Driving around Cairns is a great way to get a real feel for the
City and the surrounding areas. North Queensland is an extremely
attractive place with winding drives through dense rainforest and
along coastal roads that have often been rated some of the best
in the world. The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is approximately
70 kilometres and without a doubt it is a truly memorable experience.
is easy in Cairns. All parking is sign posted and in the heart of
town there are parking meters where you pay about $1 for 2 hours.
It is a good idea not to leave any valuables in the car if you are
leaving it for any extended period of time. In the hot summer months
from November to March the interior of a car can become incredibly
hot, to the point where CD's and tapes will melt so take this into
of all shapes and sizes can be hired in Cairns. Once again it is
definitely recommended that you prebook a vehicle especially if
travelling in the peak tourism season from July to December.
like the rest of Australia has right hand drive cars and all vehicles
must drive on the left hand side of the road. Compared to larger
cities the traffic is very light. Streets are well sign posted and
virtually all intersections either have stop signs, give way signs
or traffic lights. Police are strict on Cairns roads and the following
tips will help prepare you for driving in North Queensland:
The speed limit in most residential areas is 60km per hour. On the
open highways it is generally 100km per hour. Speed limits are well
sign posted and not seeing a speed limit sign is no excuse. Recently
speed cameras have been introduced throughout Queensland. These
are set up in random locations. The flash from the camera is generally
the first and only sign that you have been caught speeding. If you
are in hire car the fine will be deducted from your credit card
security in a few months.
Queensland has a 0.05 percent alcohol blood level limit. It is generally
considered that two standard drinks could put you over the limit.
Roadside random breath testing units are common in Cairns. If pulled
over and you fail the random breath test you will be taken to a
police station and given a blood test. If you fail this you will
be arrested and charged regardless of whether you are local or a
Way to the Right
This is an old traffic rule from a bygone era. Unfortunately some
intersections still require knowledge of this rule. If you come
to an intersection with no "Give Way" or "Stop" signs you must give
way to the vehicles on your right.
During the year Cane Trains can be seen throughout North Queensland.
They travel on their own train lines hauling sugar cane to the various
mills. When they cross main roads there are normally signals. On
the back roads there are only "Give Way" signs. Be aware that you
must give way to them (after all who wants to argue with a train).
on the road
At night be careful when driving in isolated areas as animals such
as kangaroos, bandicoots and pigs often stray onto roads. Be cautious.
Hitting an animal can not only be distressing but also dangerous.
This is only really a problem in the country areas outside of Cairns