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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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.

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!

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$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.

Redspot Car Rentals - Sunshine Coast Airport

Marcoola, Sunshine Coast 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.

Gulflander

Normanton, Carpentaria Area
From AU$69.00 - 115.00
Climb aboard the legendary Gulflander for a rail journey unlike any other. Originally built to connect the once bustling river port of Normanton with the rich gold fields of Croydon, today the Gulflander is a tourism icon and working tribute to the early pioneers of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Absolute North Charters

Lucinda, Hinchinbrook Area
From AU$45.00 - 150.00
Absolute North Charters is the essential way to hike the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island. Three generations of adventure experience on the trail ensures you the best transfer options as well as intimate knowledge that keeps you safe and ensures your hike holds a place in your heart for years to come.

Pick Me Up Airport Transfers

Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$75 - 250
Pick Me Up Airport Transfers provide inexpensive, exclusive, door to door, transfers between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. Sit back, relax and let them do the driving. Travel in comfort in their air-conditioned vehicle which is fitted out with your comfort in mind.

Apollo Motorhome Holidays Brisbane

Northgate, Brisbane Area
From AU$0 - 0
Apollo Motorhome Holidays has been helping holidaymakers embark on unforgettable road trips for more than 30 years. They offer a wide range of quality rental vehicles throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and the UK.

TransLink - Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
TransLink, a division of Department of Main Roads, operates, together with local bus operator Mackay Transit, the local bus service in the region. The network includes 11 routes including a trial service (Route 303) to Mackay Airport.
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