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.

Start exploring

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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.

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 beautiful North Queensland. From day tours, accommodation, transport and activities - SeaLink Queensland can help you plan the ultimate Aussie adventure!

Fantasea Cruising Magnetic

Multiple Locations
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.

Aussie Biker Tours and Rental

Noosaville, Noosa Area
From AU$90 - 260
Aussie Biker are a touring and adventure motorcycle hire company hiring motorcycles for short and long term hire. They have dirt and adventure motorcycles as well as large cruisers. Hire a dirt bike and ride the beach from the lovely north shore to Fraser Island.

Awesome Van and Camper Hire Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$40 - 150
Awesome Campervans - Budget Campervans. Awesome Campers is for the backpackers and budget travellers looking for a great way to travel Australia. There is no cheaper way to travel Australia than in one of their Awesome Campers.

Fraser Island Barges

Multiple Locations
From AU$175 - 250
Make your own four wheel drive adventure on Fraser Island! Fraser Island is strictly four wheel drive territory and Fraser Island Barges operate vehicle barges from Hervey Bay to help get you there. Fraser Island Barges operate two services on separate schedules that run daily.


Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast Area
From AU$19 - 70
SkyBus operates frequent services from Gold Coast Airport providing passengers convenient and affordable transfers between the Airport and over 500 hotels throughout the Gold Coast. Visiting a theme park or two?

TransLink - South East Queensland

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
From AU$2.68 - 25.00
TransLink is a division of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and has state-wide responsibility for mass transit including bus, train, ferry, and tram services across South East Queensland including the regions of Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Exemplar Coaches and Limousines

Multiple Locations
From AU$41 - 824
Exemplar Coaches and Limousines is a boutique transfer provider, with modern limousines and coaches. They specialise in linking Cairns Airport with Palm Cove and Port Douglas and are the preferred transport provider to the majority of the accommodation houses in these areas.
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