On-street parking

Parking fee increase

From 2 January 2020 parking fees will increase by 20c per hour to $1.80 an hour.

On-street paid parking hours are from 8.30am to 6pm on weekdays and before 2pm on Saturdays. (Different hours may apply at off-street car parks.) Centre median parking is free during these times. Check signs for the time limit that applies to your parking bay.

Parking is free after 2pm on Saturday; all day Sunday; and on public holidays. There is no time limit during these times, however regulations regarding using disability bays, loading zones, bus zones and taxi zones are still enforced.

Cairns has a mix of free and paid on-street parking.

Parking is generally time regulated between 1 and 3 hours. There are signs at the beginning and end of regulated parking areas.

These signs also indicate if the parking is free or paid


Parking signs have the word 'Ticket', for instance 2P Ticket


  • Parking signs have the word "Free', for instance 2P Free; or
  • Parking signs display parking times only, for instance 2P

Parking on public holidays is always free*.  Normal rules apply to loading zones, taxi zones, bus zones, no parking zones and disability bays.

Paid parking

Paid on-street parking encourages a regular turn-over of vehicles in high-demand areas to balance the needs of businesses, visitors, residents and workers.

Council uses 'pay and display' machines. Drivers can use Australian coins (except 5c coins) or Visa and Mastercard to pay for parking.  Please note 'pay and display' machines do not provide change.

Drivers should display their parking ticket on their dashboard. Failure to display a valid parking ticket can result in a parking fine.

In the Cairns CBD paid parking is between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8.30am to 2pm on Saturdays. Parking outside these times, on public holidays and in centre median bays is always free.

Parking times and time limits vary in other areas of the city, so please check the signs.

Parking costs $1.80 per hour.

This map shows on-street parking time limits in the CBD ( PDF, 0.2 MB )

If a 'pay and display' machine is not working, you can report the fault 24/7 to 1300 187 603.

Free parking

Free parking is available in many locations across the city. Time restrictions still apply.

Parking in centre medians is free but time restricted.

Yellow lines

Yellow lines are used in Cairns to alert drivers to parking conditions.

Solid yellow line

A solid yellow line near the side of the road signifies a "no standing" zone. Motorists may not park, or wait next to a solid yellow line.

Solid yellow lines are used in areas where it is not safe to park, for example near an intersection as parking in this area could obscure the view of other motorists.

The penalty for parking by a continuous yellow line is $120.

Dotted yellow line

A dotted (non-continuous) yellow line indicates restricted parking zones.

They are used to indicate areas such as:

  • Bus zones
  • Loading zones
  • Commercial vehicle loading zones
  • Passenger set down zones

Penalties for parking in a dotted yellow area vary depending on the type of zone, but are from $120.

For download

Last updated: 02 January 2020