Esplanade, Cairns, QLD © Andrew Watson, Tourism & Events Queensland

Weather in Cairns

Frequently asked questions about the weather in Cairns

Daylight saving is not observed in Queensland. The time zone in Queensland is Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), UTC +10.

December experiences the longest hours of daylight with sunrise at approximately 5:40am and sunset at 6:45pm. June has the least hours of daylight with sunrise at approximately 6:45am and sunset at 5:50pm.

Stinger season or jellyfish season is generally between November and May in Cairns and Port Douglas. From November it is sensible to wear stinger suits in the water, as box jellyfish and Irukandji (the smallest of the box jellyfish family) can be deadly. Beaches are also lined with stinger nets. Out on the Great Barrier Reef the risk of marine stingers is low, however stinger suits are recommended and available for hire on tour boats.

In summer, the average sea temperature at Cairns’ northern beaches ranges from 28.9 - 29.4°C (84 – 84.9°F), dipping slightly in winter to 23.8- 24.5°C (74.8 – 76.1°F).

Visitors to Cairns should look out for the UV index in local weather reports, which describes the daily solar UV radiation intensity. Protect yourself from sunburn by using SPF30+ sunscreen, which is readily available throughout Australia at supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies, and wearing sun-smart clothing, including a hat and sunglasses.

Seasonal weather in Cairns

SUMMER

Dec Jan Feb
Maximum temp
ºC | ºF
31.4 89 31.4 89 31.2 88
Minimum temp
ºC | ºF
23.4 74 23.7 75 23.8 75
Average hours of sunshine daily
Avg rainfall mm
178.8 395.3 450.6
Avg rainy days
10.7 15.6 16.4

AUTUMN

Mar Apr May
Maximum temp
ºC | ºF
30.6 87 29.2 85 27.6 82
Minimum temp
ºC | ºF
23.1 74 21.6 71 19.9 68
Average hours of sunshine daily
Avg rainfall mm
427.7 196.5 90.2
Avg rainy days
16.2 14.8 10.3

WINTER

Jun Jul Aug
Maximum temp
ºC | ºF
26 79 25.7 78 26.6 80
Minimum temp
ºC | ºF
17.8 64 17.1 63 17.4 63
Average hours of sunshine daily
Avg rainfall mm
45.5 29.3 27
Avg rainy days
6.8 5.4 4.9

SPRING

Sep Oct Nov
Maximum temp
ºC | ºF
28.1 83 29.5 85 30.6 87
Minimum temp
ºC | ºF
18.7 66 20.6 69 22.3 72
Average hours of sunshine daily
Avg rainfall mm
33.7 46.6 93.8
Avg rainy days
4.9 5.6 8