Getting from Port Douglas to Cairns


Captain Cook Highway ViewTraveling between Port Douglas and Cairns is bound to happen on any tropical north getaway. Luckily, it only takes a little over an hour, so it can be done without much imposition on your itinerary. If you have the chance, I would recommend driving from Port Douglas to Cairns because of its absolute scenic beauty, but there are plenty of other ways to choose from.

Driving from Port Douglas to Cairns

If you own or rent a vehicle, self-driving from Port Douglas to Cairns is a must-do. It is only 67 kilometers along the Captain Cook Highway, so a drive may only take around 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete. I personally made the drive in the morning and was pleasantly surprised by the trip to come, which included a glorious sunrise over the ocean that practically kisses the edge of the road. By self-driving, we were able to stop and enjoy the scenery and take some awesome photos.

captain cook highway view

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However, be warned that the road contains about 27km of curvy and narrow road, one which a surprising amount of cyclists like to frequent. There are signs just about everywhere along the route that warns of the dangerous nature of such road conditions, even stating that it is a high accident area, and to watch out for falling rocks.

Dangers aside, just be a safe driver and you’ll have an amazing time!

Flights from Port Douglas to Cairns

Commercial flights do not run from Port Douglas to Cairns, and it is typically the Cairns Airport that is used as a hub for visitors to Port Douglas.

Buses from Port Douglas to Cairns

Several bus and shuttle companies run between Port Douglas and Cairns, so getting a ride to Cairns should be no trouble at all. If a shuttle doesn’t fit your budget, you can always try a simple Greyhound. Read more about Australia bus travel.