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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Fantasea Cruising Magnetic

Multiple Locations
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

Multiple Locations
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.

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!

Black Bow Chauffeur

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

Redspot Car Rentals - Rockhampton Airport

West Rockhampton, Rockhampton Area
Redspot operates a large Australian network of airport and downtown rental car locations with a wide variety of new age rental vehicles available at competitive prices. Redspot, founded in 1989 is the only Australian owned and operated car rental company with desks at all major Australian airports.

Gold Coast Airport

Bilinga, Gold Coast Area
Fly direct to the Gold Coast. Gold Coast Airport has over 380 International and Domestic flights per week arriving into their Terminal at Bilinga, 20 kilometres from Surfers Paradise and one kilometre from Coolangatta and northern New South Wales.

Alpha Car Hire

Multiple Locations
From AU$27 - 105
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 eight nation wide! Their secret? Great customer service and fantastic car rental deals!

Queensland Rail Travel

Multiple Locations
From AU$49 - 520
Queensland is full of hidden surprises just waiting to be discovered, and what better way to experience them than through the magic of rail. A scenic rail trip allows you to make the most of your holiday, with every minute of the journey as much a part of the adventure as the destination itself.

Redspot Car Rentals

Multiple Locations
Redspot operates a large Australian network of airport and downtown rental car locations with a wide variety of new age rental vehicles available at competitive prices. Redspot, founded in 1989 is the only Australian owned and operated car rental company with desks at all major Australian airports.
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