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.

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.

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!

MI Rentals

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
MI Rentals hire a range of quality, fun products at great rates. Their range includes four wheel drives, sedans, all wheel drives, trek hybrid bicycles, electric bikes, fishing gear and snorkelling equipment.

Brisbane Bargain Rent a Car

Banyo, Brisbane Area
From AU$21 - 25
Brisbane Bargain Rent a Car is the best place to hire a car in Brisbane. They are an honest, independent, friendly and efficient, family-owned car hire company. They have been offering cheap and convenient car rental services to budget conscious travellers and families since 1991.

Whitsunday Transit

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$36 - 36
Whitsunday Transit is the mainland's major passenger transport service in the Whitsunday Region. Providing over 70 services per day in the Whitsunday area, the local bus timetable operates seven days a week.

Kingfisher Bay Passenger Ferry Service

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$60 - 60
Kingfisher Bay Passenger Ferry has five services to the resort each day from River Heads and return. This ferry has seating for 220 passengers on two decks with a fully licensed bar and snack food available.

Gallivanting Oz

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
From AU$55 - 350
Gallivanting Oz assists with campervan hire and motorhome rental in Australia, as well as escorted motorhome tours. They know Australia; they know the vehicles and believe in good old fashioned service.

Heart of Reef Shuttles

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
From AU$22.00 - 36.00
Heart of Reef Shuttles is an express airport shuttle business which runs 365 days a year, transporting passengers to and from Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) . They only use vehicles with less than 13 seats, which means fewer stops so their passengers can get to there destinations faster and start to enjoy their holiday sooner.
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