Whether you’re wanting to start your Australian road trip or looking to explore Cairns and it’s surroundings. The best way is to hire a motorhome or a campervan in Cairns. As Cairns surroundings are definitely worth a visit, having a vehicle is probably necessary if you really want to get to know the area and venture off the beaten track. We’ll share the rental agencies available and give you a few itinerary suggestions for the Cairns region.
Motorhomes and Campervans Comparison
If you plan to hire a motorhome or campervan in Cairns, the easiest way is to use a price comparison website with a specific search option for rental vehicles. This will save you the time of researching several rental agency websites. Instead, you will receive the best price for vehicles (available within your desired dates) in only a few seconds! We recommend the website Motorhome Republic. The page offers many deals and is designed for Backpackers.
Campervan & Motorhome hire agencies in Cairns
There are a lot of motorhome rental companies in Cairns. Best known are the biggest companies, which you find in any other Australian town. Overall, these agencies offer the same type of service at similar prices.
These are the main campervan and motorhome rental agencies:
- Apollo Campervans
- Jucy Rentals
- Travellers Autobarn
- Let’s Go Motorhomes
- Cruisin’ Motorhomes
Note: These companies generally offer several sub-brands (divided by price range). For example, the brand Cheapa Campa belongs to Apollo. The brand Mighty belongs to Britz. So don’t be surprised if you find different brand logos on their websites.
Where about in Cairns are camper rental agencies located?
Motorhome rental companies are rarely located in the city center. Instead, most of them are based in the suburbs of big cities and near the airport. However, they are not accessible on foot from the airport. You need to take a taxi or use a shuttle to get there.
As a matter of fact, the privileged locations at the airport are reserved for car rental
Motorhome hire prices in Cairns or in any other big city in Australia vary a lot. Generally, you will find a cheaper rental in the big cities Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Brisbane. However, renting a camper or motorhome in Cairns is usually the cheapest city. Reason is that most travellers return their vehicle in Cairns. One day you would pay AUD 80, and another day AUD 200 per day for the same vehicle. The average is usually about AUD 100. There are several factors to consider when talking about rental prices. The main ones are:
- Vehicle model (size / options / number of seats)
- Age, range of the vehicle
- Duration of the rental
- Booking in advance
Here are a few examples:
1. Rent a 2-seater motorhome in Cairns:
- 2-week rental
- in January (peak season)
- Booked 3 months in advance
- Entry-level vehicle (3 to 5 years old)
Price: About AUD 200 / day, about AUD 2800 in total (without insurance or extras)
2. Rent a 2-seater motorhome in Cairns:
- 4-week rental
- in May (off-season)
- Booked 3 months in advance
- Entry-level vehicle (3 to 5 years old)
Price: About AUD 90 / day, or about AUD 2600 in total
How to find a cheap motorhome in Cairns?
- Use a price comparison website (Motorhome Republic)
- Book in advance (3 months)
- Choose older vehicles
- Rent for longer than 14 days. The longer you rent, the lower the daily rates. If you plan to travel to a few areas, it is better to rent once for a longer period than to rent a couple of times for short periods.
- Take insurance into consideration when you’re budgeting because it can be quite expensive (Private insurance is recommended)
Visit Cairns and surroundings
Cairns is a must-visit destination in Tropical North Queensland, located at the meeting place of two World Heritage sites – Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Between the artificial lagoon, heavenly beaches, sky-diving and snorkelling above the corals, you are guaranteed an adventure. Parking in Cairns is pretty good compared to cities like Melbourne or Sydney. There are many things to explore in Cairns.
More information: Cairns in two days
The Great Barrier Reef
Tours to the Great Barrier Reef depart daily from Cairns. There are many tour operators in Cairns that offer trips to explore the beautiful reef. Tour operators provide many ways of experiencing the Reef. Among the most popular you will find:
- Flights over the Great Barrier Reef;
- Trips to the Great Barrier Gate (Cairns / Port Douglas departure);
- Skydive over Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
More Info: How to find a Great Barrier Reef Tour
In less than 1 hour from Cairns you can:
- Babinda Boulders: Popular swimming spot, the water was crystal clear and inviting
- Visit the Josephine Falls, you won’t regret it
In less than 2 hours from Cairns you can:
- The Kuranda Scenic Railway: a 34 kilometers tourist train from Cairns that will introduce you to the rainforest and beautiful waterfalls such as Barron Falls.
- Port Douglas: The city beach, Four Mile Beach, is perfect for swimming and sunset walks. For a beautiful view of the city and the ocean go to Flagstaff Hill lookout.
- Mossman Gorge: one of Australia’s most iconic Aboriginal experiences in Tropical North Queensland. It is the perfect option for visitors looking for a genuine, authentic engagement with Indigenous Australia.
- Daintree National Park: a few miles from Douglas Harbour. To access it, you have to cross the Daintree River on a small ferry ($17 per vehicule). It departs every 15 minutes and the crossing take a whopping five minutes! The park covers 56.000 hectares and includes about 3.000 kinds of plants, some of which are ancient and rare!
- Mission Beach: Home of the elusive cassowary – a giant flightless that only exists in this part of Australia – Mission Beach is a great place to tick this crazy-looking animal off your bucket list! It’s also a wonderful place to enjoy jumping out a plane with skydiving companies.
A bit further from Cairns (2-4 hours)
- Atherton Tablelands: West of Cairns you will find a plateau at the altitude of 700 meters. From the top you can admire beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife, including the rare Tree Kangaroo. The Tinaroo artificial lake is one of the most visited attractions in the area.
- Cooktown: You’re getting really into the wild out here, but nevertheless there’s an amazing amount to see and do around the place – from incredible 4wd tracks to awesome lookouts, even the museum here is brilliant.
The best road trips from Brisbane
Cairns – Brisbane
The drive from Cairns to Brisbane is one of the most popular road trips for backpackers and there are so many reasons why! Along the coast, you will find beautiful landscapes and beaches as well as the obligatory stop at the Great Barrier Reef.
Here are the stops you cannot miss along the way and an approximate itinerary:
- Depart from Cairns
- Mission Beach (2 hours)
- Airlie Beach (6 hours)
- Yeppoon (5.5 hours)
- Bundaberg (1.5 hours)
- Hervey Bay and Fraser Island (2.5 hours)
- Noosa via the Sunshine Coast. (2 hours)
- Arrival in Brisbane (1.5 hours)
Time: 15 days
More Information: The Perfect 15 Day Itinerary: Brisbane to Cairns drive