Best Route for a Road Trip in Queensland, Australia

Going on a road trip is an exciting venture, requiring an energized brain, a passion for adventure and a chance to see a side of a destination you may not see via usual tourist haunts. Whether you travel via car, caravan, motorbike or some other vehicle, a road trip along Queensland will quench your thirst for adventure in less than a week. The Pacific Coast Touring Route is a great way to see Queensland in all its beauty, starting from Brisbane and finishing in Cairns in approximately four days.

Brisbane, Australia

Day One

Beginning in Brisbane at the south east point of Queensland, you will make your way towards Bundaberg. Along the way you can stop by at national parks, beach-side towns and food and wine tours in the mountains. The Sunshine Coast is a great place to stop for lunch and a swim or a short hike. At Hervey Bay, you can go whale watching or even leave the car on the dry land for a bit for a short trip to Fraser Island. Further up the coast the Great Barrier Reef beckons. As one of the natural wonders of the world, it offers over 2,600 kilometres of coral reef. Not long after this, you will reach your next stop, Bundaberg.

Burnette River in Bundaberg by on Flickr

Day Two

From the home of the famous bear and his Bundy Rum, head away from Bundaberg through Gladstone and Rockhampton, towards Mackay. If you haven’t already, this is another chance to see the Great Barrier Reef in all its beauty. However, be wary of painful marine wildlife like box jelly fish when swimming which are more prominent further north. You can also visit a number of manmade wonders along the way, including Mt Etna Caves, Eungella National Park, Lady Musgrave Island, the extensive tropical plant collection at Rockhampton’s Botanic Gardens as well as many more. This section of the drive also crosses the Tropic of Capricorn with the National Heritage Walking Trail criss-crossing the route.

Sunset on Lady Musgrave Island

Day Three

After stopping for the night in Mackay, head north again towards Townsville.  This route hugs the coastline, offering panoramic views of the beach and sea, as well as green fields of sugar cane and mango orchards bursting with fruit. As you hit North Queensland, be wary of the time of the year, as the region has only two seasons – wet and dry. Typically, the wet season is from January to March and temperatures are usually always pleasant, where even in winter the temperature rarely falls below 14C. Once you reach your destination for the night, enjoy the historically rich city of Townsville before camping or sleeping in your caravan.

Cockatoo at the Billabong Sanctuary, Townsville, Queensland

Day Four

The last day of your trip will take you from Townsville to your final stop, Cairns. On the way there are an abundance of attractions, including 12 national parks, more than 20 tropical islands and plenty of secluded swimming holes and walking tracks. You can also visit the world renowned Mission Beach and explore the nearby Liluca Forest, home to the cassowary. If you feel hungry along the way, look out for the roadside stalls that offer fresh-from-the-tree seasonal fruit at farm-gate prices. And to keep your passengers entertained, there are even tourist radio stations for you to tune into. After approximately five hours of driving (with regular breaks for rest and to visit those tourist spots) you should arrive at Cairns, another city offering lots of history and natural wonders to explore.

Boardwalk in Cairns, Queensland, Australia

If you choose to go on a road trip along the coast of Queensland on your next trip, don’t forget to plan ahead. Caravans, camping and caravan parks should be planned in advance so you can get the most out of your trip. With this in mind, consider the above route and enjoy all that Queensland has to offer.

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