Getting to JCU / Arrival Service

A free arrival reception service is available for all new international students arriving in Cairns and Townsville during the week prior to James Cook University's (JCU) Orientation Week in February and July each year.

You will be met on your arrival by a representative of JCU's arrival service company and taken to your pre-arranged accommodation and important information will be provided to you for the first 24 hours after your arrival.

Before travelling

Ensure you have arranged your temporary or permanent accommodation before submitting booking an Arrival Service.

If you are a Townsville Campus student and your flight arrives at the Cairns International Airport, you need to make your own travel arrangements between Cairns and Townsville. Qantas, Virgin Australia, Greyhound Australia and Queensland Rail offer transport between Cairns and Townsville.

Arrival reception service

To ensure your arrival service is confirmed book at least two weeks prior using our Arrival Service Booking Form*. (*The Arrival Service booking form is now closed until 2018).

Non arrival reception service periods

If you intend to arrive outside of the available arrival service period, you will need to arrange your own transport to your accommodation or consider alternative local transport services.

Alternative local transport services

Townsville and Cairns both have reliable taxi services.

A taxi meter is used and will determine the cost of your travel:

  • Townsville airport to JCU: approximately AUD$40
  • Cairns airport to the city centre: approximately AUD$30

There are taxis available which service all arrival ports in Cairns and Townsville.

On Arrival at JCU

Once you arrive in Cairns or Townsville Campus you will need to check-in with the International Student Support team at JCU's Student Centre (building A1 in Cairns and Building 134 in Townsville).

More information

For more information contact JCU's International Student Support team by email on