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Epic Brisbane to Cairns Road Trip

Travel

9 days


Route

Brisbane to Cairns

1933km


Best Time of the Year

April to October

Highlights

  • Hervey Bay
  • Cape Hillsborough National Park
  • Airlie Beach
  • Kuranda Rainforest

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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Day 1
Brisbane to Noosa

Distance 162km - Driving Time 2 hours and 5 minutes

Starting off your journey in Brisbane is ideal as the city is easy to get around in, and if you’re flying in from another location, the Mighty Campers Brisbane branch is just down the road from the airport.

Once you’ve picked up your campervan, you can set off on an easy drive north for a couple of hours that will take you to the picturesque coastal town of Noosa.

As soon as you drive into Noosa you’ll be captivated by its beauty and nature-rich landscape.

Putting aside a few hours to explore the Noosa National Park is a must. The windy sealed pathway will guide you along the gorgeous coastal bays of Noosa, as well as showcase the surrounding lush native bushland and wildlife.

After an easy walk through the Noosa National Park, a dip in the ocean to cool down is always a great idea. Noosa Main Beach has a lifeguard patrolled area as well as calm inviting waters.

Then, to really top off the day, you can’t miss a dining experience at Noosa Boat House. With a drool-worthy menu including fresh seafood options and kid-friendly meals, as well as a prime location literally on the Noosa River, this is one dining experience that you’ll never forget.

One of our favourite spots to camp in this area is the Noosa North Shore Beach Campground. This campground is directly on the beach at the Noosa North Shore and is a wonderful spot for the whole family to enjoy. They even have campsite facilities to complement your campervan, as well as great private campsites surrounded by nature. What more can you ask for!

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Day 2
Noosa to Hervey Bay

Distance 159km - Driving Time 2 hours

After a beautiful time in Noosa, it’s onto your next stop, the world-famous Hervey Bay. If you time your trip well enough, you can even experience what makes this place so famous.

Each year between July and November it’s whale watching season in Hervey Bay. There are a range of operators who offer days out on the water watching these magnificent creatures, so if you are in the area during the season, this is a must-do activity to put on your road trip itinerary.

Whale watching isn’t all that there is to do in Hervey Bay. Another great activity is an easy stroll through the picturesque Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens. This 26-hectare area is a mix of natural bushland, formal gardens, rainforests, wetlands and even an orchid house.

Those with kids are going to want to check out Wetside Water Park. This fun-filled park includes waterslides, play areas, under 5’s play spaces, as well as a café and dining options for you to enjoy.

Our go-to spot to stay in Hervey Bay with a campervan is Hervey Bay Holiday and Caravan Park. This campground offers a peaceful setting, as well as great facilities and a sparkling swimming pool that is sure to keep the kids entertained.

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Day 3
Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

Distance 111km - Driving Time 1 hour and 30 minutes

Next up on your Australian road trip is Bundaberg. This is a wonderful part of the world with much to do.

You’ve probably heard of the world-famous Bundaberg Rum, well this is your opportunity to visit their distillery. Here you can explore the museum before joining one of their expert distillery guides on a tour of the working distillery. Then, once you’ve seen where the magic happens, you can then make your way to the Bundaberg Rum Tasting Bar where you can sample any of the top-shelf rums in their impressive range.

The Bundaberg Barrel is another great tasting experience that takes you into the tasty world of Bundaberg drinks. From their well-known Ginger Beer and Lemonade to their lesser known Blood Orange and Passionfruit, this tasting and tour will be a great experience of how this brand creates their products, as well as a great opportunity to test out their huge range.

Another great experience that Bundaberg offers is the Mon Repos Turtle Centre. Here you can learn all about the incredible journey that marine turtles go on in their lifetime. As well as this, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience a night session during turtle hatching season, where you are guided along the beach to see incredible baby turtles hatch and make their way from their nest to the ocean to begin their journey.

There are some great spots to camp in and around Bundaberg, but our go-to is CMCA RV Park. This affordable, family-friendly park is conveniently located close to the local shopping district, has shaded or open sites and is perfect for your self-contained campervan.

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Day 4
Bundaberg to Agnes Water

Distance 122km - Driving Time 1 hour and 40 minutes

A little further north is the friendly coastal town of Agnes Water. This part of the world is full of beauty and family-friendly activities.

A kayak on the water at Seventeen Seventy with 1770 Liquid Adventures is a great activity that the whole family are sure to enjoy. There are family tours, private tours, nature tours and even sunset tours to choose from that allow you to be immersed in the natural beauty of this area.

There is a great coastal walking trail called the Red Rock Trail. This trail invites you to explore the 7.7km track that runs along the Agnes Water coastline where you can take in the endless vistas of the Pacific Ocean.

If a relaxing day at the beach is what you’re craving then we suggest heading to Chinamans Beach. This is a secluded, quiet and natural beach that allows you to escape the crowds and explore the incredible rock pools and golden sand stretch of the beach.

When it comes to places to stay, you can’t quite beat the beachfront NRMA Agnes Water Holiday Park. They have great campsites and facilities on offer, are just a short walk from town and are located directly on the main beach.

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Day 5
Agnes Water to Cape Hillsborough

Distance 605km - Driving Time 7 hours

After your time in Agnes Water comes to an end, it’s then time to head north for a few hours until you reach the charming Cape Hillsborough area.

When you arrive you’ll probably want to stretch your legs, so why not do that through the magnificent Cape Hillsborough National Park? This ruggedly scenic park features lush rainforest, eucalypt forest, rocky headlands, volcanic rock formations and stunning beaches.

This incredible area also offers an experience that you’ll never forget. At sunrise, if you make your way down to Cape Hillsborough beach you can spot Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Agile Wallabies feeding on washed-up mangrove seed pods. Absolutely incredible and a must-have photo experience!

After immersing yourself in all that this area has to offer, we recommend booking into Cape Hillsborough National Tourist Park. They have large spacious campsites, great facilities as well as a swimming pool and water slides that the kids are sure to love.

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Day 6
Cape Hillsborough to Airlie Beach

Distance 128km - Driving Time 1 hour and 30 minutes

Next up on your road trip from Brisbane to Cairns is the world-famous Airlie Beach. This part of the world is full of fun, nature-filled experiences, a few of which we think are a must-do.

An Ocean Rafting Day Tour is a great way to explore the surrounding area from the sea. You’ll enjoy an exhilarating ride to the beautiful Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Beach and Lookout, as well as snorkel in the crystal clear waters over incredible reefs, and be taken on a guided tour through Whitsunday Island National Park.

A Whitehaven Beach Day Tour is another great experience that the whole family is sure to love. This is one of the world’s top beaches, and with its pure white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s no surprise why. There is a tour and trip suited to every budget and need, as well as a range of fun experiences and activities to choose from.

The Big 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is a great spot to retreat to after a day of exploring. This is a family-friendly park with great campsites and amenities, as well as a waterslide park, an animal park, a kids club, a mini golf course and an outdoor cinema space to keep the whole family entertained.

Day 7
Airlie Beach to Townsville

Distance 272km - Driving Time 3 hours

An easy and scenic three-hour drive north from Airlie Beach will have you in Townsville.

An incredible experience that we think is a must when visiting this area is the Museum of Underwater Art. This is Australia’s only underwater museum and was created to inspire and educate visitors about reef conservation. You can snorkel or dive through the spectacular underwater marvel and witness as these incredible artworks transform over time into their own ecosystems that are thriving with marine life.

A short ferry ride will have you on the stunning Magnetic Island. This untouched paradise invites you to wander along the palm-fringed beaches and hiking trails, or snorkel in the crystal clear waters to discover the thriving underwater life that will leave you in awe.

If you’re wondering where to stay when you are in Townsville, we recommend booking into G’Day Parks. This is the perfect location for your tropical getaway and is a beautiful caravan park to relax and unwind at after a day exploring the area.

Day 8
Townsville to Mission Beach

Distance 235km - Driving Time 3 hours

Travelling further north than Townsville will lead you to the glorious Mission Beach. This is where the rainforest meets the reef and is a must-add to your Australia road trip itinerary.

From nature walks and adrenalin sports to incredible snorkelling and diving, there is so much to see and do in and around Mission Beach. If you fancy a guided tour out to the reef, there are plenty to choose from. Set sail and explore all the spots that are bursting with sea life and coral reef formations.

Those who have a sweet tooth are sure to love the Charley’s Chocolate Factory tour. You’ll get to see how all their delicious chocolates are made before enjoying a tasting of their great range.

Dunk Island View Caravan Park is our go-to when staying in this area. Not only is it just 50m from the white tropical sandy beach and surrounded by lush green rainforest campgrounds, but, as the name suggests, it also enjoys views of the magnificent Dunk Island.

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Day 9
Mission Beach to Cairns

Distance 139km - Driving Time 2 hours

The final stop on your road trip is Cairns, and trust us when we say, this is going to be a great way to end your van travel trip.

The weather up here is always warm and sunny so you’re sure to find endless options when it comes to swimming holes and rainforest walks.

One of our favourite rainforest walks is Kuranda Rainforest, and trust us when we say, it is bursting with beauty! To take it all in you can enjoy one of the walking trails, drive up the mountain range, float above the canopy on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or wind through the Barron Gorge on the world-famous Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Then, after exploring the beautiful rainforest, we recommend heading to Josephine Falls to cool off in the picturesque swimming holes.

Finishing the day at NRMA Cairns Holiday Park is always our go-to. They have wonderful park facilities and lovely campsites and are ideally located close to all that this wonderful area has to offer.

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

So there you have it, our go-to travel spots for an epic road trip from Brisbane to Cairns. Of course, there are many hidden gems in between that you’ll get to uncover along the way, but hopefully, this guide will make your itinerary planning all the easier. Plus, if you’d prefer to start your trip in Cairns and head south to Brisbane, then campervan hire in Cairns is also possible thanks to Mighty Campers.

If you’re ready to start exploring Australia, book your Mighty Camper today in a branch or online. Plus, if you want even more travel inspiration to get you excited then head over to our blog and read more about our tips, tricks and must-see places.

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