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There are 6 ways to get from Cairns to Mount Isa by plane, bus, train or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Fly  •  3 h 27 min

  1. Fly from Cairns (CNS) to Mount Isa (ISA) CNS - ISA

$273 - $887

Cheapest option

Bus  •  17 h 25 min

  1. Take the bus from Cairns to Townsville Gx454 / ...
  2. Take the bus from Townsville to Mount Isa Bq321 / ...

$88 - $182

4 alternative options

Bus via Cairns Central Station  •  18 h 55 min

  1. Take the bus from Cairns Central Station to Townsville
  2. Take the bus from Townsville to Mount Isa Bq321 / ...

$98 - $180

Train, bus  •  19 h 26 min

  1. Take the train from Cairns Central Station to Townsville Spirit of Queensland
  2. Take the bus from Townsville to Mount Isa Bq321 / ...

$104 - $190

Train  •  27 h 59 min

  1. Take the train from Cairns Central Station to Townsville Spirit of Queensland
  2. Take the train from Townsville station to Mount Isa station The Inlander

$154 - $220

Drive  •  13 h 34 min

  1. Drive from Cairns to Mount Isa 730 miles

$100 - $150

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Cairns to Mount Isa is to drive which costs $140 - $220 and takes 13 h 34 min.

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The quickest way to get from Cairns to Mount Isa is to fly which costs $380 - $1,300 and takes 3 h 27 min.

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No, there is no direct bus from Cairns to Mount Isa. However, there are services departing from Cairns and arriving at Mount Isa via Townsville. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 17 h 25 min.

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No, there is no direct train from Cairns station to Mount Isa station. However, there are services departing from Cairns Central Station and arriving at Mount Isa station via Townsville station. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 27 h 59 min.

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The distance between Cairns and Mount Isa is 783 km. The road distance is 1168.1 km.

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The best way to get from Cairns to Mount Isa without a car is to bus which takes 17 h 25 min and costs $120 - $260.

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It takes approximately 3 h 27 min to get from Cairns to Mount Isa, including transfers.

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Cairns to Mount Isa bus services, operated by Greyhound Australia, depart from Cairns station.

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Cairns to Mount Isa train services, operated by Queensland Rail Travel, arrive at Cairns Central Station.

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The best way to get from Cairns to Mount Isa is to fly which takes 3 h 27 min and costs $380 - $1,300. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs $120 - $260 and takes 17 h 25 min, you could also train, which costs $210 - $310 and takes 27 h 59 min.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Cairns to Mount Isa.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 489.7 miles
  • Duration: 3 h 27 min

What companies run services between Cairns, QLD, Australia and Mount Isa, QLD, Australia?

Regional Express and Qantas fly from Cairns to Mount Isa once daily. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Cairns to Mount Isa via Townsville in around 17 h 25 min.

Airlines
Regional Express
Website
rex.com.au
Flights from Cairns to Mount Isa
Ave. Duration
2 h 5 min
When
Monday to Friday
Estimated price
$360 - $1,200
Qantas
Website
qantas.com
Flights from Cairns to Mount Isa via Townsville
Ave. Duration
3 h 25 min
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday
Estimated price
$240 - $850
Train operators
Queensland Rail Travel
Phone
1300 131 722
Email
reservations@qr.com.au
Website
queenslandrailtravel.com.au
Train from Cairns Central Station to Townsville
Ave. Duration
6 h 4 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$40 - $65
Book at
Queensland Rail Travel
Train from Townsville station to Mount Isa station
Ave. Duration
20 h 55 min
Frequency
Twice a week
Estimated price
$110 - $160
Book at
Queensland Rail Travel
Bus operators
Greyhound Australia

Greyhound Australia is the country’s only long distance bus operator running services in all states and territories. Greyhound Australia has been operating for 110 years and is the leading bus company in Australia. The extensive network now covers most of the Australian mainland and services more than 5 million passengers every year. Buses are equipped for the long journeys, with free WiFi, air-conditioning, full disability access, USB chargers in every seat and an on-board restroom.

Contact Details
Phone
1300 473946
Website
greyhound.com.au
Bus from Cairns to Townsville
Ave. Duration
4 h 25 min
Frequency
3 times a day
Estimated price
$28 - $55
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Saver
$28 - $40
Flexifare
$35 - $55
Bus from Townsville to Mount Isa
Ave. Duration
10 h 55 min
Frequency
Once a week
Estimated price
$70 - $130
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Saver
$70 - $110
Flexifare
$90 - $130
Bus Queensland
Phone
1300 287 537
Website
busqld.com.au
Bus from Townsville to Mount Isa
Ave. Duration
12 h
Frequency
Twice a week
Estimated price
$60 - $85
Schedules at
busqldoutback.com.au
Book at
busqldoutback.com.au
Premier Motor Service
Website
premierms.com.au
Bus from Cairns Central Station to Townsville
Ave. Duration
5 h 55 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$35 - $50
Schedules at
premierms.com.au

Want to know more about travelling around Australia

Rome2rio's Travel Guide series provide vital information for the global traveller. Filled with useful and timely travel information, the guides answer all the hard questions - such as 'How do I buy a ticket?', 'Should I book online before I travel? ', 'How much should I expect to pay?', 'Do the trains and buses have Wifi?' - to help you get the most out of your next trip.

More Questions & Answers

The quickest flight from Cairns Airport to Mount Isa Airport is the direct flight which takes 2 h 5 min.

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Cairns to Mount Isa bus services, operated by Bus Queensland, arrive at Mount Isa station.

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Cairns to Mount Isa train services, operated by Queensland Rail Travel, arrive at Mount Isa station.

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Yes, the driving distance between Cairns to Mount Isa is 1168 km. It takes approximately 13 h 34 min to drive from Cairns to Mount Isa.

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Regional Express and Qantas offer flights from Cairns Airport to Mount Isa Airport.

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There are 24+ hotels available in Mount Isa. Prices start at $63 USD per night.

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The best way to get from Cairns to Cairns Airport is to shuttle which takes 15 min and costs $23 - $25.

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