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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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.

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.

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.

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!

Adventure For Hire

Herston, Brisbane Area
From AU$180 - 200
Adventure For Hire is a rental business specialising in the hire of four wheel drive vehicles with roof top campers or touring 4X4 cars. These vehicles have been selected to give the best value of hire and enjoyable travels with many safety and comfortable inclusions including off-road GPS, EPIRB safety beacon, gas hot water, fridge/freezer and solar / battery power just to name a few.

Apollo Motorhome Holidays Brisbane

Northgate, Brisbane Area
From AU$50 - 400
Apollo Motorhome Holidays offers a wide range of quality rental vehicles throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America. Choose from a popular campervans, spacious motorhomes, or a range of four wheel drive vehicles.

Peddells Thursday Island Tours

Multiple Locations
From AU$32 - 116
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.

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.

Con-X-ion Airport Transfers

Molendinar, Gold Coast Area
From AU$15 - 68
Con-X-ion are leaders in the field of transportation, specialising in door to door airport and cruise transfer services, theme park and attraction transfers and group charter services. With over 30 years of experience they are a trusted and reliable source for all of your transportation needs.

Cooee Tours

Nerang, Gold Coast Area
From AU$50 - 5000
Cooee Tours is an Australian owned and operated Coach Company, with their head office located on the Gold Coast. Cooee Tours also has branches in Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns. Cooee Tours can help with Airport Transfers, Group Transfers, and Day Tours.
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