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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Services
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Magnetic Island Ferries

South Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$16 - 212
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.

Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
From AU$40 - 50
Having been in operation since 1975, the Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi offers transfers daily to one of Australia's most beautiful tropical island destinations, Dunk Island. Simply a short 10 minute ride in their fully enclosed 10 metre vessel, over azure blue waters of the Coral Sea and you can sink your feet into the sand and enjoy this remarkable island for the day.

SeaLink Queensland

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$33 - 33
SeaLink Queensland is your one-stop-shop for your visit to North Queensland. From day tours, accommodation, transport and activities, specialising in Townsville and Magnetic Island, SeaLink Queensland can help you plan the ultimate Aussie adventure from Fraser Island to Cape Tribulation!

Noosa Ferry Cruise Company

Tewantin, Noosa Area
From AU$25.00 - 49.00
The beautiful ferry boats are now available for a number of products, departing Tewantin, Noosaville, Noosa Sound and Noosa Heads. Discover the beautiful waterway and its townships at a leisurely pace.

Camperman Australia Cairns

Multiple Locations
From AU$690 - 1500
Diverse landscapes, unique wildlife, pristine white-sand beaches. Australia is travel heaven and the best way to take it all in is by Campervan. At Camperman Australia – a family owned business – we have over 20 years’ of Campervan hire (Campervan rental) experience to ensure your journey is not only hassle-free, but one of the highlights of your life.

Krystal Transport Company

White Rock, Cairns Area
Step right off the plane and into paradise. Krystal Transport meets all flights into Cairns Airport and offers direct transfers to Port Douglas. When you are looking for a transfer from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas, you want a solution that will help you start your holiday sooner.

JUCY Rentals Cairns

Portsmith, Cairns Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. They pride themselves on offering unique and exciting solutions in every market they enter. 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$40 - 320
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.

Camperman Australia Gold Coast

Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast Area
From AU$57 - 199
Camperman Australia is an East Coast based campervan hire company with a depot network including Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Camperman provides independent travellers the opportunity to explore Australia from any of their eight depot locations on the East coast.

Amity Trader

Victoria Point, Redland City Area
Amity Trader ensures your safe passage from the Redlands Coast village of Victoria Point to the tiny and beautiful Coochiemudlo Island. The business operates both passenger and vehicle ferries seven days a week, and the crossing between mainland and island takes just 10 minutes.
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