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Guide to exploring Queensland in a Campervan


Queensland is a sub-tropical stretch of land in the northeast of Australia jam-packed with natural attractions, national parks and marine parks to explore. Here you can discover the ancient rainforests of the Wet Tropics, head out to sea to experience the magic of the spawning coral of the Great Barrier Reef, and journey inland to the arid red dirt of the outback.

With so much to see and do, there is nothing quite like a campervan road trip to see the very best on offer in Australia’s sunshine state. Renting a van makes exploring this tropical paradise simple, convenient and cost-effective. With a bed and kitchen on board, there is no need for the hassle of moving in and out of hotel rooms. Instead, you can save your time and money on the incredible experiences to be had in Queensland.

 

 

Why a campervan is the best way to explore Queensland 

Queensland is the second-largest state in Australia, making long car rides and hotel transfers challenging. You can make the most of your time without those hassles with a camper. Stop when you want and stay as long as you like in each place. Regardless of whether you drive the coast or go inland to the outback of Queensland, there are plenty of reasons why a campervan is the best way to explore Queensland:

  • Experience it all: In a camper; you don’t have to choose just one place. Enjoy beaches, rainforests, national parks, beautiful islands off the coast, and plenty of wildlife all in one trip.
  • Lots of places to stay: There is plenty of campervan-friendly accommodation, and inland Queensland is especially friendly for van travel accommodation options.
  • Toilet and shower on board: Spending your day at beaches and wilderness spots, it is handy having a toilet in the camper and a shower to wash off after your adventures. Great views Parking up in beautiful places, chances are you will experience a few sea and rainforest views out the camper's windows.
  • Great views: Parking up in beautiful places, chances are you will experience a few sea and rainforest views out the camper's windows.

Tips for campervan travel in Queensland

The weather in Queensland can vary quite dramatically from north to south, along the coast and inland. The southern Queensland coastal towns are influenced by the warm ocean waters and tend to have four distinct seasons and more mild temperatures. In contrast, northern destinations like Townsville and Cairns tend to only have wet and dry seasons, which means year-long summer weather with wet, humid summer months.

Ensure you check the Australian weather forecast before you head off so you know what to pack and what activities you will be able to do. This will also make you aware of any other important Queensland weather and warnings such as flooding and so on.

Whether you are travelling interstate or internationally, it is essential to familiarise yourself with Queensland road rules:

  • Follow the speed limit, drive on the left, be mindful of signage etc
  • Watch out for wildlife - don’t approach any animals unless you know it’s safe
  • Note where the road tolls are - ensure you have a pass or know how to pay online
  • Pullover to take photos - it’s illegal to use a phone when driving

Queensland has some incredible free camps on offer, but it is important to be mindful of where you can and cannot free camp. In Queensland, certain areas will be signed as no overnight stays. Avoid parking in these restricted areas to save yourself a fine. Chances are there is a beautiful free camp close by for you to park up for the night.

As Queensland weather is so variable depending on when and where you travel, it's important to consider what you may want to pack for your Queensland campervan trip:

  • All-weather gear: You’ll need clothes for sunshine and rain. Pack your raincoats, swimming gear, and light layers
  • Skin protection: Sunscreen and bug spray are a must when spending lots of time outdoors
  • Outdoor gear: You’ll be visiting beaches, so you will want your camping chairs, beach umbrellas, cooler/esky, walking shoes.
  • Water bottle: It's important to bring plenty of water if you are heading to the outback

Queensland is a great place to travel any time of year, but it's worthwhile planning around peak seasons. Popular beaches and cities can become very busy and costly during the summer months. This is especially true during Queensland school holiday time when Australian families are all enjoying their weeks off.

Campervan itineraries in Queensland

There's so much to explore in Queensland, it's just a matter of where to start first. Check out these awesome itineraries to help you plan your next campervan adventure!

Best things to do in Queensland 

Burleigh Heads Beach
Burleigh Heads Beach

Burleigh Beach is nestled between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta and is a popular spot to surf the headland break. Not a surfer? No problem. Spend your days wandering along the foreshore, enjoying a picnic in the barbeque areas, grabbing a bargain at the village markets and enjoying a swim in the safe waters of the beach.

Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is an unmissable coastal town, located in the Whitsundays region. Here you’ll be greeted with tropical weather, lively eateries and wonderful marine activities.

Woodgate Beach
Woodgate Beach

Woodgate is a picture-perfect sleepy seaside town with the friendliest locals. Relax by the beach, explore the surrounding national park or try your hand and kite surfing in the wide-open sea.

Surfers paradise
Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise Beach is easily spotted with its two-kilometre stretch of golden sand against the backdrop of skyscraper buildings in the heart of the Gold Coast. Hire a surfboard and go surfing, swim along the expansive beach or wander into the foreshore precinct for food, markets and more.

Lady Elliot Island
Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island is one of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays best known for its manta rays, turtles and its commitment to sustainability. Come to this sanctuary to swim amongst over 1200 species of marine life, explore the island trails and experience the nature-rich eco-resort.

Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island

Another one of the 74 Islands in the Whitsundays is Fitzroy Island - home to the family-owned and operated Fitzroy Island Resort. On this Island, the rainforests and walking tracks are just as sought after as the surrounding ocean activities. Spend your days snorkelling, diving and exploring the reef, lapping up the idyllic white sandy beaches or hiking under the shelter of the rainforests canopy.

 Queensland - Heron Island
Heron Island

Heron Island has been made famous for having the largest island-based research station in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit the research station on a tour to learn about the research that is conducted there, or simply surround yourself with the secluded and tranquil beauty of the island hotel.

Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is an island 8 km offshore from the city of Townsville, Queensland and is home to Australia’s largest wild koala population. With 23 beaches, dense eucalypt forests, hidden waterfalls and a strip of eateries and accommodation to explore - grab yourself a classic topless car to explore this island in style.

Cape Hillsborough National Park
Cape Hillsborough National Park

Cape Hillsborough National Park is just a short drive from Mackay, Queensland and the perfect place to get up close with wallabies and kangaroos in the wild.

Undara Volcanic National Park
Undara Volcanic National Park

Explore the long lava cave system that remains at Undara Volcanic National Park. Marvel at the remnants of this volcanic eruption on the western slopes of the McBride Plateau explore the ancient lava formed caves, and meet the flora and fauna that now reside here.

Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park covers 21,176 hectares and is home to an extensive network of hiking trails amongst the native subtropical rainforests of the McPherson Range. Navigate your way through lush rainforest, across creeks and waterfalls, and take in the impressive views of the Gold Coast from one of the many lookouts dotted throughout the park.

Daintree National Park
Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park is a World Heritage-listed region comprising Mossaman Gorge and Cape Tribulation. Admire the incredible biodiversity of this region as you navigate the ancient rainforests slopes of Mossaman and the sandy beaches of Cape Tribulation on a trip you won’t forget.

Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park is a hallmark of the Gold Coast horizon and the perfect place to escape the city to spend a day in the cool forests, tumbling creeks and impressive landscapes. A trip here wouldn’t be complete without a stop by the Natural Bridge waterfall and hanging around after dark to see the impressive display of glowworms.

Whale watching
Whale watching

For over 20 years, the Fraser Coast and the Hervey Bay area have been the stopover along the whale migration route. This makes it one of the few places in the world offering an immersive humpback whale experience. During their 10-day stopover, you have a unique opportunity to see the whales as they rest, play and socialise. However, whale watching on the Fraser Coast can be booked anytime between July and November.

Cuddle the koala's
Cuddle the koala's

If you have been dreaming of cuddling koalas, then don’t miss the chance at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Located in Fig Tree Pocket, just a short way from Brisbane, this sanctuary is the world’s first koala-focused sanctuary. While it was originally designed as a refuge for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas, here you can also meet over 70 species of native Australian animals.

Feed the dolphins
Feed the dolphins

There are only a few places in Australia where you can see and interact with wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Tin Can Bay and its sheltered coast make it the perfect environment to see dolphins in the wild. Under the supervision of Barnacles Dolphin Centre, you can stand in the water and get up close to these intelligent and playful creatures during their daily feeding tour between 7-8 am.

Check out some festivals
Check out some festivals

When in Brisbane, Queenslanders celebrate the new spring season with sunshine, flowers and the Brisbane Festival. Discover a lineup of award-winning performances, art experiences and show-stopping musical numbers across a staggering 223 locations across the city.

Buy from the local markets
Buy from the local markets

Carrara Markets are Australia's biggest permanent weekend markets. With over 300 market stalls covering a whopping 10 acres, you can find anything from fresh produce, homewares, pots, plants, arts and crafts, pony rides, baby animal farm, and face painting. The Village Markets is another popular boutique market held at Burleigh Heads State School.

Tour the mines with a local
Tour the mines with a local

Explore the history of mining, tools, and the mines themselves in the Hard Times Mine Underground Tour in Mount Isa. Guided by an ex-miner, you can get a real taste of what life would be like for a miner as you descend into the mine, get up close with the boom drills and mucking units, and even have the chance to try your hand at the air-leg drill.

Learn about fossils
Queensland - Learn about fossils

When in Mount Isa, don’t miss a stop at Riversleigh Fossil Discovery Centre to discover one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world. Navigate the interactive displays and impressive dioramas of this ancient world, and have the chance to learn from palaeontological experts at the movie theatre.

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Best places to stay in Queensland

BIG4 Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park 

BIG4 Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park is located on the Townsville Beachfront, just a short drive to the CBD, and is the perfect hub for a campervan trip in this region. Some of the best things to do in Townsville are at your doorstep, including the Museum of Underwater Art, the Great Barrier Reef, and Magnetic Island. This holiday park has a fully equipped camp kitchen, coin-operated laundry, and unlimited WiFi.

NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park 

The NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park is located on the adventure-packed Gold Coast and is no exception. This holiday resort features four resort-style swimming pools, pirate-themed mini golf, bouncing pillow, outdoor cinema and a licenced restaurant, and is bound to keep the whole family entertained. But that is just the tip of the iceberg of things to do in the area. Continue the thrill at Movie World, take a surf lesson at Surfers Paradise Beach and relax beach-side at this sunny coastal holiday destination.

Southside Holiday Village 

Southside Holiday Village is a caravan park lined with palms and lagoons located within 10 acres of landscaped tropical gardens, 5-minutes from Rockhampton City and only 30-minutes from Yepoon on the Capricorn Coast. There is plenty to see with a tennis court, swimming pool, free WiFi, BBQ area, camp kitchen and playground on-site, and the Capricorn Caves, Rockhampton Zoo, and Dreamtime Cultural Centre in town.

NRMA Cairns Holiday Park 

NRMA Cairns Holiday Park is the perfect budget-friendly accommodation in the heart of Cairns. With plenty of things to do in Cairns, including exploring the Butterfly Sanctuary, relaxing by one of Cairns beaches, seeking adventure at ZOOM and experiencing the very best of the Great Barrier Reef, NRMA Cairns Holiday Park is the perfect base to experience this tropical city.

Mt Isa Caravan Park is located in the heart of outback Queensland’s North-Western mining region. Spend your days exploring the Riversleigh Fossil Centre, joining a Hard Times Underground Tour, and enjoying the local scenery and wildlife. Then spend your evenings recuperating at the caravan park to cook up a meal at the camp kitchen, swim in the pool, and relaxing under the shade of the eucalyptus trees.

Campervan Hire Deals For Brisbane & Cairns

Get outside and immerse yourself in Queensland, from Brisbane to Cairns and everything in between with these campervan deals. See how much you could save on your next trip.

Explore the Top End - Primary Explore the Top End - Regular

Explore the Top End

20% off daily hire rate + no one way fee

Book before 18 May 2022
Travel 27 Apr - 17 Jun 2022
Price Match - Regular

Price Match

Conditions apply

If you find the same Mighty campervan type for a lower price elsewhere, we'll beat it!

The best way to see and do more is with a Mighty camper 

Queensland, Australia is a campervan traveller heaven between the sunshine, attractions, and campervan-friendly accommodation. If you’re ready to rent a van to explore all the hidden gems of tropical Queensland for yourself, be sure to check out all our latest deals and book your Mighty camper today. If you’re looking for other ways to get the most out of your Australian road trip, visit our blog and download the thl Roadtrip app. For more travel inspiration, check out our Queensland itineraries.

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