Queensland is Australia’s tropical paradise, filled with lush national forests, beautiful beaches, and plenty of wildlife. If you want to get the most out of your road trip in QLD Australia, then look no further than this Brisbane to Cairns itinerary.
Home to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, heavenly Gold Coast, and charming Whitsundays, Queensland is beautiful from coast to coast. Your adventure will begin in the capital city of Queensland, the third-most populated city in Australia known for its unique blend of ancient land and modern art and culture.
Traveling along the Pacific Coast Way, you’ll eventually reach Cairns, a tropical paradise in the far north of Queensland that’s rich in aboriginal history, brimming with rainforest, beaches, and extraordinary ocean views.
Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, Australia, is a vibrant metropolis known for its pleasant climate, outdoor lifestyle, and cultural attractions. With a mix of contemporary architecture, green spaces, and a lively dining scene, Brisbane offers a perfect balance of urban amenities and natural beauty.
From the bustling central business district to the stunning parklands and nearby coastal getaways, Brisbane has something for everyone to enjoy.
from Brisbane Airport
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Tour the world’s oldest koala sanctuary, spanning 18 hectares and housing over 80 species of Australian animals.
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Opened in 1855, these gorgeous gardens are an official Australian Heritage Site.
Eat Street Northshore
Nosh on tasty Australian street food as you wander through this transformed container wharf.
Moo Moo The Wine Bar & Grill
This Italian steakhouse serves Wagyu steak, fresh seafood, and wine sourced from around the world.
This eco-friendly restaurant by the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art’s eatery features menus made from locally sourced ingredients.
This casual bistro serves Spanish cuisine and tapas in a laidback setting.
Brisbane Holiday Village
Just a 15-minute drive from Brisbane city center, this holiday park is an ideal place to stay in a campervan, it features landscaped gardens, a swimming lagoon, sports activities, and restaurants. Rates start at AUD $41/night.
Wild Horse Retreat
Get in touch with nature at this horse ranch at the foot of the Glasshouse Mountains. Features include potable water, toilets, and water hookup. No powered sites. From AUD $36/night.
Lamington National Park
Camp in your RV near the Gondwana Rainforests, an Australian World Heritage Site. Includes some powered caravan sites. Costs AUD $29 per family per night, or AUD $7.25/person.
QueensPlaza Car Park
A convenient parking location in Brisbane’s Central Business District.
200 Mary Street Car Park
A Central Business District parking garage featuring early bird hours, multi-day packages, and hourly rates.
Noosa is the perfect place to relax after a 2-hour drive. Unwind on the beach, stretch your legs in the sand, and experience amazing art, culture, and food in the charming center.
The town is well-loved by locals and tourists alike for its vibrant beaches, idyllic tropical paths, and easy access to the ocean and famous Noosa River.
Over the course of your time here, you can spend one day on the beach, spend another kayaking the river, and use your free time to explore the many restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops that line the streets.
Noosa National Park
Capture memorable photos of Southeast Queensland’s most scenic landscapes and one of two everglades at Noosa National Park!
Noosa Heads Main Beach
Have some fun in the sun at one of the most beloved beaches in Australia.
Noosa Farmers Market
Pick out seasonally-harvested fruits and vegetables at the Noosa Farmers Market.
La Vida Restaurant
Tapas, pasta and seafood platters for the taking, all of which are served on an outdoor veranda.
Season Restaurant & Bar
This quaint bistro serves up locally caught fish with a view you won’t soon forget.
Traditional Australian fare served in a sophisticated wine bar.
Noosa North Shore Campground
This campground offers visitors a soothing environment mixed with breathtaking views to make your trip an unforgettable experience. There are hookup sites and external power supplies available as well.
Big 4 Ingenia Campground
Big 4 has everything a roadtrippers could want. With plenty of places to go birdwatching or play a few rounds of golf, Big 4 offers a peaceful stay close to all Noosa has to offer.
Noosa River Holiday Park
Whether you’re pitching a tent or living that campervan life, Noosa River has a welcome spot for everyone.
Agnes Water is a picturesque coastal town along the Central Queensland coastline with natural beauty and a relaxed ambiance. Its pristine beaches, thriving eucalypt forests, and thriving mangroves offer a captivating blend of coastal and inland wonders. Serving as a gateway to the renowned Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Agnes Water provides a perfect starting point for unforgettable adventures.
Explore the lush lowland rainforests on invigorating hikes, spot charming wildlife like wallabies and kangaroos, and experience the warm hospitality of the friendly locals. Discover serenity and natural splendor in this coastal haven that will leave a lasting impression.
Great Barrier Reef
Agnes Water serves as a fantastic starting point to embark on an adventure to the world-renowned icon, the Great Barrier Reef. Take the opportunity to join a snorkeling or diving tour to explore the breathtaking wonders of this magnificent reef system.
Agnes Water Beach
This beach has awesome golden sands and is a paradise for surfers. And if you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of turtles nesting between April and October!
Escape the usual routes and embark on a day of discovery amidst the awe-inspiring vistas and tranquil seclusion of Chinaman's Beach.
Fuel up for a day of sun and surf by heading to Poke Pokay, where you can relish in a delectable spread of sushi and sushi bowls, the ideal meal to energize you before hitting the beach.
Round Hill Pizza
This pizza place has a perfect summer vibe, perfect for a casual dinner.
Sits right off Agnes Water Main beach, this is a gorgeous cafe with incredible views where you can find salads, smoothies and even Acai bowls.
Agnes Water Beach Holiday Park
This holiday park provides powered sites for campervans, along with amenities such as hot showers, laundry facilities, and a camp kitchen. It is conveniently located close to Agnes Water Beach, offering easy access to the sand and surf.
Workman's Beach Camping Area
Situated within Deepwater National Park, Workman's Beach offers a peaceful camping experience surrounded by nature. The campground provides facilities like toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits.
Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary and Campground
This unique campground offers the opportunity to camp alongside friendly kangaroos and other wildlife. It features spacious sites, BBQ facilities, and basic amenities.
Along the Central Queensland coast lies Cape Hillsborough, home to eucalypt forests, mangroves, beaches, and more. It’s connected to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and easily the most striking and awe-inspiring location in the entire Australian Mackay Region.
You’ll want to hike through the incredible lowland rainforests and keep your eyes open for wallabies and kangaroos. There are also carpet pythons in the forests, and you’ll likely see them slithering over rocks or winding their way up trees.
Cape Hillsborough Beach
This beach is home to plenty of photogenic kangaroos and wallabies that give the ocean views a run for their money.
Andrews Point Track
This 2-mile walk takes about an hour to complete and offers amazing views of the ocean and forest.
Beachcomber Cove Track
A track that will take you from the eucalypt forest and rainforest and reaching a lookout point at Beachcomber Cove.
Pitt Stop Classic Cafe
This quaint little restaurant serves up coffee, fish and chips, and even groceries and copies of the Australian Post. A great place to refuel on your trip and grab some stapes for your RV fridge.
Oh Deere Farm Stay and Sugar Cane Farm
Starting at AUD $31/night, you can park your caravan or camper and enjoy peace among acres of sugar cane fields. Hookup sites are available, as well as water and toilets
Jarravale Farm Stay
This family-friendly farm campground features animals, sugar cane fields, and amazing mountain views. Powered and unpowered sites available, as well as toilets and potable water. Rates range from AUD $24-$36/night.
Arlie Beach is a town in the Whitsundays featuring tropical beaches, turquoise waters, and endless breathtaking views.
The mainland has just as much to offer as the surrounding coastline, and it will be your favorite spot on this trip if you’re a surfer or fan of water sports.
from Cape Hillsborough
Catch a boat to the epic Withsunday Islands at Coral Sea Marina.
Airlie Beach Lagoon
This lagoon features its own pool and even small swim areas for kids.
Conway National Park
Hike through mangroves and forests, and immerse yourself in a vibrant Australian rainforest.
Enjoy a fresh latte and healthy dishes like avocado toast topped with egg whites and arugula.
Delicious burgers, seafood, and cocktails are enhanced by fantastic waterside dining.
Cool LaLa Modern Chinese
From dumplings and Pad Thai to bubble tea, this restaurant combines some of Asia’s most tantalizing flavors onto its menu. There are tasty vegan options also available.
Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
The Big4 caravan parks throughout Australia are among the best you can find. This location features a massive lagoon-inspired swimming pool, waterpark, animal park, and mini golf course. Rent a cabin for a few nights, or connect your RV to one of the powered sites for AUD $69-$109.
NRMA Airlie Beach Holiday Park
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the rainforests of Bali as you embrace nature in this beautiful, tropical park. Features a resort-style pool, gourmet barbeque area, camp kitchen, and pet-friendly accommodations. Caravan costs are AUD $35/night for an unpowered site while a powered slab costs $65/night.
Discovery Park Airlie Beach
This family-friendly park is the ultimate getaway for those hoping to catch sights of Australian wildlife. Get your camera ready, because there are plenty of wallabies, kangaroos, and even turkeys wandering about. Unpowered, powered, and ensuite caravan sites are available starting at AUD $83/night.
Airlie Beach Woolworths Car Park
Over 200 spots available. Maximum of $10 per day, $3/hour.
Port of Airlie Car Park
Covered and uncovered spots available for $16 for 12-24 hours, $7-8 an hour. The first two hours are always free.
You’ve made it to Mission Beach, home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest.
When you’re not experiencing some of the most amazing sights Australia has to offer, you can unwind on one of the many dazzling beaches stretched across nine miles of sunny coastline.
from Airlie Beach
The Great Barrier Reef
Whether you snorkel, scuba, or go on a boat tour, you have to experience the underwater wonder that lies in the Pacific. Catch a boat tour from one of the local operators for a day trip to the reef — check out Barrier Reef Australia for inspiration.
Skydive Mission Beach
Soar 8,000 feet as you take to the skies at the Skydive Mission Beach Center!
Kennedy Walking Track
Hike along the 8 kilometer Kennedy Walking Track and immerse yourself in the surrounding nature.
Tuskers Tuckerbox & Catering
Dine on fresh seafood, juicy burgers with fries, and some local Australian beer.
Bingil Bay Cafe
Swing by this cozy beachside cafe for live music on Fridays, trivia on Thursdays, and great burgers, wraps and gourmet pizza anytime.
Mission Beach Camping & Caravan Park
Experience the ultimate laid-back atmosphere at this beachfront park. Unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings, with unpowered sites available starting from just AUD $27 per night, and powered sites starting at AUD $29 per night.
Dunk Island Caravan Park
Bask in the sun as you enjoy a tropical, white sandy beach. There are over 70 powered sites available.
Tasman Holiday Parks
Situated directly on the beachfront of South Mission Beach, Tasman Holiday Parks provides a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers. Powered sites are available with water and sewage hookups as well.
Enjoy the free parking and sounds of the ocean as you park right near the beachfront of Narragon Beach.
Cutten Brothers Walking Track
Nestled within Clump Point, the Cutten Brothers Walking Track allows visitors to safely park and give them easy access to a scenic hiking trail.
Rotary Park gives tourists a clear, straightforward path to the coveted Wongaling Beach.
The wild tropical landscape in the Tablelands is lovingly called the “Village in the Rainforest.” With a magnificent Waterfalls Circuit, hiking trails, and incredible views, it is one of the most beautiful spots in Queensland and only a short distance from Cairns.
This part of Far North Queensland (FNQ) is the perfect destination to experience more of Australia’s phenomenal wildlife and rainforests before you reach your destination.
from Mission Beach
Millaa Millaa Waterfall
Explore the most famous waterfall in Australia. You can’t jump from the top, but you can take a refreshing dip in the tropical lagoon.
You can venture into one of the continent’s oldest private crystal collections and study prehistoric fossils and crystals for AUD $25/ticket.
Enjoy unbelievable waterfall views at this destination in Wooroonooran National Park. This is a moderate challenge, so avoid the climb and appreciate the ground views if you’re not a hiker.
A play on words along with tons of atmosphere is what hungry roadtrippers looking for a quick bite will find here.
Cassowary Churros Cafe
Satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade churros and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options if you’re looking for a healthy meal.
Small bites, delicious coffee and plenty of ambiance at this cozy bistro located in Kuranda.
TROPIKARMA Camping & Music
It’s not everyday you stumble upon a musical sanctuary in the heart of the rainforest. Enjoy a full camp kitchen, live entertainment, and close access to the forest and beach. No electric or water hookups, however. Prices start at AUD $24/night.
Kairos Nature Camp
Fall asleep to the soothing sound of the river as you relax at this nature camp. It has no electric or water hookups, so you’ll need to come prepared for an authentic wilderness experience. It costs AUD $34/night.
Emerald Creek Hideaway
Water and electrical hookups are available at this small, peaceful campground. Prices start at AUD $48/night
Welcome to Cairns! This tropical city is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and you’ll want to stop by for another trip and view of the magnificent ecosystem if you didn’t see it already.
In addition to exploring the main sights of Cairns, another must-see location is Daintree National Park, the world’s oldest rainforest. You’ll find it about 2 hours northeast from the city’s center.
Cairns is the only location in Australia where two World Heritage Sites are located side-by-side. Enjoy your time here, whether it’s camping near the rainforest, relaxing on the beach, scuba diving, or photographing the reef.
from Atherton Tablelands
Swim in a tropical rainforest just 20 minutes from Cairn’s Central Business District by car.
Embrace serenity and unwind as you stroll along the coast in this peaceful Cairns suburb.
Enjoy a glimpse of the Great Barrier Reef on land as you explore this beautifully designed aquarium. Fun for all ages.
Lake Placid Tourist Park
Surrounded by 14 acres of tropical rainforest, this park exclusively provides powered sites, allowing you to enjoy modern amenities amidst the lush surroundings.
Cairns Holiday Park
Just three kilometers from Cairns’ city center, and with a range of caravan and camping sites available, along with a refreshing in-ground pool, you can relax and unwind in this idyllic setting.
First City Caravilla
Situated in a central location, this park offers unpowered sites starting at AUD $42 a night.
If you can find a spot, street parking costs AUD $2.10/hour.
Cairns City Council Car Parks
You can park your RV during the day for AUD $2-3 an hour, and it’s free after 6 PM.
Daintree National Park
You can hook up your RV at one of the world’s most incredible sights starting at AUD $30/night.
C’est Bon French Restaurant
Savor French cuisine like steak tartare while sitting in this unique circular dining room.
Yaya’s Hellenic Kitchen & Bar
Greek favorites that soothe your soul while satisfying your craving for authentic Grecian cuisine.
Waterbar Grill & Steakhouse
An eclectic space where timber meets stone and fish meets deliciously prepared steaks, and of course, yummy desserts.
1698 km/ 1055 miles