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 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!

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.

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.

Cruisin Motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
From AU$45 - 500
Campervan Hire in Cairns, Queensland Hire a campervan in Cairns, Australia’s laid-back city in tropical North Queensland, and gateway to the world’s largest coral reef system – the Great Barrier Reef!

Magnetic Island Ferries

South Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$16 - 216
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.

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.

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!

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
From AU$16 - 824
Exemplar Coaches and Limousines is a boutique transfer provider, with modern limousines and coaches. They specialise in linking Cairns Airport with Palm Cove and Port Douglas and are the preferred transport provider to the majority of the accommodation houses in these areas.

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.
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