When is the best time to visit Far North Queensland?

The good news for holiday-makers looking to travel to Cairns, Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef is that there's no 'best' time to visit. Far North Queensland offers great year-round weather. This is thanks to its sub-tropical humid climate that features two distinct seasons rather than the four seasons in other Australian states further south. 

However, just because there's no best time to visit doesn't mean there isn't a popular time to visit. The dry season sees thousands of travellers flock to enjoy the tropical weather, and with that comes increased prices so be sure to book flights, accommodation and any activities that are likely to sell out well in advance.

When's the best time to visit Port Douglas? 

You can travel to Port Douglas any time of the year with the best time to visit largely depending on what weather patterns you're comfortable experiencing and what kind of holiday you want to have. During the typical summer season (December through February), the temperatures can get quite high (we're talking 30°C+) and the humidity levels can make it feel even hotter. 

If you're not keen on sharing Port Douglas with thousands of other travellers, visiting the tropical destination during March to May or September to November is a good way to go as the weather is also cooler and accommodation prices tend to be lower. 

When's the best time to visit Cairns?

While you can visit Cairns at any time of the year, some months are better than others with the dry season offering nicer weather; think lower temperatures, lower humidity levels, and less chance of rainfall.

As this weather is more conducive to experiencing a better holiday, the months from May to October are the busiest and most expensive, so prepare to share popular attractions with thousands of other travellers and pay an increased price for flights and accommodation. 

The dry season in Far North Queensland

Best for: camping, snorkelling and hiking

The dry season from May through October is considered to be 'winter'. Because there's less chance of rainfall and tropical storms during these months, as well as lower temperatures and low humidity levels, it's considered to be one of the more popular times to visit. 

Temperatures tend to reach a cool but nice average of 25°C, making it perfect weather to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of the region. The dry season is also great for adventuring through Far North Queensland's marine terrain with coral spawning a common occurrence during the months of September, October, and November.

This means oceanic environments such as the Great Barrier Reef come alive during this time and you'll be treated to a breathtaking marine show full of colourful fish and coral life if you choose to go swimming or snorkelling. 

The wet season in Far North Queensland

Best for: dining on local cuisine, visiting waterfalls and learning about Aboriginal culture

While the wet season may not be the most popular to visit, it doesn't mean you can't have a great holiday. There are plenty of upsides to visiting between November to April. With increased rainfall, the Daintree is super luscious and rivers and waterfalls are at their most powerful.

If you want to decrease the chance of experiencing heavy rainfall and potential cyclones, try travelling in March or April as you're more likely to have clear days so you can go out and explore. However, the average temperatures can climb to a swelteringly hot 30°C+ with high humidity levels, so you might find it somewhat uncomfortable to spend long periods outside. 

Because of the heat, you might be tempted to take a dip in the region's beautiful waters, but just be aware that you'll be sharing it with potentially harmful marine life. Animals such as stinging jellyfish (box jellyfish, blue bottles, etc.) are more present during the wet season.

If you're planning on spending time in the water, make sure you wear a stinger suit to help protect you; however, we recommend sticking to pools and sectioned-off ocean enclosures if you want to cool off. 

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