Looking for some vacation inspiration? Recharge your batteries and hit the open road, exploring Australia’s second-largest state, Queensland. Wonderful scenes are bound to be found as you travel Queensland on a self-drive campervan holiday. Home to many of Australia’s World Natural Heritage sites, Queensland is a tropical playground ready for every kind of traveller. Spend your days discovering bucket-list destinations like the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef. Take on the epic 14-day road trip travelling from Cairns to Brisbane. You will travel through plenty of noteworthy destinations, including Airlie Beach, Museum of Underwater Art, Bundaberg Distillery and Mon Repos Conservation Park, to name a few. This Itinerary will see you travel north to south, but you can reverse the trip to travel from Brisbane to Cairns too. Take your time travelling from place to place and soak up the spectacular views that surround you. We recommend spending 2 days at each location to experience all that each spot has to offer,
Cairns to Brisbane
Best Time of the Year
All year round
- Great Barrier Reef
- Mission Beach
- Airlie Beach
- Bluewater Lagoon
Start your trip off by picking up your Maui camper at our Cairns branch. The crew will give you a run-through of everything you need to know about your camper so you’re feeling confident to hit the road. Make sure you’ve downloaded the thl Roadtrip App to your phone, it’s packed with helpful how-to videos about your camper and attractions on your route. Then jump into the action and explore Cairns and the surrounding areas.
Take advantage of the close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. This breathtaking World Heritage site is brimming with sea life, waiting to be explored. Set out to sea for a snorkel and swim, taking in all the wonders of nature.
Drive 35 minutes to the vibrant mountain village of Kuranda. Spend a few hours perusing the boutique shops, stroll around the markets and spend some time admiring the local art in the galleries.
Just over an hour out of Cairns, you will find Salsa Bar and Grill in Port Douglas. This is a must-see for all the foodies. Be sure to try the local, fresh seafood.
Spend some time at the Cairns lagoon. Take advantage of the safe swimming location and have a dip in the water in mild waters. Unwind and recharge before your next stop.
If you’re looking for great accommodation in Cairns, check out the Big4 Cairns Coconut Resort. Conveniently park your camper onsite and enjoy all the facilities on offer. We recommend spending 2 nights in Cairns so you can truly explore all that this epic city has on offer!
Explore one of many waterfalls nearby and find a secluded swimming spot amongst nature to relax for a while.
A trip to Cairns wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Koala and Wildlife Park. This is a great way to spend the day, particularly if you’re an animal lover or have kids in tow.
Finally, climb the Dome climb to take in the 360 views of Cairns from above. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures!
Cairns to Girringun National Park
This is a big day of driving, so make sure you have plenty of coffee before you head out. After leaving Cairns, drive south for just under two hours and head for Mission Beach. This picturesque spot is where sparkling oceans meet the rainforest - making this a great place to unwind before the next leg of your drive.
Drive for another 2hrs to Wallaman Falls, Australia’s highest waterfall, and a must-see natural attraction. It’s located in Girringun National Park, where you can also enjoy some short walking tracks in the lush rainforest. If you fancy an adventure, you can access the Wet Tropics Great Walks from the National Park.
For your final leg of the day, drive the short distance to Ingham and park your camper for the night at Ingham Tourist Park. Conveniently located near the TYTO Wetlands, this is a great base for the surrounding tourist attractions.
After a long day of sightseeing, you’re going to want to refuel. Head to Jk’s deli for some delicious food and spend your evening unwinding.
Girringun National Park to Townsville
Distance 129km - Driving Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Departing Ingham, you’ll drive for about an hour and a half along the coast to Townsville, the capital of North Queensland. This is where you will spend the next two days of your road trip. Get a taste of the region’s history and visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland, then head out to explore the rest of the stunning region. With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, it’s sure to be beautiful no matter what you choose to see and do.
If you’re looking for a unique experience in the area, be sure to visit the Museum of Underwater Art. Snorkel or dive to the depths below and discover the epic artworks that have been transformed over time.
Enjoy some food at Bridgewater Restaurant, located in the heart of Townsville. The dishes and wine matches are sure to tickle your taste buds.
For accommodation, we recommend staying at the Big4 Townsville campground. This holiday park is packed with communal facilities so you can park up and join the fun.
Hire sea kayaks and discover the tranquil Magnetic Island. Make the most of it by going at sunset and watching the sun disappear below the horizon.
For something a little different, check out the preserved nature exhibit at Ayr Nature Display.
Townsville to Airlie Beach
Distance 293km - Driving Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Day 6 and 7 of your road trip will be spent at the beautiful Airlie beach. Pack the camper and grab your coffee before venturing to the heart of the Whitsundays region and to Airlie Beach. Make the most of your surroundings and head out for some snorkelling around the coral reefs.
Wander the Airlie Beach Boardwalk and take in the scenery that surrounds you.
Enjoy a slice of Italy in Australia and head to La Marina for a feast. Serving traditional Italian dishes, you won’t be disappointed.
For accommodation, check out Airlie Holiday Park. The central location and beautiful backdrops make this a great base for exploring the nearby islands.
Immerse yourself in nature, and enjoy waterfalls and bush walks at Cedar Creek Falls. A great way to relax after a few hours of driving.
If seeing a crocodile in the wild is on your bucket list, check out the crocodile safari nearby.
Airlie Beach to Mackay
Distance 324km - Driving Time 4 hours 30 minutes
When you arrive in Mackay after your 2hr drive from Airlie Beach, take a well-deserved break and enjoy some family fun at the Bluewater Lagoon. Take a dip in one of the three lagoons and relax the day away.
Wander Eungella National Park and keep your eyes peeled for the elusive platypuses known to roam around Broken River.
Swing by the Botanical Gardens and roam through the lush greenery.
Stay at Mackay Holiday Park, located in the heart of the city. The holiday park is packed with facilities to entertain you and your family. Take advantage of the BBQ, swimming pool and waterpark.
Take a tour at the award-winning tourist attraction, Sarina Sugar Shed. Learn about the region's sugarcane farming and then sample the products made onsite.
Mackay to Rockhampton
Distance 401km - Driving Time 5 hours
Buckle up for a big yet beautiful drive along the coast from Mackay to Rockhampton. Visit an exhibition at the Rockhampton Art Gallery. Discover the famous displays of mid-twentieth century Australian art.
Wander the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, regarded as one of the most highly rated gardens in Australia. You won’t believe you’re in the heart of the city. Another natural wonder that’s not to be missed is a trip to the Capricorn Caves, a short distance from Rockhampton.
Head up to the Mount Archer Boardwalk and soak in the 360 views of Rockhampton. This is the perfect spot to snap a sunset picture. Another great attraction is the Rockhampton Zoo, fun for all the family to enjoy.
Rockhampton to Bundaberg
Distance 297km - Driving Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Hit the road with your maui Motorhome and head south to the city of Bundaburg. You can take the coastal route or head further inland for a slightly longer but equally scenic drive. Once you arrive, head to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery for a tipple and a tour of the distillery. Bundaberg Rum is deemed Australia’s favourite rum. Book a tour of the distillery to see how the rum is made and sample the local drop for yourself.
If you’re visiting Mon Repos Conservation Park from November to late March, you’re in for a treat. Watch the wonder of nesting and hatching turtles on the beach.
Bundaberg to Brisbane
Distance 493km - Driving Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Travel your final leg of the trip to your destination, Brisbane. Before you drop your Motorhome off at our Maui Brisbane branch, spend a couple of days exploring this vibrant city.
For the craft beer enthusiasts, follow the craft beer trail through the city and sample what the local breweries have to offer.
For accommodation, park your camper at the Big4 Sandstone Holiday Park.
Be sure to visit the Museum of Brisbane and soak up the local history. This mix of historical and contemporary artifacts will give you a great understanding of how life in Brisbane has evolved over the years. Then head on over to QAGOMA, the largest modern art gallery in Australia.
Embark on the river walk at the City Botanic Gardens for the perfect photo opportunity.
Lastly, be sure to visit the Chocolate Factory and stock up on local goodies before dropping the camper back at the Brisbane branch.
Ready for your next road trip?
Hire your Maui campervan and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Book your Maui motorhome today. If you’re looking for some more travel inspiration, find out how you can explore more of Australia in your Maui campervan.