Top 3 Cairns Self Drive Routes

Top 3 Cairns Self Drive Routes

To begin the best 3 days of your life, follow closely this self drive road trip of a lifetime guide but we suggest you hire a car from Mini Car Rentals for the best car rental rates in Cairns with personalised service. The reason being is so that you can follow these self drive routes, travel at your own pace, stop and explore where you want to with no hassle what so ever!

Our tip would be to utilise Cairns as your base for your accommodation and point of rest & relaxation. This self drive guide will allow you to endure three adventurous days travelling in all directions possible allowing you to get the most out of your time in Cairns.

What to bring:

  • Your Mini Car Rentals hire vehicle (Your no.1 mode of transport)
  • Your friends!
  • Water (Lot’s of it!)
  • Sunscreen (Even on an overcast day!)
  • Insect Repellent (Just in case!)
  • Swimmers (For when you need to cool off!)
  • Joggers (You will be doing some walking!)
  • An Esky (hire from Mini Car Rentals for $5)
  • Maps & Discount Vouchers (provided free to you by one of our lovely staff members)
  • GPS (hire from Mini Car Rentals for $5)

Day 1: Northern Route to Beaches & Rainforest

  1. Northern Beaches (Machans, Holloways, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity, Kewarra, Clifton Beaches)
  2. Palm Cove Rex_Lookout_Self_DriveCape-Tribulation-Daintree-Self-Drive
  3. Ellis Beach
  4. The Gatz Balancing Rocks
  5. Hartley’s Creek Crocodile Park
  6. Rex Lookout
  7. Port Douglas
  8. Mossman Gorge
  9. Cape Tribulation
  10. Daintree Rainforest Village

Day 2: Western Route to Atherton Tablelands

  1. Cathedral Fig TreeAtherton-Tablelands-Self-Drive
  2. Yungaburra
  3. Curtain Fig Tree
  4. Gallo Dairyland
  5. Wongabel State Forest Walking Track
  6. Atherton
  7. Herberton Historic Village
  8. Mareeba
  9. Kuranda
  10. Barron Falls Lookout

Day 3: Southern Route to Waterfall Circuit

  1. Volcanic Crater Lakes (Lake Barrine & Lake Eacham)Ellinjaa-Falls-Atherton-Tablelands-Self-Drive
  2. Malanda Falls
  3. Tarzali Lakes
  4. Milla Milla Falls & Lookout
  5. Zillie Falls & Elinjaa Falls
  6. Mungalli Falls
  7. Wallicher Falls & Tchupala FallsCrawfords Lookout
  8. Mamu Skywalk & Paronella Park
  9. Josephine Falls
  10. Babinda Boulders

Mini Car Rentals Team Member


  • Looks like full of adventure!

    • It is a great three days of adventure in a great part of the world!

  • Ill be needing a whole month in fulfilling these 3 schedule tours, amazing!

    • It is doable within three days if you have limited time. If you want to journey longer in each route, there are definitely accommodation places to stop along the way!

    • They are doable in three days, but if you’d rather spend a month, why not? Make sure you come and see us for a hire car! 😉

  • Thanks for your suggestion on a self-drive road trip. It is the best tip I got online.

    We are four friends, are planning on a road trip. So I am looking for some suggestions to make our trip cheerful and memorable. At last, I found it here with full guides. Car rental is a good suggestion but I am concern about a matter.

    If the rental car will damage on the road trip, then will we pay for car servicing? Or car rental company will pay after. Do we have to submit any documents for car rental?

    • Hi Leland, glad you found our suggestions!

      All our hire vehicles include a basic insurance which includes a $3000 excess, meaning that regardless of who is at fault in an accident you must pay up to a maximum of $3000.
      If you want to reduce this excess, we have three different options where you can pay a bit extra per day for more insurance cover and lower excess.

      You will need your credit card and drivers license to hire a car.

      From the team at Mini Car Rentals Cairns!

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