There’s no denying that Cairns, a tropical port city in Far North Queensland, is receiving its fair share of newfound tourism. Moving up the Australian ranks as the fourth most visited city by international travelers, Cairns has earned the nickname Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Its location on a coastal strip between the Great Dividing Range and the Coral Sea and its surplus of beaches create the ideal port city for tourists to enjoy sunshine, sand, shopping, waterfront eateries, snorkeling, and reef diving.
Because of its tropical weather, Cairns enjoys a long monsoon season. When you’re planning a trip, make sure to keep in mind that the most temperate and dry months are June through October.
Though we can’t predict the weather, we can certainly help you find the perfect vacation rental in Cairns. All our favorite picks are hosted by superhosts – hosts who have continually high ratings and a proven track record with guests. Several of the properties have also received Airbnb Plus status, meaning they’ve been scrupulously checked with in-person inspections.
Esplanade Tropical Hideaway
We’re kicking off our list in tropical style with Matt and Dan’s lush guest suite near the Esplanade.
If you want to rent a room in Cairns that’s close to all the major attractions yet is its own private oasis, then this is the perfect place for you! The outside and inside blend seamlessly together with the inclusion of plants, bold and green-textured wallpaper, ornate wooden furniture, and glass accordion doors that fully open to the private courtyard. Outside you’ll find plenty of places to relax and enjoy the rhythmic and relaxing sounds of frogs and birds. There is a gazebo nestled among ferns and a modern, covered outdoor bathtub.
This space is ideal for either a solo traveler or a couple. It boasts one beautiful, canopied, king-size bed with stellar courtyard views. Although there isn’t a full kitchen, a corner hutch holds mugs, plates, and an electric kettle. There is also a minifridge and microwave for your convenience.
When you’re ready to explore the city, walk right out the door to the Cairns Botanic Garden, the ocean, and the Esplanade.
Marina Apartment With Harbor and Mountain Views
If scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming adventures are what you’re seeking, then renting an apartment in Cairns completely on the water sounds like the best plan for you! Mandy’s waterfront apartment is situated in Reef Fleet Terminal, a building with resort-like views and amenities. Enjoy watching the boats dock from your private balcony, or walk out your door and catch a cruise or fishing charter. On the ground floor, you’ll find delicious eateries and coffee shops, and within a short walking distance are casinos and breweries. After a long day, you’ll appreciate access to the lovely shared pool, gym, spa, and sauna.
This relaxing apartment is perfect for groups of up to four. There is a spotlessly clean bathroom with a walk-in shower and a private bedroom with a king-size bed and incredible floor-to-ceiling harbor views. The living room also boasts beautiful views and a sofa that doubles as a sleeper. The kitchen is fully equipped with a dishwasher, small stove, refrigerator, coffee maker, and toaster. For longer stays, you’ll appreciate the washer and dryer in the laundry room.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are no cleaning fees for this apartment!
Exquisite Designer Apartment With Beach Views
Everything about Ash’s fifth-floor waterfront Airbnb in Cairns screams luxury. Whether you’re taking your espresso on the spacious patio overlooking the sea or cooking dinner in the high-end, fully equipped kitchen, we’re certain there will be a smile on your face. The kitchen boasts top-of-the-line appliances, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, and a unique built-in dining table.
The soothing modern décor and pastel palette create an ideal backdrop for relaxing in one of the apartment’s two bedrooms. The king-size bed in one bedroom and the two single beds in the other bedroom make this holiday apartment in Cairns perfect for groups of up to four. You will appreciate the ample room that two full bathrooms provide, and because both have luxurious walk-in showers with rain showerheads, there will be no need to argue over who gets which bathroom!
Besides the incredible ocean views and beaches, you also have access to a shared pool for cooling off, which will be welcome after a full day exploring the many attractions nearby. This amazing apartment is within walking distance to the Cairns Lagoon, the main pier, and the shops and dining in the Central Business District (CBD).
Tropical Ground Floor Haven in Machans Beach
Moti’s tastefully decorated ground-floor home is one of our absolute favorite short-term apartment rentals in Cairns. This apartment is located in Machans Beach, around a 15-minute car ride away from the city, and it’s wonderful for larger groups or families. There are three bedrooms to spread out in. Two bedrooms have queen-size beds and the third has a double bed, making the apartment a great choice for groups of up to six. The bathroom has a walk-in shower, and you’ll appreciate the laundry room with its washer and dryer.
Unique textiles and artifacts adorn the walls and furniture in the bedrooms and living rooms, and the exotic Balinese theme flows into the outdoor living spaces. The kitchen is well equipped for cooking, and even though there’s a full formal dining room, you’ll want to take that meal outside. The backyard has a spacious gazebo with a large full dining table, but the real star of the show is the gorgeous, turquoise pool in the common area.
We are sure you aren’t going to want to leave this apartment, but if you do, we recommend renting a car to visit the tourist areas in Cairns. If you’re more comfortable with quiet places, Holloway Beach is within walking distance and has its own shops and restaurants.
Sunny Studio Vibes in Cairns City
Sam’s downtown Airbnb in Cairns is a great home base for groups of up to three exploring the city’s shopping, nightlife, and beaches. The sunny open studio has a king-size bed that can be separated into two single beds at your request. For an extra fee, you can request another single bed be added to the apartment. The home has a bathroom with a walk-in shower, and although it doesn’t have a laundry room, the complex has laundry facilities available for a small fee.
The sleek kitchen is equipped with a stove, microwave, and toaster, and the refrigerator comes stocked with milk and water bottles for your convenience. In the sunny living room, you’ll find a Smart TV and a wall of sliding glass doors that lead you out onto a beautiful private patio.
Our favorite part of this home is the outside common area, with its lagoon-like pool, spa, loungers, and a covered kitchen, where you’re welcome to use the barbecue and other cooking amenities.
Did we mention that this vacation apartment for rent in Cairns is only two blocks away from the waterfront and is easily accessible to all the shops, dining, and city perks in the CBD? The ample amount of attractions will give you the best possible urban beach vacation.
Top Floor Luxury City Apartment With Ocean Views
Andrea’s breathtaking top floor Cairns Airbnb proves that you don’t have to sacrifice city life for beach views.
The stylish, modern apartment boasts clean-lined furniture with bright pops of color to create an art-deco vibe. Though small, the kitchen has a full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and hot plates for cooking simple meals that you’ll want to eat in the beautiful glassed-in dining room where mountain and ocean views abound.
Perfect for a solo traveler or a couple, this luxury space has one bedroom with a king-size bed. If you don’t want to share the bed, no problem! The bed can be separated into two single beds, or you can request a single bed be added in the living room. If you happen to be traveling with a group larger than two, there is an extra fee, but the multiple sleeping arrangements make it feasible.
When you’re ready to head out, you’ll be grateful for the apartment’s proximity to so many attractions. It’s walking distance to the Esplanade, numerous restaurants, clubs, coffee shops, and tour starting points. It’s even a pick-up point for the Sky-Rail Cableway shuttle. And after a day exploring, you can come home to the gorgeous shared pool and barbecue area.
Cozy Private Room in Parramatta Park Suburb
If home away from home without the hassle of extra space is what you crave in an accommodation, then you’ll see why Tamara’s private room, one of three bedrooms for rent in an apartment, is on our list as one of the Best Cairns Airbnbs.
Located in the city suburb of Parramatta Park, this private room is well away from the city hustle. The Esplanade shops, eateries, and nightlife are still within walking distance, as is the CBD. On your walk, you’re sure to enjoy the beautiful houses, many of which are in traditional Queenslander-style.
Inside the light-filled apartment, the living area and bathroom are shared spaces. Feel free to lounge around on the couches and cook in the spacious, well-appointed and spotlessly clean kitchen. Your host is even thoughtful enough to provide daily breakfast snacks like muffins to get you started with your day, and there’s a lovely shared outdoor area and table where you can eat and have your coffee or tea.
This Cairns Airbnb private room is perfect for up to two guests. There is a comfortable queen-size bed in your bedroom with plush linens, blankets, and pillows.
Versace-Inspired Apartment With Breathtaking Views
Can’t decide whether you want ocean, mountain, or city views? No problem! Kris and Scott’s seventh-floor Airbnb in Cairns has got you covered with exquisite sweeping balcony views of everything.
You’ll be wowed the minute you enter the Versace-inspired apartment, decked out with a comfy leather sectional and pops of red and black. Up to four people will appreciate staying in this space. The one bedroom has a king-size pillow-top bed and a flatscreen, wall-mounted TV with Netflix and Foxtel. In the living room, the sofa pulls out to a double bed, perfect if you’re traveling with kids, and it faces another TV, so entertaining multiple people is easy.
The kitchen is well equipped for cooking and has a full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, stovetop, Smeg kettle and toaster, and convection microwave. We can’t get enough of the floor-to-ceiling windows and private balcony, a perfect space to enjoy your morning dose of complimentary coffee or tea.
On the ground floor of the apartment building, you’ll find everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay, including a grocery store, a liquor store, an ATM, a hair and massage studio, a tour agency, a clothing shop, and many restaurants. You’re also walking distance to beaches, the CBD, and too many tourist attractions to list.
Spacious Apartment at the Base of Mt. Whitfield
The ground floor studio apartment of Tanja’s Queenslander home is on our list as one of the best Airbnb rentals in Cairns. It’s located in a quiet suburb at the base of Mt. Whitfield, and the outdoor hiking adventures and trails will keep you entranced for days. If you want to explore eateries and shops within walking distance, it’s only a 30-minute walk to Edge Hill and the Cairns Botanic Garden. To head into the CBD or other beach areas of Cairns, we recommend hiring or renting a car.
This quaint and lovely space is an ideal romantic getaway for a couple or a solo traveler hoping for some quiet time outside the city. The galley kitchen includes a washer, a stovetop and oven, a medium-size refrigerator, and plenty of pots and pans. There is one queen-size timber bed in the studio with views of the pool. The outdoor living area and barbecue can be easily accessed through two sets of double glass doors.
We think you’ll really enjoy how off-the-beaten-path this stay is while still maintaining proximity to Cairns attractions.
Quaint Edge Hill Cottage
Charlie’s quaint little cottage in Edge Hill takes the cake as one of our favorite house rentals in Cairns. Positioned underneath a raintree and nestled in the heart of everything Edge Hill has to offer, this home is perfect for up to four guests. Its relaxing palette of grays and whites instantly soothes you, while the little pops of red add interest to the décor.
The open floor plan has an inviting king-size bed, and the sofa pulls out to a sleeper to accommodate two more travelers. The bathroom is beautiful, with a sparkling clean walk-in shower and a double vanity that offers plenty of space for two people to get ready at once. The kitchen is immaculate and equipped with a refrigerator, oven, stove, and microwave. Outside the sliding glass doors is a lush paradise of plants surrounding the eating area, making you feel like you’re eating inside the botanic gardens.
There are plenty of restaurants and attractions within walking distance in the funky neighborhood known for its evening breezes. There are several places in the area where guests have discounts. If you want to explore further into Cairns, the Sunbus is right around the corner and has pickups and drop-offs every 30 minutes.
Quaint Rainforest Cabin With Creek
A beautiful respite awaits you at Sandra’s secluded house for rent in Cairns. This private and tranquil oasis has everything you need to recharge your emotional battery. Set on 2.5 acres in a rainforest, surrounded by tropical plants, fruits, and animals, this cabin is the quintessential romantic getaway for two.
You’ll love waking up in the queen-size bed, facing sliding double doors and looking right out onto the private deck. Wildlife abounds! There are kookaburra, cockatoos, and other tropical birds right outside. You can see them while you’re still in bed or watch them from the private hot tub in the outside living area.
In the sleek and modern kitchenette, you’ll find a hot water kettle, toaster, minifridge, and microwave – all the basics needed to kickstart your day. In fact, your host is thoughtful enough to provide a starter breakfast packet with items like biscuits, eggs, cheeses, and coffee. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, you’re welcome to pick fruit from any of the tropical trees on the property.
This is the kind of place you’ll want to explore. The creek on the property has turtles, fish, and even platypuses that you’re able to feed. For getting into Cairns or the beaches, we recommend a car.
Modern Villa by Edge Hill Botanic Gardens
Erina and Carl’s stunning villa is everything you could possibly want in a Cairns Airbnb. Its bright white palette is calming and highlights the cleanliness of the space. Located in Edge Hill, just across the street from botanical gardens and within walking distance to numerous restaurants, shops, and the city center, this home is ideal for up to three guests.
The comfortable queen-size bed faces a wall of sliding glass doors and an inviting private patio that is surrounded by lush bamboo and other tropical plants. In the living room, you can choose to entertain yourself with books, board games, or the flatscreen television. The luxury sofa doubles as a sleeper for an extra guest.
You’ll love how modern and clean the kitchen is, with shiny white lower cabinets, stylish veneer upper cabinets, a refrigerator, a microwave, a stovetop and oven, a dishwasher, and even a laundry closet with a washer and dryer.
Your hosts are thoughtful enough to allow the use of two bikes to explore the area, and after a long day, you’ll thoroughly appreciate the gorgeous walk-in shower back at the villa.
Coral Sea View Condo
Gorgeous Coral Sea and Esplanade views abound in Kay’s amazing Airbnb in Cairns. This fifth-floor condo, situated perfectly in the middle of the city, is within walking distance to eateries, coffee shops, and all of the popular tourist destinations. It’s also located above the night markets, where you can find all kinds of goodies and souvenirs any night of the week. Walk to the free lagoon pool at the Esplanade, or enjoy the amenities the condo offers, like the beautiful private pool, gym, and barbecue.
If you want a completely private retreat, the spacious bathroom boasts a large, jetted soaking tub, perfect for unwinding after a day touring busy Cairns. Once you’re relaxed, finish off the night with a glass of wine on the private balcony and then head to bed for a restful sleep on the king-size Posturepedic mattress. There are televisions in both the living room and the bedroom, and the sofa in the living room doubles as a sleeper, making this lovely condo the perfect home base for groups of up to four.
This home has a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, stovetop, refrigerator, and French press – but did we mention that the views can be enjoyed while cooking dinner? Perhaps one of our favorite things about this space is the host, who usually tries to pick all of her guests up at the airport!
Stylish Edge Hill Guest Suite With Pool
We can’t say enough about Christine’s stylish and spacious Edge Hill guest suite – one of the best Airbnbs in Cairns. Guests are sure to enjoy its proximity to all that the leafy green suburb has to offer, like a plethora of eateries, cafés, and walking trails. It’s just a short walk to the Cairns Botanic Gardens and Tanks Arts Center as well.
This well-appointed suite has its own private entrance next to another guest suite (Christina lives on the floor above) and is perfect for one or two travelers. The light and airy living area has a plush couch, a TV, and a designated workspace, so if you visit Cairns on business, this rental is ideal. In the bedroom, you’ll find a comfortable queen-size bed and ample room for storage, and in the bathroom you’ll appreciate a spacious, spotless, and modern walk-in shower.
The kitchen has a refrigerator, microwave, and kettle. There is no oven, but your host graciously allows you in her space to use hers if needed. The shared patio overlooks a beautiful pool that you’ll enjoy a dip in at the end of the day.
Luxury Dome With Ocean Views
Last but certainly not least is Georgia’s unique, luxury beach view dome. This incredible home, about 20 minutes away from Cairns in quaint Trinity Beach, is within walking distance to locally owned restaurants and shops. Just across the street, you’ll find a gorgeous beach with a netted swim area, a kids’ playground on the water, a free barbecue, and jet ski and paddle boat rentals.
The concrete dome has two bedrooms and is perfect for up to four guests. The first bedroom has soothing décor and a lovely queen-size bed. The second sunny bedroom has two single beds, and the hosts have another single roll-out bed available upon request. The living area and dining area exude a tropical vibe, and the kitchen is well equipped with a refrigerator, stovetop, oven, microwave, and plenty of counter and storage space. There is ample room in the bathroom, and you’ll especially love the large walk-in shower and funky tiled flooring.
Besides the beach view, our favorite part of this home is the gorgeous and inviting hexagonal pool!
Whether it’s with a harbor view apartment, a private rainforest cabin, or a funky beach dome, you’re sure to have a winning trip with any of our favorite Cairns Airbnbs. We hope you enjoyed our compilation as much as we enjoyed creating it!