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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Fantasea Cruising Magnetic

South Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$26 - 90
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 Fantasea 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.

SeaLink Queensland

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$33 - 33
SeaLink Queensland is your one-stop-shop for your visit to beautiful North Queensland. From day tours, accommodation, transport and activities - SeaLink Queensland can help you plan the ultimate Aussie adventure!

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.

Noosa Ferry Cruise Company

Multiple Locations
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.

Mighty Cars and Campers Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$59 - 416
Mighty Cars and Campers is part of Australasia's biggest campervan company. At Mighty they help travellers kick start stories by providing the best value, low cost campervans that are simple to use. Combined with an easy self-service check in process that gets you on the road faster, convenient branch locations and 24 hour roadside assistance, they've got you covered.

Wheelies Van Rentals

Arundel, Gold Coast Area
From AU$110 - 165
Wheelies Van Rentals provides wheelchair accessible vehicles to hire for short or long term in Sydney, Melbourne,Brisbane/Gold Coast,Cairns and Hobart. . All vehicles are automatic transmission, air conditioned and supplied with all chair restraints for safe travel.

TransLink - Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
TransLink, a division of Department of Main Roads, operates, together with local bus operator Mackay Transit, the local bus service in the region. The network includes 11 routes including a trial service (Route 303) to Mackay Airport.

Hervey Bay Rent a Car

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$15 - 220
Hervey Bay Rent A Car is a local family business. They specialise in the rental of small, medium, large vehicles, utilities and 12 seater buses, with wheelchair access. They even have automatic scooters that can be ridden on a car license.

Economy Rental Cars

Bilinga, Gold Coast Area
Economy Rental Cars was established by Ian and Annmarie Webster in 1992 to cater for the family holiday market. The business is operated at the Gold Coast Airport. Being the only independently owned car rental company at the airport allows Economy to offer their clients a level of service unmatched.

Britz Campervans and 4WD Brisbane

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$69 - 426
Whether you're after an exciting family adventure or an intimate break for two, Britz Campervans and 4WD has the right vehicle for you. Britz campervan has the widest range of vehicles in Australia to suit your holiday needs and budget including four wheel drives for those who really want to get off the beaten track.
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