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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Rainbow Beach Adventure Centre 4wd Hire

Rainbow Beach, Gympie Area
Your off-road adventure starts here! Drive on the largest sand Island in the world-Fraser Island! Experience the Great Beach Drive and the stunning coloured sands of Rainbow Beach! Whether one day or multiple days Rainbow Beach Adventure Centre 4wd Hire specialises in Toyota 100 Series Land Cruiser self drive hire.

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.

Aussie Trax Fraser Island 4x4 Self Drive Tours Fraser Island

Fraser Island, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$500 - 1800
Aussie Trax 4X4 Rentals is Hervey Bay's leading and longest established Four Wheel Drive operator for Fraser Island self drive tours. With a wide range of vehicles from two seaters right up to eight seaters, Aussie Trax is the obvious choice when selecting an award winning hire company.

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.

JUCY Rentals Brisbane

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. JUCY Australia provides plentiful options of cars and custom built campervans for the budget-conscious traveller. Exploring Brisbane and the majestic natural sights of Queensland is best done on your own agenda.

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.

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.

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.

Black Bow Chauffeur

Bracken Ridge, Brisbane Area
From AU$69 - 399
Black Bow Chauffeur is one of Australia’s leading Online private exclusive airport transfers, limousine and chauffeur Booking service company. Black Bow Chauffeur seeks to offer reasonably priced yet luxury airport transfer solutions for Australian residents plagued by transportation woes.

Con-X-ion Airport Transfers Gold Coast

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.
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