3 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure.

When you have booked we allocate your transfer a unique booking number (eg PPT0199) confirmation.  All private transfer contact details are on this confirmation. For your return transfer to the airport the we will automatically  email the email address associated with your booking 1-2 days before your departure with your exact pick up time to a 5 minutes window. Refer to your confirmation for more details once you have booked your Cairns Airport private transfer.

The usual pick up window is 3 hours before domestic flights depart. We make additional allowances for international flights.  Three hours before domestic departures is needed because of everchanging roadworks and traffic conditions on the Captain Cook highway. To save you multiple check ins please only contact your shuttle after midday on the day before your departure because small tweaks to times are often made around our intimate knowledge of road conditions. Please use your PPT booking number when contacting your vehicle.  If you only have carry on we might try and minimise your wait. Don’t worry 🙂 We factor all this in – just tell us your flight departure time and flight number on your private transfer booking form – and we will work it all out and confirm your departure time automatically by email before you leave Port Douglas.

Around 20 mins after all bags removed from your baggage carousel.

With a private transfer from PortPrivateTransfers.com.au the wait time at Cairns Airport is reduced to a minimum: the time required to get your bags and join your vehicle. We schedule airport pick ups according to airline flight arrival times. The long term ‘on time arrival’ across all airlines is approx. 81.6% of planes (eg SYD to CNS, MEL to CNS, BNE to CNS) arrive on time: Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Flights are on time if they arrive within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival.

Every effort is made to have our private transfer passengers on the way to Port Douglas as soon as possible. As you are not waiting for others the priority is your group and your bags only!  This means if you arrive at 11:50am, and are off the plane and at your carousel at 12:10pm, and bags are available you will be on the way to Port Douglas 20-30 minutes before shared shuttle passengers.  In some cases there may be small delays (bags may be delayed from the plane) and we ask passengers for understanding when we deal with issues around airline arrivals beyond our control. We aim to be responsive to you, and your fellow passengers, if you or they are affected by small delays.

Around 2 to 2.5 hours before your flight from Cairns Airport.

While the journey  from Palm Cove to Cairns Airport usually takes 35 mins, roadworks and traffic conditions around the busy Smithfield shopping precinct often adds time. We will work out the best pick up time, based on your flight and traffic conditions, to have you comfortably at the airport for your check-in. We will automatically email the email address associated with your booking 1-2 days before your departure around midday with your exact pick up time. Refer to your confirmation for more details once booked.

Around 20 mins. Our private transfer services only collects your passengers.

Meet your pre-booked private transfer and leave as soon as your bags have been collected from your arrival baggage carousel.

Your private driver meets you at carousel 1 with your name on a sign. If you do not see your driver, please wait at carousel 1 as the driver may be dropping off at departures on the way to you, or just accessing Cairns Airport due to airport restrictions on how soon after a plane’s arrival the vehicle can enter the pick up zone.  


We can also collect you from Cairns Esplanade or CBD accommodation and take you to Cairns Airport, Palm Cove or Port Douglas & vice versa.

Flights leaving Cairns at 6am must use private transfer.

To catch a 6am flight (or earlier) you would need to leave Port Douglas around 3:45am, which is our after hours time and is delivered as private transfer only + $50 after hours rates. The journey takes 60-70 mins if no problems on Captain Cook Highway (eg landslips on highway, accidents, diversions).

Standard hours private transfer commences from Port Douglas at 6am daily and is suitable for any flight departing Cairns Airport after 8:30am.

The after hours option is available on your booking form. In 2023 after hours departure starts at $235 for 1-2 people, and is a private transfer with no other passengers.

We actively monitor flights for both early and late arrivals.

In addition to mobile apps and the Cairns Airport website information drivers waiting at the airport drivers’ lounge have special screens to see exactly when flights have landed and when they are at the gate.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your standard hours flight is delayed into our after hours time 7pm until 6am, we can still pick you up however there will be an after hours adjustment for private transfer rates.

We ask that you understand that flight delays that extend into the evening beyond 7pm are beyond our control, and we cannot offer standard hour private transfer services rates during 7pm to 6am. If you do expect significant delays, it is important that you please contact our office on 07 3354 1323 between 9am and 5pm or the direct number for your vehicle to find out what options you have, and we can advise options for you. We will do the same and try and contact you.

It is important we make contact before you arrive many hours late because midnight pick ups are not an automatic option. So please use your time while being delayed leaving Sydney or Melbourne and contact us so we can go through your options.

OPTIONS: Our usual process is to offer standard hours arrivals who arrive during after hours two options:

Option 1: Upgrade to after hours service which is delivered as a private transfer + $50 night fee.  Currently 1-2 pax after hours is $235 ($185 + $50) one way to Port Douglas, and 6-13 pax is $360 ($310 + $50) one way to Port Douglas.

Option 2: We will provide you 100% refund. Note this will be made back to the credit card you paid with or by online banking. Either way the refund is not instant as credit card refunds made take 3-4 business days to reappear on your card. That is due to the card issuer not PortPrivateTransfers.com.au

If refund by online banking we need your BSB and account details and that will either be instant if OSKO payment (depending on your bank and you account settings) or 1 business day. We thank you for your understanding.

Yes. Child booster seats (B) and front (FFR) or rear facing (RFR) baby seats are available if requested at time of booking.

Child seats are available but are not compulsory on our Queensland buses over 13 seats. We use late model 2022/ 2023 Hyundai iMax for 1-5 pax private transfers, and 13 seater Toyota HiAce or 20/ 22 seater Toyota Coaster or Yutong D7 Series for larger groups.

The cost for child seats is $10 each way per seat ($20 return transfer). If needed please add to your booking so they can be installed and ready for your departure. It is generally not possible to add child seats after you have arrived. We generally use Baby Love brand seats less than 2 years old.

All quotes are valid on the day for current pricing on all our book and pay forms. Confirmations are automatically issued when you book and pay online.

Once you complete your booking form and payment details you will receive an instant confirmation with PPT reference. Please check your spam folder if not in your inboz.

When using our book and pay forms all payments are processed by the PortPrivateTransfer.com.au affiliate you are allocated to.

Every PortPrivateTransfers.com.au booking receives an approved PPT booking reference and at all times you can contact PortPrivateTransfers.com.au direct about your booking, or to organise a refund (subject to cancel fees), or to change travel dates. Every booking confirmation also provides direct contact details for your limo or private transfer vehicle.

Please always use your unique PPT booking number ID when contacting us.

Around 60-70 minutes from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas.

Depending on traffic and which end of Port Douglas your accommodation is located. The drive is approx. 20-25 minutes through the northern suburbs of Cairns (past sugar cane fields) 30-35 minutes along the coast of the Coral Sea (a world heritage listed drive) and the last 10 minutes past sugar cane and into Port Douglas.

We generally use Hyundai iMax (7 pax), Toyota Hiace (13 pax), or Commuter (20 pax). For your comfort we also use luxury 53 seater coaches in peak times. At our discretion we sometimes allocate our 2023 or 2022 Mercedes-Benz limo service vehicles (C-200 series or Valente) to private transfers depending on group size and availability. There is no extra cost if this happens.

Our vehicles are popular with all transfer companies. We have one of the newest fleets. Fully air conditioned, 100% seat belts, and reclining seats.

Split bookings are not possible to have people departing at different times or different days on the same booking. We do not recommend scheduling one pick up for flights arriving separately.

Split arrivals or staggered departures require additional pick ups and drop offs for each booking. This means more vehicles, drivers and airport access fees are involved with any booking that requests split arrivals and staggered departures. Delays at any part of the process like planes from different cities scheduled to arrive together but actually arrive hours apart obviously impact your plans, and others travelling on your vehicle before or after you. The most common example of this is when flights from Sydney get delayed for many hours due to heavy storm activity at Sydney Airport. Flight delays in 2023 have been greatly affected by airlines capacity to arrive on time, so attempts to align flights from different cities constantly get into trouble.

All bookings are eligible for one airport pick up, and one accommodation drop off on arrival. On departure all bookings are eligible for one accommodation pick up and one airport drop off per booking.  The best idea is to use our private transfer booking form and book each group separately.

The only exception to this policy is if you’re arriving at similar times and are prepared to wait for others in your group – let us know in the OTHER COMMENTS section of your booking. We will attempt to group your arrivals together if on time, and if a plane is significantly delayed we will transfer you on your private transfer and allocate the delayed group to the next available seats in shared shuttle or offer the delayed group alternatives.

Yes. Thala Beach is the only possible stop between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas.

Thala Beach Resort is 50 mins north of Cairns, and 10 mins south of Port Douglas. If we have private transfer bookings for Thala Beach we will pick up, or drop off, at Thala Beach Resort.

The cost for Thala Beach transfers is the same as Port Douglas transfers. Many passengers enjoy the amazing location of Thala Beach Resort, and youngies and oldies alike enjoy driving through the field of coconut trees that surround this magical location.

If you are staying at Thala Beach Resort, or would like to go there for lunch or dinner, we do offer a service between Port Douglas and Thala Beach Resort for $25 per person one way. As Thala Beach Resort is 10 mins from Port Douglas it is well outside local shuttle services, and we deliver Port Douglas <> Thala Beach Resort as a private transfer service only at $25 per person each way. Thank you for your understanding.

Paul and Vish are not drivers. We’re a booking service offering a friendly service with local knowledge.

Paul has driven the beautiful coastal road between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas 100s of times as a shuttle bus driver and spent loads of time talking to different drivers of different services operating up here. With that experience and now with over 8 years creating, owning and operating PortPrivateTransfers.com.au and CairnsAirportShuttle.net our service is all about taking the hassle out of the booking process, the multiple options, fare differences, different rules and importantly helping visitors avoid unwanted detours when you just want to go direct to your accommodation on arrival.

Our focus on PortPrivateTransfers.com.au is for quality service in a quality vehicle. Our 2022 and 2023 Mercedes-Benz limousines, and Kia / Hyundai iMax for most small group private transfers offer exception comfort. From our team of 25 drivers we allocate you the best, the friendliest, the most knowledgeable drivers who know their vehicle, know the roads and know how to transfer you and your group safely, securely, and comfortably.

Our fair prices, good information and connections help you with the best Cairns to Port Douglas private transfer services so you can focus on anticipating and enjoying your Port Douglas holiday.

The team of drivers working for our affiliated services are all experienced local drivers with accredited passenger transport drivers authority issued by the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Yes we can help.

At PortPrivateTransfers the comfort and ease of your transfer is our top priority. While our most popular service is direct private transfers between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas,  we can also easily accommodate pick up from, or drop off to, all Cairns accommodation including: Abbott Boutique Hotel, Breakfree Royal Harbour Cairns, Comfort Inn Cairns, Crystalbrook Bailey, Crystalbrook Flynn and Crystalbrook Riley.

We also regularly service Shangri-La The Marina, Hilton Cairns, Mantra Esplanade and Mantra Trilogy.  See our booking form for the complete drop down list of 20+ established accommodation pick ups and drop offs. If your hotel is not on the list? simply select ‘Cairns City’ and add your hotel info in notes at the end of the form.

The cost for any pick up from, or drop off to, Cairns accommodation is $20 per transfer. This can be added on the booking form when selecting your transfer. However, we can drop you into Cairns Esplanade/ CBD, and pick you up from Cairns Esplanade/ CBD  for additional flat rate $20 to each booking. See the eligible drop off area. This option exisits on your booking form.

We drop you at, and collect you from, the door of your accommodation in almost every part of Port Douglas. 

Our service provides limited option (5 mins) to wait while passengers collect keys from booking agencies and then transfer on to accommodation. Your single drop off can be one or the other. This saves time for your group and for others who have booked your vehicle after your transfer.

Accommodation drop-off exceptions due to access are: Beachfront Mirage as this is a gated community and we drop you at the gate (unless you have immediate access to securirty codes on arrival, and also for the vehicle arriving to collect you from Port Douglas and take you to Cairns. Access is also limited on Murphy Street (approx. 53-69 Murphy Street) which can be difficult for a vehicle + trailer to reverse out of – so we may drop you on the corner of Owen and Murphy – for the short 20-80m walk to your accommodation.

Our standard airport service does not service Cape Tribulation, but in 2023 does now service Silky Oaks.

We usually only offer service between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas. For any connections north of Port Douglas that do wish to use our private transfer service to Port Douglas, most welcome! We usually drop off and pick up from your Port Douglas accommodation, or Wildlife Habitat at the southern end of Port Douglas. Your Daintree accommodation or car hire then takes you further North.

Daintree/ Cape Tribulation: PortPrivateTransfers.com.au is not aware of any service that automatically operates from Cairns Airport to Daintree, or from Port Douglas to Daintree accommodation. Hiring a rental car in Port Douglas is a common solution.

Newell Beach: We can organise 1-5, 6-13, or 14-20 pax private transfer only from Port Douglas to Newell Beach;

Silky Oaks: Now available on our limo form and our standard port douglas private transfer booking form You can also ask Silky Oaks accommodation about transport options, which may include them picking you up from Port Douglas as above, or car hire;

Mossman: There are some shuttles that can take you to Mossman Gorge and Mossman Township, and outside the local shuttle area. Ask your accommodation about whether a shuttle or taxi will best suit your needs.

No problem, but we do add $20 extra per booking

All our booking forms include a question about public holidays. Our business provides our drivers with a fair rate for working public holidays and we apply a flat rate of $20 per booking (irrespective of how many people in the group) for that day. We welcome your public holiday booking, and thank you in advance for your support for our drivers. Particularly during the current cost of living crisis, your support of this measure helps and rewards our drivers and our whole team appreciates your understanding.

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 vehicles, however all other food and beverages are not permitted to be consumed on our transfer services. 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 vehicles and limousines clean and tidy.

2. A cleaning charge of $175 INC GST applies to any non-water spillages or mess 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 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 private transfer vehicles, unless they are an approved guide, hearing, or assistance animal.

5. Smoking is not permitted on our services. This includes all types of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and any vaping device.

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. This is important so that your music does not distract our drivers who have your safety and comfort as top their priority.

7. For the comfort of all travelling passengers musical instruments are not permitted to be played on our transfer services.