Rental companies may charge extra for drivers aged under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before booking.

Car Hire from Cairns Airport

Car Hire Cairns Airport

Cairns Airport in Queensland, Australia is considered to be the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. You will find some of the best beaches in Australia, the Daintree Rainforest and the vibrant city of Cairns. Many travelling to the region choose to hire a car and Skyscanner can help you find the best car hire deal available.

Where to hire a car at Cairns Airport

Thrify, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Redspot all offer car hire from Cairns Airport. After arriving at the airport you can find the car hire desks in the arrivals hall of terminal 1 and terminal 2. The cars are located in the terminal 2 car park.

Petrol Stations near Cairns Airport

If you hire a car from Cairns Airport with a “full to full” fuel policy you will need to refuel your petrol tank before dropping off the car.

If you are approaching Cairns Airport from the north exit Captain Cook Highway at Stratford just before reaching the airport and you will find a small service station off of Magazine Road.
If you are travelling from Cairns there are a number of petrol stations on Sheridan Street such as Mobil, BP and Shell, these are 4km away from the airport.

Driving around Cairns Airport

Cairns Airport is connected to Cairns and the north of Queensland by the Captain Cook Highway. With road trips in the area being popular and many hiring cars from the airport to explore the region the road can get very congestion during rush hours and after flight arrivals.

Getting to your destination

Here are some of the popular destinations for visitors to Queensland which can be easily reached from Cairns Airport.


A vibrant city focused on tourism where you can truly enjoy the outdoors with a number of beaches, national parks, walking trails nearby as well as easy drives to the Great Barrier Reef and Mount Hypipamee.

Cairns is a 10 minute, 6 km drive from Cairns Airport via the Captain Cook Highway.
On street parking is available throughout the city which costs $1.20 per hour however strict restrictions are in place and after your parking period you must move your car out of the parking zone. You cannot pay for further parking or move into another bay within the zone.
If you require long stay parking there are off street car parks throughout the city. Lake Street car park is $1 an hour in the centre of Cairns and Bunda Street Car Park near to Cairns Railway is $2 per day.

Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a place of natural beauty and an ideal base for those heading to the Great Barrier Reef. The 4 mile beach is considered one of Australia’s best beaches and the main attraction of the town.

Cairns Airport to Port Douglas is a 60 minute, 66km drive via the Captain Cook Highway, driving along the coast with scenery forest scenery on one side and the Coral Sea on the other this is a pleasant drive with beautiful views.
Parking is easy to find around the beach with lots of free parking places available.

Palm Cove

A quiet village offering relaxation in tropical surroundings. From here you can take rainforest excursions, relax on the beach of head to the nearby islands for water sports.

Palm Cove is a 30 minute, 26km drive via the National Route 1 and Captain Cook Highway from Cairns Airport.
Car parking is available along the length of the beach with a car park at the northern end. Many of the hotels in Palm Cove have free parking available.

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