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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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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Alpha Car Hire Moorooka

Moorooka, 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!

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.

Fraser Dingo Four Wheel Drive Hire

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$500.00 - 1010.00
Fraser Dingo Four Wheel Drive Adventures cater for groups and families of up to five people with their Group Getaway for one, two, three or more days four wheel drive hire to Fraser Island (K'gari) with the option to hire camp equipment or book accommodated packages.
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