Cairns is a popular motorhome rental destination and there are multiple campervan companies operating here. Luxury motorhomes, 4WD campers and cheap campervans are available from a range of suppliers. Most companies are located within a few kilometres of Cairns Airport. Check prices with our comparison tool and you could save $100s.
Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.
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.
No, the road from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown in Far North Queensland is unsealed and can be challenging. Generally, companies restrict access to this area. Check with your rental supplier for any questions regarding restricted areas.
Generally, regular 2WD campervans are not permitted to travel to Cape York. Many companies make exceptions for 4WD campers, but written permission must be obtained first. Check with your rental supplier for any questions regarding restricted areas.
Most companies generally have a minimum rental period. Weekend rentals are possible, but the minimum rental period can range from one 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.
Yes, a large number of rental 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 campervan hire company.
A one-way motorhome road trip starting or ending in Cairns is a popular way to explore the East Coast of Australia. Many travellers choose as the other endpoint of their journey Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney or even Melbourne.
Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.
Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability in your travel dates.
Most campervan rentals in Cairns cost between $25-$400 per day (when all fees are included). The average cost for hiring a motorhome in Cairns in 2020 was $107 per day. Rental rates vary depending on the size, age and features of the vehicle. The booking length, time of year and intended drop-off point can have an impact as well.
Use our comparison tool to get specific quotes for your travel plans from multiple brands in a matter of seconds.
The cheapest months for hiring a campervan in Cairns are usually April-September. This is also the cooler part of the year in Far North Queensland and the best time to travel
The best things you can do to lower the price of your rental are:
While there are no camper rentals directly at the terminal at Cairns Airport (CNS), there are several campervan rental companies within 3–8 km (2–5 miles).
Jucy offers a complimentary shuttle with your rental. The other depots are easily accessible by taxi or Uber
One of the larger motorhome rental suppliers, Apollo has been operating since 1985 and is well known among the RV rental community. Apollo vehicles are available in multiple locations around the world. An Apollo motorhome is generally less than 3 years old. The company has a wide variety of vehicles, from smaller vans to larger luxury motorhomes.
An Australian campervan hire company specialising in budget vehicles, all of its vehicles are 2-berths and are generally older. Awesome Campers is popular with the backpacker community and those looking for a low-cost getaway.
Britz is one of the larger campervan brands, with multiple depots in different countries and a wide selection of vehicles. Britz maintains a fleet of newer vehicles, with campervans generally being less than 3 years old. Britz is part of the THL group, which also includes Maui, Mighty Campers and other international motorhome hire brands.
A family-owned campervan rental company catering for groups of 2–4, Calypso’s fleet generally consists of older vehicles. Calypso is popular with those looking for a budget holiday and has depots along the East Coast and in Adelaide.
Camperman is a motorhome hire company with multiple locations in Queensland as well as depots in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. It offers a range of fairly priced vehicles and allows drivers under 21 to rent.
Cheapa Campa is part of the Apollo group and rents vehicles that are considered too old to be part of the main Apollo brand. Cheapa remains a very popular choice and is available practically everywhere Apollo is. It offers slightly older, quality campers at a lower price.
Cruisin’ is a campervan hire brand especially well known in Tasmania but currently operates around Australia. It has a wide variety of vehicles available, including 6-berth luxury models. Most of its fleet is relatively new, and a Cruisin’ motorhome often comes with a few extras included. Cruisin’ also operates a lower-cost brand called Go Cheap.
A budget campervan brand with vehicles for 2–5 people, Driveabout is popular with backpackers and those looking for a cheaper alternative. Driveabout offers free airport transfer in many of the top locations. Many of these vehicles are older and come with the basic essentials.
Go Cheap is a motorhome hire brand partnered with Cruisin’ Motorhomes and rents older models considered too old for the main Cruisin’ brand. Because of the vehicles’ older age, Go Cheap can rent these vehicles at a lower price.
Hippie is a budget camper brand that is part of the Apollo Group. It caters to the young traveller and allows drivers under 21. A Hippie camper is a small vehicle with beds for 2–4 people.
A popular campervan rental company operating in New Zealand, Australia and USA, Jucy offers smaller campervans (2-berth and 4-berth) and will rent to drivers over 18. While not extremely cheap, Jucy still offers reasonably attractive prices for the budget traveller.
An independent Australian campervan hire brand headquartered in Sydney, Kangaroo also has vehicles available in several other cities, including Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The company is Australian owned and operated, with depots in a variety of locations. A Kangaroo camper is generally older, though various models are available (2-berth to 6-berth).
Maui is another well-known NZ motorhome hire brand that is part of the THL group (Britz, Mighty and other international brands). Maui specialises in larger luxury motorhomes, with all its vehicles being less than 2 years old. A Maui campervan is often a good choice for larger groups and those looking for a comfortable road trip holiday.
Mighty is another campervan hire brand that is part of the THL motorhome rental group (Britz, Maui and other international brands). Mighty Rentals has vehicles for groups from 2 to 6. Mighty's camper fleet is made up of ex Britz and Maui vehicles that are considered too old to fit the main brands. It offers quality older vehicles at a cheaper price.
This is a well-known budget campervan rental brand offering a sleepervan camper. Spaceships are popular with backpackers and smaller groups (2–4) looking to travel on a budget. Spaceships also rent to drivers under 21.
A budget RV rental brand aimed at backpackers, Travellers Autobarn has campervans in multiple international locations. The company offers a wide variety of vehicles, from station wagons to 5-berth family models.
When you’re in Cairns, it’s hard to miss the 1,429 miles long World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
No shortage of tour operators can deliver a day outing by boat, with opportunities to enjoy warm, calm water snorkelling and scuba diving, surrounded by the reef system’s – renowned vibrantly coloured marine life.
There are also glass-bottomed boats and submarine experiences, and options to suit everyone, including pontoons, stationed within the Outer Reef and various islands of the reef.
Spectacular beaches stretch along the coast, a few miles north of Cairns. Popular spots include Palm Cove, Clifton Beach and Trinity Beach.
One of the most popular waterfalls near Cairns, Josephine Falls is a tiered cascade, with swimming allowed in the lower pool, reached by a walk of 700 metres.
A 46 mile trip from Cairns, the 25-metre-tall falls descend from the Atherton Tableland to the foot of Mount Bartle Frere (Queensland’s highest peak) in Wooroonooran National Park and function as a natural waterslide.
Aside from the reef, the second most likely destination you’re likely to explore near Cairns is the Wet Tropics Rainforest, with two of the most popular destinations for a day being Kuranda and Daintree.
Kuranda is a town on the Barron River, 15.5 miles from Cairns, with a scenic train and cableway making for an easy day trip.
Known for its exceptional biodiversity, the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest (which contains Daintree National Park), north of Cairns, is the largest continuous rainforest in the country, as well as the world’s oldest rainforest.
Cairns Aquarium opened in 2017 and is dedicated to showcasing exclusively aquatic wildlife from the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, inclusive of the Gulf Savannah and Cape York regions.
This impressive facility houses ten North Queensland ecosystems and claims over seventy exhibits and 15,000 creatures. A 30-metre-long underwater acrylic viewing tunnel takes you into an open ocean viewing tank with a rare school of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks.