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Our car hire service in Townsville is renowned for a dedicated customer service team. We ensure your travel experience around The Strand or the Townsville's Reef HQ Aquarium, is smooth and hassle-free. Our uniquely personalised service highlights our understanding of the distinct needs and expectations of exploring this unique region.

Car Hire in Townsville

Explore the Wonders of Australia's North Queensland by Car

Bright city car parked near bustling Flinders Street, Townsville

Introducing the enthralling city of Townsville, known for its vibrant cultural scene, abundant natural beauty and historic charm. As the largest urban centre in Northern Queensland, it has a lot to offer visitors. Considered the 'unofficial' capital of North Queensland, Townsville boasts a dynamic arts scene, a plethora of national parks, a vibrant dining scene and the world-renowned Maritime Museum.

For those looking to explore Townsville’s natural wonders, a car is the best way to go about it. One must-visit destination is the Magnetic Island, just a short drive and a ferry ride from the city, promises to offer lush national parks, secluded beaches and abundant wildlife. Another stunning location is Paluma Range National Park, an hour's drive north of Townsville. It's known for its picturesque rainforests, secluded picnic spots, and walking trails.

In a little over a four-hour drive west of Townsville, visitors will find Undara Volcanic National Park, home to one of the longest lava tube cave systems in the world. The park offers a range of guided tours to explore this geological wonder. Similarly, just a short car trip south, lies the tranquil oasis of Charters Towers, replete with grand heritage buildings that tell the tale of the city's gold-mining history.

Car Hire in Townsville

Common Queries Resolved

1. What is the cost of hiring a car in Townsville?

The cost for hiring a car in Townsville varies among companies and depends on the type and model of the car, duration of hire, pick-up and drop-off locations, and other additional services you may require. For the most competitive prices and best options, we recommend comparing rates from different car hire companies available in Townsville.

2. Which car model is most sought for hire in Townsville?

The specific requirements and demands can vary depending on individual preference and the purpose of hire. However, SUVs and 4WDs are commonly hired in Townsville due to the region's tropical climate and the adventuring opportunity it offers such as exploring the nearby Magnetic Island and other off-road locations.

3. What are the popular locations to hire a car in Townsville?

Most people prefer hiring a car directly from the Townsville Airport upon their arrival as it provides ease and convenience. Alternatively, there are several hire companies available in the city centre.

4. Is there a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service?

Many car hire companies offer a 24-hour pick-up and return service. However, it's best to confirm this service with your chosen car hire company when making your booking.

5. What is the minimum hire duration?

Car hire companies typically offer daily hire rates with a minimum hire period of 24 hours. However, specific conditions can vary among companies.

6. What is the minimum required age for car hire in Townsville?

Generally, the minimum age to hire a car in Townsville is 21 years, but this can differ depending on the car hire company and the type of vehicle. Some companies might require the driver to be at least 25 years old, especially for premium models.

7. What documentation do I require for car hire in Townsville?

To hire a car in Townsville, you would need a valid driving license (some companies might require an International Driving Permit for non-Australian licenses), proof of identity such as a passport, and a credit card for the security deposit.

8. What is the best time of year to visit Townsville by car?

The winter months (June to August) are considered the best to visit Townsville by car due to less rainfall, lower humidity, and more agreeable temperatures.

9. What are the main airports in Townsville?

The principal airport in Townsville is the Townsville Airport, providing domestic and limited international services.

10. Can I pick up the car in Townsville and drop it off in another city?

Many car hire companies offer one-way rentals allowing you to return the car at a location of your convenience. However, it generally incurs an additional fee and must be arranged with the company at the time of booking.

Car Hire Reviews


Townsville – 03-01-2024. The top-notch service offered by this company is quite rare these days. The car hired ran smoothly throughout my adventure to the Magnetic Island. Prices were fair and balanced, truly provided value for the money spent. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a quality rental service in Townsville.


Townsville – 02-12-2023. Fantastic customer service, and a smooth car hire process. The billing was transparent, which is always appreciated when hiring a car. The vehicle was suitable for the Townsville climate, and easy to operate. All in all, a stress-free experience.


Townsville – 15-10-2023. Impressed by their range of cars to select from. The car I hired was perfectly maintained, a great deal for the price. Staff was attentive and ensured the hiring process was smooth. The car took us comfortably around Townsville, ensuring a great road trip experience.


Townsville – 09-08-2023. Charming service. The team was incredibly patient and clarified my doubts during the car hiring process. The car was in good condition and the price was affordable. I was able to enjoy my trip through the Townsville countryside, and the performance of the car was commendable.


Townsville – 25-06-2023. Swift and efficient service. I hired a well-kept car from this company for my trip to the Billabong Sanctuary. The car, for the price, offered a smooth journey and comfortable experience. The staff's willingness to provide excellent service was admirable.


Townsville – 05-05-2023. Thoroughly impressed with their professional approach. The car I hired was a perfect fit for our family trip and the company made sure the car was up to the mark. For the price asked, the service and the car was definitely worth it. Great work, team!

Townsville Road Connections

Essential Routes for Car Hire Tourists

  1. Townsville to Cairns: A 346 km route that can be covered in about 4 hours via the Bruce Highway (A1). The road is well-maintained and offers spectacular coastal views.
  2. Townsville to Charters Towers: Located around 133 km inland from Townsville via the Flinders Highway (A6), this historic town can be reached within around 1.5 hours.
  3. Townsville to Mackay: A longer 387 km journey south on the Bruce Highway (A1), usually taking about 4.5 hours. Road condition on this route is generally good.
  4. Townsville to Whitsundays: About 283 km from Townsville on the Bruce Highway (A1), this scenic route takes around 3.5 hours and passes through Bowen.
  5. Townsville to Townsville Airport: Located just 6 km from the city centre via The Ring Road (National Route A1), you can drive to the airport in less than 15 minutes.
  6. Townsville to Magnetic Island: Take a 20-minute drive to the Sealink Ferry Terminal and then a 25-minute ferry ride to reach Magnetic Island.
  7. Townsville to Airlie Beach: A stunning 275 km drive south on the Bruce Highway (A1), taking about 3.5 hours. Ideal for those heading to the Great Barrier Reef.

Driving in Townsville

Common Concerns and Guidelines

1. On which side of the road should I drive in Townsville?

In Townsville, like the rest of Australia, cars drive on the left side of the road. This is essential to maintain the flow of traffic.

2. What is the standard speed limit in Townsville?

The standard speed limit in urban areas including Townsville is 50km/h. However, speed limits can vary depending on the area and the road conditions, so it's important to pay attention to the posted speed limit signs.

3. Can I drive in Townsville with my foreign driver's license?

Yes, most foreign licences are valid for driving in Townsville for three months. However, your license needs to be in English, or you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your license.

4. Are there many peages on the roads around Townsville?

There are not many toll roads in the North Queensland region where Townsville is located. However, they are found in other parts of Australia. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with your planned route to be aware of any possible tolls.

5. Are there many traffic cameras on roads in Townsville?

Yes, there are traffic cameras installed at various intersections and roads around Townsville to enforce the speed limits and to ensure safety.

6. Are there specific road rules I should be aware of when driving in Townsville?

Aside from driving on the left-hand side and adhering to speed limits, it's important to note rules regarding yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, not using a phone while driving, and the requirement of all passengers to wear seat belts.

7. Is the traffic condition in Townsville manageable?

Like any developing city, Townsville experiences peak hours of traffic, typically in the mornings and evenings. However, traffic congestion is not typically a major concern in this city.

8. Is road quality an issue in Townsville?

Road quality in Townsville is generally good, but be mindful for any warning signs, especially in rural areas where roads may be less maintained.

9. What should we do in case of a traffic accident in Townsville?

If the accident is minor and no one is hurt, you should exchange information with the other driver and notify your hire car company. If there are injuries, police and emergency services should be called immediately.

10. Are there particular parking rules in Townsville?

Generally, you should adhere to the indicated parking signs, rules and regulations. Note that some areas may require payment for parking.

11. Is it safe to drive at night in Townsville?

Yes, but it's recommended to be extra cautious, particularly in rural or less populated areas where wildlife may be a concern.

12. How are the road conditions in countryside around Townsville?

Roads in the countryside around Townsville are generally well-maintained. However, conditions can vary, particularly in rural or remote areas.

13. Do I need to be aware of any particular road signs in Townsville?

Road signs in Townsville are internationally standardized. However, you should be aware of unique signs such as those indicating wildlife crossings or flood warnings.

14. What is the protocol for driving around pedestrians and cyclists?

Cars must always yield to pedestrians. When passing cyclists, you should maintain a safe distance, at least one metre in zones up to 60km/h and a 1.5 metre distance in zones over 60km/h.

15. Do I need to carry any specific documents while driving in Townsville?

You should always have your driving licence and hire car paperwork with you when driving in Townsville. Some foreign licences may require an International Driving Permit (IDP), so remember to carry that as well.

Townsville Tourism Guide

Top 8 Attractions Near Townsville

  1. Great Barrier Reef: One of the world's largest coral reef systems, offering diving, snorkelling, and marine life experiences.
  2. Magnetic Island: A tropical haven with beautiful sandy beaches, native wildlife, and scenic hiking trails.
  3. Riverway: A picturesque waterfront park, ideal for swimming, picnicking, and enjoying outdoor performances.
  4. Billabong Sanctuary: An interactive wildlife park housing Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas and wombats.
  5. Castle Hill: A natural landmark offering panoramic views of Townsville and its surrounding areas.
  6. Museum of Tropical Queensland: A fascinating museum highlighting the region's natural and cultural heritage.
  7. Townsville Palmetum: A botanical garden housing one of the largest and most diverse collections of palms and cycads in the world.
  8. The Strand: A vibrant beachfront promenade with spectacular views, fine dining, and recreational facilities.

Spectacular Townsville Drives

Experience the Beauty of Queensland by Hire Car

  1. Townsville to Mission Beach: A 277 km trip along the Bruce Highway, this drive offers wonderful ocean views and tropical landscapes.
  2. Great Green Way: Spanning from Townsville to Cairns, this 350 km drive showcases beautiful beaches, lush rainforests and heritage-listed sites.
  3. Tropical Coast Wanderer: A 400 km route that starts from Townsville and goes up along the coast to Cairns, offering a journey through ancient rainforests and incredible coastal scenery.
  4. Pacific Coast Way: Take a 365 km drive from Townsville to Mackay, which provides picturesque coastal views and a variety of wildlife.
  5. Townsville to Charters Towers: A cultural trip of 137 km inland to Charters Towers, this roadtrip provides intriguing insights into Australia’s gold mining history.
  6. Cairns to Cape York: This 1,000 km drive from Cairns to Cape York is for the adventurous at heart, providing a true wilderness experience.
  7. Townsville to Burdekin: A short 85 km drive takes you through abundant sugarcane fields and provides access to spectacular fishing spots.