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Getting Around Cairns in a Rental Car

Cairns driving tips

Explore the vibrant capital of tropical North Queensland at your own pace in a rental car, and go wherever your heart desires. We hope you’re excited to visit lush rainforests, amazing restaurants, and gorgeous beaches!

Driving in Cairns

  • Cairns prides itself on its cycling culture. Be sure to check for bicycles when driving and allow them plenty of space.
  • The speed limit in most built-up areas across Cairns is 50km/h unless signposted.
  • Be cautious when driving in isolated areas outside of Cairns, as animals like kangaroos are known to stray onto roads.

Where to Drive Your Rental Car in Cairns

  • Paronella Park: Take a walk through this dazzling rainforest and discover the ruins of a Spanish castle.
  • Crystal Cascades: Escape the heat of tropical North Queensland and cool down at the remote waterhole known as Crystal Cascades.
  • Kuranda: Famous for its markets and wildlife attractions, you can take the Scenic Railway or Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to reach Kuranda.

Parking in Cairns

All parking in Cairns is signposted, and there are parking metres that cost $1 for 2 hours in the heart of town. Parking costs and time allowances will differ among other areas of Cairns, so make sure you check the signs.

Driving Distances


Before returning your rental car to the depot, make sure to fill it with fuel to avoid any additional charges. Here are some centrally-located petrol stations in Cairns:

  • United - 230 Sheridan Street, Cairns North
  • Caltex - 30 Kenny Street, Cairns
  • Trinity - 8386 Kennedy Highway, Atherton

You can also compare fuel prices in Queensland with the VroomVroomVroom Fuel App.

From breathtaking beaches to rugged mountains—eucalyptus forests to amazing wildlife—you’ll never run out of things to do in Cairns. Our favourite spots include the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Botanical Gardens, Josephine Falls, and the Undara Volcanic National Park.

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