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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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!

Fantasea Cruising Magnetic

South Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$28 - 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 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.

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.

Europcar Car Hire Australia

Multiple Locations
From AU$30 - 200
Europcar's Queensland stations provide flexible car hire options for a business trip or driving holiday. Europcar has a nationwide network of over 125 locations with 34 easily accessible car hire locations throughout Queensland, all offering competitive rates in top holiday destinations.

Peddells Thursday Island Tours

Thursday Island, Torres Area
From AU$32 - 120
Peddells Thursday Island Tours - "Linking the Cape to the Torres Strait". Established in 1980, Peddells is an award winning, local family owned and operated business offering a year round scheduled passenger ferry service from Seisia (Cape York) to Thursday Island in Torres Strait.

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.

Whitsunday Island Camping Connections Pty Ltd

Shute Harbour, Whitsunday Area
From AU$65 - 160
Camping - the affordable way to experience the majestic Whitsundays. Whitsunday Island Camping Connections operate the barge "Scamper" which offers independent travellers transfers from Shute Harbour, Queensland to over one dozen National Park campsites throughout the beautiful Whitsunday islands including the famous Whitehaven Beach.

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.

Redspot Car Rentals - Mackay Airport

Paget, Mackay Area
Redspot operates a large Australian network of airport and downtown rental car locations with a wide variety of new age rental vehicles available at competitive prices. Redspot, founded in 1989 is the only Australian owned and operated car rental company with desks at all major Australian airports.
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