areas are signed.

Please remember: Crocodiles can't read and they won't stay just in areas where they should be.
If you are coming from a country with opposite traffic directions please be very careful when you cross the road and look at both sides before you cross the road.

Have a nice holiday!