FAQ'S FOR OUR PORT DOUGLAS AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE
We aim to provide as comprehensive an FAQ section as possible, covering the most common questions that we get asked.
If you cannot find the information that you are looking for below, then please feel free to contact us.
3 hours before your flight’s schedule departure
When you book with PortDouglasAirportShuttle.com you will receive a unique booking number as shuttle confirmation. All of the necessary contact information will be coupled with this confirmation.
You will receive an automated email (associated with your booking) 1-2 days before your departure. This will notify you with the exact pickup time. Please be ready 10 mins before your allocated pick up time if possible. Your shuttle will wait for 5 minutes only after your allocated pick up time, and then we must leave for our next pick up or to head to Cairns Airport. We track our drivers using GPS and phone records to verify our pickups. Thank you for your assistance to be ready.
We aim to allow approx: three hours before your flight departure to ensure that you arrive at Cairns (CNS) Airport with plenty of time to check in and catch your flight absent any stress.
- With our shared shuttle service, you may be required to depart earlier or later depending on the situation. In this case you will be notified in advance
- During peak traffic times around Smithfield and at the north end of Cairns we add an additional 15-minutes for traffic.
We will always strive to minimise your wait time at Cairns Airport.
Approximately 20-minutes after you have collected your luggage
Once all bags have been cleared from the arrivals baggage carousel, the typical wait is 20-minutes (or less). This is subject to change in line with airline flight arrival times—approximately 84.9% of flights arrive in Cairns (CNS) Airport do so on time.
We will make every effort to ensure that you will be sat comfortably on one of our luxury vehicles and on your way to Port Douglas within 20-minutes.
Naturally, in some rare cases there may be small delays (e.g., bags delayed from the plane), and we thank you for your patience and understanding in such an event.
20-minutes for pre-booked passengers
As we typically only collect pre-booked passengers, we do not wait for the bus to fill. This means that you can be on your booked shuttle bus and leave 20-minutes (or sooner) after all checked bags have been collected and loaded onto our vehicle.
- Your friendly shuttle driver will meet you at Carousel-1 and lead you to the shuttle bus
- If you do not see your driver, please wait to save any confusion
Any flights at 6:00am (or earlier) must refer to our private transfer service
If your flight is at 6:00am (or earlier), you will need to leave Port Douglas at approximately 3:45am. As this falls within our ‘after hours’ period, you will need to book a private transfer.
- The return journey from Port Douglas to Cairns (CNS) Airport should only take around 60-70-mins, giving you plenty of time to get checked in for your departure
- Our standard hours transfer service runs from Port Douglas at 6:00am daily and is ideal for any flights departing from Cairns Airport after 8:30am
Airline departure closing times:
- Virgin: 45-mins before departure
- Jetstar: 40-mins before departure
- Qantas: 45-mins before departure
Don’t panic! We monitor flights for both early and late arrivals
Our drivers will be monitoring all of the relevant flights for both early and late arrivals. As such, we will know about your situation as it arises and can adjust accordingly.
Within standard operating hours (flights scheduled to arrive between 6:00am to 6:00pm – last scheduled seats in shared shuttle departs Cairns Airport at 7pm) we can easily move you to another shuttle. However, for any flights that push your arrival beyond the last 7pm bus your transfer will be subject to adjustment for private transfer rates.
We appreciate how frustrating a delayed flight can be and the negative impact that it can have on your experience.
We ask that you understand that any delayed flights are entirely beyond our control. Due to COVID, WH&S issues for driver fatigue, and driver shortages, we simply have no capacity to operate shared shuttle service after 7pm.
If you are expecting a significant delay, please contact us at your earliest convenience and we will take you through your available options.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is crucial that you make contact with us if your flight has been delayed significantly as transfers after 7pm to midnight pickups are not an automatic option. Naturally, we will need to make the appropriate arrangements with our drivers, hence the additional charge for a private transfer service.
In such an event you have two options:
- Upgrade to our afterhours / private transfer package. or
- We will provide you with a 100% refund if you do not wish to use our after hours private transfer service and prefer instead to make other arrangements.
Passengers are not permitted to drink alcohol or eat food or consume any non water beverage on public passenger vehicles in Queensland. The following common courtesies are for the comfort and enjoyment of your travelling party and all passengers on our shuttles, limousines or private transfers. Queensland Government fines and cleaning charges can result if these courtesies are not followed.
1. Bottled water is permitted to be consumed on our shuttles, however all other food and beverages are not permitted to be consumed on our shuttle service. This Queensland food and beverage restriction on public passenger vehicles is in the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2018 (Qld) s 232(2). Thank you for your help to keep our shuttles clean and tidy.
2. A cleaning charge of $175 INC GST applies to any non-water spillages or mess in the shuttle that in the assessment of the driver needs to be professionally cleaned. This cleaning charge applies to spillages of carbonated beverages like Coke, Pepsi, Fanta and the like. Spillages of sunscreen, perfume or of non-carbonated beverages like orange juice or apple juice, and foods like yoghurt, sandwiches, kebabs, pies and any type of food spillage will also attract the cleaning charge. Any bodily fluids including vomit, urine, faeces will automatically attract the cleaning charge independent of the driver’s assessment. If cleaning is required we will provide an invoice for payment due within 7 days. Your assistance is appreciated.
3. Please take any rubbish with you.
4. Animals are not permitted on our shuttle service, unless they are an approved guide, hearing, or assistance animal.
5. Smoking is not permitted on our shuttle service. This includes electronic cigarettes.
6. Passengers are required to use earphones when listening to music or watching videos on a personal device, and keep the volume at a reasonable level.
7. For the comfort of all travelling passengers musical instruments are not permitted to be played on our shuttle service.
Child seats are available for $10 each one way when requested at the time of your booking
Child booster seats are available on request:
- (B) and front (FFR)
- Or rear facing (RFR)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that it is typically not possible to add a child seat after you arrive so, it is vital that you notify us upon the time of your initial booking
- All of our quotes are valid for 24-hours. Quote requests are typically responded to within 2-3 hours between 8:00am and 5:00pm daily
- Confirmations are typically sent within 2-4-hours of receiving payment between 8:00am and 5:00pm daily
- Any quotes that we issue will include a payment link, including a unique CAS reference number for you to pay with.
- Once payment has been received you will receive your shuttle confirmation document within two to four hours.
- Any quote requests or payments made after office hours (5:00pm) will be processed the following morning after 8:00am.
- You can contact PortDouglasAirportShuttle.com at any time to discuss your booking or to organise a refund (subject to cancellation fees)
60-70-minutes from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas
Subject to traffic conditions and the location of your accommodation, the journey should take approximately 60-70-minutes from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas.
- 20-25-mins through Cairns northern suburbs (and through the sugar cane fields)
- 30-35-mins along the coast (as you soak up some views of listed World Heritage Sites)
- 10-mins past some more stunning sugar cane fields and into Port Douglas
Hyundai iMax (7 pax); Toyota Hiace (13 pax); Commuter (20 pax); We also use luxury 53 seater coaches during peak times, for your comfort and convenience
Please note that the type of vehicle used will depend on your booking method (i.e., our private transfer service), availability, the time of your transfer, and the number of people travelling.
We do not accept split bookings. Having people departing at different times and/or on different days will cause unnecessary confusion and as such, the bookings must be made separately
Split arrivals and staggered departures require multiple pickups and drop-offs for each booking. Naturally, this means that there will be additional shuttles, drivers, and airport access fees involved.
We understand that delays are part of the process and can impact your plans and those of the other people travelling with you. In this event we will do what we can to accommodate you.
However, as for split-bookings, we do not accept them and any split-arrivals / staggered departures must be treated as separate bookings.
- All return bookings from Cairns (CNS) Airport to Port Douglas are eligible for one airport pick up and one accommodation drop-off on arrival
- The one exception to this policy is if you are arriving at similar times and are happy to wait for others in your group (but, you must inform us upon making your initial booking)
It is fairly common for some international Air NZ flights from Cairns to depart from the Cairns (CNS) domestic terminal
- International flights to New Zealand typically leave via Sydney, Brisbane, or Melbourne (usual domestic check-in times apply)
- Your luggage will proceed ahead of you after having checked in at Cairns (CNS) Airport
- Following that you will transit from the Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne domestic airport to the International Airport and complete your customs from there
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that these are general instructions. We strongly advise that you refer to your ticket for precise flight instructions.
We are able to drop you off and collect you from your accommodation at almost every part of Port Douglas
- Our service does not include the option to wait if you need to collect keys from a booking agency and then onto your accommodation (multiple drop-offs), as it will be unfair on other passengers ready to start their holiday
- Your single drop-off can either be to your accommodation, or to your booking agency if necessary
- Accommodation drop-off is subject to accessibility
Here are two examples of accommodation with limited access:
- Beachfront Mirage: a gated community (so we will drop you at the gate)
- Murphy Street: a narrow street which is unsuitable for shuttle bus & trailer reversing (as such, you will be dropped off on the corner of Owen and Murphy)
We do not offer local or pensioner discounts, however compare our great Cairns Airport to Port Douglas Airport shuttle prices before you think about a discount. We are already more than $5 cheaper per person one way than the Cairns Airport Shuttle desk, and that price gets cheaper with more travellers!
No problem at all. However, there is an additional $20 charge per booking
Bookings on public holidays are OK, however, we do provide our drivers with a fair rate for working on public holidays. As such, there is an additional $20 charge per booking. This can be selected on your booking form.
All our bookings use PayPal gateway as standard for MasterCard and Visa payment. Unfortunately we cannot process Amex, or online banking deposits from outside Australia.
We do indeed provide transfers from Cairns Airport to Cairns City. In addition to that, we can also collect you from Esplanade or your CBD accommodation at transfer you to Port Douglas (and vice-versa).
- This is a separate service from our direct Port Douglas direct shuttle bus service
Yes, we do. Thala Beach Resort is the only stop that we can make between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas
Thala Beach Resort is located 50-mins north of Cairns, and 10-mins to the south of Port Douglas. Due to its convenient location, we do include this as part of our Cairns (CNS) Airport to Port Douglas transfer service (and both cost the same).
- Thala Beach Resort is only a slight 5-minute diversion, and the breath-taking views are always worth it!
- Whether you are staying at Thala Beach Resort or would like to visit for lunch or dinner, we offer a shuttle service between Port Douglas and Thala Beach for just $25 per person, one-way
Yes, we can help you with this
Although our primary service is direct airport transfers from Cairns (CNS) Airport to Port Douglas with no stops, we can assist you.
- If you need to be dropped into Cairns Esplanade / the CBD, or picking up, we charge an additional flat rate of $20 per booking
- For any drop-offs into Cairns, we drop passengers to the airport at the north end of Cairns first (a quick 5-10-min diversion)
For pickups from Cairns, we collect you first, and then head north to collect passengers from the airport (a short 15-20-min wait
We do not service Cape Tribulation or anywhere north of Port Douglas
Typically, we only offer a direct transfer service between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas. However, if you are north of Port Douglas and wish to use our shuttle service into Port Douglas, you are most welcome.
- We usually drop-off and pick-up from your accommodation in Port Douglas, or the Wildlife Habitat at the southern end of Port Douglas
- Your Daintree accommodation or care hire services can take your further north
- As for Daintree / Cape Tribulation, we are not aware of any services that operate from Cairns Airport to Daintree, or from Port Douglas to Daintree (an easy solution is car rental in Port Douglas)
- For Newell Beach, we can organise private transfer options for 1-5, 6-13, of 14-20 pax
- For Silky Oaks, speak with your accommodation for transport options
For Mossman, there are a select few shuttle services that can transfer you to Mossman Gorge and Mossman Township (and outside the local shuttle area)
UNLIMITED local Port Douglas shuttle passes are available for purchase at a 15% discount with your airport transfers. Start using as soon as you arrive in Port Douglas! PLUS save 15% when you buy now. Collect your UNLIMITED weekly local shuttle pass from your driver when you arrive at Cairns airport. For reference a single adult trip in Port Douglas costs $6-$7 one way.