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When is the best time to visit Cairns

When planning a holiday to a new destination, it’s best practice to explore the most appropriate times of the year to visit, particularly if you plan on doing season-specific activities such as camping, white water rafting or scenic helicopter flights. Travelling to a seemingly beautiful destination in the wrong season can see your high expectations unravel, leaving you feeling somewhat let down by your choice of seasonal planning – or lack thereof.


For many holiday destinations, you’ll need to consider all the four seasons that nature provides. Fortunately, for those planning to visit Cairns, Australia’s most iconic tropical location, you’ll only need to be aware of its two seasons – wet/summer and dry/winter. Not that you’ll necessarily be planning to avoid the wet season, it’s an absolutely stunning work of nature in its own right, you’ll just need to be mindful of your daily activities during each season.


Cairns helicopter tours over the city
Cairns helicopter tours over the city

If you like clear skies, cool waters, warm breezes and cool-ish evenings, then the dry winter is for you. If rumbling thunder clouds, intermittently heavy rain, raging waterfalls and cool swimming holes is your thing, then the wet summers have you covered.


Cairns and the Tropical North Queensland region typically experience their wet season around November to May. This may shift from time to time, however as of 2022 it’s been the general pattern over the last several years. This is important to know when planning your holiday tours such as Cairns scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef or rainforests.


So, when is the best time for a Cairns helicopter tour? Actually, any time is a great time for a Cairns helicopter ride, you’ll just need to know what to expect. Nothing beats local knowledge, give a friend or relative a call if you know anyone living in Cairns. Being such an amazing holiday destination, it’s highly likely you’ll know someone living there.

Cairns helicopter flight over great barrier reef and rainforest
Cairns helicopter flight over great barrier reef and rainforest

Here's a glimpse of what to expect from the two seasons when planning your Cairns scenic flight. The wet season often results in thick banks of low, black, moody clouds, glassy morning waters with abundant sea life, roaring waterfalls and misty rainforest canopies. Sounds like the perfect time for a Cairns helicopter flight, doesn’t it? As long as the rain is kept to a minimum, a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef and ancient rainforests with Zoom Helicopters is as stunning and memorable as during the dry season.


Speaking of the dry season, the same helicopter flight will most likely deliver clear blue skies, calm and crystal-clear morning waters with abundant sea life, and a thriving ancient rainforest waiting to be explored from the air-conditioned comfort of your Zoom helicopter ride.


As you can see, from a local’s point of view any time is a great time to visit Cairns and Tropical North Queensland. From a tourist’s point of view, it’s all about perspective. Understanding the advantages afforded by visiting Cairns during either the wet or dry will make a huge difference to the outcome of your tropical holiday experience.


Planning your Cairns tours but not sure what the likely weather will be? Call Zoom Helicopters for a bird’s eye report on the current and expected weather. Remember, a Cairns helicopter tour over the Great Barrier Reef and ancient rainforests will be highly memorable, be it summer or winter.


Zoom Helicopters logo for popular helicopter flights


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