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Brisbane to Cairns Drive – The PERFECT Road Trip Itinerary (2023 Edition)

Brisbane To Cairns Drive Itinerary Map

Everything you should see, do and experience on the epic Brisbane to Cairns drive! Our Brisbane to Cairns road trip itinerary will help you with all your planning needs.

One of the most popular road trips in Australia is driving from Brisbane to Cairns along the Queensland Coast.

Many will come from far and wide to experience the beaches, unique attractions, tropical islands and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.

Famous locations like Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach, Mission Beach, Hervey Bay, and more lie along this stretch of the Queensland Coast.

In fact, there is so much to see along this stretch of road you will find it hard to fit everything in!

This is why our expert guide will showcase the best ideas on must-see places and attractions to help you pick and choose what you want to do to plan out your journey.

The route for your drive from Brisbane to Cairns. Check it out on Google Maps here.

Brisbane to Cairns Drive Itinerary – The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

The stretch of road covers almost 2500 kilometres (1550 Miles) and is best explored over a 10 to 14-day period. Check out the route on

We recommend travelling just a few hours each time you move on to break up the journey.

Most of the stops will only require one night, but there are a few locations that will be better to enjoy over a couple of nights.

You will pass by natural waterfalls, turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and unique wild animal interactions, finishing up in Far North Queensland.

This is why driving from Brisbane to Cairns is just incredible and well worth the adventure.

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

Elliot Heads Bundaberg
We hope you like beaches, because there’s plenty of them on this road trip, just like Elliot Heads near Bundaberg.

What You Will See on a Brisbane to Cairns Road Trip

The Brisbane to Cairns drive is full of wonder and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when planning.

That’s why to help you decide, I have listed some of the highlights and things to see and do below:

  • Beaches and Hikes on the Sunshine Coast
  • Swimming in secluded waterfalls around the Atherton Tablelands
  • Visiting the white sand beautiful beaches of Mission Beach, Whitehaven Beach, Airlie Beach and Noosa National Park
  • Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
  • Witnessing the loggerhead turtles laying eggs or their hatchlings scamper down the…

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