Why rent a car in Cairns?
Cairns and its surrounds is a great region to explore by car. The natural beauty is stunning with lots of unique attractions including access to the Great Barrier Reef. The best way to see the region is renting a car so you can see everything. Compare these affordable rental car options to give you easy access to the best destinations in Cairns and the surrounding hinterland. You will find all the major brands offering cheap rates including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and SIXT.
Cairns Airport car collection
If you are flying into Cairns and wanting to get on the road you can collect your car from Cairns Airport. There are 7 car hire suppliers at Cairns Airport and you will find an affordable car for your holiday.
Top car rental tips in Cairns:
- Cairns is the gateway to many of Far North Queensland’s top tourist destinations. If you are planning to visit and hire a car, book your vehicle in advance to avoid missing out.
- The Cairns CBD has plenty of on-street parking. Paid parking starts from AUD$1.60/hr between 8:30am and 6pm weekdays and 8:30am to 2pm on Saturdays. Parking outside of these times is free.
- Cairns can be very hot during summer. Always take valuables and other items with you when leaving the car to avoid damage and theft.
- The speed limit in built-up areas of the city is 50km/h, and 100km/h on highways.
- To avoid paying extra fees always fill your car with petrol before returning it.
Things to do in Cairns:
- The Great Barrier Reef is the number one tourist attraction to visit and is a natural wonder of the world. A number of coral islands can also be accessed by boat from Cairns.
- Cairns Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit if you do not have time to see the actual rainforests. The botanical gardens showcases the different types of flora characteristic of tropical Northern Australia.
- Kuranda is located just 27km northwest of Cairns in the nearby mountains and is a famous place to visit with many hiking trails. You can park your rental car in the town and take a trip on a Skyrail that takes you high through the rainforest canopy.
- Daintree National Park is located 125km north of Cairns and can be reached by car in a little over two hours. The rainforest has plenty of mangroves, palms and unique Australian animals like the platypus and musky-rat kangaroo which are native to the forest. There are also hiking trails, but it’s advisable to hire a guide or to do some research and plan a route in advance - some of the animal species can be quite dangerous.
- Mission Beach is about 140km south of Cairns and can be reached by car in two hours. It has a relaxed vibe and is one of the most pristine beaches in North Queensland.
- Port Douglas is a tropical oasis wedged between two world heritage listed areas - the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Four Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The water is shallow and warm, great for swimming with kids. Impressive mountains provide a stunning backdrop to this sunny, tropical beach.