A far north Queensland man is recovering after being stabbed repeatedly by a man in his own backyard.

A far north Queensland man has been repeatedly stabbed after stumbling across an intruder at his Cairns home.

The 60-year-old returned to his Curtin Street house on Thursday afternoon when a another man confronted him in the backyard.

Police say the resident suffered four stab wounds during a struggle.

The offender, described by police as Caucasian with brown hair, was last seen fleeing the scene on foot.

A second man was also seen running from the residence, police say.

The victim is recovering in Cairns Base Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.