411 Sheridan Street
Cairns is certainly not one of the largest populated cities in Australia. That being said, with millions of domestic and international travellers arriving each year it is far from a quiet place to be. On any given day you will find a diverse cross section of people from around the world, enjoying the warmth and hospitality that the region and the locals have to offer and you will need the convenience of a rental car to get around town or further afield. So, let us provide you with our rental vehicles. We have the lowest rates for Cairns car rental. From a small car to a larger minivan we have the right hire car for you and your family.
Our Cairns office is located in the city and it is about 3.3 Kilometres away from Cairns Airport. You can find our Cairns car rental office close to the intersection of Sheridan Street and Airport Avenue. Not far away from our office, there are many restaurants and accommodations available for you to choose from. We also have a full list of our car rental locations for you to choose from.
Whether you are heading to the airport or coming from the airport, please make use of our FREE Airport Shuttle Bus. The shuttle bus ride is short and easy, it will transport you between our Cairns office and the Airport. When you are at our Cairns depot, our friendly staff will take good care of you, whether you are picking up or returning your hired car.
Cairns is the base for many of the popular ‘adventure sports’. It is home to AJ Hackett Bungy, the White Water Rafting company that operate on the Tully river and of course the numerous charter vessels that leave the sheltered port to take Scuba Divers, Snorkeler’s and Sightseers out to see the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, the coral quays and the small islands, such as Green Island.The city is bordered to the West by the tropical rainforest of the Great Dividing Range.
It is recommended to explore Cairns with a hire car for maximum convenience and comfort, just make a reservation with us today. You can use our user-friendly online booking form above to get a quote or make a booking.
Gear up for a truly magical road trip once you touch down at Cairns Airport and pick up your rental car. Cairns is the international gateway to the tropical north boasting two of the world’s most stunning natural wonders side-by-side, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest. Both are equally impressive ‘must-do’ experiences when visiting Cairns and renting a car. Our talented rental car agents living the dream in Cairns have created this 3-day Cairns Reef to Rainforest Road Trip so you can experience the absolute best of both worlds when hiring a car, because after all, nature never hurries, and it’s always there that you find the real hidden gems.
But first, there’s one vital piece of ‘road-tripping’ equipment needed before we begin – a rental car! The local East Coast Car Rentals Cairns Branch is a short four-minute drive from Cairns International Airport. Once there our friendly Rental Agents will help you select the right type of rental car to suit your needs. We recommend the Family SUV to make your car rental experience comfortable and enjoyable.
From the sea to the rainforest, and back again…
We begin our journey heading east along Sheridan Street past the Cairns Airport and through the heart of Cairns City. Here you have the chance to take a short detour in you rental car through the bustling inner streets of this international portal to the tropical north. A leisurely drive down the The Esplanade shows just how temptingly metropolitan Cairns is, with an array of cafes, bars and restaurants dotting the foreshore. The vibe is laidback, with a cool, funky edge, and the attire is flip-flops and a singlet.
If the coastal feel and warm climate isn’t enough to make you stop your rental car and order the nearest seafood platter paired with a frothing glass of bubbly at one of the many ocean-caught dedicated eateries along the strip, then we recommend popping into Salthouse, Cairns’ premiere restaurant and bar at the tip of the marina. This venue boasts mountain and direct ocean views with sun-drenched day beds. Or for something intrinsically Australian, take a short drive in your rental car to the the award-winning Hemingway’s Breweryand wrap your laughing gear around one of the local lagers. The expansive 1900’s warehouse overlooking the wharf features a 20-metre main bar with 50 beer taps and is the ideal way to spend a lazy afternoon. If you are looking for something more low-key and would prefer to hang with the locals, then check out Rusty’s Markets open every week from Friday through to Sunday where local producers showcase their specialty fares, including exotic fruits and vegetables, plus much more. There is heaps to explore in Cairns City and its surrounds when hiring a car, but we’ve left plenty of time for that later. So, once you’ve grabbed a cuppa, we’re ready to set off south down the Bruce Highway towards Gordonvale near the foot of the Gillies Ranges, our first scenic tour on the Cairns 3-day Reef to Rainforest Road Trip.
Into the rainforest I go to lose my mind and find my soul…
Keep an eye out for the distinctive silhouette of Walshs Pyramid as you drive the 24-minute trip to Gordonvale, a small sugar milling community in your rental car. From there, you might want to venture a further 30 minutes south to Babinda Boulders, one of Cairns’ most popular natural pools. This heavenly swimming hole is unique, set among a series of smooth granite boulders resting in crystal-clear waters. It is the perfect antidote to a hot day as the water is cool even during the peak of summer so park your rental car and take a dip. If a quick dip doesn’t pique your interest, then continue your journey from Gordonvale to the Tropical Tablelands. The next official stop is Yungaburra, a 50-minute drive along the Gillies Range Road running south-west and following the Mulgrave River. This twisty road enveloped in ancient rainforest is known for its 263 corners and steep incline and is the perfect scenic drive when hiring a car. In one 19 kilometre stretch you will ascend over 800 metres! There are some phenomenal pitstops along the 50-kilometre journey through the Gillies Range, including the colossal Cathedral Fig Tree 40-minutes into the drive, and only 10 minutes from Yungaburra. Park your rental car and Take a stroll among the giant roots of this enormous 500-year-old strangler tree in a dense section of the Daranbulla rainforest, renowned for its early morning bird calls. Its sheer size is breathtaking and will leave you marvelling at the majesty of Mother Nature. Another scenic stop only a short drive along as you make your way to Yungaburra is Lake Barrine. It is hard to believe this one-kilometre wide, tranquil freshwater lake was formed following a volcanic eruption some 10,000 years ago, with the resulting crater giving way to a plethora of flora and fauna. Take a peaceful break from your trip at The Teahouse Café set on the banks of the lake with Devonshire Tea consisting of locally grown tea and coffee and a secret scone recipe going back four generations. After you’ve had your fill of fresh air and tasty treats, it is a leisurely 8-minute drive in your rental car to Yungaburra, a small country town nestled among the countryside, mountains and volcanic crater lakes unique to the area.
A new day and a new adventure awaits. We’re straight back onto the open road and heading east towards the Kennedy Highway where we embark on a leisurely 40-minute cruise in your rental car through the towns of Atherton, Tolga and Walkamin. Feel free to stop in and soak up some of the rich history harking back to colonial times or pick up a cheeky snack for the road ahead at one of the many country bakeries. Our first top Cairns destination for the day is Mareeba, the home of liquid gold, or as city slickers like to call it, coffee! Interestingly though, Mareeba was once a gold mining town, but the course of history and its rich volcanic soil unearthed a completely different type of exploration, one involving the growing and production of the popular and addictive coffee bean. Mareeba is the epicentre of the Australian coffee industry growing more than 80 per cent of Australia’s coffee crop. There are several coffee plantations dotted along the Mareeba countryside which you can visit in your rental car, but we have chosen only one for its truly indulgent and one-of-a-kind experience, a full day of unlimited coffee, tea, chocolates and liqueurs at Coffee Works, a boutique roastery and chocolaterie. If that isn’t enough to keep you buzzing, there is also lots to see and do here with the world’s largest and most significant coffee and tea antiquities collection in the world showcasing 500 years of coffee making history. The museum boasts the first ever espresso-maker among 2000 other specialty items of coffee cultural importance. Sip away until you’re ready to kick-start the journey back into gear and onto something just as epic, but a little more refreshing. We’re driving 30-minutes towards the spectacular Barron Falls, just a 7-minute drive in your rental car from Kuranda.
Driving west from Mareeba to Kuranda along the Kennedy Highway is a journey through orchards and produce farms, and as you edge closer the lightly timbered country of the Lamb Range comes into view with the Great Dividing Range making an appearance on the outskirts of what is popularly known as the “village in the rainforest”. The namesake could not be more fitting with the town of Kuranda tucked away in the mountains and surrounded by one of the world’s oldest living tropical rainforests. The village has attracted visitors for well over a century and is world famous for its markets with two locations to choose from, the Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets and the Heritage Markets, open every day of the year offering a wide range of local Aboriginal artefacts, handmade leather goods, wood and jewellery. We recommend visiting the Butterfly Sanctuary for an ethereal experience wandering around the abode of over 2000 magnificent tropical butterflies. The sanctuary is the largest indoor light aviary and exhibit in Australia and the southern hemisphere and is the perfect place to escape for a couple of hours if the tropical weather turns to a light drizzle. Park your rental car and You can take one of the guided tours at no extra cost throughout the day and make sure you wear brightly coloured clothing to attract even more of the floating angels to flutter all over you. There is also the chance for a behind-the-scenes tour of the breeding laboratory which houses 4000 caterpillars in varying stages of development, a great learning experience for the kids. For more unique wildlife encounters, visit the Kuranda Koala Gardens for a cuddle with one of the full-time furry residents or try Birdworld Kuranda, the home of over 500 species of Australian birds including the colourful rainbow lorikeet, macaw and many more varieties. Following a jam-packed morning of sight-seeing and activities, we recommend parking your rental car for the afternoon and visiting Frogs Restaurant situated at the Heritage Markets opposite Birdworld and the Koala Gardens. The almost 30 year-old family owned restaurant is considered an icon by locals and tourists alike with a perfect lunch setting out on the deck surrounded by rainforest and water dragons playing at your feet.
We have saved the best for last, with the Barron Falls our last excursion for day two of the Cairns Reef to Rainforest Road Trip. Possibly the most famous waterfall lookout in Tropical Northern Queensland, the ruggedly tiered Barron Falls is magnificent to behold in the height of the wet season. Water thunders down the deeply incised gorges and sculpted rocks enveloping onlookers in a cloud of mist as it tumbles endlessly to the river 125 metres below. To get there, drive 3.5 kilometres in your rental car along Barron Falls Road following the signposts to the Barron Falls car park where you can easily access the lookout. Catch a glimpse of the gondolas of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway gliding above the far-side of the gorge and the Kuranda Scenic Railway tourist train pulling into the platform below the lookout as you take in the glory of the falls. The falls descend from the Atherton Tablelands to the coastal plains of Cairns and out towards the Coral Sea, the perfect way to round-out our Cairns Reef to Rainforest Road Trip as we make our way down the mountains for our final destination of the day, Palm Cove. It will take just over 30 minutes to reach Palm Cove in your rental car beginning with a 16-minute drive east along the Kuranda Range Road, a long winding highway through lush greenery and a steep descent into the suburb of Smithfield. A quick stop at the Henry Ross Lookout 6 minutes into the journey is an opportunity to absorb the contrasting vast coastal plains of Cairns and the Coral Sea, and the lofty mountainous tablelands in one long, panoramic view. When you reach the base of the Kuranda Range it is from here we switch routes heading north to Palm Cove, a romantic beach paradise lined with palms and century-old “paperback” Melaleuca trees. You are spoiled for choice in Palm Cove, with accommodation to suit almost any taste or budget including international resorts and hotels, holiday apartments and holiday homes. We recommend dining at Nu Nu Restaurant, Palm Cove’s only absolute beachfront dining venue with a menu inspired by the landscape of the far north before parking your rental car and settling down for the evening.
Today is all about getting back to the sea (literally!) and we really want you to see, touch and even taste as much of it as possible. First things first though and a short drive down the esplanade in your rental car for and a hearty breakfast from Chill Café is a must. Palm Cove is known as an exclusive destination for the rich and famous and this little corner café perched on the beachfront is a great place for a spot of people-watching. After two days behind the wheel of your rental car it is time to release a bit of tension with some spa time right after breakfast to nourish the body and soul. Palm Cove is dubbed the “Spa Capital of Australia” with an abundance of day spas available within a short walking distance along Williams Esplanade. We completely understand why you might want to stay a couple of nights in this idyllic and relaxing destination and if you do we recommend a visit to Exclusive Spas at the Peppers Beach Club where all treatments begin with an ancient foot ritual and an Aboriginal “smoking ceremony”.
The Great Barrier Reef still beckons and in keeping with the laidback vibe of Palm Cove we have chosen an up-close and personal tour aboard Ocean Free, a 16.5 metre sailing schooner. Drive 36 minutes south-west in your rental car through Trinity Beach, Yorkey’s Knob and central Cairns for an early morning departure from the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Free experience is exactly how the reef was intended to be enjoyed with a leisurely sail to your own private reef and the number of onboard guests capped at 25. You can snorkel directly from the boat at any time of your choosing and enjoy trips to the nearby Green Island for bird watching, a cocktail and a walk along the beach. The menu consists of morning tea, a tropical smorgasbord including seafood for lunch and an afternoon tea of cheeses, fresh fruit and cakes topped with a glass of wine for the trip home. It doesn’t get much better than this!
We are at the end of our Cairns 3-day Reef to Rainforest Road Trip and your hire car journey, but we can’t let you go without sharing one last secret Cairns hideaway that is a must before you leave. Once you have returned your rental car to our Cairns Airport retail branch treat yourself to a much earned rest at the secluded Fitzroy Island Resort, a place where the rainforest literally meets the reef. Over 95% of the island is listed as national park with the rainforest encircled by its own fringe reef system. The island is a 45-minute boat ride departing from the Cairns Marlin Marina and offers accommodation for all budgets including a 99-room resort and camping facilities. A delicate coral beach will greet you as you arrive at the aptly named Welcome Bay. And, as the sun sets on the final day of the Cairns Reef to Rainforest Road Trip be sure to grab a bottle of wine and ice bucket from Foxy’s Bar and take the short, 15-minute trek to Nudey beach. From there you can laze about in the warm, blue tropical waters of Cairns sipping a crisp Australian sauvignon blanc as the coral encrusted beach tinkles in harmony with the waves lapping the shoreline. Raise a toast to the towering Cairns hinterland off in the distance where your rental car the journey all began. Absolute magic.
Situated perfectly among some of Australia’s most stunning scenery, Cairns provides a great base for a road trip and hiring a car with many one-day getaways to choose from. Whether you’re looking for adventure, or to relax in awe in Mother Nature, you will find what you’re looking for in one of these six must-do day-trips.
No trip to Cairns is complete without a drive in your hire car along the winding roads of the Daintree with the rainforest canopy overhanging from above. Once described by Sir David Attenborough as “the most extraordinary place on earth”, the Daintree Rainforest will take you another land in your hire car, one untouched by humans and rich in life and wonder.
Only just over a 2-hour drive in your hire car from your car rental location near Cairns Airport, you will discover an ancient habitat unseen anywhere else on the planet. The Daintree Rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site and is one of the most complex ecosystems on earth. Here you can spot 6-foot tall Cassowaries, crocodiles, tree kangaroos and many other wildlife native only to this region. Park your hire car when you rent a car in Cairns to visit this amazing place and try a night-time tour to experience a completely different side of the rainforest.
There is simply so much to see in the Daintree Rainforest when you rent a car for a visit. Once you have finished exploring every nook and cranny of the myriad of streams, waterfalls and mountain ranges in your hire car, journey south once again for a contrasting, but equally essential pit-stop on your rental car journey – The Great Barrier Reef.
While you may need more than a hire car to get to the Great Barrier Reef (a boat perhaps?), a rental car is definitely a must to get you in and around town and to the Reef Fleet Terminal where all Cairns boat cruises depart. From the rainforest to the reef in your rental car, you could say the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef share a lot of similarities. Both are UNESCO World Heritage listed sites, they are large and one-of-a-kind natural structures, and you will need a rental car from Cairns Airport to visit both! Perhaps however, the Great Barrier Reef lists higher in the ranks of top places to visit when hiring a car from Cairns Airport. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and is larger than the Great Wall of China! If you could drive a hire car along the Great Barrier Reef your journey would be last over 25 hours or be like driving from Cairns to Sydney in a rental car. We recommend parking your hire car before visiting the reef however and spending a day snorkelling, diving and marvelling at the world beneath the waves.
This time we’re heading north in our hire car for a change of pace and a bit of relaxation. Port Douglas is a lovely day trip in your rental car from Cairns Airport for locals and tourists alike. Sweeping beaches and nifty seaside markets await you as you take the 1-hour road trip in your hire car from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas. This drive is one of the most scenic and popular drives to take in your rental car from Cairns with the rainforest on one side and the reef on the other, and plenty of lookouts in between. We recommend stopping at a couple of beaches on your hire car road trip, include Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, Palm Cove and Four Mile Beach. When you get to Port Douglas and park your hire car, be sure to visit one of the many restaurants overlooking the beach for a pint and some good old Australian pub grub.
There are countless waterfalls a short drive in your hire car from Cairns Airport to choose from. Take a drive in your rental car and hit all of the top waterfall spots in one day. The idyllic temperatures of Cairns combined with the annual wet season beginning at the start of summer results in a cascade of water making its way down the Atherton Tablelands and into the waterholes and rock pools on the Cairns coastal plain below. Try driving the famous Waterfall Circuit in your hire car and take a refreshing dip in up to 20 waterfalls. Here are our top five recommendations when renting a car from Cairns Airport:
From secluded beaches to adrenaline-pumping action, Mission Beach is a perfect day trip from Cairns Airport when you rent a car. Park your hire car and spend a day relaxing on the 14 kilometre stretch of golden sand linking a handful of small seaside villages or choose to partake in something a little more adventurous. We recommend these top four experiences when renting a car from Cairns Airport.
One of our ultimate things to do in Mission Beach is sky diving. Climb to 14,000 feet above sea level and drop into thin air over the rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and the famous stretch of Mission Beach. Hire a rental car from Cairns Airport before you take to the skies!
There are a couple of ways to visit Kuranda when you hire a car from Cairns Airport. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore the region in your own time. Take the eastern approach to Kuranda from Cairns Airport through the suburb of Smithfield and drive 30-minutes in your hire car through dense rainforest and rocky waterfalls. The other option is to park your hire car at the Smithfield Terminal, a short 15-minute journey in your rental car and take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Meander high above the ancient rainforest until you reach the village of Kuranda. Spend the day wandering through boutique market stalls or check out the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the Koala Gardens. There is something for everyone when you rent a car from Cairns Airport!
There is more to Cairns than just the world-famous Great Barrier Reef when you’re looking for Cairns car hire. The area is teeming with lush rainforests, mountainous landscapes and rugged coastal scenery which is only a short drive from car rental Cairns locations. Explore the following breathtaking locations when beginning your Cairns car hire.
The Daintree Rainforest is believed to be one of the oldest living rainforests on earth. Cairns car rentals means you can explore the native flora and fauna not found anywhere else on earth. Drive a Cairns car hire in comfort to explore the beauty of this destination.
Before arriving at The Daintree in your Cairns car rental, be sure to stop off at the stunning coastal town of Port Douglas. Once here, having a Cairns car hire gives you the chance to stroll the palm-lined sandy stretch of Four Mile Beach before exploring Port Douglas’ shops and eateries.
Car hire Cairns brings you to the home of the mighty crocodile. Park your Cairns car rental safely and witness these powerful creatures up close on a tailored river cruise where birds, snakes, lizards are all on the menu.
Leave car hire Cairns and strap yourself in for the ride of a lifetime. See the rainforest from dizzying heights when you park your Cairns car rental to join a canopy tour. Relax in the stunning surrounds that are unique to Cairns car rental.
From world heritage listed rainforests to local wildlife hotspots, Cairns car rental offers something for everyone. Car rental Cairns helps you to explore the breathtaking wonders of this region.
See one of Australia’s cutest national creatures up close with Cairns car rental. Granite Gorge is a must-visit for any animal lover and a natural playground for the many rock wallabies that reside here. As part of your Cairns car hire experience, explore some of the caves, boulders and swim holes – the rock wallaby’s natural playground. Or, park your Cairns car hire and feed your new friends by hand.
This 61-metre wide and 82-metre deep crater is what is left of an enormous gas explosion some 15,000 years ago. A trip in your Cairns car hire will bring you to the Mt Hypipamee Crater where you will see large angular blocks of granite dotting the surrounding rainforest, hurled there as a result of the blast. Park your Cairns car rental and walk to the viewing platform for a birds-eye view of the crater below and its sheer granite walls.
Known as the ‘village in the sky’, Kuranda is an excellent destination choice for your car hire Cairns road trip. Kuranda delights visitors with thriving daily markets, extraordinary natural beauty and wildlife attractions designed for the whole family in their Cairns car rental. Car hire Cairns helps you get there and exploring Kuranda in the best way possible, along a steep mountainous climb through the Kuranda range.
If your car hire Cairns road trip is heading south, be sure to stop off at Townsville. The city offers a wide variety of things to do as well as being the perfect base for your Cairns car hire to explore neighbouring attractions.
About 90 kilometres north in your car hire Cairns is the Paluma Range National Park. Here, visitors in their Cairns car rental can enjoy the wildlife, walking track and the Jourama Falls.
Fishing enthusiasts love Burdekin, so pack up your Cairns car hire with all the essentials to wet a line. A trip to the small seaside town as part of your car hire Cairns road trip is a must for fishermen on the search for the best spots for Barramundi and mud crabs.
Enjoy unbeatable views of Townsville from the top of Castle Hill Lookout with the help of your Cairns car rental. It is a steep climb in parts, but the view is completely worth. Following your adventure in your Cairns car hire, it’s a short drive for an Aussie feed at one of the city’s seafront eateries.
The Cairns care hire options are endless and so are the many things to do in and around Cairns. Speak to the team at Cairns car hire to secure your perfect Cairns rental car road trip today.
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