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Driving from Brisbane to Cairns in 21 days

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns will take you thru many beautiful locations so, right here’s a whirlwind roadtrip itinerary.  In simply 21 days you possibly can see the very best sights alongside coastal Queensland.  We’ve received all of it – sunshine, surf, historical rainforest and the Nice Barrier Reef!   What extra may you need?

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns is over 1700 kilometres!  You’ll see stunning coastal cities, lush rainforest havens and loads of seashores alongside the best way.   I’ve street tripped up the Queensland coast many occasions and every time I uncover one thing new alongside the best way.

So, that can assist you plan your journey and revel in my favorite locations, right here’s my excellent 21 day itinerary for driving from Brisbane to Cairns.

Begin your vacation in Brisbane

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns

Brisbane, the capital metropolis of Queensland is your place to begin and, as with most capitals there may be loads to see and do.

Begin your journey by hanging out at Southbank, trip on the Wheel of Brisbane, swim on the metropolis seaside, take a cruise down the Brisbane river or dine at one of many fabulous eating places.  Into the humanities?  The Queensland Museum, Artwork Gallery and the Brisbane Leisure Centre are close-by too, so take a look at ‘what’s on in Brisbane’ in Brisbane’.

South Brisbane has a few of the finest eateries on the town so I counsel you head in direction of Fish Lane for a flavour that fits.  Uncover extra in regards to the fabulous Fish Lane precinct right here.

Concerned with a day journey?  Cruise out to stunning Morton or North Stradbroke Islands.  Snorkel across the Tangalooma shipwrecks, swim and surf on the beautiful seashores, slide down large sand dunes and discover the lighthouse.  Or head into the Scenic Rim or Queen Mary Falls for a few of the area’s magnificent walks and back-to-nature experiences in south east Queensland.

Queensland’s well-known Gold Coast is a hotspot for guests and simply over an hour from town.  Superb sunshine, golden seashores and surf!  One in every of my favorite seashores is Burleigh so should you’re going to increase your keep, that is the place to do it!

Currumbin Sanctuary Gold Coast

Stand up shut and private with the wildlife at Currumbin Sanctuary, head into Springbook Nationwide Park to swim in freshwater waterfalls or spend the day absorbing the solar at your favorite Gold Coast seaside.  You might have selections!

There actually is loads to do in south east Queensland earlier than you begin driving from Brisbane to Cairns!


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Day 2 & 3: Sunshine Coast

The Gold Coast

The freeway north from Brisbane will take you previous Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo at Beerwah.  I’m a giant zoo fan Australia Zoo is considered one of my favourites!  They’ve an superior show of Australian birds, koala’s, kangaroos and different Aussie birds and animals.  To not point out meercats, lemurs, Galapagos turtles and different animals from all over the world.  Crikey, there’s even a crocodile or two!

The Sunshine Coast boasts a few of the finest seashores in Queensland.  Beginning at Caloundra you’ll discover a string of seashores all the best way to Noosa.  Get your self some (extra) sunshine and benefit from the surf seashores alongside the best way.  Study to paddleboard, swim on the seaside, take surf classes, take in a few of the sunshine.  If you’d like an superior view of the Glasshouse Mountains, Wildhorse Mountain is a superb quick stroll and never too far-off, albeit just a little steep!

Maleny and Montville are villages within the hinterlands.  A well-liked day journey and solely half-hour from the coast.  This area is well-known for it’s native arts and crafts in addition to their common cafes, eating places and Mattress ‘n Breakfast venues.

Noosa has loads of issues to see and do, so is a superb place to cease in your manner north.  Walks by the Nationwide Parks, koala’s within the wild, the notorious Eumundi Markets, nice eating places and beautiful seashores, its no surprise it’s often called Australia’s favorite vacation spot!

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Day 4 & 5:  Hervey Bay and Fraser Island

Whale Watching at Hervey BaySimply 4 hours north of Brisbane, is the place to go whale watching!   From June to November yearly, humpback whales journey from Antarctica to the hotter waters alongside Queensland’s shoreline round Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.

Fraser Island, and the biggest sand island on this planet and has lengthy been thought to be probably the greatest locations for whale watching in Australia.

Hervey Bay is a good looking calm bay sheltered by Fraser Island and should you love fishing, that is the very best place to catch whiting and flathead.

Named the world’s first whale heritage web site, Hervey Bay is the house of whale watching in Queensland.   There are a variety of Whale Watching firms who present excursions customised to fit your wants.  Test them out for a tour to go well with you!

Dingos on Fraser Island

Need to keep longer?   Take the ferry throughout from Urangan Harbour in Hervey Bay, to the eco-friendly Kingfisher Bay Resort to discover this superb island.  There’s a ton of issues to do on Fraser Island beginning with floating in crystal clear rock swimming pools, swim in Lake McKenzie and recognizing dingoes within the wild in addition to photographing the Maheno Shipwreck.  It’s merely magical.

Day 6:  Heron Island

Baby Turtles

As a surprising coral cay in Queensland’s Nice Barrier Reef, Heron Island is world well-known for its coral reef and a sanctuary for a rare number of marine life.

Heron Island is a pure coral cay throughout the Nice Barrier Reef and is among the few locations you could swim with turtles year-round.

From late October to early March, endangered Loggerhead sea turtles return to nest within the dunes. Then from December to April, the hatchlings start to emerge from their nests to begin their circle of life.  It’s an exquisite sight to see.

The traditional Pisonia Forest on the island is a sanctuary for marine birds and close by, the crystal-clear waters teem with vibrant fish, turtles, rays, reef sharks and extra.  Take a guided nature stroll, a star-gazing tour, or just benefit from the views of the coral reef.  A superb alternative for marine fans to go diving inside minutes of the jetty.

Catch a 2.5 hour boat trip or take the seaplane from Gladstone to Heron Island.

Select your lodging in Gladstone.

Day 7:  Eungella Nationwide Park

Driving north from Brisbane to Cairns provides loads of selections.  Go to the Eungella Nationwide Park, considered one of Queensland’s most ecologically numerous parks.

Inland from Mackay, excessive above the sugar can fields, this mist-shrouded mountain is dwelling to many sorts of wildlife… and fairly a couple of pleased campers!

Observe the strolling tracks and revel in spectacular views down the Pioneer Valley, together with rainforest gullies and river swimming pools.  Take pleasure in a picnic at Damaged River after which wander alongside the banks watching the platypus within the gently-flowing water.

The spotlight of your journey might be discovering a platypus!  Eungella is among the few locations the place you possibly can see these elusive, cute creatures with their duck payments, webbed toes and glossy fur coats.

Camp in a single day in a tranquil riverside tenting space or test into one of many low value cabins at Damaged River Mountain Resort.  It’s a spot to benefit from the peace and quiet of the rainforest, benefit from the birds and take in the solitude.

Day 8:  Cape Hillsborough

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns

Cape Hillsborough Nationwide Park is an absolute ‘must-do’ when driving from Brisbane to Cairns.

Simply 50km north of Mackay, this nationwide park is most well-known for it’s kangaroos that come to the seaside at daybreak.  Each morning because the solar rises over the horizon, kangaroos and wallabies come all the way down to the seaside to feast on the mangrove seed pods washed up by the tide.  It’s a spectacular sight to see and should you’re fortunate, makes for fabulous images.

Cape Hillsborough Nature Vacationer Park is the place to remain so you probably have a caravan, camper or tent you’ll slot in properly – or give them a name to see if they’ve any cabins obtainable.

Days 9 – 13: Airlie Seaside and the Whitsundays

Airlie Seaside is gateway to the Whitsunday Islands.  There are many enjoyable issues to do in Airlie Seaside.

Loosen up on the Lagoon and benefit from the idyllic views of a few of Australia’s most well-known islands earlier than you head out to the Whitsundays!

Sail the Whitsundays

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns wouldn’t be full with out a few days absorbing the sunshine in one of the crucial superb locations world-wide.  Ebook your self on a final minute deal for a Whitsunday crusing journey and put together to have the time of your life!

From snorkelling and diving these tropical waters, to visiting a few of the world’s finest seashores, taking a 2 day crusing journey within the Whitsundays is certain to be an expertise you received’t neglect!


Day 14 – 15: Townsville & Magnetic Island

The most important metropolis in tropical north Queensland, Townville is certainly price a look-in should you’re driving from Brisbane to Cairns.

Some of the unimaginable hostels I’ve ever stayed in is in Townsville.  Ebook your self in for an evening at the least at Rambutan Resort or really feel like poshing it up just a little?  Maybe a few nights on the Lodge Grand Chancellor will do the trick.

Townsville is loaded with free issues to take action take observe that the Friday evening markets on the Strand have been a favourite.  For some nice Mexican meals – strive Cactus Jacks!  An extended-time favorite of mine!

For one thing totally different, day journey to Magnetic Island.  Take the passenger ferry over to the island and spend the day exploring.

One of the simplest ways to discover Maggie Island is to hire a automobile on the island and head off across the seashores.  Again within the day Mini Moke’s have been the fad however they’re turning into tougher to search out these days.

Try the Forts Stroll, spot koalas within the wild, snorkel Florence and Radical Bays earlier than heading over to West Level for one of the crucial beautiful sunsets on the east coast!

Day 16:  Mission Seaside

Yea! You’ve hit the tropics.   Mission Seaside is near my coronary heart as my family members settled there when it was nothing however a retailer on the beachfront.   A few of them are nonetheless there so I cease in at any time when I move by.

Doubtless, Mission has one of many finest seashores in Queensland … and loads of nice cafes to go to too.  There’s nothing fairly so tranquil as sitting on the grass, trying throughout the water to Dunk Island.

For those who’re feeling extra lively, then why not hop on a kayak tour to Dunk Island, or strive a spot of snorkelling across the heads as an alternative.  Does that persuade you to cease in at Mission Seaside should you’re driving from Brisbane to Cairns?

Day 17 – 21:  Cairns in Far North Queensland

Cairns to Daintree roadtrip

You’ve arrived!   After 21 days of driving from Brisbane to Cairns, your journey hasn’t completed but!   Cairns is a bustling tropical metropolis with loads to see and accomplish that soar in and have the time of your life.  These are a few of the day journeys which can be obtainable.

The Esplanade is a superb place to hang around should you really feel like lazing round within the balmy evenings.  There are some fabulous eating places on the waterfront like The Uncooked Prawn and Tha Fish which can be price stepping out for should you love seafood.

  • Fitzroy Island – At the present time journey to Fitzroy Island is a enjoyable day.  Go snorkelling on the encircling coral reef and take in the sunshine.
  • Tully White Water Rafting – White Water Rafting on the Tully River is the right day journey for an excessive adrenalin rush.
  • Kuranda Railway and Sky-Rail – Take the previous railway as much as Kuranda and again.  Discover the Kuranda Butterfly Home, the Kuranda Markets and do some sight-seeing.
  • Daintree Rainforest – Marvel on the heritage-listed Daintree rainforest, be taught in regards to the uncommon wildlife and species of vegetation which have been right here from historical occasions.
  • Port Douglas – There are a lot of factors while you’re driving from Brisbane to Cairns the place you possibly can take a day journey to the islands and snorkel on the Nice Barrier Reef, however Port Douglas is one with a ton of choices.
  • Low Isles – Do the cruise to Low Isles.  The Nice Barrier Reef stretches alongside the coast, operating parallel to the Queensland shoreline. It’s probably the greatest locations to snorkel and swim round this coral cay in idyllic situations.

No matter you select to do, it will likely be the right ending to your street journey of a lifetime!


5 Important Gadgets for travelling all through Queensland


  1. Good Digicam – For travelling all through Australia I like to recommend the Sony a6000 Mirrorless Digicam Package deal – Mild & compact and takes nice pictures!  A lot of the pictures on are taken with my Sony!
  2. Cozy Strolling Sneakers – There might be lots of strolling to be executed all through Queensland!  Be sure that your toes are snug – strive these New Steadiness Girls’s Coach.  I like mine!
  3. Loney Planet Guidebook – At the same time as an Aussie, I’m a fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and depend on the Australian version.  Take one with you!
  4. Good Water Bottle – Preserve hydrated!  Travelling within the tropics may be thirsty work, so be sure to have a Yeti Drink Bottle and refill as you go.  Faucet water is drinkable all over the place!
  5. Good Solar Hat –  You’ll want solar hat when travelling in Australia.  This Oz Good Extensive Brim Solar Hat appears fashionable and is right for conserving you cool.

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns?  Pin this!

Driving from Brisbane to Cairns will present you a few of the finest shoreline on this nice state!

In order that’s my 21 day itinerary when driving from Brisbane to Cairns. Have you ever made this epic street journey earlier than? Share your ideas with us within the feedback!

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