There are 4 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  •  5 h 48 min

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

$113 - $370

3 alternative options

Train  •  39 h 32 min

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

$231 - $400

Bus  •  47 h 40 min

  1. Take the bus from Sydney to Brisbane
  2. Take the bus from Brisbane to Cairns Gx443

$242 - $383

Drive  •  28 h 26 min

  1. Drive from Sydney to Cairns 1508.1 miles

$210 - $320

Questions & Answers

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 47 h 40 min.

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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 39 h 32 min.

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The distance between Sydney and Cairns is 1961 km. The road distance is 2412.9 km.

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The best way to get from Sydney to Cairns without a car is to train which takes 39 h 32 min and costs .

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It takes approximately 5 h 48 min to get from Sydney to Cairns, including transfers.

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Sydney to Cairns bus services, operated by Premier Motor Service, depart from Sydney station.

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Sydney to Cairns train services, operated by Transport NSW, arrive at Central Station.

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The best way to get from Sydney to Cairns is to fly which takes 5 h 48 min and costs . Alternatively, you can train, which costs and takes 39 h 32 min, you could also bus, which costs and takes 47 h 40 min.

Mode details

The quickest flight from Sydney Airport to Cairns Airport is the direct flight which takes 3 h 10 min.

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

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Map of how to get from Sydney to Cairns.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 1225.4 miles
  • Duration: 5 h 48 min

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

Qantas, Jetstar 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 39 h 32 min.

Airlines
Qantas
Website
qantas.com
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3 h 10 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$120 - $700
Flights from Sydney to Cairns via Brisbane
Ave. Duration
4 h 56 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$140 - $700
Virgin Australia
Website
virginaustralia.com
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3 h 15 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$120 - $600
Flights from Sydney to Cairns via Brisbane
Ave. Duration
4 h 58 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$120 - $600
Jetstar
Website
jetstar.com
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3 h 10 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$100 - $650
Tigerair Australia
Website
tigerair.com.au
Flights from Sydney to Cairns
Ave. Duration
3 h 10 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$100 - $650
Train operators
Transport NSW
Phone
131 500
Website
transportnsw.info
Train from Central Station to Brisbane
Ave. Duration
14 h 12 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$90 - $130
Schedules at
tp.transportnsw.info
Economy
$90 - $130
1st Class
$120 - $190
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
24 h 20 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$140 - $270
Book at
Queensland Rail Travel
A-Choice
$264
B-Quick
$145
Bus operators
Premier Motor Service
Website
premierms.com.au
Bus from Sydney to Brisbane
Ave. Duration
17 h 35 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$100 - $140
Schedules at
premierms.com.au
Bus from Brisbane to Cairns Central Station
Ave. Duration
29 h 30 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$170 - $230
Schedules at
premierms.com.au
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 Brisbane to Cairns
Ave. Duration
29 h 5 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$140 - $250
Book at
Greyhound.com.au
Saver
$150 - $210
Flexifare
$170 - $250

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

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 28 h 26 min to drive from Sydney to Cairns.

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

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There are 458+ hotels available in Cairns. Prices start at $70 USD per night.

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The best way to get from Sydney to Sydney Airport is to train which takes 23 min and costs .

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