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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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.

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.

TransLink Cairns

Cairns, Cairns Area
From AU$2.40 - 8.20
TransLink, through the Department of Transport and Main Roads, together with Sunbus Cairns, the local operator, are responsible for managing public transport in Cairns and surrounding suburbs. Visit the website and use the online journey planner to help plan your trip.

Whitsundays 2 Everywhere

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$22 - 45
Whitsundays 2 Everywhere is a dedicated airport transfer company offering friendly personalised airport transfer services to the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine Airport), Mackay Airport, marinas and other locations on request.

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.

Fraser Magic 4WD Hire

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$180 - 230
Whether you are taking the family on a camping trip to enjoy the nature and wildlife on Fraser Island, a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a group of friends planning an off-road adventure, Fraser Magic 4WD Hire can help.

Hughes Chauffeured Cars Limousines Coaches - Brisbane

Brisbane Airport, Brisbane Area
From AU$45 - 999
Since 1904 discerning Australians have relied upon Hughes for their personal transport needs. Inductee 'Quality Hall of Fame'. Hughes’ fleet of chauffeured cars, limousines and coaches is Australia’s only national, chauffeur driven cars, limousine service and is serviced by a 24 hour a day modern reservations and operations centre with GPS vehicle tracking SMS sent to you phone with chauffeur and vehicle details.

Cruisin Motorhomes Cairns

Cairns North, Cairns Area
Cruisin’ Motorhomes is an expert travel business with a personal touch and years of experience. We are a home-grown hire company offering a range of fully-equipped campervans and motorhomes – the ideal vehicles for self-driven adventures across Australia.

Camperman Australia Townsville

Garbutt, Townsville Area
From AU$57 - 199
Camperman Australia is an East Coast based campervan hire company with a depot network including Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Camperman provides independent travellers the opportunity to explore Australia from any of their eight depot locations on the East coast.
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