How to travel from Brisbane to Cairns the fun way
Posted on 01/07/2018 by Spaceships Crew
It's "only" 1,700 km to drive from Brisbane to Cairns. But who wants to go in a straight line without stopping? Not us. So here's the solution, an itinerary to do the trip in 14 days and see heaps on the way. It's the fun way to go from Brisbane to Cairns.
Road trip inspiration: in 14 days from Brisbane to Cairns
Both Brisbane and Cairns have a Spaceships depot, in case you haven't booked your wheels yet. And as we don't charge one-way fees it's just as cheap to drop off your campervan at the same depot or at another depot. Easy as. Now it's time to have some fun on the road. Check out our Brisbane to Cairns itinerary.
Day 1: Brisbane to Noosa (1½ Hours drive)
Leave Brisbane and head up through the Glasshouse Mountains. Stop off at the Australia Zoo to see Steve Irwin’s legacy and catch up with some of Australia unique wildlife. Carry on up to Noosa and spend an afternoon relaxing at the beautiful beach or check out the Everglades by kayak!
Day 2: Noosa to Rainbow Beach (2 Hours drive)
Spend the morning enjoying more beach time or take a walk through Noosa National Park where you might spot koalas, turtles and dolphins. Then continue onto Rainbow Beach in time to check-in for your Fraser Island Tour which can be as early as 2 pm.
Day 3, 4 & 5: Fraser Island
A trip up the east coast would not be complete without a trip to Fraser Island. Fraser is the largest sand island in the world! Swim at the Champagne Pools, laze by lake Mackenzie and experience a one of a kind camping experience dining with dingos. 1, 2 or 3 day tours are available. Three is definitely recommended for the complete experience. Tours can be self-driven or fully guided.
Day 6: Rainbow Beach to 1770 (4 hours drive/4 ½ hours through Tin Can Bay)
Depart Rainbow Beach nice and early and driving 30 minutes to Tin Can Bay in time to feed the dolphins. Dolphin feeding is at 8:00am each day for only $10. Continue up to 1770 via Bundaberg, with perhaps a stop at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. 1770 marks the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef & your last chance to catch a wave!
Day 7: 1770 to Emu Beach (3½ Hours Drive)
This morning, enjoy the many activities that 1770 has to offer such as the famous Scooteroo tour. Then head for Emu Beach and experience the warm hospitality of Paulie at Emu Beach Resort. The perfect place to unwind before the mayhem of Airlie Beach.
Day 8 - Emu Beach to Airlie Beach (5½ hours)
A big day of driving is ahead in order to arrive at the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. Airlie Beach is a town with plenty going on.
Day 9, 10 & 11: Whitsunday Islands sailing
Make sure to book yourselves on one of the many boats that explore the 75 tropical islands within the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel or scuba dive the spectacular reef or spend time lazing on Whitehaven Beach, one of the worlds most beautiful beaches. After a hard day, kick back on the deck of your boat and enjoy the warm sea breeze with a cocktail in hand and admire the beautiful sunset. 1, 2 or 3-day trips are available.
Day 12: Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island (3¼ hours)
From Airlie head up to Townsville and catch the 20-minute ferry over to the beautiful Magnetic Island. Here you will find pristine beaches, turquoise waters, abundant wildlife.
Day 13: Magnetic Island to Atherton Tableland (4 hours/Mission Beach 3 hours)
Catch the ferry back to the mainland and head north, either inland to the Atherton Tablelands or stay by the coast stopping off at Mission Beach.
The Atherton Tablelands is a natural wonderland with world heritage rainforests, waterfalls, national parks, crater lakes, with a backdrop of rolling green hills.
Head to Mission Beach and try your hand at some adrenalin pumping activities such as skydiving or white-water rafting on the Tully River.
Day 14: Atherton Tablelands to Cairns (2 hours)
Make your way to Cairns to farewell your Spaceship. There is plenty to see and do in and around Cairns so by no means should your holiday be over!!
Latest blog posts in Itinerary ideas
7 Great Ocean Road trip ideas: this is how to get the most out of your trip
Even though Great Ocean Road is only 243 km long, you shouldn't rush it. These Great Ocean Road trip ideas will show you the many great...
The most amazing things to do on Cairns to Brisbane road trip
Planning your road trip in Australia can be overwhelming. The country has so much to offer, where to go first? To help you we've created this...
10 sights that will make it the best road trip from Cairns ever
If there is one region made for road tripping, it is Tropical North Queensland for sure. Famously known as the place where the rainforest meets the...
Want to experience one of the best road trips in Australia?
The road from Sydney to Alice Springs makes for one of the best road trips in Australia. Take in the wild beauty of the outback, discover...