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Cairns to Port Douglas Shuttle Bus FAQs

General tips & FAQs

Also see our T&Cs

 book 24 hours ahead Book more than 24 hours before travel. 
Online bookings less than 24 hours before your first travel time will not be processed. This assists our shuttle scheduling. For bookings less than 24 hours before first travel time, please call our office from 8am to 5pm daily on 0481 755 740.
  • All arrival transfers from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas are confirmed when you have booked and received your confirmation. There is no need to re-confirm your booking before your arrival in Cairns unless you need to advise flight number or flight change details.

  • Meet your shuttle driver at Carousel 1: Our drivers meet you at Carousel 1 with your name on a sign. We provide full instructions and a direct contact number for your shuttle with every booking.

Airport desk - you can contact the airport shuttle desk which is open until approx. 5pm daily.

Our business works closely with the airport shuttle desk at Cairns Domestic Airport. Your CAS / CASE / PT / NB / CITY / CAL booking reference number can be presented to the airport shuttle desk for assistance. Note in peak periods there is limited or no availability for 'walk up' transfer bookings, which is why it is important to book ahead for your Port Douglas transfers before arriving at Cairns Airport. 

How long is the wait at the airport?

Usually 20 minutes or less after all bags are cleared from your flight's carousel. We do not wait for buses to fill. We only collect and shuttle paid passengers who have booked in advance online.

Are there many stops along the way? 
No. We go direct. Transfer usually takes 60-75 minutes.

No stops - we go direct from Cairns Airport to your Port Douglas accommodation, and drop you at the door of your accommodation. With a usual maximum of 13 passengers on board - often less - you'll usually only have 1-3 drops along Port Douglas Road, Davidson Street or Macrossan Street before yours. We also use a 7 seater iMax, and a 20 seater Toyota Coaster or 53 seater luxury coach on busier days, for group arrivals and large private transfers.

Do you drop to the door? 

Yes - we transfer you, your family and friends direct to the door of your Port Douglas accommodation. We also service passengers to private house rentals in streets like St Crispins Ave, Solander Boulevard, Mitre Street and other main streets in Port Douglas. For Beachfront Mirage we drop and collect from the front gate of the gated community. For Murphy Street St numbers over 50 we drop at the corner of Owen and Murphy Street as the narrow street access can be difficult for a Hi Ace Shuttle and luggage trailer. Please note: we do not wait for passengers to collect keys from agencies, and then transfer on to accommodation.

You will be collected from your accommodation approx. 3 hours before your flight from Cairns.

Departure is 3 hours before your domestic flight leaves. (Note: We have had to move from approx. 2.5 hours to 3 hours before flights because of Captain Cook Highway roadworks, and traffic delays around Smithfield Bypass). We also add an extra hour for international flight departures from T1 international terminal in Cairns. Your exact departure time, to 5 minute window, is texted to your mobile (or emailed to international visitors on non australian cell phones) 1 day before you leave. Simply reply 'confirm' or 'yes' in to confirm pick up time. If you have not received your departure time by midday on the day before you leave, via email or phone, please contact us and always refer to your CAS booking reference (EG CAS3000) and contact the shuttle direct. All contact details for shuttles are provided on your Cairns Port Douglas Shuttle booking confirmation document or email. Please also understand we are unable to tailor individual requests for different pick up times when you are travelling on a shared shuttle with others. 

Oh no!! My flight is late - will my shuttle still be there?

Yes, CairnsAirportShuttle.net affiliated drivers actively monitor flight arrivals, and communicate with their drivers. As soon as your flight is in the air CairnsAirportShuttle.net shuttles know approx. when your plane will land. So relax, and if you've booked with us the shuttle will meet you and/ or communicate direct to your mobile about any changes. Please ensure your phone is switched on as soon as you land at Cairns Airport.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your standard hours flight is delayed into our after hours time 7pm until 6am, we can still pick you up however there will be an after hours adjustment for private transfer rates. We can readily move changes within standard hours 6am to 7pm to another shuttle during standard hours, but flights that arrive 3-4-5-6 hours late (eg 5pm flight lands at 11pm) have huge cost impacts for our drivers and shuttles. We ask that you understand that flight delays that extend into the evening beyond 7pm are beyond our control, and we cannot offer standard hour services rates during 7pm to 6am. If you do expect significant delays, it is important that you please contact our office on 0481 755 740 between 8am and 5pm or the direct number for your shuttle to find out what options you have, and we can advise options for you.

OPTIONS: Our usual process is to offer standard hours booked transfers who arrive after hours two options:

Option 1: Upgrade to after hours service which is delivered as a private transfer. There will be additional costs. Currently 1-5 pax after hours is $230 one way to Port Douglas, and 6-13 pax is $345 one way to Port Douglas. We will credit your entire standard hours transfer value to your after hours transfer.

Option 2: We will provide you 100% refund. Note this will be made back to the credit card you paid with or by online banking. Either way the refund is not instant as credit card refunds made take 3-4 business days to reappear on your card. That is due to the card issuer not Cairns Port Douglas Shuttle. If refund by online banking we need your BSB and account details and that will either be instant if OSKO payment (depending on your bank and you account settings) or 1 business day. We thank you for your understanding.

Arriving together but leaving separately? Group discounts not eligible when attempting multiple departures on one booking.

When couples or groups arrive together but request staggered departures (departing on different days or different flights on the same day) these separate departures require additional pick-ups and drop-offs for each booking. This means more shuttle buses, drivers and airport access fees are reuired for any booking that requests staggered departures. 

All return bookings from Cairns to Port Douglas and back to Cairns Airport are eligible for one airport pick-up, and one accommodation drop-off on arrival. On departure transfer bookings are eligible for one accommodation pick up and one airport drop off per booking.  For any group requiring split departures please use our shuttle booking form and book each group separately. You will travel together with your friends or family on arrival but will transfer separately on departure. Each transfer will be allocated a separate unique ID which helps us better manage your departure transfer. Thank you for your understanding.

The only exception to this policy is if you're arriving at similar times and are prepared to wait for others in your group - let us know in the 'OTHER COMMENTS' section of your booking. We will attempt to group your arrivals together if on time, and if a plane is significantly delayed we will transfer you and allocate the delayed group the next available shuttle or offer the delayed group alternatives.

Daintree Accommodation, Cape Tribulation, Newell Beach, Sily Oaks, and Mossman


Our Cairns Airport service to Port Douglas does not service anywhere north of Port Douglas. For any connections north of Port Douglas we can drop you at Wildlife Habitat at the southern end of Port Douglas. Your Daintree accommodation contacts or car hire can take you further North: Daintree/ Cape Tribulation: We are not aware of services that operate from Cairns Airport to Daintree, or from Port Douglas to Daintree accommodation. Hiring a rental car in Port Douglas or asking your accommodation to arrange transfers from Port Douglas is a common solution;  Newell Beach: We have previously arranged private transfers from Port Douglas to Newell Beach. Contact us for price and availability; Silky Oaks: Ask the accommodation about transport options; Mossman: We suggest use local taxis or a local shuttle that provides service to Mossman Gorge and Mossman. The Mossman Gorge centre can arrange transfers from Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge as part of a package entry. Ask your accommodation about whether a shuttle or taxi will best suit your needs.

Cairns Port Douglas Shuttle is an online booking desk

Cairns Port Douglas Shuttle service does not have its own shuttles and instead uses our intricate local knowledge of shuttles, local road conditions, fares, fare restrictions and Paul's personal shuttle driving experience to deliver your transfer.  In 2021 with over 7 years in business, Cairns Port Douglas Shuttle has an expanded network of over 15 individual shuttles. Cairns Airport Shuttle understands the shuttle run to Port Douglas, and helps book your trip direct to Port - no stops - at the best price with the friendliest drivers.