Rental companies may charge extra for drivers aged under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before booking.

Car Hire in Cairns

Car Hire in Cairns

Get more out of your Australian adventure with car hire in Cairns. Explore some of Australia's top driving routes, venture into the tropical rainforests and lounge around on some seriously beautiful beaches – all without the hassle of public transport. Compare car hire in Cairns now to find the best deal.

Where to Hire a Car in Cairns

Hertz and Redspot are among the agencies providing car hire from Cairns Airport, which is an easy option if you're flying into Australia's tropical north. If you're arriving by bus (or fancy spending a few days in Cairns without a motor), there are numerous places to rent a car in downtown Cairns too. Hertz, Thrifty and A1 car hire are a few of the big car rental agencies you'll spot while strolling around the town centre.

Specialist car hire agencies in Cairns offer four wheel drive (4WD) car hire, essential for tackling narrow and bumpy roads in the national parks. Campervan hire in Cairns is also widely available from a number of agencies, if you fancy trying your hand at a longer road trip (or an overnight stay by a remote beach).

Tips for Driving in Cairns

Downtown Cairns can be tricky to navigate in a car, although Aussies drive on the same side of the road as the Irish so you've got one less thing to worry about. There are lots of one-way systems to get used to, so if you're not a confident driver it might be best to take a bus out to the airport and pick up your hire car there. Drink driving rules are extremely strict in Australia, so either appoint a designated driver or book a nearby hotel in Cairns if you want a drink.

There are around 6400 council-run car parking spaces in Cairns, with 1400 car parking spaces in Cairns CBD. Car parking in Cairns is regulated from Monday to Saturday, with extended hours at the Southern Esplanade car park. Always check signs for prices and maximum stay requirements before leaving your hire car.

3 Easy Day Trips from Cairns

Best for nature lovers: Cape Tribulation Located 142km to the north of Cairns (two hours and 45 minutes drive) this beautifully remote headland is part of Daintree National Park. Take a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef, go trekking in the rainforest, or lounge on one of the pristine white-sand beaches. Adventure activities like ziplining are also available in this eco-tourism hotspot.

Best for families: Hartley's Crocodile Adventures This animal park has a strong focus on Australia's most famous amphibious predators, and is just 42km (45 minutes drive) north of Cairns. Daring kids (and adults) will love getting up close and personal with these scaly monsters, with boat trips available through murky croc infested waters. Don't forget to scream

Best for shopping: Kuranda This arty little town is half an hour (27km) from Cairns. The hippie markets selling knick-knacks attract plenty of weekend visitors, and the scenic drive from Cairns is pretty spectacular in itself. When you're finished with the market, take a gondola ride through the rainforest for the perfect end to your day trip.

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