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Compare Campervan Rentals in Cairns

Compare trusted campervan rental companies around Cairns to find great deals. Select from various models, features and prices to lock in your perfect motorhome rental and prepare to soak up the sun!

Compare and save on a range of campervans from major rental brands in Cairns. Camper Champ makes the comparison and reservation process easier - with no booking fees.

Motorhome rental rates in Cairns range anywhere from $45 to $440 per day for the majority of campers. Among other factors, costs depend on seasonality, duration of reservation as well as motorhome model. Vehicles range from compact campers such as the Spaceships Alpha to more spacious motorhomes like the Cruisin Deluxe.

Camping is a popular pastime in the Tropical North (and throughout Australia), so expect excellent RV infrastructure. Water refills, dump points, laundry facilities, and well-equipped campgrounds are rarely more than a quick drive away.** Motorhome-friendly campsites span rustic national parks to scenic cattle-strewn farms and flashy caravan parks—there’s something for every budget and taste.

Popular Campervans in Cairns

Find the perfect camper for your travel needs.

Discover Australia your way by finding a camper that suits your travel needs.

Spaceships Alpha 2-Berth
Automatic
Apollo Vivid Camper

Vivid Camper

Apollo

Automatic
Apollo Trailfinder Camper

Trailfinder 4WD Camper

Apollo

Manual
Hippie Drift

Drift

Hippie

Manual
Lucky Rentals Lucky Roamer

Lucky Roamer

Lucky Rentals

Automatic
Britz Safari Landcruiser 4WD

Safari Landcruiser 4WD

Britz

Manual
Camperman Paradise S&T

Paradise S&T

Camperman

Automatic
Cheapa Campa 4WD Camper
Manual
Cheapa Campa Cheapa Trailfinder

Cheapa Trailfinder 4x4

Cheapa Campa

Manual
Apollo Trailfinder Camper

Trailfinder 4WD Camper

Apollo

Britz Safari Landcruiser 4WD

Safari Landcruiser 4WD

Britz

Cheapa Campa Cheapa Trailfinder

Cheapa Trailfinder 4x4

Cheapa Campa

Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.

Cairns Airport Campervan Hire

Can I rent a campervan at the airport in Cairns?

While there are no campervan rentals directly at the terminal at Cairns Airport (CNS), there are several campervan rental companies within 2-5 miles.

Jucy offers a complimentary shuttle with your rental. The other depots are easily accessible by taxi or Uber.

The Self-drive Holiday in Cairns

There's plenty of reason to explore Far North Queensland in a motorhome rental. You'll venture between breathtaking sites at your own pace and camp overnight amid spectacular scenery—all this is super affordable, too.

Traveling in and around Cairns in a campervan rental entails a broad array of benefits:

  • Cost-Effective: A camper is hands-down the most affordable way to explore Tropical North Queensland. As your accommodation and transport come rolled into one, you won't have to fork out for pricey tours or hotels.

  • Self-Catering: Not only will you save on transport and accommodation, but you'll slash your daily food spend. Any respectable campervan has a fridge and kitchen, letting you save big bucks by cooking at "home."

  • Convenience: Forget returning to the city once you finish sightseeing for the day. With a motorhome, you can cruise to the closest campsite and wake up within easy reach of tomorrow's adventure. Less driving and more soaking up the sites.

  • Freedom: The flexibility of motorhome travel is tough to overstate. Choose where you're going on a whim—there's no need to stick to a set schedule.

  • Onboard Amenities: Large motorhomes have top-end facilities like indoor showers, kitchens, couches, TVs, and comfy king-sized beds. Some are even more luxurious than what you're used to at home.

Remember these helpful tips when driving around Cairns in a campervan rental:

  1. All traffic moves on the left-hand side.
  2. Seatbelts and child restraints are compulsory.
  3. Carry a valid driver's license when traveling.
  4. Traffic moves clockwise around the roundabout.
  5. There are no toll roads in Cairns.
  6. Watch out for wildlife, especially around dawn, dusk, and when traveling at night. Country roads and long stretches of the open road are notorious for crossing wildlife.
  7. The blood alcohol content limit in QLD is 0.05%.
  8. Default speed limits in Cairns are 31 mph for built-up residential areas and 62 mph for roads in rural areas unless indicated otherwise. School zones also have speed limits reduced to 25 mph during certain hours on school days. Always pay attention to posted speed limit signs and adjust your speed accordingly.

Travel Tips for Cairns

How can you save money on a campervan vacation in Cairns?

An RV provides an affordable alternative to the standard rental car and hotel combo. A thrifty traveler can reduce expenses even further by following our top money-saving tips:

  • Book early: Like airlines, campervan rental companies base their prices on availability. Booking ahead can save you a considerable amount on your daily rate, especially during peak seasons.

  • Avoid peak seasons: Supply and demand mean prices skyrocket during busy times. Avoid school vacations, the Christmas/New Year period, and Easter to snag the best deal. As a neat bonus, you'll explore pristine tropical landscapes without the maddening mass-tourism crowds.

  • Book a low-cost camper: Do you need a decked-out motorhome with all the bells and whistles? Settling for a budget-friendly rig will save you big on rental fees and fuel. There's no harm in roughing it when you're only on the road for a couple of weeks.

  • Reduce backtracking: Plan a tentative circular itinerary to minimize backtracking. Fuel will be one of your major on-road expenses, especially when rolling in a huge gas-guzzling RV. Aside from saving at the pump, you'll spend less time driving and more time taking in the scenery.

  • Shop around for fuel: Download the Petrol Spy app to compare gas station prices in real-time. Some are substantially more expensive than others.

  • Enlist a travel buddy: Campervan rentals and fuel cost the same, no matter how many people you've crammed in your rig. Finding an adventurous travel companion (or two) will do wonders for your wallet. Try posting your plans on social media if you don't know anyone. Always vet potential applicants.

  • Free camp: While they're not as prevalent as they once were, you can still find a few free campsites scattered around Far North Queensland. Roadside rest areas make for a handy free overnight sleep—bring a pair of earplugs for passing trucks.

  • Use low-cost campsites: You'll pay a pretty penny for high-end RV parks, especially those straddling the coast.

  • Cook: Eating out is expensive in Australia, and this far-flung region is no exception. Self-catering most meals will save you stacks of cash each day—good thing your camper comes with a well-equipped kitchen, fridge, and sink. Shop at big-name supermarkets (Woolworths and Coles) instead of the pricier small-town general stores.

  • BYO snorkel: Opportunities for offshore underwater exploration abound around Cairns. Bringing your snorkel and fins will save you money on rental costs.

When is the best time to go campervanning in Cairns?

Unlike Australia's southern regions, where four distinct seasons are the norm, Far North Queensland experiences a wet season (November to March) and a dry season (April to October).

Most folks arrive during the Australian winter (June to August), which lands right in the middle of the dry season. Balmy average highs of 79°F and near-perpetual sunshine make it the perfect time to explore the outdoors. Winter also sees calmer seas for sailing and snorkeling, plus the annual migration of the humpback whale.

In stark contrast, the Aussie summer (December to February) brings heavy rain to the region. Sticky humidity and sweltering highs of 88°F leave travelers drenched in sweat. But it's not all bad. The "green" season sees flora bloom and waterfalls rage.

Spring (September to November) is the best time for spotting birdlife, including the elusive cassowary. Wrap up your vacation before November to avoid the "build-up," a notoriously humid period leading into the Wet.

Fall (March to May) becomes sunnier and drier towards the end of the season. Mid-April to May usually entails relatively pleasant weather. Plus, you'll experience far thinner crowds (at least outside school vacations and Easter) than the winter peak.

It's not just the sweaty weather you need to consider. Far North Queensland's paradisiacal beaches receive millions of painful pests during the stinger season (November to May). The nippy waterborne critters, known locally as Irukandji jellyfish, make beach swimming foolish without a full-bodied stinger suit or a government-installed stinger net.

The deadly box jellyfish also bobs around Tropical North beaches during stinger season—follow all warning signs and take utmost precautions. Although injuries are rare in deep water, reputable snorkeling tour providers offer stinger suits to play it safe.

Speaking of safety, Far North Queensland is crocodile country. Heed all warning signs, and don't wander too close to remote estuaries, beaches, and lagoons.

How long do you need in Cairns for an RV vacation?

Seasoned grey nomads (retired Australian travelers) insist you need at least three months to do the region justice. And while that type of timeframe is undoubtedly ideal, fast-paced travelers can admire the highlights in a week or two.

With one week in Cairns, check out the main sites in Cairns and jump on a Great Barrier Reef snorkeling trip. Then head inland across the Atherton Tablelands to chase waterfalls at the Millaa Millaa Circuit.

Cruise between charming tableland towns (Yungaburra is our top pick) and check out a few fabulous fig trees on your way to Kuranda. Drive the scenic Captain Cook Highway north towards Port Douglas. Next, head deep into the Daintree to meander amid monstrously tall trees and plunge into croc-free swimming holes.

Two weeks in Cairns will let you run a similar course, albeit with additional stops and scenic side trips. Worthwhile pit stops include the likes of Mount Hypipamee, Wooroonooran, Danbulla, Granite Gorge, Crater Lakes, Lake Placid, Davey’s Creek, and Babinda Boulders.

If experiencing the Australian outback excites you, the Undara Lava Tubes and Chillagoe Caves make for great side trips (allow 3.5 hours drive in each direction). Tranquil tropical beaches more your jam? Mission Beach is within easy reach (2 hours each way). En route, stop by Paronella Park for a fairy-tale-style Spanish castle and Etty Bay to camp with cassowaries on the beach.

If you’re keen to savor a slice of island life, jump on the morning ferry to Fitzroy Island and pull up a towel on Nudey Beach. Don’t fancy leaving paradise that same day? Overnight in the ritzy Fitzroy Resort or the rustic Fitzroy Campground.

Parking a Campervan in Cairns

Where are some of the best places to park an RV in Cairns?

You'll find plenty of places to park your motorhome in the city. Unlike Australia's crowded state capitals, Cairns has minimal traffic and plenty of spacious parking lots.

The Cairns City Council provides free and paid on-street parking. Paid parking costs a reasonable $2 per hour and only applies to the CBD's most high-demand streets. The city's abundant free parking spaces often enact two-hour limits during business hours.

If you'd like to park for free while enjoying a lovely sea view, head to the northern end of the Esplanade. The parking lots around Petanque Court and Fun Ship Playground offer unrestricted daytime parking just yards from the water.

Where can you park a campervan overnight in Cairns?

Queensland State laws prohibit sleeping overnight in a vehicle outside of a designated campsite. Furthermore, Cairns City Council has by-laws forbidding overnight stays on public roads within the jurisdiction.

Enforcement is strict in desirable areas such as beachfront parking lots and the Esplanade but relatively lax in other places. Although most first-time offenders receive a warning, hefty fines can apply anytime.

There are no designated free camps in Cairns. Most motorhome travelers prefer to pay for a Cairns caravan park to save time. NRMA Holiday Park is the closest site to the CBD, but you'll find half a dozen others scattered around town. Remember, nothing is ever more than 15 minutes away.

Thrifty travelers can find a smattering of designated free camps around Far North Queensland. Some of our tried-and-tested favorites include:

A modest nightly fee enables access to several stunning campsites around the region. Some of the most spectacular low-cost options include:

Top 10 Campervan-Friendly Campgrounds near Cairns

Babinda Boulders (Babinda)

Located at the end of Boulders Road (a paved road).

Free stays of up to 72 hours are permitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Facilities include restrooms, cold showers, and BBQs.

No pets allowed.

The Billabong (Kuranda)

Overlooking the Billabong with hot showers and WiFi.

Each campsite has its own open campfire.

Prices start at $30 for an unpowered site for two people and $40 for a powered site.

Children under 12 are half-price and under 4 are free.

Cape Tribulation Camping (Daintree)

Beachfront powered and unpowered campsites just 2.5 hours north of Cairns accessible via paved coastal roads. Daintree Ferry transfer to Cape Tribulation is required.

There are no dump points in the Cape Tribulation area. The closest spots are located at Mossman or Port Douglas. Only well water is available, which requires booking a powered site to fill your water tanks.

There is only well water onsite to fill vans! You must book a powered site to fill your tanks with water.

Ellis Beach

There are beachfront, middle row, and back-row sites available with direct beach access.

The campsites have the following facilities:

  • Water, power, and sewage
  • Shady trees and concrete pads
  • TV cable available for all powered sites
  • Two restroom facilities

Powered sites start from $39 for two people in low season to $50 during high season.

Etty Bay Caravan Park

Located near Innisfail along the Esplanade in Etty Bay on the beachfront.

Facilities include laundry, amenities, WiFi, a general store, and public BBQs, with a playground nearby.

Prices start from $35 for an unpowered site and $45 for a powered site. Rates are based on two adults and two children, ages 4-12.

Granite Gorge Nature Park (Mareeba)

A savannah wilderness landscape just 7.5 miles from Mareeba.

Powered and unpowered sites are available.

Prices start range from $16-$18 per adult and $6-8 per child per night.

Camping Facilities include:

  • Spacious, shady sites & picnic area
  • 2 Hot Shower & Toilet Blocks
  • BBQs and wood for open fires
  • Laundry facilities, 2 Camp Kitchens

Henrietta Creek Camping Area

Surrounded by rainforest and located in Palmerston (Doongan), Wooroonooran National Park, 23.6 miles from Innisfail, just off the Palmerston Highway.

There are ten grass sites available for advanced booking.

Facilities: composting toilets, picnic tables, gas grills.

Open fires are restricted.

Kauri Creek camping area

A small camping area at the edge of Lake Tinaroo in the Danbulla State Forest area.

Amenities include flushing toilets and a shower room.

Bring your own water and firewood and book in advance.

Malanda Falls Caravan Park

Located in the Cairns Highlands, right next door to the Malanda Falls, which flow all year round. Facilities include open recreational spaces, a camp kitchen and electric BBQs, laundry, and three amenity blocks. There is also an onsite animal nursery.

Powered and unpowered sites starting from $27.

Platypus Campsite (Lake Tinaroo)

Located in the central part of the Atherton Tablelands, about 1.5 hours from Cairns.

Facilities include restrooms, picnic tables, and wood BBQs.

HINT: bring drinking water and an external shower for the shower room.

Book in advance to secure your spot.

Cairns Road-trip Itineraries

Are you ready for the ultimate adventure in Cairns? Buckle up and grab your sunscreen, because our range of campervan-friendly itineraries are packed with excitement and breathtaking natural beauty. From exploring the Great Barrier Reef to trekking through the lush rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands, you'll be experiencing the best of what Cairns has to offer. With the freedom and flexibility of a campervan, you'll be able to take your adventure anywhere you like and truly immerse yourself in the wild. So fuel up, set your compass to Cairns and hit the road for a journey you'll never forget!

Explore the best of Cairns in 7-Days

Explore the best of Cairns in 7-Days

This 7-day itinerary offers a fantastic mix of city, beach, and nature experiences. You'll explore the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, discover ancient cultures and hidden waterfalls, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the tropical paradise of Cairns.

MORE: 7-Day Cairns Itinerary
From the Reef to the Outback: A 14-Day Odyssey from Cairns to Darwin

From the Reef to the Outback: A 14-Day Odyssey from Cairns to Darwin

Set off on an adventure through the stunning natural beauty and rich cultural history of Australia's Northern Territory as you travel from Cairns to Darwin in a comfortable campervan. You'll have 14 days to fully experience some of the most captivating destinations in the Australian outback, from beautiful landscapes, unique wildlife, and vibrant Aboriginal culture. Go from exploring the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef to navigating the rugged terrain of Kakadu National Park, discovering all the hidden treasures in between, and reveling in the unmatched beauty of the Australian wilderness.

MORE: Cairns to Darwin Itinerary
The Best of the East Coast: 7 Fun-Filled Days from Brisbane to Cairns

The Best of the East Coast: 7 Fun-Filled Days from Brisbane to Cairns

This itinerary follows the coastline between the two major Queensland cities of Brisbane in the Southeast and Cairns in the Tropical North, and covers a distance of over 1,800 km. What will thrill you the most? Spectacular white-sand beaches? Outstanding mountain scenery? Unique Australian wildlife? In tropical Far North Queensland, the rainforest meets the Reef, so get ready for an epic road trip across one of the most beautiful coastlines in Australia.

MORE: Brisbane to Cairns Itinerary

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of licence do you need to hire a campervan in Cairns?

As always, an Australian will need a valid class C (car) licence to rent a camper in Cairns. Probationary, provisional, and learner licences won’t cut it. Few campervan hire companies rent vehicles to customers under 21. Travellers aged under 25 will pay more to cover higher insurance costs. International travellers can rent a campervan with a valid International Driver's Permit (IDP) or an approved English translation of a comparable (car) foreign licence.

Is free camping allowed in Cairns?

Free camping is only allowed at designated sites in Cairns, and overnight parking is generally prohibited. Staying at a holiday park or caravan park will generally cost about $50–$100 (AUD) per night.

Some popular campgrounds include: NRMA Cairns Holiday Park, Cool Waters Holiday Park, and NRMA Palm Cove Holiday Park.

It’s worth planning to spend several days in the Cairns area, as there is a lot to explore within a relatively short distance from the city. To the south are the Atherton Tablelands with multiple waterfalls, to the west is Kuranda and Barron Gorge National Park, and to the north are Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest.

Of course, Cairns City itself is a great base for excursions into the Great Barrier Reef.

Can I take my rental campervan beyond Cape Tribulation?

No, the road from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown in Far North Queensland is unpaved and can be challenging. Generally, companies limit access to this area. Check with your rental company for any questions regarding restricted areas.

Can I take my rental campervan to Cape York?

Generally, regular 2WD campervans are not allowed to travel to Cape York. Many companies make exceptions for 4WD campers, but prior written permission must be obtained. Check with your rental company for any questions regarding restricted areas.

Can I rent an RV just for the weekend?

Most companies generally have a minimum rental period. Weekend rentals are possible, but the minimum rental period can range from 1 day to a full week depending on the time of year.

Enter your dates in the comparison tool to see which vehicles are available for your travel dates.

Are one-way campervan rentals available?

Yes, a large number of companies allow for one-way rentals. Our comparison tool will show you availability on your preferred route and automatically factor in any one-way fees charged by the supplier.

A one-way motorhome road trip starting or ending in Cairns is a popular way to explore the East Coast of Australia. Many travelers choose Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, or even Melbourne as the other endpoint of their journey.

Popular stopping points for travelers on their way to Cairns include Mission Beach, Airlie Beach, and Townsville.

Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.

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