This epic adventure from Brisbane to Cape Tribulation is a coast-hugging journey that takes in many of Australia’s iconic natural landmarks, with stops in cool seaside towns, eco-lodges and on sandy islands.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested duration: 15 Nights from Brisbane
• Brisbane: 2 nights
• Noosa: 1 night
• Fraser Island 2 nights
• Agnes Water: 1 night
• Capricorn Caves: 1 night
• Airlie Beach: 2 nights
• Townsville: 1 night
• Mission Beach: 2 nights
• Port Douglas: 2 nights
• Daintree Rainforest: 1 night
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this self-drive
• Explore cosmopolitan Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city
• Spend time on UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island with its turquoise lakes and miles-long beaches
• Stay in Airlie Beach, gateway to the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands
• See where the rainforest meets the reef in the town of Port Douglas
• Fall asleep to the sounds of the rainforest at Daintree Ecolodge
• This itinerary can also be done in a campervan or motorhome.
Suggested self-drive itinerary details
Day 1: Brisbane Begin your adventure with a couple of days in the Queensland capital. Stay 2 nights at The Sebel Brisbane.
Day 3: Noosa Set off north to the beach town of Noosa. Stay at The Sebel Noosa.
Day 4: Fraser Island Continue along the coast to River Heads. Take the Kingfisher Bay Catamaran over to Fraser Island. Stay 2 nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Day 6: Agnes Water/Seventeen Seventy Return to the mainland via Agnes Water up to Seventeen Seventy, the second landing site of Captain James Cook. Stay at Lagoons 1770 Resort & Spa.
Day 7: Capricorn Caves Travel north again through coastal towns on the way to Capricorn Caves to see its spectacular limestone caverns. Stay at Capricorn Caves.
Day 8: Airlie Beach Take the Bruce Highway to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the paradise islands of the Whitsundays. Stay 2 nights at Heart Hotel & Gallery Whitsundays.
Day 10: Townsville Stop on the coast for a night in the city of Townsville. Stay at Grand Hotel & Apartment Townsville.
Day 11: Mission Beach Pass through charming towns on the way to Mission Beach and its glorious eight-mile beach. Stay 2 nights at Castaways Resort at Mission Beach.
Day 13: Port Douglas Travel to Port Douglas, where the rainforest and Great Barrier Reef meet. Stay 2 nights at Thala Beach Nature Reserve.
Day 15: Daintree Rainforest Your final leg takes you to an eco-lodge in the rainforest, close to the winding river. Stay at Daintree Ecolodge.
Relax on the beach in the middle of the city on Brisbane’s Streets Beach
Island of sand
Drive along beaches and swim in crystal-clear lakes on the world’s largest sand island
Visit Whitehaven Beach, the most famous spot in the Whitsunday Islands
Spend the night at Daintree Ecolodge up in the rainforests of Northern Queensland
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
This itinerary features some of our favourite hotels like Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island, Daintree Ecolodge which has an unforgettable rainforest setting and Thala Beach Nature Reserve near Port Douglas. There are plenty of alternative hotels along the way to suit your budget and tastes.
You can really pack this itinerary full of iconic Australian adventures. A guided tour from your resort on Fraser Island, a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas and Daintree Forest exploration with an Aboriginal guide are just a few experiences that you can add to your itinerary.
This is already a comprehensive itinerary, but if you have more time, you could spend an extra night in laid-back beach town, Noosa, or stay longer in Airlie Beach and visit more islands in the Whitsundays. Or see more of the rainforest and reef with a few more days in Port Douglas.
From Airlie Beach, you can head over to ultra-exclusive Hamilton Island, home to the adults-only hotels, qualia and Beach Club. You could also start the itinerary further south in Sydney and create the ultimate East Coast itinerary.
Good to know
When to go
• North Queensland’s dry season runs from May to October, which is the best time to do this self-drive
• The wet season is from November to April and rainfall can be high up in the tropics; the rainforests and waterfalls are at their best during this time
• The humpback whale-watching season in Hervey Bay (between Fraser Island and Agnes Water) is from July to November
Free Sunset Catamaran Cruise in Port Douglas
14 days car hire
Incl. Kingfisher Bay on Fraser Island & Daintree Eco Lodge
Brisbane to Cairns
An epic drive from Brisbane to Cairns. Selected departures Jan to Mar 2020