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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Plan your holiday

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!

Kingfisher Bay Passenger Ferry Service

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$60 - 60
Kingfisher Bay Passenger Ferry has five services to the resort each day from River Heads and return. This ferry has seating for 220 passengers on two decks with a fully licensed bar and snack food available.

Keppel Konnections

Rosslyn, Livingstone Area
From AU$25.00 - 45.00
Keppel Konnections ferry service operates between Keppel Bay Marina (located within Rosslyn Bay Harbour, accessible via Yeppoon) and Great Keppel Island multiple times daily. Located at the Red Jetty, just in front of the Waterline Restaurant, with both Konnections ferries, Callipo and Spirit of Keppel, complete with Hula Girl tropical logos - you can't miss them.

JUCY Rentals Brisbane

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. JUCY Australia provides plentiful options of cars and custom built campervans for the budget-conscious traveller. Exploring Brisbane and the majestic natural sights of Queensland is best done on your own agenda.

Cruisin Motorhomes

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$40 - 320
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.

Limoso Luxury Transport

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$45 - 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.

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.

JUCY Rentals Gold Coast

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
From AU$20 - 350
JUCY stands for fun, adventure and the spirit of travelling. They aim to give all of their customers the green light to have the time of their lives! 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.

SeaLink Queensland

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$34 - 34
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 holiday in this stunning region!

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.
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