Once you have picked up your vehicle at our airport branch, you can take Airport Avenue and Lake Street into the city center. It should take you around 12 minutes to cover the 4 miles. An alternative route is to go via National Route 1, which is around 0.5 miles longer but takes roughly the same time. Major routes in the area include the A1/M1, which travels all the way down the coast to Brisbane and on to Sydney. National Route 1 goes west to Darwin, then along the western coast of Australia all the way to Perth. State Route 81 is the main road north to Nanum.
In and around Cairns, driving is by far the best way to see all the sights in the area. The roads in North Queensland are good and the coastal routes are widely thought to be some of the best in the world. Traffic is much lighter than in many other large cities and congestion is rarely a problem. Parking in the city is plentiful and cheap, with meters charging around $1 Australian for 2 hours. Parking is free at the weekend. Do remember not to leave anything in the car that could be affected by the heat, because it can get incredibly hot in summer. Also remember that Australians drive on the left, so you will have a right hand drive car.