Cairns Transport Study, planning

By 2046, the Cairns local government area is expected to increase by approximately 59,000 residents. In addition to the substantial visitor numbers in the region, this significant residential growth will have an impact on the safety, efficiency and accessibility of the Cairns urban transport network.

Taking a holistic approach to the planning of this expected growth will ensure a sustainable, efficient and accessible transport network in the region. 

In partnership with Cairns Regional Council, the Cairns Transport Study project will develop an integrated transport strategy for the city.

The study area includes:

  • roads (state-controlled, local roads of regional significance, major arterial and sub-arterials, multi-combination networks)
  • active and public transport corridors and networks (principal cycle network routes, public transport stops)
  • long distance bus and coach stops
  • railway (North Coast Line, Tablelands System Rail, rail freight terminals and rail passenger stations)
  • Cairns Port and Cruise Liner Terminal
  • Cairns Reef Fleet terminal
  • Cairns International Airport.


  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Increases traffic flow
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Improves flood immunity
  • Better road access
  • Accessibility
  • Reduces travel time
  • Contributes to economy
  • Contributes to regional growth
  • Better active transport

Key features

The aim of the project is to develop a strategy for the Cairns transport network that supports sustainable, efficient, equitable and affordable transport outcomes that are consistent with economic, social and environmental goals.

The project will identify a prioritised staging plan for major upgrades or interventions across the network (all modes) over the short (0-5 years), medium (5-15 years) and longer term (15-30 years).


The Cairns Transport Study is jointly funded by the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council. The Queensland Government portion of the project is funded under the Transport Systems Planning Program. Investment ID 747059

Total investment
Queensland Government
Local government

Current status

We are currently undertaking the study and would like your feedback about the future of the Cairns transport network.