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 - 216
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.

Whitsundays 2 Everywhere

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$15 - 36
Whitsundays 2 Everywhere is a family operated dedicated airport transfer company offering affordable, friendly and personalised airport transfer services to/ from the Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP Airport) and the resort/hotels/ Air BNBS or private addresses in the Whitsundays Region.

Con-X-ion Airport Transfers Brisbane

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$15 - 30
Con-X-ion are leaders in the field of transportation in Brisbane, specialising in shuttle services to and from Brisbane Airport to Brisbane City hotels and wharves. Con-X-ion provides daily door to door hotel transfers departing every 40 minutes to and from Brisbane's International and Domestic Airports.

Exemplar Coaches and Limousines

Craiglie, Douglas Area
Exemplar Coaches and Limousines Port Douglas is the longest established local, family owned coach company in Port Douglas (25 years) offering great value for money. They are renowned for their friendly staff, reliability, safe driving practices and high customer service levels.

Noosa Ferry and Cruise Company

Tewantin, Noosa Area
From AU$5.00 - 25.00
The Noosa Ferry Cruise, operates every day of the week with seven stops along the Noosa River between Hastings Street and Tewantin. There is no need to book. Sunset Cruises are also available seven days per week - bookings essential .

SeaLink Queensland

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$34 - 34
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 holiday in this stunning region!

Cruisin Motorhomes

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$45 - 500
At Cruisin' Motorhomes they are proud to keep well presented vehicles for travellers to enjoy road trips and self drive holidays all around Australia. Choose the perfect motorhome to suit all of your travel needs from the expanding fleet of self-contained two, three, four or six berth vehicles.

Alpha Car Hire Brisbane Airport

Hendra, Brisbane Area
Alpha Car Hire is the fastest growing car rental company on the east coast of Australia. In 10 years they have gone from one location to ten nationwide! Their secret? Great customer service and fantastic car rental deals!

Kingfisher Bay Passenger Ferry Service

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

Cruisin Motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$45 - 500
Campervan Hire in Cairns, Queensland Hire a campervan in Cairns, Australia’s laid-back city in tropical North Queensland, and gateway to the world’s largest coral reef system – the Great Barrier Reef!
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