This self-drive travels along two famous coastal routes and takes in three World Heritage-listed areas; Fraser Island, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics.


Suggested route & duration

Suggested duration: 13 Nights Brisbane to Cairns

• Noosa 1 night

• Fraser Island 2 nights

• Agnes Water 1 night

• Barmoya 1 night

• Airlie Beach 2 nights

• Townsville 1 night

• Mission Beach 2 nights

• Port Douglas 2 nights

• Mossman 1 night

About this independent tour

This is a recommended self drive itinerary including 14 days car hire with co-pilot kit and accommodation for 13 nights in mainly 4 star hotels.

Recommended highlights

THE GREAT SUNSHINE WAY Leave Brisbane for the relaxed beachside town of Noosa with its café culture. Then travel on to River Heads, where you’ll leave your car in secure parking and board a catamaran to Fraser Island, taking in this huge sand island’s attractions like the Maheno shipwreck and beautiful Lake McKenzie. Other highlights along the Great Sunshine Way include the historic town of Bundaberg – home of Bundaberg Rum, the quaint Agnes Waters town of 1770 and Henderson Park Farm for an Aussie cattle farm experience.

AIRLIE BEACH & THE WHITSUNDAYS The vibrant beach town of Airlie Beach is the gateway to the idyllic Whitsunday Islands and on this self-drive you’re free to discover the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef as you please – we recommend a boat trip to one of the archipelago’s stunning islands. The Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure.Whether you see it by boat, from the air or underwater, this is an icon that’s not to be missed.

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF DRIVE The Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation is a glorious stretch of coastline alongside two World Heritage-listed areas; the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics. You’ll pass Cairns’ Northern Beaches along the coast to Port Douglas, where you can choose from a range of day trips to the Great Barrier Reef. Port Douglas is also the gateway to the Daintree rainforest and beautiful Mossman Gorge, steeped in Aboriginal culture.

Tailor your tour

This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own number of nights and accommodation, add excursions – like a full-day 4x4 tour of Fraser Island or a day cruise to the Outer Barrier Reef – and extend your holiday. If you have the luxury of spending longer than two weeks on holiday, one of our favourite ways to extend this self-drive is to add on a few days on one of the picture-perfect Whitsunday Islands.