Cairns Weather Guide

Cairns has just two distinct seasons per year: an on-average dry winter season and wet summers or a ‘green’ season as the locals call it. With a tropical monsoon climate, the cyclone season in tropical north Queensland is typically from November to May and can cause flooding on the roads.

Season and Clothing

Summer: October to March

Summers in Cairns are hot, humid and wet. Temps can reach up to a sweltering 40 degrees Celsius with December and January the hottest months. The most rainfall occurs in February and March with heavy tropical downpours usually at night throughout the wet season and fining up to sunshine again the next day. The rain provides a good opportunity to check out the waterfalls at Barron Gorge in Kuranda or ride the fully enclosed Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Summer is also a good time to do a rainforest tour to the Daintree (amazing after a good soaking) or head to the clear, warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef, especially around November when the coral are spawning en masse.

Average temperatures: 21 – 31 degrees Celsius
Appropriate clothing: Hat, shorts, singlets, swimwear, dresses and sandals
Don’t forget: SPF50+ sunscreen and an umbrella

 Winter: April to September

With mild, sunny conditions, less humidity and relatively minimal rainfall compared to the wet season, winter is the ideal time to go to Cairns. July and August are the ‘coldest’ months in Cairns where temps are still in the mid-20s and the nights are cooler. This is also peak tourist season due to the Australian mid-year school holidays and comfortable daytime conditions, as well as when you can spy humpback and minke whales on their annual migration. The water is still around 22 to 25 degrees Celsius making it a great time to head to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel or dive among the tropical marine life, or see the sights from a reef cruise or sailboat.

Average temperatures: 17 – 30 degrees Celsius
Appropriate clothing: Hat, shorts, t-shirt and pants
Don’t forget: A jumper for cool conditions and good walking shoes