There are 5 ways to get from Sydney to Cairns by plane, train, bus 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  •  4h 34m

  1. Fly from Sydney (SYD) to Cairns (CNS) SYD - CNS

$148 - $1,243

4 alternative options

Train  •  39h 57m

  1. Take the train from Central Station to Brisbane 31
  2. Take the train from Brisbane Roma Street to Cairns Central Station Spirit of Quuensland

$260 - $531

Bus  •  46h 15m

  1. Take the bus from Sydney to Brisbane GX243 / ...
  2. Take the bus from Brisbane to Cairns GX443

$302 - $603

Bus via Chatswood  •  2 days 2h

  1. Take the bus from Chatswood to Brisbane PM12
  2. Take the bus from Brisbane to Cairns Central Station PM16

$228 - $362

Drive  •  28h 25m

  1. Drive from Sydney to Cairns 2413 km

$320 - $470

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Data sourced from: CDC, ACAPS, OXFORD

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Sydney to Cairns is to fly which costs $140 - $1,300 and takes 4h 34m.

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The quickest way to get from Sydney to Cairns is to fly which costs $140 - $1,300 and takes 4h 34m.

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No, there is no direct bus from Sydney to Cairns. However, there are services departing from Sydney and arriving at Cairns via Brisbane. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 46h 15m.

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No, there is no direct train from Sydney station to Cairns station. However, there are services departing from Central Station and arriving at Cairns Central Station via Brisbane Roma Street. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 39h 57m.

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The distance between Sydney and Cairns is 1961 km. The road distance is 2413 km.

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The best way to get from Sydney to Cairns without a car is to train which takes 39h 57m and costs $260 - $550.

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It takes approximately 4h 34m to get from Sydney to Cairns, including transfers.

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

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Sydney to Cairns train services, operated by Transport NSW, depart from Central Station.

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The best way to get from Sydney to Cairns is to fly which takes 4h 34m and costs $140 - $1,300. Alternatively, you can train, which costs $260 - $550 and takes 39h 57m, you could also bus, which costs $300 - $650 and takes 46h 15m.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Sydney to Cairns.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 1960.6 km
  • Duration: 4h 34m

What companies run services between Sydney, NSW, Australia and Cairns, QLD, Australia?

Jetstar, Tigerair Australia and two other airlines fly from Sydney to Cairns hourly. Alternatively, you can take a train from Sydney to Cairns via Brisbane and Brisbane Roma Street in around 39h 57m.

Airlines
Qantas
Website
qantas.com
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3h 7m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$150 - $600
Flights from Sydney to Cairns via Brisbane
Ave. Duration
4h 57m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$180 - $700
Virgin Australia
Website
virginaustralia.com
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3h 15m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$150 - $500
Flights from Sydney to Cairns via Brisbane
Ave. Duration
4h 55m
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$150 - $500
Jetstar
Website
jetstar.com
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3h 5m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$120 - $490
Tigerair Australia
Website
tigerair.com.au
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3h 5m
When
Every day
Estimated price
$110 - $600
Train operators
Transport NSW

Transport for NSW manages public transport for Australia’s New South Wales region, including metro, train, bus, ferry, light rail and coach. Hubs include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle and Wollongong. Use an Opal card for cheapest fares in greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra. Tickets for regional train and bus services need to be booked before travel (Opal cards are not accepted).

Contact Details
Phone
131 500
Website
transportnsw.info
Train from Central Station to Brisbane
Ave. Duration
14h 12m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$90 - $170
Schedules at
Transport NSW
Economy
$90 - $120
First Class
$120 - $170
Queensland Rail Travel
Phone
1300 131 722
Email
reservations@qr.com.au
Website
queenslandrailtravel.com.au
Train from Brisbane Roma Street to Cairns Central Station
Ave. Duration
24h 45m
Frequency
3 times a week
Estimated price
$170 - $370
Book at
Queensland Rail Travel
Economy-B-Quick fare
$170 - $240
Economy-A-Choice Fare
$250 - $360
A-Choice
$369
B-Quick
$203
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, although service is limited in Western Australia with just a single route to Broome. Buses are equipped for long journeys, with free WiFi, air-conditioning, full disability access, USB chargers, reclining seats and an onboard bathroom.

Contact Details
Phone
1300 473946
Website
greyhound.com.au
Bus from Sydney to Brisbane
Ave. Duration
16h 30m
Frequency
3 times a day
Estimated price
$130 - $220
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Early Bird
$130 - $160
Premium
$160 - $220
Advantage
$170 - $200
Bus from Brisbane to Cairns
Ave. Duration
28h 45m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$220 - $390
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Early Bird
$220 - $280
Premium
$290 - $390
Advantage
$300 - $360
Premier Motor Service
Phone
+61 2 4423 5233
Email
reservations@premierms.com.au
Website
premierms.com.au
Bus from Sydney to Brisbane
Ave. Duration
18h 35m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$80 - $120
Website
Premier Motor Service
Bus from Chatswood to Brisbane
Ave. Duration
18h 15m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$85 - $120
Website
Premier Motor Service
Bus from Brisbane to Cairns Central Station
Ave. Duration
29h 30m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$140 - $220
Website
Premier Motor Service

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 Sydney Airport to Cairns Airport is the direct flight which takes 3h 5m.

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Sydney to Cairns bus services, operated by Greyhound Australia, arrive at Cairns station.

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

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Yes, the driving distance between Sydney to Cairns is 2413 km. It takes approximately 28h 25m to drive from Sydney to Cairns.

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Tigerair Australia, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Qantas offer flights from Sydney Airport to Cairns Airport.

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There are 602+ hotels available in Cairns. Prices start at $150 AUD per night.

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The best way to get from Sydney to Sydney Airport is to train which takes 22 min and costs $18.

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