Car Rental in Cairns Airport

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Cairns Airport (CNS)

Address: Terminal Building, (Metro), Cairns Qld, QL, Queensland, 4870, Australia
Phone: (61) 07 4033 9777
Hours of Operation: Sun - Sat 5:00 AM - 12:30 AM

If flying in, the rental counter is within the terminal with a short walk to the car lot.

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Location Information

How many airports are in Cairns Airport?

Cairns Airport (CNS) is the one and only airport in Cairns. It offers both domestic and international flights.

Which airlines fly from Cairns Airport?

Airlines that fly to and from Cairns include:

  • Jetstar
  • Qantas
  • Air New Zealand
  • China Eastern
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Silk Air
  • Air Niugini
  • Hainan Airlines

You can fly to Cairns Airport from several airports in Australia including Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, as well as international locations such as Auckland, Singapore, Bali, Port Moresby, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Osaka, and Tokyo.

Fastbreak Service
Proceed to the Budget counter Fastbreak line/or normal line if no Fastbreak line designation/or follow directions to the Fastbreak Kiosk. Present identification and receive your rental agreement. The counter representative will give the customer the keys & directions to their car.
FASTBREAK RETURN: Follow the airport signs for Car Rental return. You do not need to return to the counter to complete your rental. Record your mileage and fuel level on the rental agreement and drop it in the Budget Fastbreak return box. A closed rental agreement will be mailed to you within 48 hours.
General Directions
COUNTER: Located in the T2 Domestic terminal and T1 International terminal.
CARS: Across the road from the Domestic terminal entrance, approximately 50 feet from front door.
RETURNS: Same as pick-up.
AFTER-HOURS RETURNS: Drop box available at Budget counter between
the hours of 0430 - 2230.

Terms and Conditions

Renter Requirements

Other Nearby Locations

  • 5.44 kilometres away

    Address: 153 Lake St

    Phone: (61) 07 4048 8166

    Hours of Operation: Sun 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM; Sat 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM


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  • 17.03 kilometres away

    Address: 99 Williams Esplanade

    Phone: (61) 07 4059 2499

    Hours of Operation: Sun 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM; Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM


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Car Rental Cairns Airport

Cairns Airport is a major transport hub in North Queensland, and it is the closest airport to some of Australia’s most wild and stunning areas of nature such as The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

If you’re embarking on an adventure in North Queensland, hiring a car is the best way to reach even the most off-the-beaten-track natural wonders including waterfalls, ancient forests, and white sand beaches. Budget offers vehicles suitable for every terrain and budget. Find out more about our car hire service from Cairns Airport.

Car Hire in Cairns Airport

There are two Budget car rental counters in Cairns Airport: one in the T1 international terminal and another in the T2 domestic terminal. The counters are open from 5am to 12.30am, seven days a week.

The car pickup and drop-off location is just across the road from the domestic terminal entrance.

To save time when you arrive at Cairns airport, download the Budget app, which enables you to book a car from your mobile phone and manage your reservation at any time. You can see where your closest Budget locations are, and you can also sign up for Fastbreak for even faster service. Fastbreak gives you access to a priority line at the car rental counter so you can just show your ID to get your rental agreement, and you don’t need to return to the counter when dropping your rental vehicle off.

Cairns Airport Information

Cairns Airport has two terminals – the T1 international terminal and the T2 domestic terminal. The terminals are connected by a covered pedestrian walkway and it takes five minutes to walk between them.

The airport is only 6km from the city centre and is a 10-minute drive north on Lake Street, turning right onto Airport Drive.

Cairns Airport is 66km from Port Douglas, a drive that takes around one hour. Head south on the coastal Route 44 and join Route 1 in Cairns North, following the signs for the airport.

Things to See and Do Around Cairns Airport

There’s plenty to see and do around Cairns Airport if you have some time to kill before your flight. The area is particularly rich in parks and leisure spaces in nature including Centenary Lakes Nature Play Space, Touch Park, and North Cairns Reserve.

The Cairns Botanic Garden is only a 5-minute drive from the airport and offers 28 hectares of tropical gardens to explore. Entrance to the gardens is free, and there are also free guided tours twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There’s an open-air restaurant in the grounds that’s open for breakfast and lunch from 7am.

As Cairns city is so close to the airport, it’s also a great location to relax in and have a stroll around before your flight. The Esplanade area with its gardens, marina, and eateries is popular with visitors and locals alike, and there are art and craft markets and street entertainment on the Esplanade every weekend.

If you’re travelling with kids and want them to burn off some energy before your flight, Cairns Wake Park offers wake boarding, water sports, and obstacle courses that are great fun for the whole family.

Cairns Aquarium is another hugely popular family attraction. Located in the city centre, 6km from the airport, it’s an easy and enjoyable way to see the sea life and habitats of tropical North Queensland.

Refuelling Locations

There are several petrol stations close to the airport so you can fill up the tank before dropping your car off.

If you’re coming from Cairns city, Mobil North Cairns, Coles Express and Shell are closest to the airport – all on Sheridan Street before the turnoff onto Airport Avenue.

If you’re coming from the north, there’s a Puma petrol station on Arnold Street – the first left after crossing the Barron River on National Highway 1.

The Budget Vehicle Fleet

The Budget Australia fleet has vehicles to suit everyone including economy, compact, vans, 4WD, and premium and luxury cars.

Standard vehicle models include the Toyota Corolla Ascent Sedan, Ford Focus, Holden Cruze, Nissan Pulsar Sedan, Subaru Impreza and Hyundai Elantra.

Those who want to save money on fuel or prefer an eco-friendly vehicle can opt for a car such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid or the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Attraction Distances From Cairns Airport

Cairns City 6km Cairns Botanic Gardens 4km Skyrail Rainforest Cableway 12km Kuranda 26km Fitzroy Island 37km Port Douglas 66km Babinda Boulders 70km Josephine Falls 80km Daintree Rainforest 124km