Cairns Airport Shuttle Transfers - frequently asked questions
All arrival transfers from Cairns to Port Douglas are confirmed when you have booked. There is no need to re-confirm before arrival.
- We transfer direct from Cairns Airport to the door of your accommodation Port Douglas no stops in between.
- Usual wait is 20 minutes or less after checked bags are collected from your flight's baggage carousel. This departure window also applies to carry on only passengers.
- Our drivers meet you at the arrival baggage carousels with your name on a sign.
- The journey takes 60-70 minutes.
- Usual departure is 2.5 to 3 hours from Port Douglas before your scheduled flight from Cairns. Exact time is confirmed day before departure, by email OR text, to the mobile phone number OR email address on your booking.
- NEW PICK UP PROCEDURE from October 2017: Drivers meet you at your arrival baggage carousel OR at carousel 4. We provide a instructions and direct contact phone number to your shuttle with every booking.
- Book now
MOST ASKED: CONFIRMING RETURN PICK UP TIME FROM PORT DOUGLAS TO CAIRNS AIRPORT.
When you have booked we supply a CAS reference (eg CAS00025, or CAS11526 or CAS2315) shuttle confirmation doc. All shuttle contact details are on this confirmation. For your return transfer to the airport the shuttle will automatically text the mobile on your booking OR email the email address associated with your booking 1 day before return with your exact pick up time. See exact instructions on your confirmation. The usual pick up window is 2.5 to 3 hours before domestic flights depart., and we make additional allowances for international or Tiger Airways flights. To save you multiple check ins please only contact your shuttle 1-2 days before departure (if wanting to be proactive) because small tweaks to times may be made if pick up is confirmed too many days ahead. Please always use your CAS reference when contacting the shuttle. This CAS reference is in every confirmation.
For transportation within 24 hours of the first travel time - please use our online book and pay form and we will confirm availability ASAP.
FAQ 1: Average wait time at Cairns Airport for a booked shuttle is 20 minutes or sooner after checked bags have been cleared from your arrival baggage carousel. We do not wait for the bus to 'fill' and are on the way as soon as booked passengers are on board. Your shuttle driver meets you at your flight's baggage carousel with your name on a sign. If you do not see your driver, who may be split between two baggage carousels, please collect your bags and proceed to carousel 4 . Yes - we can also collect you from Cairns Esplanade or CBD accommodation and take you to Port Douglas & vice versa.
FAQ 2: Average departure from Port Douglas to Cairns Airport is 2.5 to 3 hours before your domestic flight. That might vary a bit but we do see most transfers in that window. Sometimes on a shuttle shared with others you might need to go a little earlier or a little later, but we will communicate with you and provide options. We generally add 15 mins for Tiger departure and 30 to 60 mins for International. Between 6.45am - 7.15am we add 15 mins for traffic. If you only have carry on we might try and minimise your wait. DON'T WORRY :) We factor all this in - just tell us your flight departure time and flight number on your shuttle booking form - and we will work it all out and confirm your departure time automatically via text or email to your phone the day before you leave Port Douglas :)
FAQ 3: All shuttle companies actively monitor flights for both early and late arrivals to ensure they meet you - even the drivers at the airport have special screens to see exactly when flight is at gate.
FAQ 4: Child booster seats and front or rear facing baby seats included at no extra charge, if requested at time of booking.
FAQ 5: Quotes usually sent to you within 60 - 120 minutes Monday to Friday 8AM - 5PM. Payments for quotes will usually receive shuttle confirmation doc within 4 hours of payment. Quotes and payments received after 6PM processed before 9AM the next morning (or sooner if we're still online).
FAQ 6: It usually takes about 60-70 minutes from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas - depending on traffic and which end of Port Douglas your accommodation is located. The drive is approx. 20-25 minutes through the northern suburbs of Cairns (past sugar cane fields) 30-35 minutes along the coast (a world heritage listed drive) and the last 10 minutes past sugar cane and into Port.
FAQ 7: Usual 'seat in bus' vehicle type is Toyota Hiace, Commuter or Hyundai iMax which are popular with all shuttle companies here. Seats max 13 passenger seats. Fully air conditioned, 100% seat belts, reclining seats and all vans usually equipped with a booster seat and baby seat, although particularly with baby seats please advise on your booking so the driver can ensure seat is available, ready and fitted before collecting you at the airport.
FAQ 8: Split bookings -It is not possible to have people on different planes arriving or departing at different times on the same booking. The best idea is to use our shuttle booking form and book each group separately. If you're arriving or departing at similar times - let us know in the OTHER COMMENTS section - we can try and group you together where possible.
FAQ 9: Paul and Vish are not drivers - we're a booking service offering passengers a friendly service with local knowledge. Paul has driven the beautiful coastal road to Port Douglas about 200x as a shuttle bus driver and spent loads of time talking to different drivers of the 20 or so companies operating up here. Our service is all about taking the hassle out of the booking process...the multiple options...fare differences and rules - we aim to provide a good price, good information and connect you with the best Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle services so you can focus on anticipating and enjoying your Port Douglas holiday.
FAQ 10: Airport desk? The airport desk ($44-$47 one way walk up fare) have limited seats and schedule after 6.30PM - so for any arrivals after this time it is now crucial that passengers book in advance both for price saving and avoiding long waits. Some passengers arriving at 2.30pm without a prebooked shuttle have waited until 4.30pm bus - that goes via Palm Cove. 8pm arrivals at airport desk may get a 10pm shuttle or none.
FAQ 11: It's common for some international Air NZ departing flights from Cairns to leave from the Cairns domestic terminal. International flights to NZ often go via Sydney or Brisbane - so usual domestic check in time applies. Paul and Vish know from experience going to NZ from Cairns - you go domestic to Brisbane - your luggage usually goes ahead of you having been checked in at Cairns - but you will transit yourselves from the Brisbane domestic airport using the Airtrain (usually with a transit coupon provided) to the International Airport and complete customs there.
FAQ 12: Getting dropped off in Cairns after being in Port Douglas? We can help just flat rate $15 additional to each booking. What usually happens is you'll leave Port Douglas and go direct to airport (unless you are only people on shuttle) and drop passengers off at the airport (takes 5-10 mins) then be dropped off at accommodation. Sometimes the shuttle will just be Cairns accommodation drop off (like yourself) and will bypass the airport. As the airport is at the northern end of Cairns -all shuttle companies with passengers will always drop passengers to airport before dropping Cairns CBD.
FAQ 13: Getting dropped off in Port Douglas? We drop off your party to one location in Port Douglas, usually your accommodation. Our service does not provide option to wait while passengers collect keys and then transfer on to accommodation. Drop off can be one or the other. Exception due to access are Beachfront Mirage, this is a gated community and we drop you at the gate, and Murphy Street (approx. 53-69 Murphy Street is very difficult for a shuttle + trailer to reverse out of - so we may drop you on the corner of Owen and Murphy - for the short 20-80m walk to your accommodation.)
FAQ 14: Well, it's not an FAQ but might be useful info you are looking for. Bookings from outside Australia can use online banking and if asked by your bank for the swift code - our business name Cairns Port Douglas Shuttle Bendigo Bank account SWIFT/BIC code is BENDAU3B. (Please note that if any additional bank charges are incurred to receive international online banking - we must pass these on. Payments from UK have been OK no extra charges - NZ not sure - Bank gives a definite 'maybe' so we don't know until it lands).