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+61 7 4051 7888

43 The Esplanade Cairns 4870 QLD Australia

What to pack for Cairns

Packing for an unfamiliar destination or climate can be difficult, particularly for the tropical weather in Cairns. To make it a little easier, we've compiled our list of essentials to pack throughout the year!


With an average yearly temperature of 29°C and humidity of 60%, it's safe to say that Cairns gets warm throughout the year. The climate in the region is very pleasant, but it does require you to pack accordingly and dress for the weather. You'll find, with the warmth and humidity, it's best to wear lighter materials and looser fits to help stop your clothes from sticking to your skin as they will dampen with the moisture in the air. As a general rule, natural fabrics such as linen and cotton will allow more breathability.

What clothes to pack year-round:

  • Shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Dresses
  • Swimmers
  • Rain jacket
  • Hats
  • Sandals/Flip Flops
  • Sunglasses
  • Walking shoes, leisure shoes or hiking boots

Seasonal mentions:

  • Jeans and/or long sleeve tops in the winter, for evening meals etc. (June – August)
  • Waterproof shoes in the summer (December – February)


There are plenty of useful items to bring with you to Tropical North Queensland that can make your experience more comfortable and convenient:

Reusable water bottle:

Staying hydrated is extremely important in the hot tropical weather and bringing your own bottle can help reduce the impact of single-use plastics. Accessing fresh water to refill your bottles in Cairns is extremely easy and readily available with The Cairns Water Map.

Backpack or dry-bag: 

If you're travelling to Cairns to explore the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests, a backpack will make your life a lot easier. Most of the exploring you'll be doing in Tropical North Queensland will take up long periods of the day, so it's always nice to have a spare pair of clothes or some extra food on hand!

Beach or quick-dry towel:

Whether you're snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef or trekking through the rainforests, you'll need a towel on hand to dry off.

Bring or buy during your stay

Mosquito repellant: 

Tropical climates are a mosquito's best friend, so purchasing a tropical-strength bug spray whilst you're in town is a great idea! You'll be able to find some options at Woolworths or you can ask our friendly front desk staff for more options on where to buy.


The UV index in Cairns is very high throughout the year (even on cloudy days) so it's incredibly important to buy yourself some good waterproof sunscreen for your stay. If you are buying sunscreen, refer to this guide, to avoid buying the nasty stuff that's bad for the beautiful Queensland reefs and marine life.

Underwater camera (can be rented): 

If you're heading to Cairns with the Great Barrier Reef in mind, then an underwater camera to document your experience is essential! No need to worry if you don't own one of these as you are able to easily rent one for your trip out to the reef in the Reef Fleet Terminal. For more information on renting out an underwater camera, visit the Calypso Website.

If you have any questions prior to your trip to Cairns, please don't hesitate to contact our friendly team for advice.

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