Moving to Cairns: What Families Need to Know about Relocating to Cairns

by Jenna May 06, 2024

A no-nonsense guide to moving to Cairns, Australia. Get the best Cairns removalists for your interstate move.

More than just a tourist hot spot, Cairns is a beautiful place to call home, especially if you are after a laid-back lifestyle, stunning natural wonders, active living and HOT HOT summers.

Check out Best Rated Transport's comprehensive guide to help you navigate your relocation to Cairns. If you are moving to Cairns, make the move as seamless and stress-free as possible with our Instant Quotes where you can compare interstate removalists and find the best Cairns removalist for your journey ahead. 

Let's Talk about Cairns Weather

Okay, I'm not going to beat around the bush here. Cairns is HOT. It's tropical and lovely but it can also be muggy. Expect generally warm temperatures year-round. Summers (November to March) are hot and humid with temperatures averaging around 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F). Winters (June to August) are mild and dry, with temperatures ranging from 17°C to 26°C (63°F to 79°F).

Be prepared for occasional heavy rainfall during the wet season - invest in some rainboots for those muddy puddle days with the kids. It's all part of the fun of moving to Cairns! 

What about Cairns' Schools?

This is a mega dealbreaker when moving interstate and if you are relocating to Cairns and have kids, you'll want to check out the schools before deciding on what neighbourhood you want to call hom.

Cairns has a mix of 56 state schools, independent and non-government schools affiliated with Catholic Education, Anglican and Lutheran faiths, and Associated Christian Schools, as well as therapy centres, special education and distance education. Most state schools are part of a catchment so you need to live in the catchment in order to secure your child's placement. 

Some well-regarded schools in the area include:

  • Cairns State High School: A reputable public high school offering comprehensive academic programs.
  • Trinity Anglican School: A private school providing education from kindergarten to Year 12.
  • Peace Lutheran College: Another private school with a focus on holistic education.
  • St. Andrew's Catholic College: A Catholic school catering to students from prep to Year 12.
  • Edge Hill State School: Edge Hill State School is a highly regarded primary school known for its focus on academic achievement and holistic development. It offers a range of extracurricular activities and support services for students.
  • Whitfield State School: Whitfield State School is located in the suburb of Whitfield and is known for its inclusive and supportive learning environment. The school emphasises academic achievement, creativity, and personal development.
  • Freshwater State School: Freshwater State School is situated in the suburb of Freshwater and offers a range of educational programs catering to the diverse needs of students. The school focuses on fostering a love of learning and providing a well-rounded education.
  • Trinity Beach State School: Trinity Beach State School provides primary education in the coastal suburb of Trinity Beach. The school offers a supportive learning environment, with a focus on academic excellence, creativity, and community involvement.

Now, onto Housing in Cairns

Finding your perfect home in Cairns can be tricky because there are so many great suburbs. Suburbs like Edge Hill, Whitfield, and Freshwater are popular among families for their proximity to schools, parks, and amenities but the beaches are ideal for those looking for a sea change.

Rental prices for a three-bedroom house typically range from AUD 350 to AUD 600 per week, depending on location and amenities. 

Top Activities to Do in Cairns 

There's so much to see and do in Cairns and every suburb has a variety of sporting opportunities, community events and more. There are hikes, bike tracks, indoor play centres, hundreds of parks and playgrounds, restaurants, bars, entertainment centres and all located close to the city. 

Here are the top four activities to do in Cairns: 

  • Great Barrier Reef: Embark on snorkeling or diving adventures to explore one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders.
  • Daintree Rainforest: Discover ancient rainforest ecosystems, hike scenic trails, and encounter diverse wildlife.
  • Cairns Esplanade: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the picturesque waterfront, relax in waterfront parks, or take a dip in the lagoon.
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail: Take a scenic journey through the rainforest aboard a historic railway or gondola.

Cost of Living in Cairns

The cost of living in Cairns is generally lower than in major Australian cities like Sydney or Melbourne which is a big plus when moving to Cairns. However, prices can vary depending on lifestyle choices and housing preferences. As of 2022, here's an approximate breakdown of monthly expenses for a family of four:

  • Rent (3-bedroom apartment): AUD 1,500 - AUD 2,500
  • Groceries: AUD 800 - AUD 1,200
  • Utilities (electricity, water, gas): AUD 250 - AUD 400
  • Internet and phone: AUD 80 - AUD 120
  • Transportation (public transport or fuel): AUD 200 - AUD 400
  • School fees (if applicable): Varies depending on the school

Crime Rates in Cairns

Cairns generally has a lower crime rate compared to larger cities in Australia, but like any urban area, it's important to be aware of potential risks. The most common types of crimes reported include property offenses such as theft and burglary, as well as minor assaults.

To access crime data have a look at the Queensland Police Service website or the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Getting around in Cairns

When moving to Cairns from a bigger city, one of the things you may notice is the lack of trains and trams in Cairns. Public transport instead consists of  bus services that connect various suburbs with the city center and surrounding areas. The Cairns Sunbus network is the primary provider of bus services in the region.

Most residents in Cairns rely on their own cars for getting around and the road network is well-maintained. Another benefit to relocating to Cairns is the traffic congestion is generally not a significant issue outside of peak hours. In addition to buses, Cairns also offers Ubers, taxi and ride-share services. There are also plenty of walking and cycling tracks. 

Job Opportunities in Cairns

There are plenty of places to Cairns offers a diverse range of job opportunities across various industries, including tourism, healthcare, education, and retail. Some key sectors and employers in Cairns include:

  1. Tourism and Hospitality: Cairns is a major tourism hub, with employment opportunities in hotels, resorts, tour companies, restaurants, and retail establishments catering to visitors.

  2. Healthcare: The healthcare sector in Cairns is robust, with job opportunities in hospitals, medical centers, aged care facilities, and allied health services.

  3. Education: Cairns has a thriving education sector, including schools, colleges, and universities, providing employment opportunities for teachers, administrators, and support staff.

  4. Retail and Services: Retail outlets, shopping centers, and service-oriented businesses contribute to Cairns' economy, offering employment opportunities in areas such as customer service, sales, and administration.

  5. Government and Administration: Local government agencies, as well as state and federal government departments, provide job opportunities in areas such as administration, public service, and infrastructure development.

  6. Construction and Trades: Cairns experiences ongoing development and infrastructure projects, creating job opportunities in construction, building trades, and related industries.

Ready to Make the Move to Cairns? Find the Best Cairns Removalists in Minutes

Whatever the reason you're considering relocating to Cairns, whether for work or simply a change of pace, we hope our Moving to Cairns guide has helped! Moving can be pretty stressful, costly and time-consuming which is why Best Rated Transport has designed our signature Instant Cairns Removalists Quote system. 

Our Instant Moving Quotes service is fast, free and guaranteed to deliver you the best rate in a matter of minutes. No need to contact several companies - we’ve done the comparisons for you! 

Try it out today - it's free to us and your first step in the exciting journey of moving to Cairns. 

Best Rated Transport has helped thousands of people move interstate. We are dedicated to ensuring our customers are able to make an informed decision based on their precise needs and ditch the stress that often comes with an interstate move.





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