Car Hire In Cairns

Exploring Cairns with Rental Cars: Your Ultimate Guide

When it comes to exploring the stunning landscapes and vibrant culture of Cairns, there’s no better way to do it than with a rental car. The freedom to set your own pace, discover hidden gems, and traverse the diverse terrain at your leisure is an experience unmatched by any other mode of transportation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about renting cars in Cairns, from the best rental agencies to top driving routes and essential travel tips.

Why Choose a Rental Car in Cairns?

Cairns, located in tropical North Queensland, Australia, is a paradise for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and those seeking a unique cultural experience. From the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef to the ancient Daintree Rainforest, Cairns offers a plethora of attractions that are best explored with the freedom and flexibility of a rental car.

Flexibility and Convenience: Renting a car in Cairns gives you the flexibility to create your own itinerary. You can venture off the beaten path, visit less touristy spots, and change your plans on a whim.

Access to Natural Wonders: Cairns is a gateway to some of Australia’s most iconic natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Having a rental car in cairns allows you to easily reach these destinations and explore at your own pace.

Scenic Drives: The region is blessed with stunning coastal roads, mountain ranges, and rainforest-clad hills. With a rental car, you can embark on scenic drives like the Captain Cook Highway and the Atherton Tablelands Loop, enjoying breathtaking vistas along the way.

Local Culture: A rental car enables you to delve into local culture by visiting small villages, markets, and eateries that might be off the typical tourist radar.

Choosing the Right Rental Car Agency

Selecting the right rental car agency is crucial to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience in Cairns. Here are some factors to consider:

Reputation: Look for reputable rental car agencies with positive reviews and a history of reliable service.
Vehicle Options: Choose a company that offers a diverse range of vehicles to suit your needs, whether it’s a compact car for city exploration or a larger SUV for off-road adventures.

Insurance: Understand the insurance options available and choose coverage that gives you peace of mind during your trip.

Additional Services: Some rental agencies offer extras like GPS navigation, child seats, and roadside assistance. Check if these are available and at what cost.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations: Consider the convenience of the pick-up and drop-off locations. Many agencies have counters at Cairns Airport, making it convenient for travelers flying in.

Driving Routes to Explore

Cairns offers a variety of driving routes that cater to different preferences, from coastal drives to rainforest journeys. Here are some must-consider routes:

Captain Cook Highway: This iconic coastal drive takes you from Cairns to Port Douglas, offering stunning views of the Coral Sea and rainforest-clad mountains. Don’t miss the lookout points at Rex Lookout and the opportunity to explore the charming town of Port Douglas.

Atherton Tablelands Loop: Head inland to the Atherton Tablelands, where you’ll encounter waterfalls, lush farmlands, and quaint villages. Highlights include Millaa Falls and the Curtain Fig Tree.

Daintree Rainforest Drive: For an immersive rainforest experience, drive to the Daintree Rainforest. Cross the Daintree River on a car ferry and explore attractions like the Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation.

Gordonvale to Babinda Boulders: This lesser-known route takes you through sugarcane fields and rolling hills, culminating in a visit to the stunning Babinda Boulders—a series of natural rock pools and waterfalls.

Essential Tips for Renting and Driving

Book in Advance: Especially during peak tourist seasons, booking your rental car in advance ensures availability and potentially better rates.

Check Vehicle Condition: Before accepting the rental car, thoroughly inspect it for any existing damage and ensure it’s properly documented.

Stay Left: In Australia, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. If you’re not used to this, take your time to adjust before setting out.

Fuel Up: Keep an eye on your fuel level, especially if you’re venturing into more remote areas. Fuel stations might be less frequent outside of urban centers.

Road Conditions: While major highways are well-maintained, some attractions might require driving on gravel roads. Check the road conditions and plan accordingly.

Wildlife Awareness: Be cautious of wildlife, especially when driving in rural areas during dawn and dusk. Kangaroos and other animals can unexpectedly cross the road.


Renting a car in Cairns is an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of this tropical paradise. With the freedom to explore at your own pace, you can uncover hidden gems, bask in breathtaking landscapes, and create unforgettable memories. From coastal drives to rainforest adventures, Cairns awaits your exploration behind the wheel of a rental car. So, pack your sense of adventure and hit the open road—it’s time to discover Cairns like never before.


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