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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Magnetic Island Ferries

South Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$16 - 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 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.

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!

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.

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.

Enterprise Rent A Car - Mackay Airport

Paget, Mackay Area
While Enterprise is new to Australia, they have been growing across the globe since 1957. Today, Enterprise is part of the largest car rental company in the world, with more than 1.5 million cars in service.

Limo Trucks Australia

Sumner, Brisbane Area
From AU$660 - 880
Offering the only service of its kind in South East Queensland. Limo Trucks Australia can take you above and beyond the norm when it comes to your next transport rental. Why choose the more common and compact Limousine when you can have something bigger and better - their Optimus Prime Replica Tribute Truck.

Krystal Transport Company

White Rock, Cairns Area
Step right off the plane and into paradise. Krystal Transport meets all flights into Cairns Airport and offers direct transfers to Port Douglas. When you are looking for a transfer from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas, you want a solution that will help you start your holiday sooner.

Cairns Luxury Coaches

Cairns Area
Cairns Luxury Coaches offers a reliable, punctual and friendly coach charter service for any occasion. They provide luxury chauffeur driven coaches including a range of Scania coaches that are environmentally friendly.

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.

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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