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Our top tips for driving in Queensland

Whether you’re in a car or 4WD, there’s something for everyone on Queensland’s many road-tripping routes.

From pristine beaches to breathtaking rainforests—and everything in between—Queensland is an incredible place to drive around.

Question is, where do you start?

You could spend a month or more driving up the Queensland coast. The 1784km road-trip from the Gold Coast to Cairns covers everything from the world-class beaches and resorts in and around Surfers Paradise and Noosa, to the stunning Glass House Mountains, to spectacular rainforests, to the Whitsundays and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. The vibe becomes more and more laid back the further north you drive—kick back and enjoy the ride!

If inland adventures are more your thing, Queensland has you covered. The Savannah Way, just one of the inland routes to explore, is a trip to remember. Start on the east coast and climb up and over the lush rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands. As you head inland, watch out for a feast of Australian wildlife—from brolgas to peregrine falcons, to the occasional roadside cow! Head towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, perhaps taking a dip in the Innot Hot Springs along the way. Step back in time in the beautifully preserved town of Croydon. See a jaw-dropping sculpture of the largest croc ever killed. And, finally, enjoy a cold beer watching the sun go down at the Karumba Pub in the Gulf.

If you’re in a 4WD, a trip across to Fraser Island is well worth the effort. Catch the car ferry from Inskip across to the world’s largest sand island, let down your tyres and head up the longest sand highway you’ll ever experience.  

As you can see, the hardest thing about travelling in Queensland is deciding on your route. See more of Queensland’s famous driving routes or grab a map and choose your own adventure. 

Queensland road tripping checklist

Hitting the road in Queensland takes a little planning. The distances you cover can be huge, and the weather can be harsh depending on the season.

Here are some tips for driving holidays in Queensland, so you can hit the road with complete peace of mind:

  • Carry a current road map and plan your trip carefully. Don’t forget to allow for stops every two hours to give the driver a break, particularly if you are covering big distances in one day.
  • Check your car before setting off. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip ahead—check tyres, water, oil and fuel. If you can, get your car serviced before you go.
  • Carry all the right gear. Spare tyres. Extra water. A compressor if you plan on 4WD-ing and letting air out of your tyres.
  • Be aware of road trains. These massive trucks are a regular sight on remote Queensland roads. They can be over 50 metres long, and you should take great care if overtaking one.
  • Carry a satellite phone or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) if you’re going bush. Many parts of Queensland do not have mobile phone coverage.
  • Check the road conditions. Queensland can get battered by severe weather events, which inevitably wreak havoc with road conditions. From pot-holes to flooded roads, it’s important to check conditions before you drive, particularly if the weather hasn’t been great. 
  • Make sure your car insurance is up-to-date. Before you set off on a Queensland road trip, check your car insurance policy. If you’re towing a caravan, you’ll want to make sure it’s insured too.

And remember, one of the best ways to prepare for a big adventure is to talk to people who have done it before you. They’ll have some great tips, and are sure to get you excited about the road ahead!