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Where to Park for Free in Cairns?

Updated Mon 19 Sep 2022

Yes, you read that correctly, parking is free in Cairns; after 6pm on weekdays, after 2pm on Saturdays and all of Sunday. There are some locations outside of these times that offer free parking. We have outlined all the best spots and locations so you can enjoy exploring Cairns and all that it has to offer, without the worries of finding a park. 

Car's Parked in centre median


The Best Free Parking In Cairns

Finding a place to park your car in Cairns CBD can be difficult, so we have broken it down for you so you can find free parking in Cairns! And here are a few tricks to park for free in Cairns that you might not have heard of.

The locals best kept secret in finding a free park in Cairns, is centre median parking. Centre median parking is always free for a maximum of 3 hours during off-peak time. Time limits apply from 8.30am to 6pm on weekdays, and 8.30am to 2pm on Saturdays. Outside those hours, parking is free without limits. Centre median parking is available throughout Cairns CBD.

The best free parking spaces in Cairns are located on Lake Street, Abbotts Street, Grafton Street and Aplin street.

Centre median parking

Kerb-side parking is free in Cairns in some locations, and time limits do not apply:

There aren't many locations in Cairns with free kerb-side parking, but if you manage to find a free one you're in for a treat. Free parking in cairns without time limits!

All kerb-side parking is free:

  • After 2pm on Saturday
  • All day Sunday
  • Public holidays

Kerb Side Parking

Understanding Parking Signs In Cairns

Cairns CBD parking signs can be confusing, so we have broken it down for you to find free parking in Cairns! Free parking signs in Cairns are usually indicated with:

The word "Free', for instance “2P Free”.
A sign that reads “2P” means a maximum of 2 hours of parking is permitted.
A sign that reads “4P” means a maximum of 4 hours of parking is permitted.

Free Parking Signs in Cairns

Paid Parking

When the sign reads “2P Ticket” this means it is paid parking for a maximum of 2 hours. Pay at the “Pay and display machines” or through the “Easy park app”. Be aware some of the pay and display machines do not provide change.

Parking fees are $2 an hour for casual parking.

Parking Pay and Display Machine

If you’re struggling to find a park, check the map below for your nearest car park and free parking locations in Cairns:

Car Parking Map of Cairns

Car parking locations are constantly being updated. If you're unsure about a current car parking location or you wish to check for the rules on a certain street you can check this map.

This free parking article is current as of September 2022 and has many locations that should be okay without upsetting the council parking officers. But this is ever changing, please use your own judgement, we at Cairns Tours take no responsibility whatsoever for any parking infringements.


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