Great Beach Drive - 5 day Itinerary

Multiple Locations

The Great Beach Drive, located in Queensland’s stunning Australia’s Nature Coast, provides a road trip like no other. Offering the experience of driving on some of the world’s most stunning beaches, through some of the most idyllic National Parks and World Heritage listed areas, this is truly a once in a lifetime drive holiday experience.

The Great Beach Drive connects the Sunshine Coast with the World Heritage listed Fraser Island (K’Gari) and the Fraser Coast - forming a large part of the Australia’s Nature Coast. This region is home to an abundance of wildlife including kangaroos, whales, turtles, dingoes, dugongs, platypus and the world’s largest variety of bird species.

The drive route, approximately 380 kilometres long, also travels through landscape steeped in culture and etched in Australian history, covering two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, a World Heritage Marine Park and the largest sand island in the world.

Journey Details

Duration
120 Hours
Distance
380 Kilometres

Full Itinerary

Start your Great Beach Drive adventure from Hervey Bay, on Queensland's Fraser Coast.

In Hervey Bay, make sure you visit the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere and become immersed in the incredible world of the humpback whale with an 'underwater whale' encounter. The Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere provides an immersive and educational experience on all things natural within the Fraser Coast.

In Hervey Bay you can also enjoy the many waterfront parks, playgrounds and cafes that make up 16 kilometres of beachfront parkland pathways that are perfect for cycling. Alternatively, you can hire a kayak or jetski and explore an aquatic playground.

Those travelling with children will love Hervey Bay's free water education park, 'Wetside', where they can get soaked buy the giant water bucket or learn to surf on the Board Rider.

To finish the day, take a relaxing sunset cruise exploring the Great Sandy Strait. Not only will you witness a magical sunset, you are also likely to see dolphins, birdlife and possible dugongs.

Check in to your accommodation for the night in Hervey Bay, where there are a variety of accommodation styles to suit your needs.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Day 2 - Lady Elliot Island

Departing the Fraser Coast Airport located in Hervey Bay, take the 40 minute scenic flight from Hervey Bay to the Great Barrier Reef Eco certified Lady Elliot Island, gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, for an unrivalled reef experience.

If your trip falls between November and March, you could find yourself captivated by the Green Sea Turtles during their egg laying season and some of the most amazing sunsets you'll ever see.

The snorkelling and diving experience on Lady Elliot Island is regarded as one of the best throughout the entire Great Barrier Reef. The diversity of fish species and the clarity of water is unrivalled, and Lady Elliot Island is also well known as being the best location for Manta Ray sightings in Queensland, if not Australia!

Check into your accommodation on Lady Elliot Island for the night which is just steps away from the waters edge and an abundance of marine and bird life.

Route Details
Mode of Travel Aeroplane
Route Type Return
Day 3 - Fraser Island

Depart Lady Elliot Island and enjoy the stunning scenic flight on return to Hervey Bay. Once in Hervey Bay, collect your 4WD vehicle and be sure to pay attention during your safety briefing prior to departure.

Drive to River Heads, just outside of Hervey Bay and catch the barge to Fraser Island, where you will arrive at Kingfisher Bay.

Once you have arrived on the island (be sure to check your tyre pressure before proceeding) you can enjoy a day of off road driving along the Great Beach Drive taking in key sites such as Central Station, Pile Valley, Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby and Happy Valley.

Whilst on 75 Mile Beach, take the opportunity to see some of Fraser Island's more remote inland lakes and sand blows from the air with a scenic flight.

Avid fish persons can throw in a line off the beach in one of Australia's most renowned fishing destinations. However, keep in mind not to swim in the ocean off Fraser Island's eastern beach.

Check into your accommodation for the night along 75 Mile Beach, of which there are numerous styles of accommodation to choose from.

Route Details
Mode of Travel Ferry, Four Wheel Drive
Day 4 - Rainbow Beach

Before your departure, please contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to receive tide information and an up to date beach condition report, and be sure to reconfirm your barge transfer times with Manta Ray Barges.

Continue on the Great Beach Drive heading south along 75 Mile Beach to the southern most tip of Fraser Island. Along the way look out for Fraser Island dingoes, Jabirus, whales and sharks.

Take the vehicle barge from Hook Point to Inskip Point and continue your beach drive into Rainbow Beach.

Take the walk up to the Carlo Sand Blow and watch the paragliders soar, or take some wine and a picnic rug and enjoy the magnificent sunset or an amazing starry night, untainted by manufactured light.

Check into your accommodation for the night in Rainbow Beach, overlooking coloured sands and Fraser Island.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Ferry, Four Wheel Drive
Day 5 - Tin Can Bay to Noosa

Before your departure, please contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to receive tide information and an up to date condition report.

Wake up early and take the dolphin ferry from Rainbow Beach to Tin Can Bay, to hand feed the very rare Indo Pacific Humpback dolphins. The dolphins generally arrive early so plan to arrive between 7.00am and 8.00am.

Feeding commences at 8.00am with a small group of people in the water at one time. Dolphin feeding does mean getting wet, at least up to your knees, so come prepared!

After dolphin feeding, take the return 45-minute ferry back into Rainbow Beach.

Depart Rainbow Beach and take the Leisha Track to Double Island Point. In winter look for the annual humpback whales migration, as they travel along the east coast of Australia stopping at nearby Hervey Bay.

Head south along the Great Beach Drive to Noosa North Shore - stopping to enjoy the coloured sands at Teewah.

Take a vehicle ferry from Noosa North Shore into Noosa.

Check into your accommodation for the night at one of the Sunshine Coast's variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Ferry

Find What's Nearby

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The Seaway Dive Site

Southport, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
The Seaway is the most popular shore diving site in Queensland, and is found at the mouth of the Nerang River at Southport. There are several different areas that can be dived at The Seaway, with the Short Pipe and Sand Pipe area the most popular, and the easiest to access.

Pine Ridge Conservation Park

Runaway Bay, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Discover one of the last remaining wallum banksia stands on the Gold Coast in this small park featuring banskia woodland, heath and paperbark swamp forests. While dune vegetation on the Gold Coast has all but disappeared due to urban development, the remaining patch of wallum heath protected in this small park is culturally important to the Kombumerri-Ngarangwal people.

Southport

Southport, Gold Coast Area
If you squint into the sunshine and cast your mind back a little over a century, you can almost picture the Southport of old, one of the Gold Coast's earliest and most fashionable seaside destinations.

Coomera

Coomera, Gold Coast Area
Local Aborigines named this suburb after a fern but these days it could easy be named after fun for you have now entered theme park heaven for which the Gold Coast is renowned. All the big names in entertainment are here including Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, Wet'n'Wild, Warner Bros.

Hope Island

Hope Island, Gold Coast Area
You would expect anticipation to be fairly high when travelling to a place called Hope Island and this destination doesn't disappoint. But rather than being named after the positive emotion, it actually borrowed its name from a colonial aristocrat Captain Louis Hope who was granted land at the mouth of the Coomera River in recognition of his sugar industry contributions.

Jacobs Well

Jacobs Well, Gold Coast Area
Named for its natural freshwater waterhole, thirsty travellers have been visiting Jacobs Well since the mid 1800s. Situated near the mouth of the Pimpama River on the edge of a pristine waterway peppered with uninhabited islands, Jacobs Well is a haven for fishermen and boat enthusiasts alike.

Gold Coast Oceanway

Main Beach, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Even die-hard Gold Coast fans may not realise this but there is an official section of the coast known as the Gold Coast Oceanway, a 36-kilometre network of pathways which connects The Spit at the north to Point Danger in the south.

Oxenford

Oxenford, Gold Coast Area
It's difficult to believe but this rather unassuming suburb, which lies just off the Pacific Highway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, is home to some of the best movie-making facilities in Australia.

Talinga Retreat

South Stradbroke, Gold Coast Area
Welcome to Talinga Retreat at An Island Hideaway, the Gold Coast's best kept secret. Located at the beautiful National Park bushland of South Stradbroke Island. Host your next event with a difference at their piece of paradise.

Biggera Waters

Biggera Waters, Gold Coast Area
Beautiful Biggera Creek lent this suburb its name which is famous for its heritage-listed "land's end" site, but there is nothing final about a visit here. Those searching for a sedate spot in the northern part of the coast will adore a trip here, opposite the bustling Broadwater and the sizzling Gold Coast Spit and across from Wavebreak Island.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).