Of all the countries you can visit in the world, Australia remains one of those classics that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetimes.
Cairns is a very popular stop along the coast, given it’s full of incredible nature as well as being the gateway to The Great Barrier Reef.
When heading to this tropical city in Northern Australia, you’ll want to spend a minimum of 6 days here to be able to explore the very best that it has to offer.
And we believe that the best way of doing this has to be by motorhome and campervan. Not only will you save money on accommodation costs, however you’ll also have much more freedom in your day to day travelling life too.
If you’ve ever wanted to live the life parked up on the beach, then this is the time to do it!
There are many different rental companies to choose from in Cairns, which can make things somewhat confusing for a first-timer.
In this comprehensive article we’ll explore 10 of the very best, including why each one may suit you and your particular travel preferences.
Whether you’re planning your trip to Cairns or have already touched down, the process of sifting through all the different rental companies can be quite a drag.
GoSee Travel (who were previously known as Motorhome Republic) is a very useful tool that makes finding the right rental company for you very easy.
Not only do they have personal experience with all the different rental companies, however they also allow you to search vehicle availability according to your particular dates, as well as offering a Price Match Guarantee if you find the same vehicle elsewhere for a cheaper rate.
Other advantages of booking with GoSee include:
Trust me, booking with this platform is one of our top travel tips when it comes to road trips!
For more info, read our in-depth review of GoSee Travel (Motorhome Republic).
Now let’s explore the very best rental companies there are in Cairns.
As well as looking at the advantages of each, we’ll also mention other important factors such as cost and the variety of vehicles available.
Of all the different rental companies you can find in Cairns, Spaceships for us has to come out on top!
It's who we used when road tripping Ireland and had an amazing time!
This highly reputable brand is used worldwide, and also offers a great service for those who are renting motorhomes in Cairns.
One of the best perks of using Spaceships is that there are unlimited kilometres included, whilst others may put a limit or charge extra fees for overuse.
You’ll also know you’re in safe hands with their 24/7 roadside service in case something happens, as well as having free after-hours pick-up and drop-off included.
You can easily manage your booking too, changing as many times as needed for free before the day the booking starts.
For future reference, Spaceships are also a great choice if you're looking for campervan rentals in the UK and New Zealand!
Within Cairns (which is also similar for much of the rest of Queensland and Australia), there are four main types of campervan models.
The Alpha is the cheapest of all, which also includes all cooking & sleeping gear.
Then we have Beta Standard and Beta 2S Premium, which are the most popular as they can fit a small family, and also have more room.
Lastly we have the Beta 4-Berth Model, which can easily sleep a party of 4. This is definitely the best long-term option, especially for those who are travelling and working and need the extra space!
Now we arrive at Outdoorsy, which is not a direct provider like the others listed here.
Instead, this company is essentially a large marketplace, which connects you to both public companies as well as private owners.
As well as having the best platform for comparison out there, you’ll also have 24/7 support on hand too. The booking process is quite simple and secure too, and you’ll have extensive insurance protection which covers you in the event of any issues.
Outdoorsy has so much to offer, so if you're looking to hire a campervan in Cairns then make sure you check them out!
There are almost limitless options you can pick from, which can easily be searched for by using the different sub-categories.
We’ll use the listing of Grumpy’s Campervan as an example. Here we can see that it’s been listed by a private owner, all of the facilities are included, the rules stipulated as well as any benefits included (in this case there is unlimited mileage and it's pet friendly).
With over 3000 vehicles for hire around Australasia, Jucy is another popular provider that’s been around for the last couple of decades.
It’s one of the most popular campervan rentals for the younger crowd, as those who are 18 can also hire (with a young driver surcharge added).
Other benefits of renting with Jucy include unlimited mileage and offering a free shuttle ride to their pick-up centre which is located near the airport.
Jucy are also a great option for camper rentals in New Zealand, if you're planning to head there after exploring 'the Land Down Under'.
There are 6 different models of campervan and motorhome available for hire in Cairns.
The Jucy Coaster and Jucy Crib are the entry level options, which are the cheapest and are great for two travellers.
The Jucy Champ is the next level up which can sleep 4.
Then we head into the more traditional style motorhomes. The Jucy Condo and Compass models are best for long-term travel, which sleeps 4 and also comes with a 50+ litre fridge and gas cooker.
Those travelling in a big party can go for their Polaris 6 motorhome, which sleeps 6 and has a 150 litre fridge included too.
Established in 1988, Britz is another popular option for travellers motoring their way through Australia.
They are one of the best companies for getting awesome deals, which include their “Britz Price Match” which will match the same lower price as a competitor, as well as a 20% discount on vehicles rented from Cairns.
Britz is also one of the best pet-friendly providers too, making it the ideal choice for when bringing animal friends along for the ride!
Britz has one of the largest ranges of motorhomes out there, with over 10 different models you can pick from.
Their most basic models are the Venture 2-Berth and 3-Berths, which are ideal for those looking to save as well as having appliances like a gas stove and 130 litre fridge included.
One of the most popular options is the Beach 4-Berth, which allows you to live like a king whilst parked up on the sands!
There are also models that fit up to 6 people, such as the River Elite and Frontier models.
Another oldie in the market, Travellers Autobarn are known for their classic white and orange campervans that are seen riding up and down the coasts of Australia.
As well as allowing unlimited KM’s, they also have 24/7 road assistance and discounts on stays within caravan parks.
One of the biggest perks is that they don’t charge young driver fees, so it’s the best option for the teens out there!
All of this, easily makes them one of the best campervan rentals in Australia!
There are 5 main motorhomes to choose from with Travellers Autobarn.
The Chubby Camper and Budgie Van are the best for two people, and are also the cheapest models.
You can then upgrade to either a Hitop or Kuga Campervan, which feature an extra bed, appliances like a microwave as well as space for 3.
The Hi5 Camper is the best for families, which can fit up to 5 and even has solar panels fitted too!
Camperman Australia are known for their larger than life sized campervans which are ideal for families and those travelling in bigger parties.
Camperman provides a 24 hour helpline in case you run into any trouble, and also allows drivers who are 18 to rent too.
Perhaps their best feature though is the $500 excess rate for full-cover insurance, which is one of the lowest out of all the motorhome providers in Cairns.
Camperman Australia has 6 different motorhome and campervan models that are available for hire.
The cheapest is the Juliette 3, which is ideal for 3 travellers and also provides basic cooking facilities.
There’s also the Juliette 5 and Paradise Series which can fit up to 5 travellers (best option for families), each with multiple beds and plenty of extra space too.
One of the smaller and more local companies on our list, Captain Billy’s is a more authentic choice for those looking for outdoor and off the beaten path travel.
They provide campers for both basic and luxury camping (which we’ll look at below), as well as a professional team ready on-call to help whenever you need.
You’ll also get a full training course during pick-up on how to use the facilities, as well as what to do in hazardous or emergency situations.
When talking about true motorhomes, the Bushcamper 2-Berth Safari is the only real option that Captain Billy’s offers.
This campervan fits 2 people snugly, with gas stoves, double bed and portable shower all included.
There are also various 4WD’s that are extra spacious, however these are mostly used for camping (which is a good option for those who want a more rustic experience).
A true Australian motorhome provider, Apollo has since grown to international fame and can be seen all over the US and within many European countries too.
They offer many deals with some seasonal deals too, such as 15% off the daily rate for bookings in Cairns.
They have an easy booking and online check-in service through their website.
Apollo also works with Qantas Frequent Flyer Program, where you can earn as much as 2 points per every $1 spent!
Apollo offers a large range of motorhomes, with as many as 11 different models available depending on your personal preferences.
The Hippie Hitop Camper is the most inexpensive option, which fits a party of two and is ideal for first-timers. The Hippie Endeavour Camper is similar however snugly fits four travellers.
There’s also the Cheapa range, with the 6-Berth being the best option for big parties which includes stoves, a fridge and even a built-in TV too!
The Euro series are the most premium campervans that Apollo offers, which is ideal for those who value more space and extra fuel capacity for the more adventurous journeys.
When it comes to a more affordable style of campervan travel, Awesome Campers is one of the very best for those exploring from Cairns.
As well as offering the guaranteed lowest prices, there’s also unlimited KM’s included too.
You’ll also have 24/7 assistance in case of any setback or breakdown whilst exploring this beautiful region.
Along with a one-way drop-off and their useful guides online, Awesome Campers is a great choice for planning a longer trip through Queensland or for exploring other further afield regions in Australia.
So if you're looking for one way campervan hire in Cairns then you'll want to check out this awesome company!
There are four main models you can choose from here, which are among the smaller motorhomes on this list (only ideal for two people - larger parties will need to explore the other companies).
The Classic Camper is the overall cheapest, and also has a funky Australian-style exterior to match the experience!
Then we have the Deluxe model which is more spacious, followed by the Elite and Elgrand. These last two models are the biggest, and come equipped with more facilities including a gas cooker and a fridge.
Next up on our list is Mighty Campers, who are another popular motorhome provider found in Cairns.
They’re a flexible provider, who offer both a “Price Match” deal as well as standard accident liability cover included with the rental.
They have a 24/7 help line in the event of any issues (because sometimes those early hour incidents can occur!).
Mighty Campers also have an intuitive and helpful app too, which is really handy when it comes to navigating and trip planning.
Last but not least, this company is pet friendly which is a perk for those who don’t want to leave any members behind!
When selecting with Mighty Campers, you’ll have 6 different options available for pick-up in Cairns.
The Highball is the most affordable option and fits 2 travellers, which is the most ideal option for first-timers.
Those in a party of 4 can easily upgrade to a Double Down, which also includes the same fridge and gas stove as The Highball.
We then have the Deuce models which have extra space, including large rear doors that give some pretty epic landscape views!
Lastly, we have the Big Six which fits as many as 6 in this super-sized motorhome, and is ideal for larger families or parties.
It really depends on what type of campervan you want as the class of RV has a big impact on price.
When you book your vehicle will also have a huge effect on the cost!
Entry level campervans in Cairns will cost you around $70-120 per day, which can rise to as high as $800 for those who want to go all out!
Whilst you can find campervans at the last minute, it’s really not recommended as less availability will only drive up the cost.
Most campervan or motorhome rentals in Cairns require you to be at a minimum age of 21, with no special permit required to drive one.
Having said that, there are a few companies on the market too which allow those who are aged 18+ to hire a campervan, although they are sparse and have additional requirements such as a Full Driver’s Licence in English (as well as a possible young driver’s surcharge being added too).
Regardless of your age, always be sure to properly read the regulations and rules of the specific campervan rental company before booking since they can vary.
Although stopping and sleeping wherever you want in Australia is illegal, Cairns as a city (including the outer region) is much more flexible when it comes to finding somewhere to park up for the night.
You’ll find a whole host of campgrounds and holiday parks such as Rainforest Village and Cairns Holiday Park, which usually offer a range of amenities too.
We recommend reading this article which lists the best places to park up your camper in Cairns.
When renting and driving a campervan in Cairns, you’ll need to bring a Standard Driver's License (officially translated into English if it’s in any other language).
This will be the same for any other city or areas you explore within the Queensland state.
If you’re planning on driving throughout Australia, then be sure to check the requirements of each state since they can vary (and to avoid any problems when out on the road).
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about renting a campervan in Cairns, you can go ahead and book one - ready for what will be an unforgettable trip!
There's no denying that Australia is one of the best places to travel to, and with six states and two territories to visit, you'll be spoilt for choice.
However, given Cairns is located along the north coast of Australia, here you will have tropical weather and a variety of incredible sceneries waiting for you.
From the nature and bliss of the rainforest to the incredible wildlife found on the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns really is one of those destinations that you must visit when in Australia.
While exploring this awesome part of the country, you'll also want to visit Daintree National Park, Fitzroy Island, and finally Barron Gorge National Park, with the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway running above it.
We've got plenty of other rental guides where that came from: