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.

Start exploring

Plan your holiday

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 beautiful North Queensland. From day tours, accommodation, transport and activities - SeaLink Queensland can help you plan the ultimate Aussie adventure!

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.

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.

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.

Whitsunday Transit

Multiple Locations
From AU$34 - 34
Whitsunday Transit is the mainland's major passenger transport service in the Whitsunday Region. Providing over 70 services per day in the Whitsunday area, the local bus timetable operates seven days a week.

JUCY Rentals Cairns

Portsmith, Cairns Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. They pride themselves on offering unique and exciting solutions in every market they enter. Pick up your JUCY wheels in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane or Cairns and get amazing service before you get out on the road.

Network Rentals Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast Area
At Network Rentals Surfers Paradise, they're challenging the rental car norm because they refuse to be average at what they do! They're determined to simplify your experience, and make your Gold Coast rental car booking as easy and affordable as possible.

SEEQ Card

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
From AU$79 - 129
SEEQ card is an exciting new way to discover South East Queensland using TransLink's network of bus, train, ferry and tram services. With SEEQ card you can travel for three or five consecutive calendar days on any TransLink bus, train, ferry or tram service.

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.

Britz Campervans and 4WD Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$69 - 426
Whether you're after an exciting family adventure or an intimate break for two, Britz Campervans and 4WD has the right vehicle for you. Britz campervan has the widest range of vehicles in Australia to suit your holiday needs and budget including four wheel drives for those who really want to get off the beaten track.
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