Self Drive

If you're not keen on flying, Queensland’s wide open spaces make it ideal for exploration by car. The roads are high quality and well-signed so getting here is easy.

Driving is a great way to experience the changing landscape and rich variety of the Australian landscape on your way to Queensland. Remember that Queensland is a huge state, so you won’t run out of destinations, diversions and things to see and do.

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Self Drive Driving Times

Sydney to Brisbane: 9 hours 
Melbourne to Brisbane: 21 hours 
Adelaide to Brisbane: 25 hours 
Darwin to Brisbane: 35-40 hours

The drive from Melbourne is ideally covered over two days (minimum), and Sydney to Brisbane can be driven in about nine hours.

View our Queensland Road Distances Table below which shows the distances between popular destinations throughout Queensland.

Queensland Driving Distances Chart


Self Drive Suggested Routes

  • From Melbourne or Sydney, take the coastal Pacific Highway (1); the more inland New England Highway (15) through NSW; or the inland A32 from Adelaide which also goes through NSW. 
  • If you have time up your sleeve, you can continue taking the coastal route (the Bruce Highway, A1) all the way north to Cairns. The highway is scenic, comfortable to drive and offers plenty of attractions along the way; but you’ll need to allow two to three days for the journey from Brisbane.
  • For an alternative entry into Queensland, drive up from New South Wales via the New England Highway (15) through the Southern Downs. This will take you through Warwick and Toowoomba, towns rich in pioneer history. From here you can continue north to the vineyards of the Granite Belt and South Burnett regions. 
  • South East Queensland is well-connected with freeways and distributor roads, from the Gold Coast all the way up to the Sunshine Coast.
  • Serious outback travellers heading east from the Northern Territory can enter Queensland via Mount Isa on the Barkly Highway (A2); or drive up from South Australia via the Birdsville Track (an old stock route and now a dirt track) and on to Longreach. You might want to consider taking a four-wheel drive vehicle though!

Like anywhere in the world, make sure you plan your journey and make time for stops both during the day and overnight. Please consult the safety driving information to find out more.

The RACQ also has a helpful trip planner.

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Cruisin Motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$45 - 500
Campervan Hire in Cairns, Queensland Hire a campervan in Cairns, Australia’s laid-back city in tropical North Queensland, and gateway to the world’s largest coral reef system – the Great Barrier Reef!

Magnetic Island Ferries

South Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$16 - 216
Take in the stunning views while cruising on Magnetic Island's only passenger and car ferry service. With eight return trips daily, they welcome you aboard Magnetic Island Ferries as they make their way to Magnetic Island where you can enjoy magnificent weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.

Black Bow Chauffeur

Bracken Ridge, Brisbane Area
From AU$69 - 399
Black Bow Chauffeur is one of Australia’s leading Online private exclusive airport transfers, limousine and chauffeur Booking service company. Black Bow Chauffeur seeks to offer reasonably priced yet luxury airport transfer solutions for Australian residents plagued by transportation woes.

Con-X-ion Airport Transfers Gold Coast

Molendinar, Gold Coast Area
From AU$15 - 68
Con-X-ion are leaders in the field of transportation, specialising in door to door airport and cruise transfer services, theme park and attraction transfers and group charter services. With over 30 years of experience they are a trusted and reliable source for all of your transportation needs.

Alpha Car Hire Moorooka

Moorooka, Brisbane Area
Alpha Car Hire is the fastest growing car rental company on the east coast of Australia. In 10 years they have gone from one location to ten nationwide! Their secret? Great customer service and fantastic car rental deals!

JUCY Rentals Gold Coast

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. They aim to give all of their customers the green light to have the time of their lives! Pick up your JUCY wheels in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane or Cairns and get amazing service before you get out on the road.

Cruisin Motorhomes

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$45 - 500
At Cruisin' Motorhomes they are proud to keep well presented vehicles for travellers to enjoy road trips and self drive holidays all around Australia. Choose the perfect motorhome to suit all of your travel needs from the expanding fleet of self-contained two, three, four or six berth vehicles.

Coomera Houseboat Holidays

Coomera, Gold Coast Area
From AU$825.00 - 1765
Coomera Houseboat Holidays is located on the idyllic waterways of the Gold Coast and lower Moreton Bay, with over 50 kilometres of cruising ground, secluded beaches and islands including Stradbroke Island.

Aussie Trax Fraser Island 4x4 Self Drive Tours Fraser Island

Fraser Island, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$500 - 1800
Aussie Trax 4X4 Rentals is Hervey Bay's leading and longest established Four Wheel Drive operator for Fraser Island self drive tours. With a wide range of vehicles from two seaters right up to eight seaters, Aussie Trax is the obvious choice when selecting an award winning hire company.

Bike Shop and Hire - Port Douglas

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
From AU$20 - 79
It's more fun on two wheels! They have: Bicycle Hire. Scooter Hire (Mopeds). Mountain Bike Guided Tours. Electric Mountain Bike Tours. Self-Guided Tours. Hire a bike or scooter while in Port Douglas and explore the regions attractions at your own pace.
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