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Compare One Way Car Hire From Melbourne to Cairns

One of the best travelling routes in Australia is along Australia's East coast. And to gain the full experience, you will want to do a long-haul travel from Melbourne to Cairns. It is a very long journey, but one that will allow you to see the different landscapes, terrains, and landmarks that Australia has to offer. And fortunately, you can hire vehicles with unlimited kilometres to get you there, without the high price tag.

So if you have the time and the motivation to take a drive up Australia's famous coastline, compare car hire options with Car Rental Buddy.

Which Car Rental Providers Offer One Way Car Hire From Melbourne to Cairns?

The following car hire companies have car hire depots in both Melbourne and Cairns, and offer one way car hire.

  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Europcar
  • Enterprise
  • Keddy by Europcar

How Far is it From Melbourne to Cairns?

There are a few route options that you can consider. The most scenic route will take you along the coastline and is 3,465 km. The drive will take at least 36h. So you will need to be prepared to do alot of driving each day as you go towards your Cairns.

This route will also allow you to pass through Canberra, Sydney, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Airlie Beach and Cairns. So you will be able to see and experience several different cities if you choose to take this route.

There are also 2 alternative routes that are slightly quicker (32h), but they are inland. If you wanted to bypass the landmarks, you can choose this option.

Below is a map that you can use to see which route will best suit you.

Why Should You Consider a One Way Car Hire From Melbourne to Cairns?

If you really want to see what the eastern coastline of Australia has to offer, then the drive from Melbourne to Cairns is the perfect option. If you plan to travel with a few people, the cost will be relatively inexpensive and you will be able to see and do a lot during your travels.

The drive will require a bit of time, so it would be ideal to plan a minimum of 3-4 days for driving; and then at least 1-2 days in the major cities that you would like to explore. Some of the cities or landmarks you can enjoy during your travels.

How Does it Compare With Other Forms of Transportation?

We've provided a table below that will help you compare the value between each transportation mode.

Transportation Mode

Time Duration

Estimated Price

Car Hire (10 days)




1h 30mins



Hop On/Hop Off


If your travelling party is 4 or 5 people, you will save more money by hiring a car and you will be able to experience more on your trip.

What Can I See Along the Route?

There's plenty to see and do along the route from Melbourne to Cairns. We recommend stopping at the following locations along the way.

  • Blue Mountains
  • Sydney Opera House
  • House of Parliament - Canberra
  • Byron Bay
  • Gold Coast
  • Brisbane
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Airlie Beach
  • Whitsundays

Book your one way vehicle hire with Car Rental Buddy today!