Top 5 Queensland road trips

As fun as staring at tail-lights on Brisbane’s M1 can be, sometimes we just want to hit the open road and escape the rat race.

There is so much to experience in Queensland, and so much beauty that can’t be enjoyed from the window of a plane or train. Here are some of the grandest road trips you could hope for – from bush to the Barrier Reef and back.

1. Great Tropical Drive – 500km throughout North Queensland

North Queenslanders are a laid-back lot. Which is no surprise when you’re living in a corner of Australia that’s blessed with sun-kissed beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, ancient and majestic rainforests, and genuine outback experiences. This is Acca Dacca country (’cause you’re on a highway to heck yeah! 😎), so pump the stereo, blast the air-conditioning, and glide your way through the best that North Queensland has to offer.

Where to stay: For a luxe experience, check out the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas.

Check out the cairns (aka that stack of rocks) along the Captain Cook Highway, between Cairns and Port Douglas

2. Adventure Way – 1152km journey west of Brisbane

Put on your Akubra and get ready to tread the same path as some of Australia’s most famous pioneers, including Burke and Wills, and Cobb and Co. The Adventure Way begins at Toowoomba and ends at the Queensland/South Australia border, and blends historic experiences with some of QLD’s best hiking and fishing. Insider tip – go in September so you can take in all the wild west action of the Cunnamulla Fella Festival.

Where to stay: Stay at the centre of all the historical displays at the Club Boutique Hotel.

Catch a rainbow sunset in Toowoomba

3. Old Telegraph Track – 64km in Far North Queensland

We all have that mate with a 4WD that’s never left the city. This is the perfect opportunity to take it off the beaten track, on an adventure route that spans from Bamaga Road to the Jardine River Ferry in Far North Queensland. There are plenty of creek crossings, scenic rivers, and bush campsites along the way – as well as the near-vertical Gunshot Creek crossing, which will test the best of drivers. The trip is named after the old telegraph linesman of yesteryear, and you can visit the grave of W. J. Brown (and read his interesting story) along the way.

Where to stay: After a few days of roughing it at campsites, treat yourself to some opulence at the five-star Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments in Port Douglas.

On the road to Cape York

4. Gold Coast Hinterland

When most people hear ‘Gold Coast’, they think of beaches, high-rises, and surfing. But just west of Surfers Paradise lies an entirely differently world to explore. Pack plenty of road snacks, fill the tank, and get lost on the roads that carve through the Hinterland – there really are no wrong turns. Explore lush mountain rainforests, caves, creeks, lookouts, and more. There’s no end of adventures, which means you have a perfect excuse for multiple visits 😉

Where to stay: For something different, try The Castle On Tamborine – which is an ACTUAL castle. It’s also five stars and boasts all the luxury you will need after a day full of trekking.

Curtis Falls, Mount Tamborine

5. Matilda Way, Western Queensland, 1812km

Who says big cities have all the excitement? Cut a path through Queensland’s west, from the New South Wales border to the Gulf of Carpentaria. On the way, you’ll discover everything from dinosaurs to the waterhole where Banjo Paterson drew inspiration for Waltzing Matilda. A glorious historical drive that will open the eyes of even the slickest city slicker.

Where to stay: The Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach is a must and you can rest your dusty boots at the Albert Park Motor Inn, which is within walking distance.



Heads up! Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change between when you make your booking and when you travel. We strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before visiting, take extra care and follow all rules to ensure their own health and safety.

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