Car Rental in Cairns

Old May 31st, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Car Rental in Cairns

We will be spending 6 nights in the Cairns area in September and I am on the fence on whether a car rental makes sense. For 3 of our 5 days we have scheduled:
Daintree Air Lizard Island Tour
Raintree Rainforest Tour w/ Pete Baxendell
Tablelands Tour w/ Alan Gillanders

The other two days are free. It seems to me that a car rental makes the most sense to get us between Cairns/Port Douglas/Yungaburra but I also know from experience that rental cars can be more trouble than they are worth if there is good public transportation between locations. From my research it seems Cairns-Port Douglas is easy to do on bus but I am having less luck regarding Cains-Yungaburra.

Any advice on whether a car rental is necessary/recommended/not needed?

Thanks,
Michael
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Old May 31st, 2008, 11:46 PM
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White Car Coaches has a service between Cairns and Atherton Tableland, am not sure if it goes to Yungaburra as we always drive there from Cairns, but do know it does to nearby town of Atherton via Kuranda. A google should tell you.

But unless something's changed recently, you'll need a car for Alan Gillanders' trips anyway, he acts as guide for his excellent wildlife spotting tours in guest's vehicle. And having your own car makes other touring of the Tableland area easy. A good local rental company in Cairns is www.sugarland.com.au

For Cairns-Port Douglas each way see BTS Tours and Transfer - www.PortDouglasBUS.com - transfers are from door to door and they're usually pretty well on time.




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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 02:34 AM
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Thanks. I think we will go with the rental. Seem like Hertz has the best rates at the moment for August.
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 05:10 AM
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Michael,
I suggest you contact Alan Gillanders, [email protected]
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Hi, jersey1977,
Definitely hire a rental, even for 2 days. We were so pleased we did because it gave us great freedom, especially at night when we wanted to go to a wonderful restaurant in Pat's suburb (the restaurant name completely escapes me at present). We also wanted to explore Yungaburra on our own, and around that area, after doing the bus tour the previous year. I was looking for platypus in their natural environment but that didn't happen. Just make sure you are able to go 'off-road' on main unsealed roads. We wanted to go to the Wetlands at Mareeba but were unable to go on unsealed roads - a huge disappointment. We made full use of the car for the time we had it. Another beautiful drive is up to the reservoir north of Cairns (I think that is the direction). It is a short trip but the road there affords wonderful views of Cairns and the sea beyond, as well as being such a tranquil spot. Help please, Pat. I can't remember the name of this area either, but I do know we had a delicious lunch there and I bought some really cute little crocodile earrings for myself!
Dot
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Thanks, already hooked up with Alan and have a reserved spot with him in early Sept for both tours he runs.

And Pat if you can fill in the blanks on Dot's response, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:22 AM
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Hi Dotty - that sounds like Copperlode Dam (Lake Morris) about 25km from Cairns on range west.Did it have a kiosk at the top overlooking the dam? Road is fully sealed but winding and fairly narrow and steep in parts. Last time I drove up there counted precisely three cars all the way and a couple of energetic pushbike riders. You can hike through rainforest from there down to Crystal Cascades - www.wettropics.gov.au/ttd/trackdtl?dtrack=45

Sorry you couldn't take your rental on that easy stretch of dirt into Mareeba Wetlands. Definitely worth a visit.

jersey, there's three good restaurants in Stratford (8km north of Cairns city), so am not sure which one dotty means, there's Garden Room (Sri Lankan and mod OZ), Sacred Spice (Moroccan and SE Asian) and Lemongrass which has just been sold and we're waiting to see what new owners do with it.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:24 AM
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PS if the link doesn't work for Lake Morris, just google Copperlode Dam, Cairns.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:50 AM
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I've rented in Cairns and driving around, and also to Port Douglas is easy. In fact I would say the cairns area is very easy to get around with a rental. Do note though that special 'from rates' that sound real cheap zoom up once all the tax and insurance is added.
You will find the driving very easy.
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