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Cairns, Australia
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Motorhome Rental in Cairns - Road trip in Australia’s tropical paradise

Cairns, home to beautiful blue waters, tropical rainforests, and the Great Barrier Reef, is a must-visit city on Australia’s east coast and a great place to pick up a campervan and start an Australian road trip.

If you’d rather begin your Australia itinerary somewhere else, choose a motorhome rental for Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne.

 

Beginning your Aussie holiday in Cairns

Situated on the northeast coast of Queensland, Cairns is famous for its accessibility to the world’s largest coral reef and makes for a great starting point to your Australian road trip adventure. With over 21 fleets available, Motorhome Republic has plenty of options for your tropical holiday on wheels. Use our search engine to choose a campervan rental that suits your group size and road trip plans, and book with us to secure an excellent deal. Plus enjoy 24/7 customer service.

 

Where to go with your Cairns motorhome rental

Explore over 400,000 sq/kms across the Queensland territory in your Cairns motorhome rental or head off on a cross country road trip - many travellers begin or end an east coast adventure in Cairns, while others head west to discover the Outback on their way up to Darwin.

 

Choose from any itinerary beginning or ending in Cairns and chop and change as you like to make the most of the time you have.

 

Staying local? There’s no need to go far to see some of Queensland’s best attractions:

 

  • Swim, snorkel, scuba or sail in one of the two massive coral reefs in the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef. Experience the underwater paradise home to over 1500 species of fish and 300 unique corals thriving with magnificent colors. Book a trip from Cairns or any port city nearby.

  • Relax in the town of Port Douglas, a lovely marina town known for its Macrossan Street shopping area and Four Mile Beach. Drive up to the lookout for a top-notch view of this beautiful beach.

  • A trip to the Daintree National Park Rainforest is a must on your Aussie adventure. Cruise into the park and take one of many trails through the awe-inspiring tropical rainforest. Take it to higher levels and soar in the canopies on a zip-line.

 

For longer, multiple-day road trips:

 

  • Head to the Cape York Peninsula with your Cairns motorhome rental. Enjoy the most northern tip of Australia, only four kilometers away from the Pacific island of Papua New Guinea, to experience what the locals call the last frontier.

  • Townsville and Mackay are two seaside towns worth visiting for a few days of relaxation and ocean activities.

  • Drive to Airlie Beach and book a boat tour to the Whitsunday Islands famous for its crystal blue waters and dazzling white sand beaches.

  • Head further down the coast to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Swim in over 100 freshwater lakes, climb coloured sand dunes, hike through the rainforest, fish, drive quad bikes, and more.

 

The right time for your Cairns motorhome hire

Tropical climates similar to Queensland almost always have two seasons, wet and dry. During the “summer” months or wet season, temperatures reach up to 31 degrees Celsius with high humidity. If you enjoy the heat, visit from October to late March. “Winter” months or dry season run from April until September and tend to be a bit cooler. Travelling during these months will still be warm at an average daily temperature of 28 degrees Celsius and will be drier than summer.

Australia is a massive country. If Cairns is not your preferred spot to start your Aussie road trip, check out Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide or Byron Bay for more Motorhome Republic rental options.

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Welcome to Cairns

Situated at the top of Queensland on the east coast, Cairns is a tropical hot spot known for its laidback vibe. It’s Australia’s fifth largest city, home to around 150,000 residents and is a booming tourism town. Book heaps of activities to explore the Great Barrier Reef, get your heart racing with a skydive adventure or choose from many of the other attractions available around this tropical gem.

What you need to know about Cairns

The sunny city of Cairns in Northern Queensland is an international gateway to the region, primarily the Great Barrier Reef. Lazy tropics mix with a vibrant urban scene to create a wonderful holiday destination and paradise for adventure sports lovers. If you’re travelling in a RV/camper, there are numerous stop-off points for those with an active lifestyle.

The heat is a constant presence, making it feel like every day is a holiday. The city has developed quickly over recent decades and has done so gracefully, creating a focal point in the Esplanade where the heart of the city resides. Locals and visitors gather here to stroll, sunbathe, swim, picnic and watch the world go by.

Cairns accommodation options

Thanks to a booming tourism industry, Cairns offers a multitude of places to stay if you fancy a change from your campervan. At the high end are The Lakes Resort and Spa, Shangri-La at the Marina and Sofitel Reef Hotel and Casino - all resort-style luxury developments on the waterfront. Mid-range you will find a variety of hotel chains and many holiday apartments and homes for private rentals.

Backpackers are a favoured style of accommodation and are plentiful, with numerous options for a bed at less than $20 a night. Most are within easy walking distance of the city centre. Those with a rental campervan can find a place to stay in the campgrounds and holiday parks, which are located close to the city.

Festivals, music and yachting in Cairns

Visitors to Cairns can enjoy a vast selection of cultural events. Significant is the annual Cairns Festival, which showcases the best of local dance, music, visual arts and entertainment. There is also an Indigenous Art Fair displaying aboriginal art in all forms, and a Blues Festival with local and international artists.

Sports events go beyond the usual yearly marathons in Cairns. The Yacht Club has numerous highlights on its calendar, but the major celebration is the Anniversary Regatta in January. There’s an Amateurs Racing Carnival with all the fashionable trappings, and various sport fishing events taking place around the region. Just grab yourself a rod and throw it in the back of your campervan rental.

Tastes of North Queensland

The main dining scene can be found close to the Esplanade, so it is easy to wander around and browse menus to find a suitable restaurant. The suburbs tend more towards small cafes and milkbars. Cairns is a multicultural city and this is reflected in the varied cuisine with a huge number of Asian options. Sushi is a favourite and perfect in the hot Queensland sun! For a more exclusive restaurant with a fresh local menu, try Ochre, which serves delicacies such as kangaroo, crocodile and wallaby. The Esplanade Markets are on every Saturday and have plenty of food stalls with different and interesting international dishes. Lots of stuff to takeaway and enjoy in the camper at your leisure.

A developing culture

The original settlement of Cairns was built over mudflats and mangrove swamps, and these have eventually given way to the lovely waterfront area that is the Cairns Esplanade. There are no swimming beaches in the city itself, but beautiful sandy stretches can be found via a short drive up or down the coast. The wider region of Northern Queensland is spectacular, from the underwater wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef to the beautiful wilderness of the Daintree Rainforest.

From the traditional aboriginal owners of the land to the international visitors and residents of Cairns today, the culture is varied and diverse. It is a melting pot under a hot sun, where life moves at a slightly slower pace and the natural is valued over the man-made. Outdoor recreation is a way of life for residents, and adventure sports are available at every turn. Travellers in Cairns will find it easy to meet and mingle with locals and fellow tourists from all ends of the earth, whether they are in a fancy hotel or a motorhome.

Cairns at a glance - everything you need to know about this tropical city

  • The top must-see attraction in Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, this marvelous underwater paradise is a favourite amongst tourists. Snorkel from the surface or try out scuba diving for an out of this world experience. There are multiple scuba dive outfits available that offer certification courses, or book a boat ride with a glass bottom if you prefer to stay dry. Regardless of which activity you choose, your Australian holiday will not be complete without a glimpse of life beneath the waves.

  • Unfortunately this area of the ocean is infamous for jellyfish, but the saltwater lagoon next to the beach is a great alternative to soak up some sun without the sandy mess or stings. Walk along the Esplanade passing local cafes and shops and throw some shrimp on the barbie at one of the free BBQs on the promenade.

  • Tjapukai Cultural Park is a great way to understand Cairns’ past and first inhabitants of the area before European settlers arrived. Learn how to throw a boomerang, taste traditional foods and see artifacts at the museum.

  • Another must-visit on your Cairns motorhome holiday is a rainforest exploration. Operating for over 20 years, Wait-a-While Tours have found the best kept secrets amongst the forest. Visit a massive 800-year-old Cathedral Fig Tree and cruise through the Cairns tablelands. See some of Australia’s favourite wildlife like Agile Wallabies, Musky Rat Kangaroos, Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Saw Shelled Turtles and Archerfish while listening to beautiful birdsong from winged rainforest creatures.

How about a view from above?

  • For those adrenaline junkies or those who enjoy flying, take your holiday to new heights and check out GBR Aviation’s Flight Training Centre. No experience necessary for this one of a kind adventure, the well-experienced professional instructors will teach you how to fly a helicopter over amazing landscape in the Atherton Tableland region only one hour inland from Cairns. The training centre is known for top weather conditions and flexible operations, head to 8 Vicary Road, Mareeba, QLD 4880 if this is your idea of fun.

  • Prefer the passenger seat? Join a scenic helicopter ride with GBR for views over the rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. Create your own tour by choosing the length of the flight and sights to visit. Land at a reef pontoon, hidden waterfalls in the Daintree, or even sandy cays only accessible by flight. The helicopters may also be used for weddings, private charters and conference groups. Take off from the helipad located on the marina in Cairns (Heli Centre, 2 Pier Point Road, Marina Point, Cairns).

Out and about - getting around Cairns

This grid city is easily walkable from anywhere in the town centre. For visiting the surrounding neighborhoods grab a Sunbus for a cheap, convenient ride to visit the northern beaches or nearby cities like Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville. Taxis are also available around the clock.

 

Your Cairns motorhome rental is great for driving wherever, whenever you want to visit Queensland’s favourite spots, but other options are available. Greyhound coach services and shuttles will drop you off at surrounding tourist destinations near Cairns.

In Cairns it’s always summer

Regardless of the time of year, this Queensland city is warm and usually humid. June through October tend to be drier, but we recommend packing a light raincoat, an umbrella and of course a swimsuit.

Choosing the perfect Cairns campervan hire for your holiday

As a hotspot for the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns always has a large selection of motorhome options. When booking with us choose from local outfits or international brands, cars with tents on the roof or RVs that sleep up to six - any ride is possible with Motorhome Republic. Compare brands and vehicle types in seconds with our powerful search engine. Prefer brands you know? Click Apollo, Britz or CheapaCampa on the sidebar to narrow your search. Try out Calypso Campervan Rentals, Barefoot Camper Hire or Around Australia Motorhomes to support a local Aussie company. Let us help you secure a great deal, and enjoy 24/7 customer service.

Aussie driving tips for motorhome rentals

  • Rule number one, drive on the left side!

  • Stay alert and share the driving whenever possible.

  • Aussie wildlife tends to hang out near the roads at night. Try to limit nighttime driving, and when you must be out after daylight hours, use your high-beams and look for animal crossing signs.

  • Check for add-on features like booster seats if you are travelling with children.

  • If you are planning to explore remote areas, look into booking a 4WD campervan and fill up on supplies like fuel, water and food beforehand.

  • For more on-the-road advice check out our Australia driving guide.

  • Download our handy app to help you locate campsites, fuel stops and much more - it’s free!

 

Cairns Campervan Rental Brands

 

Jucy Campervan Hire

Jucy Rentals is one of the most well known campervan hire companies in Australia, and has a small but fun fleet of rental vehicles. You’ve got the two-person el cheapo van that skips the frills and gets you on the road for less. The Jucy Crib is also two-person van with a few handy basics such as a fridge, has cooker and DVD player. Next up is the Jucy Grande, a four-berth compact van with a handful of fun features and creature comforts. Jucy’s largest and most comfy campervan is the Jucy Condo, a four-berth Nissan Caravan fitted with a simple kitchenette and cassette toilet and shower. All vehicles are available to drivers aged 18 or over, and all rentals come with special deals on local attractions. When you arrive at Cairns Airport, you’ll need to make your way to 55 Dutton Street in St Portsmith. Just grab a ride from Cairns Taxis (a Jucy partner) for the 7.5 kilometre (15 minute) trip, and it will cost you just $20 one way - just be sure to tell them you are a Jucy customer. The depot is open 9am to 4pm weekdays and 9am to 2pm on weekends. Drop offs must be made before 2pm.

 

Hippie Campers, Apollo Motorhome Hire, Star RV, Real Value RV, Cheapa Campers

 

With so many leading motorhome hire companies in one place, there’s no style or budget that can’t be met at 432-434 Sheridan Street in Cairns. Plus, this packed depot is only 5 minutes down the road from Cairns Airport and 10 minutes from the city centre. There are no transfers available for either the city or airport, but a taxi will only cost you roughly $15 either way. The depot is open seven days a week from 8am to 4.30pm, but is closed on Sundays between November and the end of April, and on public holidays. Star RV is the only motorhome company that guarantees every one of its vehicles is less than a year old, and every single Pegasus, Hercules, Phoenix and Aquila RV is fitted with all the mod cons to make your trip as luxurious as possible. At the other end of the scale, Hippie Campers offers the basics in the form of two-person hitops and campervans, skipping the extras for a low daily cost. Cheapa Campers and Real Value RV both offer a large range of very affordable vans and motorhomes for any sized group, and Apollo Motorhome Hire has a large selection of middle-range campervans, motorhomes and 4WDs.

 

Kea Campers, Mighty Campers, Maui Campervans and Britz Motorhomes

 

Kea Campers is all about the luxury, no matter what size RV you need. They have motorhomes suited to groups of two, three, four and six, and even the smallest of these latest-model rentals have toilet and shower facilities on board. Mighty Campers gives you a selection of no-frills campervans and luxurious campervans, as well as motorhomes for larger groups. Maui has two- and three-berth campers, as well as compact motorhomes for four or six. Britz has the largest selection of the lot, with 4WDs, compact hitops, and comfortable RVs. The Cairns depot for these leading brands is found at 419 Sheridan Street, only 4 kilometres from the airport, which will cost you roughly $15. It has bathrooms with showers, Internet facilities, luggage storage, a TV, piles of tourist information, and the nearest supermarket is at the Cairns Central Shopping Centre just 10 minutes down the road. The depot is open daily from 7.30am to 4pm from May to the end of October, then 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday from November to the end of April. There’s a bit of paperwork to sign off on when picking up or dropping off, so be sure to arrive before 3.30pm either way to allow time.

 

Travellers Autobarn and Comet Campervans

 

Both Travellers Autobarn and Comet Campervans are high-rated rental companies in the Cairns region. Sharing a depot at 123-125 Bunda St, these rental offices are only a 15-minute drive from the airport in downtown Cairns city. Airport shuttles are uncommon in this area, grab a taxi or public bus to the depot. Offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and on Saturday from 9am to noon. Please note both companies are closed on Sundays and public holidays. From camping station wagons to Hi5 campervans, Comet motorhomes has a fleet for any occasion. Book for up to five adults in two and three-berth vans which include air con, gas stoves, fridges and microwaves for cooking on the go. Travellers Autobarn rental company is a favourite amongst roadtrippers, check out their range of top-notch vans that can fit up to five adults. These Cairns motorhome hires also include all kitchen necessities and offer add-ons like camping chairs, exterior awnings and GPS navigation systems. Be sure to book caravan parks or campgrounds when hiring a Comet or Travellers vehicle as toilets and showers are not available with these rental companies. Plan out your route beforehand to ensure enough time on the road - additional charges will be applied for late returns. Both companies allow a 59 minute grace period when dropping off.

 

Spaceships Rentals

 

Spaceships is known for its bright orange vans and bargain rentals. At the heart of its brand are three campervans; the original Alpha 2 Berth, the newer model Beta 2 Berth, and the nondescript and more spacious Beta 2S. All three share basic features such as a two-burner cooker, a fridge/freezer, dinnerware and a table. All three are auto transmission Toyota Estimas with power steering, ABS and air con. When you book with Spaceships for 21 days or longer, you also get a free transfer from Cairns Airport. And better yet, if your flight comes in later or earlier than their usual office hours, they not only offer after hours pick ups and drop offs, but that’s free too. Their usual hours are Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, then 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. The depot is located at 3/52 Fearnley Street in Portsmith, which is around 15 minutes from the airport and right in Cairns city, so close to petrol stations and supermarkets.

 

Energi Motorhomes, Calypso Campervan Rentals and Camperman

 

Energi, Calypso and Camperman Campervans share a Cairns motorhome depot at 440 Sheridan Street just 3 kilometres from Cairns Airport - a drive of roughly 5 minutes. Office hours here run from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 9am to noon on Saturdays, and are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Camperman Campervans has an absolutely massive range of campers, including a Paradise hitop that sleeps five people and has an on-board toilet and shower, as well as multiple three- and five-berth standard campers. Camperman also allows drivers aged 19 and over, and offers 24 hour roadside assistance and unlimited kilometres. Rentals from Calypso include a two-berth, two options for groups of three, and the largest of the lot - The Hume - fit for four sleepers. Energi Motorhomes offers the same campers as Calypso at competitive prices. Around Australia Motorhomes Around Australia Motorhomes ticks all the boxes for campervan and RV rental in Cairns. For couples, pairs or small groups, the hitop campers sleep two adults and one child and have basic amenities, and the three-berth Cruiser has all the comforts of a motorhome in the shape of a campervan. The RV selection includes a two-berth Voyager, a four-berth Wanderer, a five-berth Traveller, and a six-berth Grand Tourer. These motorhomes are luxurious and spacious for a trip around Australia as comfortable as it is adventurous. The Cairns depot is a 15 minute drive from the airport just 8 kilometres away at 54 Fearnley Street in Portsmith, close to the city centre. You’ll need to make your own way here where the office hours are 8.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. You can arrange a pick up or drop off during the weekend or on a public holiday by calling at least 48 hours ahead.

 

Driveabout Campers, Barefoot Camper Hire and Kangaroo Campers

 

Located at 410 Sheridan Street on the corner of Sheridan and Airport Avenue, Driveabout, Barefoot and Kangaroo Campers is less than 3 kilometres from Cairns Airport. To make the process as easy as possible, these dealers will pick you up and drop you off at the airport for free when you hire your campervan for five days or more. The depot is open weekdays from 8am to 5pm, on Saturdays from 8am to 11am, and is closed on Sundays and public holidays. However, if your flight doesn’t get in until later, you may be able to organise after hours pick up for an extra fee. Driveabout Campers offers large Winnebago motorhomes, five-berth RVs, budget-friendly campervans and hitop vans. Barefoot adds its selection of a three-berth motorhome, a maxi van plus, a standard campervan and a Toyota hitop. Kangaroo Campervans adds the options of more hitops and vans, as well as a deluxe six-berth RV and a micro deluxe four-berth campervan with an on-board bathroom.

 

Awesome Camper Hire

 

Awesome Campers truly are awesome, having been custom designed and painted with epic graphics to stand out on the road and add a little extra something to your Queensland holiday. They stick to offering two-person vans, so have a classic version, a deluxe version, a super deluxe version and an el grande version. All four come with air con, roadside assistance, power steering, a kitchen, a sink, a gas cooker, and table and chairs. The deluxe ones get you a little more room and a few extra handy features, although none of them offer showers or toilets so you’ll need to head to a campground for those facilities. The depot is right on the waterfront in Cairns just 10 minutes from the airport, so is a quick taxi or bus ride away as there are no transfers with this service. Open hours are 9am to 3pm on weekdays, 9am to noon on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. There are after hours pick ups and drop offs available for a fee of $175 and at the discretion of the provider.

Cairns Motorhome Facts

Average rental length
January14 days
April13 days
July12 days
October18 days
Average 2 berth rental price
January$257
April$161
July$229
October$175

Top Cairns Rentals Brands

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Cruisin Motorhomes Australia

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Star RV Australia

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