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Cairns Motorhome RentalCampervan Hire Cairns
Cairns, Australia
“A really terrific experience”
eric.p.brown, US

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Cairns Motorhome Rental

Cairns is the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and one of Queensland’s most stunning cities. 


Hiring a motorhome in Cairns

Cairns is 1,700 kilometres up the coast from Queensland’s capital, Brisbane. The city is the closest to the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest in the world at 2,011 kilometres in length and 72 kilometres in width. Once you pick up your motorhome in Cairns, you are perfectly placed to begin exploring Tropical North Queensland, an area that’s approximately 400,000 square kilometres in size. There are only roughly 165,000 people living in Cairns, making for a relaxed atmosphere away from the bustling cities. With 21 fleets in Cairns, Motorhome Republic has plenty of choice when it comes to holidaying in Queensland on wheels. 


Trips from Cairns in your motorhome

Port Douglas makes for an easy first stop, just 66 kilometres – or around an hour’s drive – from Cairns. This is the home of Four Mile Beach (one of the best in Australia), the Macrossan Street shopping district, and an enchanting marina. 


A further 1.5 hours up the coast from Port Douglas is Daintree National Park, a beautiful, lush expanse of World Heritage-listed rainforest. The area is believed to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world which makes it all the more special as you cruise its rivers, zipline through the canopies, walk beneath the towering trees and drive the scenic routes through this natural wonder.


The Great Barrier Reef is arguably the largest drawcard in Queensland for both visitors and locals alike. It’s another World Heritage-listed site (Queensland is the only place in the world with two right next to each other!), and is home to approximately 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 species of mollusk, 400 species of sponges and 300 species of corals. In all, it’s simply stunning. 


For something further afield, you could take your Cairns motorhome hire all the way to the tip of Queensland up to Cape York Peninsula. This trip is 950 kilometres one-way and will take four or five days. This area is remarkably close to Papua New Guinea, and has a climate to match. 


Another fantastic idea for a road trip from Cairns is to head south and stop in Townsville for a night or two before continuing on to Mackay, which is another short day’s drive away. Both are beautiful seaside townships that offer relaxed, sunny holidays with plenty of opportunities to jump on a boat and visit the reef in Townsville and more oceanic adventures to be had in Mackay. 


Have you ever wanted to try your hand at flying a helicopter? GBR Aviation, with its on-site Flight Training Centre is the ideal spot to make it happen in Queensland. The centre enjoys as much as 300 days of good weather per year (if not more), and the airspace is ideal for easy access and flexible operations. Not only will you learn with some of the most experienced, professional instructors in the country, you’ll do so over the incredible scenery of the Atherton Tableland area. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a capable flyer, the team at GBR Aviation can help you take the next step with your helicopter skills. Drive one hour inland with your Cairns campervan hire to access the training centre at 8 Vicary Road, Mareeba, QLD 4880.


The Great Barrier Reef and rainforests of Queensland are larger than you can imagine, which is why seeing them by helicopter is one of the few ways where you can truly experience these miracles of nature. Take a scenic ride with GBR Helicopters for unforgettable bird’s-eye views of these Australian icons. You can opt for a short scenic flight, a half-day tour, or a comprehensive full-day excursion and visit places such as a reef pontoon, rainforest waterfalls, or exclusive sandy cays. The experienced team is happy to cater to your needs, so can easily create an itinerary for your wedding, luxury getaway, private charter or conference group. Make your way to the take off pad on the shorefront with a handy Cairns motorhome hire. Located from Cairns Heli Centre, 2 Pier Point Road, Marina Point, Cairns.


Best time for Cairns motorhome travel

Cairns typically has just two seasons – the winter season from April to September, and the summer season from October to March. Throughout summer, temperatures often soar to averages of around 31 degrees Celsius by day and remain in the high 20s at night, with high humidity and plenty of rain throughout this ‘wet season’.


Those who prefer drier climates may wish to visit in ‘winter’, when temperatures are still warm – around 28 degrees Celsius by day and 21 degrees Celsius at night – but when it is also much drier and clearer. 

Consider other alternatives besides Cairns for your Australia motorhome hire excursion. Popular options include a campervan rental from Melbourne, a Tasmania campervan hire and locations like Darwin, Adelaide and Byron Bay.

Campervan Review Review Rating: 4.5/5 based on 120 reviews

Enjoy a campervan rental adventure in Cairns

Balmy Cairns is the perfect spot for a motorhome holiday. It’s also a fantastic starting point for some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. The Great Barrier Reef is one major draw-card to the area, along with the Whitsundays and the many beautiful beach resorts along the coast. From Cairns you can also explore the wonderful and remote Cape York Peninsula and even head into the wilderness and stunning landscapes which make up the Northern Territory. A campervan rental from Cairns is a truly unique experience.

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.

The best things to do in Cairns

The Reef is number one on any list of the best places to visit. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and stretches for over 2300 kilometres along the northern Queensland coast. There are plenty of ways to enjoy it, but the most common is scuba diving. Diving trips are offered by numerous tour companies in the region. Any campervan road-trip should incorporate the Great Barrier Reef.

The best way to get to know the city is by spending a morning on the Esplanade, where you can walk along the waterfront, visit a cafe or take advantage of the free barbecues scattered along the promenade. There is a saltwater swimming lagoon at the south end - the best place for stinger-free, lifeguard-patrolled swimming.

The first inhabitants of the region are a very important part of Cairns’ history and culture, and a visit to the Tjapukai Cultural Park will give you an insight into how they used the land and lived their lives before European settlement. There are three theatres, a museum of artefacts, native foods to sample and boomerang throwing demonstrations.

Wait-a-While Rainforest Tours have been offering visitors the chance to spot some of Queensland’s most fascinating wildlife for more than 20 years. During that time, they’ve discovered the secret spots and most unbelievable places in the rainforest, and are excited to share them with guests. You’ll spot a mob of Agile Wallabies, enjoy a scenic Gillies Range drive to the Cairns Tablelands, and visit an incredible 800-year-old Cathedral Fig Tree. You may even spot various rainforest birds, the Boyd’s Forest Dragon, the Musky Rat Kangaroo, Saw Shelled Turtles, and Archerfish. This is truly one of the best ways to see the wild side of Queensland, and you can do get yourself around the city with a Cairns motorhome rental. Wait-a-While Rainforest Tours are based out of 13 Castaways Close, Kewarra Beach.

Getting around in Cairns

Downtown is easy enough to cover on foot, so public transport is unnecessary if you are staying in the city centre. For trips to the suburbs, Sunbuses run routes to the northern beaches, and also to nearby towns and cities, including the Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville.

A rental vehicle, such as a car or campervan, is the best option for getting around - not only in the city, but to the surrounding natural attractions. Alternatively, inter-city coach services such as Greyhound can get you where you need to go, and local tour companies will offer shuttles to various interesting places around Cairns.

Cairns… mainly hot!

Cairns is hot all year round! The cooler dry season runs from June to October and the wet season is from November to May - however the tropical climate means that rain is quite frequent, even during the drier months. Your what to wear list should include a swimsuit and umbrella!

So many motorhome rental options – which is the best?

Cairns is a popular destination for international travellers, close to the Great Barrier Reef and located in the tropical part of Queensland. There are plenty of options for motorhome hire, with a range of companies from international chains to smaller Australian businesses. You can get anything from a small and simple sleeper-van to a monster RV, and Motorhome Republic is the best way to find the right vehicle. Just enter your search requirements and you can see all the options in an easy comparison view. Companies you can expect to see include Apollo, Britz, CheapaCampa and a variety of smaller Australian companies like Calypso Campervan Rentals, Barefoot Camper Hire and Around Australia Motorhomes.

Campervan tips for motorhome travel around Australia

Driving in Australia presents few challenges, but here are a few things worth keeping in mind for your motorhome rental holiday.

  • If you head to the Outback, make sure you are well stocked with food and fuel. Petrol and service stations and areas of civilisation can be few and far between.

  • Travelling with kids? Check your vehicle can hold booster or child seats.

  • If you plan to go off-road in the more remote parts of Australia, splash out on a 4WD campervan.

  • Ensure you drive on the correct side! Like the English and their neighbours in New Zealand, Australians drive on the left.

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

Travellers Autobarn and Comet Campervans share a depot at 123-125 Bunda Street, just 7 kilometres - or about 15 minutes by car - from Cairns Airport. The depot here is right in the heart of Cairns and is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to noon on Saturday. Travellers and Comet are closed on Sundays and public holidays. There are no transfers available so jump on a bus or in a taxi to get there. Comet Campers offers a huge range of two- and three-berth campervans with basics such as air conditioning, gas stoves, fridges and microwaves. The largest van in the Comet range is a high5 camper with two double beds. Travellers Autobarn also specialises in smaller vans with a selection of affordable hitops and campers, and a high5 campervan for small groups. If you are hiring a campervan with Comet or Travellers, be sure to book campgrounds or caravan parks to use the bathrooms on site during your travels. When dropping your rental back at the depot, you get a 59 minute grace period, but after that you will be charged by the hour.

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
April12 days
July12 days
October19 days
Average 2 berth rental price

Top Cairns Rentals Brands

Britz Campervan Rentals

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Cruisin Motorhomes Australia

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Let’s Go Motorhomes AU

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Star RV Australia

Great, 81%
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