Car Parking in Cairns

Car parking in Cairns is pretty good when compared to capital cities with many different options on where to park your car.Getting a car parking space in Cairns usually is fine but sometimes it can be challenging but keep a smile on your face and with a bit of patience usually there is someone leaving as you are coming in. Obviously some areas are easier to locate parks than others. We hope this information on parking for visitors, that we have put together from our private experience, is helpful and makes parking your vehicle easier.

Council provides more than 6400 parking places in Cairns, including 1400 in the CBD, through a mix of on-street parking and off-street carparks. This will increase as Cairns Council introduces an additional 350 new spaces.

Parking hours, especially on-street parking is updated regularly as the city grows, to ensure a regular turn over of vehicles to balance the needs of visitors, shoppers, businesses and employees.

Regulated parking hours are generally between 8.30am and 5pm weekdays and 8.30am and 11.30am Saturday. However from 2018 these times are changing to reflect 8.30-6pm 7 days a week. However, some areas, such as the Southern Esplanade Car Park, have extended hours so please always check signs.

As from 1st January, 2018 the parking fees will be increasing to $1.40 per hour from 8.30 am – 6.00 pm.  These new changes to parking will also include Saturday and Sunday.    There will be an extra 350 car spaces provided with these upgrades.. According to Cairns Post article 26/10/17 the additional spaces will be a mix of short term & long options. Be careful about overstaying on a parking space. I have found out the hard way that parking inspectors are pretty regular , ouch  and  with the new fine increasing to $57.50 from start of 2018 , that can burn a hole in your pocket quickly .I check the signs very carefully  when I park, to avoid parking fines for overstaying.

Getting there early is a must in some locations. I’ve had difficulty at times locating a park close to Cairns base hospital and the new aquarium .However with patience and going around the block a few times  keeping a sharp eye out for someone leaving  I usually can locate a car parking space at most times relatively quickly.

PAID PARKING IN CAIRNS

Costs are current at time of writing.  Please check prior to parking as parking prices and times can change without notice and this information is only a general guide to Cairns car parking prices at time of writing and shouldn’t be used or relied on as a replacement for reading signage where you park.

Paid on-street parking encourages a regular turn-over of vehicles in high-demand areas to balance the needs of businesses, visitors, residents and workers.

Cairns on-street paid parking method is via ticket machine for the area (pay and display).  The machines accept Australian coins (except 5c coins) and credit card (Visa and MasterCard only).

Paid parking applies between 8.30am and 6 pm weekdays and weekends 8.30am to 6pm from 2018, unless otherwise signed. Certain areas such as council car parking close to the Reef Fleet Terminal parking charges currently apply to 10.00 pm. Even though I grit my teeth  putting money in the slot at that time of night  (9.00 pm -10.00 pm)  when I see others risking it and not paying it, I  always pay for parking  rather than risking an ticket .  Outside these times parking is free, but always check the signage as this can change without notice and then charges would apply.

Parking costs $1.40 per hour starting in 2018

Parking ticket machines accept 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coins. No change is given on any machine.

Cairns Central Shopping Centre Car Parking – Car Parking is currently free for the first three hours, then parking charges apply. There is large undercover  car parking , and on top additional  parking areas .Parking here  is centrally placed , usually easy to get except at times like boxing day sales , and is ideal for visiting Cairns Central shopping Mall .

Cairns Central Shopping Centre Car Parking
1-21 McLeod Stc7
Cairns

Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

Thu 9:00am – 9:00pm

3 Hours Free

5 Hours $8.00

6 Hours $12.00

7 Hours $15.00

Until Closing $20.00

Sun 10:30 am – 4:00 pm Free

Hilton Hotel Cairns Car Parking

c1 I found this a handy and an affordable option when compared to some  other  options  especially when staying overnight on the reef and  needing somewhere to park close to the Reef Fleet Terminal, though some parking spaces, I personally found it harder to manoeuvre  my vehicle into but with a smaller car you should find it much easier . If there is availability, the fee is $10 per day.  If you need overnight parking the fee is $10.00 .Best tip is to go up the stairs to Hilton reception desk, prepay for your parking and collect a token to use on the way out and collect a paid receipt to leave on the inside of your windscreen, so security can see that you have paid.  For any questions on prices and parking, call the Hilton directly on 4050 2000.

Rustys Markets Cairns Car Parking – Car parking options are available here with access from Sheridan St, close to the corner of Spence St. Check parking prices at time of parking,.  Currently they are free for the first 2 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please note with street parking, council parking inspectors are active in the area and shoppers are urged to take care to avoid a parking fine. Monday to Thursday: $4 all day parking. 5 day weekly pass (excluding weekends) $15. Weekly pass to be purchased from attendant at car park. First two (2) hours FREE. Anything over a $4 daily rate applies.

Always check current prices & conditions of parking at any of the above parking lots  prior to parking.

 

 

THE PIER SHOPPING CENTRE CAR PARKING

This is a great central carpark which is the closest carpark to the Reef Fleet Terminal and I have always found a car parking space there. If you are going on a live aboard boat for a few days, have a look at the Hilton Hotel Car Parking Option as this may end up being more economical.

These prices are the current charges at the time of writing this article. Please check for changes.

Parking fees are dependent upon entry and exit times.

Please see the parking rates below.

0 – 2 hrs…………………………………Free
2 – 3 hrs…………………………………$4.00
3 – 4 hrs…………………………………$5.00
4 – 5 hrs…………………………………$6.00
5 – 6 hrs…………………………………$7.00
6 – 7 hrs…………………………………$8.00
7 – 8 hrs…………………………………$9.00
8-11 hrs…………………………………$11.00
All day…………………………………..$15.00

Overnight(10pm-6am + daily fees)…$9.00
Early Bird (in by 9am, out 4-6pm)…..$10.00
lost ticket fee: $50.00

Height Restrictions: 1.9M

 

CHEAP CAR PARKING IN CAIRNS

Cheap parking can be found with a bit of research & local  knowledge. We often suggest this option especially for parking close to the Reef Fleet Terminal and is a significant saving when compared to most other cairns paid car parks.

 

c2 $3.00 all day parking on vacant block of land adjoining Cairns Convention Centre.  Enter through boom gate in Lake Street via Wharf Street only.  It only accepts $1 & $2 coins.  It often looks full but you can usually get a parking space. c3

FREE PARKING IN CAIRNS

Free parking is available in most locations outside of Cairns CBD. Check to see if there is street signage before parking.

Parking in centre medians are popular but time restricted. Check before parking to make sure no paid signage requirements have been installed.

Free car parking at Freshwater Railway Station for those travelling on the Kuranda Train.

Free car parking at Skyrail,Smithfield carpark for travelling on Skyrail to Kuranda.

Free car parking at Tjapukai, for visiting Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Smithfield .

Free parking at the Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre maximum 2 hours during business hours applies at 8 Rutherford St, Yorkeys Knob Beach Cairns for the purpose of visiting the Visitor Information Centre there. Car parking is easy for large vehicles with boats, motor homes and other vehicles that would have difficulty parking & finding car parking spaces in The Cairns CBD .Visitors are welcome to utilise the local knowledge & extensive experience. Free maps, booking & information on all Cairns tours, discount vouchers, tour specials and family rates. Just drop in for friendly assistance, without worrying about a parking meter.

OVERNIGHT PARKING IN CAIRNS

Overnight parking is not permitted on roadsides and other public land in Cairns. Illegal overnight parkers currently face a $243 on-the-spot fine, which seems to regularly increase. Rangers are nice people just doing their job but they can be pretty frequent especially checking high visibility areas such as the Cairns Esplanade CBD and each of the Cairns beaches. Don’t be surprised to get a knock on your car windscreen very early or very late at night   and/or a fine pasted on the screen.  At current prices of a fine, that is quite a lot of money.  We recommend checking out affordable accommodation options, cabins, caravan parks and other accommodation options or visit the Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre 8 Rutherford Street Yorkeys Knob Beach Cairns info@allcairnstours.com.au  for options and pursue their extensive detailed lists indicating pricing & facilities.

Self-drive travellers can find affordable overnight accommodation at the region’s many commercially-operated caravan, tourist parks and holiday accommodation apartments, motels and cabins. Just phone Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre on 07 40557158 for tips. There are various camping books available from service stations or online that show free camping locations in the region,as well as very affordable camping spaces in National Parks. We are not aware of any free camping around Cairns currently .If you do, please let us know so we can advise other travellers.

 

Overnight Car Parking of  vehicles in Cairns

Two good options are  Pier Shopping Centre and Hilton Hotel,Please see more detail information on these above

 Please see the parking rates below for Pier Shopping Centre.

0 – 2 hrs…………………………………Free
2 – 3 hrs…………………………………$4.00
3 – 4 hrs…………………………………$5.00
4 – 5 hrs…………………………………$6.00
5 – 6 hrs…………………………………$7.00
6 – 7 hrs…………………………………$8.00
7 – 8 hrs…………………………………$9.00
8-11 hrs…………………………………$11.00
All day…………………………………..$15.00

Overnight(10pm-6am + daily fees)…$9.00
Early Bird (in by 9am, out 4-6pm)…..$10.00
lost ticket fee: $50.00

Hilton Hotel Cairns car parking overnight 

I found this a handy and an affordable option when compared to some  other  options  especially when staying overnight on the reef and  needing somewhere to park close to the Reef Fleet Terminal, though some parking spaces, I personally found it harder to manoeuvre  my vehicle into but with a smaller car you should find it much easier . If there is availability, the fee is $10 per day.  If you need overnight parking the fee is $10.00 .Best tip is to go up the stairs to Hilton reception desk, prepay for your parking and collect a token to use on the way out and collect a paid receipt to leave on the inside of your windscreen, so security can see that you have paid.  For any questions on prices and parking, call the Hilton directly on 4050 2000.

Cairns Convention Centre Car Parking


Cairns Convention Centre, Sheridan Street, Cairnsc5

Phone: 4042 4200

Mon-Fri 7:00am – 7:00pm

Flat Rate $5.00

 
Hartley Street, Cairns Carpark
Hartley Streetc6
Cairns

Mon-Fri – All day

Maximum stay 8 hours

From 2 – 8 Hours $3.00

Disabled spots, No height restrictions, Motorcycle spots, Overnight, Fully lit

 

Grafton Street North

116-118 Grafton Streetc8
Cairns

$2.40 for 2 hours

Phone: 4044 3044

Mon-Sun 6:00am – 10:00pm

Maximum stay 10 hours

1 Hour $1.20

 

Bunda Street, Cairns Carpark
Bunda Street, Cairnsc9

Phone:  4044 3044

Mon-Sun – All day

Flat Rate $2.00

 

 

 

 

Cairns Hospital Multi-Storey Carpark
Digger Streetc10
Cairns North

Phone: 4226 0000

Mon-Sun 6:00 am – 8:00 pm

1 Hour $1.20

Height restrictions: 2.50m, Overnight, Elevator, Lit

 

   

c11 Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre

Free parking at the Cairns Beaches Tourist Information Centre maximum 2 hours during business hours applies at 8 Rutherford St, Yorkeys Knob Beach Cairns for the purpose of visiting the Visitor Information Centre there. Phone 07 4055 7158 or email info@allcairnstours.com.au. Car parking is easy for large vehicles with boats, motor homes and other vehicles that would have difficulty parking & finding car parking spaces in The Cairns CBD . All Visitors are welcome to utilise the local knowledge & extensive experience. Free maps, bookings  & information on all Cairns tours, discount vouchers, tour specials,family rates and senior discounts. Just drop in for friendly assistance, without worrying about a parking meter.