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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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.

Bike Shop and Hire - Port Douglas

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
From AU$20 - 79
It's more fun on two wheels! They have: Bicycle Hire. Scooter Hire (Mopeds). Mountain Bike Guided Tours. Electric Mountain Bike Tours. Self-Guided Tours. Hire a bike or scooter while in Port Douglas and explore the regions attractions at your own pace.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

Limoso Luxury Transport

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$75 - 1000
Providing an award winning luxurious transportation with service with a proven track record and reliable service, Limoso Luxury Transport provide the epitome of elegance in Chauffeur-driven transport. Limoso own the largest elite diverse fleet in south-east Queensland, with their 24/7 operations department who monitor each vehicle as they are GPS tracked to ensure every job is executed perfectly.
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