Best 5 Road Trip Destinations In Queensland
As the second-largest state in Australia and home to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (QLD) has a lot to offer visitors in terms of travel destinations and natural wonders. There’s probably no better way to explore and enjoy the 1.85 million square kilometer state than taking a good old-fashioned road trip.
With thousands of kilometers of roads connecting dozens of bucket-list-worthy destinations, Queensland can be the perfect destination for your next road trip holiday. With so many fantastic routes to go for, planning a road trip in QLD can be confusing for a lot of travelers. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This post will serve as an overview to some of the best road trip routes that Queensland has to offer. So buckle in, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s get started!
For 4WD Lovers: Brisbane to Fraser Island
Route: From Brisbane to Fraser Island.
Total distance: 400 kilometers.
Highlights of the route: Champagne Pools, Maheno shipwreck, Eli Creek, Beach driving in 4WDs, Indian Head.
Fraser Island is one of Australia’s national treasures and is a great destination for adventure lovers. It’s important to note that the largest sand island in the world only allows 4WDs to travel its beaches, and you’ll need a good one to let loose and take in everything that the place has to offer. If you think your 4WD could use some repairs, use DingGo to find the best repairers.
For those who don’t own a 4WD, park your car on the mainland and book an island tour with tour operators. The 75-mile beach has many popular spots you can visit such as the Maheno shipwreck and the Champagne Pools. Travelers can also take a leisurely cruise from Hervey Bay to watch the sunset or book whale-watching cruises around the island!
An Amazing Coastal Journey: The Pacific Coast Way
Route: From Brisbane To Cairns.
Total distance: 1,970 kilometers.
Highlights of the route: The Sunshine Coast, Mission Beach, the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island, Cairns.
The Pacific Coast Way is a heavenly coastal drive with a clear view of the Pacific Ocean at your side for the most part. The route goes through spots filled with sparkling ponds, golden breezy beaches, reefs teeming with wildlife, massive gorges, and woodland rainforests.
The Pacific Coast Way starts in Brisbane in the South East corner of Queensland and ends all the way up in Cairns towards the Tropical North. Always remember to put on some sunscreen to enjoy the magnificence of the beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Also, expect to get up close and personal with wildlife in the numerous rainforests along the way.
Activities you can do along the way include:
- Whale watching in Hervey Bay
- Visiting Cape Hillsborough National Park to see where the reefs and rainforests meet
- Going to Magnetic island by ferry
- Whitewater rafting in the Tully River
- Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reefs around Cairns
A Trip Through Time: The Overlander’s Way
Route: From Townsville to Tennant Creek.
Total distance: 1,550 kilometers.
Highlights of the route: Townsville, Kronosaurus Korner, Porcupine gorge, Julia Creek.
Overlander’s Way is a trip through the famous Australian outback. The road trip starts in the tropical north from Townsville and goes west towards Camooweal to finally finish at Tennant Creek.
The name of this famous road trip — “Overlander’s Way” — is a homage to all the cattle drivers that herded giant mobs of cattle from East Kimberley. Even to this day, the roads along this route are used by present-day drovers with their large cattle trucks.
Townsville, Charters Towers, Richmond, Julia Creek, Camooweal, and Mount Isa are just some of the top road trip stops you can visit along the route. Each of these places also offers tourist-friendly accommodation such as motels. Some even offer camping options.
Rodeos and other festivals are a common sight along the road. Julia Creek’s Dirt n Dust festival and fossil hunting for dinosaur bones are one of the biggest highlights for many. Other places to explore include Porcupine Gorge and Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond.
All in all, road tripping along this route is an amazing experience that offers many chances to make some new unforgettable memories.
From Rainforests To Reefs: The Great Tropical Drive
Route: From Cairns Towards Cooktown.
Total Distance: 330 kilometers
Highlights of the route: The Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas, Cairns, Daintree Rainforest.
This road trip starts in the far north of QLD and passes through magnificent coral reefs and cozy coastal towns along the way towards Cooktown. From Cooktown, the road heads west, where you can make your way towards the Atherton Tablelands and the Savannah Country.
Palm Cove, Barron Falls south of Cairns, Rex lookout, Daintree rainforest, the wildlife habitat in Port Douglas, and Cooktown are all popular destinations along the journey.
For those who want to experience the land through the eyes of the Aboriginal people, going for cultural tours in the Daintree Rainforest is also worth considering. You can even try taking a course and learning the art of traditional spearfishing on one of the beaches at Port Douglas.
Towns and National Parks Galore: The Great Inland Touring Route
Route: From Hebel towards Cairns.
Total distance: 1,860 kilometers.
Highlights of the route: The Great Dividing Range, Carnarvon Gorge.
This roughly 1,860 kilometers-long drive starts off in Hebel on the border of QLD and New South Wales, and ends in the tropical region of Cairns. The drive crosses through the Great Dividing Range and has dozens of towns, museums, and national parks along the way.
Lake Nuga Nuga, Carnarvon Gorge, Charter Towers, Ravenshoe, and the famous Hebel Hotel where the Kelly Gang used to hang out are all popular tourist destinations you should definitely visit along the way. Museums like Cobb and Co are also good places to visit if you’re passionate about history.
The route also features brilliant camping opportunities, fishing spots, and accommodations for people on driving holidays.