Look at the WikiVoyage page for Cairns under "Get In", it mentions that there's a nearly-hourly airport shuttle running into the city centre. From other comments, I gather that the shuttle company mentioned in the wiki voyage article isn't the only one running.

However, the shuttle bus website linked from WikiVoyage is a rather broken site. There's no timetables there, no information, and the online reservation form doesn't work either... That's also apparently not the only one.

That leads me to wonder - is it possible to just arrive at the airport, find the bus stop(s), pay and get on the next bus?

Or do I need to pick one company, phone them up and try to book by phone onto one specific bus?

  • Note that there's more than one Cairns airport shuttle...
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 21, 2014 at 6:37
  • Ohh, interesting! Looks like when the question is answered, someone'll need to fix WikiVoyage!
    – Gagravarr
    Dec 21, 2014 at 7:14
  • So then, are you happy with the question as is then, or would you prefer something along the lines of 'Is there a Cairns airport shuttle you can just turn up and use without pre-booking?'?
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 21, 2014 at 7:24
  • @MarkMayo Does the edited version look answerable?
    – Gagravarr
    Dec 21, 2014 at 8:54
  • Seems ok to me :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 22, 2014 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


Cairns Airport Shuttle has a pretty easy system if you want to book - you can book, and if your flight is delayed, they just put you on the next available shuttle. They do ask that you book in advance however, to ensure bookings where possible.

A better option for your situation may be Sun Palm Transport who specifically state:

Sun Palm Transport is the only Transport Operator which has welcome desks at both the domestic and international arrival terminals.

If you haven’t already made a booking for your Cairns Airport Transfers, through our online booking system, SUN PALM TRANSPORT operates service desks at Cairns Airport, for your convenience, one in each of the arrival terminals, to assist you with your transfers

So that one, you can actually just rock up. They also have timetables and more information on the site.

TNQ Shuttle requires a booking in advance.

Coral Sea Coaches also seems to require an advance booking.


If you don't book a shuttle prior to arriving at Cairns Airport, by law there is only one company (Sun Palm Transport) that is licensed to take walk up bookings. Hence why the other shuttle bus companies require you to book in advance. Booking in advance can mean you maybe able to save a little money on the transfer rate. It pays to do a little research on shuttle bus rates.

If your flight is delayed it is the norm for the shuttle bus company to move you to the next available shuttle (subject to their timetables of course). As the other shuttle bus companies do not have a desk at the Airport, unless you make a booking they won't know you want a transfer so they won't be there.

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