Cairns Esplanade


Related Links

Cairns Reef Tours

Cairns Connect lists a number of reef and island tours departing Cairns

Cairns Fishing Tours

Cairns Connect lists a number of fishing tours departing Cairns

Tours To Go

Tours To Go lists dozens of Cairns fishing tour operators

Great Barrier Reef Tours & Cruise Terminal — Cairns Australia


Cairns Cityport

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. In less than one hour, high-speed cruise vessels can reach pristine coral cays, stunning reef formations and tropical islands. Expert guides can teach scuba diving, explain reef ecology, and above all, ensure you have a wonderful day. Every morning, reef tour operators depart from the Cairns Inlet to dozens of coral reefs near Cairns, taking hundreds of excited visitors on tropical adventures.

To cater to this growing and important industry, a major boost in tourism infrastructure has been completed called Cityport. The Cityport development has literally transformed a major section of Cairns waterfront between The Pier and the Cairns Hilton Hotel. What used to be a south-sea style waterside area featuring a well-used boat ramp and a wooden jetty is now a multi-million dollar facility incorporating a boardwalk, wide cement jetty, and huge vessel terminal designed to solidify Cairns' reputation as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Tour & Cruise Companies Departing Reef Fleet Terminal

  • Big Cat Cruises
  • Ocean Free
  • Compass Cruises
  • Ocean Spirit Cruises
  • Passions of Paradise
  • Deep Sea Divers Den
  • Pro Dive Cairns
  • Ecstasea
  • Quicksilver Connections
  • Great Adventures
  • Reef Magic Cruises
  • Sunlover Cruises
  • Tusa Dive

History of the Cityport Development

Planning for the Cityport development was initiated by the Cairns Port Authority in 1994, and within three years it was designated as a Major State Economic Development Project by the State Government. An extensive Impact Assessment Study was completed, and public consultation was held. By June 2000, state approval was granted to begin construction on the development. By March 2002, the dramatically altered Spence Street extension was completed and opened to the public. By the end of the year, the extension of the Marlin Jetty, including three additional fingers and pontoons on the marina, was completed. The entire reef fleet terminal was officially opened on May 30th, 2003. Since that time it has been successfully used as the main gateway terminal for Great Barrier Reef vessels, including reef vessels, dive charter vessels, sail charter vessels, cruise liners and river cruise vessels.

With more than 26 scheduled cruise services departing from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef every day, the Cruise Terminal is an easy and efficient way for passengers and operators to organise their trips. Even international cruiseliners benefit from the development. An economic impact study predicted that the Cairns Cityport will generate over 13,000 jobs in the near future.

The Cairns Marina has also been extended to accommodate almost double the number of yachts it could previously hold. A solid wave protection barrier protects moored vessels from waves and cyclonic conditions. In total, the cost of Cityport is about $500 million. A large proportion of this amount is investment funds for private development.

The Cairns Esplanade is located in Cairns, Tropical Far North Queensland, Australia web design by city of

Accommodation Booking Service

If you would like to make a reservation for any of the accommodation properties displayed on our website, email our booking hotline now at or fill out our booking request form. One of our expert travel agents will contact you to confirm availability, prices, and then secure your booking.

Bookings are professionally handled by a licensed Australian travel agency (Licence Number 32822).

Booking Request Form