Time Frame: 14 – 21 Days
It’s a popular drive for many in a RV Hire, to head along the stunning coastline between Cairns to Brisbane or vice versa.
Cairns is in the tropics, so most people would prefer to visit there in the winter (also called the dry season) which means it should be less humid. Anywhere in the tropics or northern part of Australia is best visited sometime between May – October.
Most travellers spend around 14 – 21 days in their RV Hire exploring this section of coastline. There is plenty to see, so if you have longer, you will not be disappointed and you will have more opportunity to explore off the beaten track.
Enjoy the popular Cairns to Brisbane route for stunning scenery, walks and great places to relax. Travelling in a RV Hire is a perfect way to travel, as not only do you have your home with you all the time, it is great being able to make coffee and yummy lunches in some stunning areas.
After picking up your RV Hire head into the information centre to pick up some local info and details on your planned travel route. The flexibility of having a RV Hire means we do not need to book or plan ‘too much’, however good to have information on board to ensure you don’t miss any ‘must sees’. The exception to this is if you are travelling at busy times of the year, in particular
Christmas and other popular times like school holidays and special events. Plan more if you are short on time to ensure you make the most of your few days.
- Highlights for your RV Hire from Cairns to Brisbane
- Cairns is very easy to navigate around and is the ideal starting point for many different trips. For example you could head north to Port Douglas , the Daintree and Cape Tribulation (sealed road) or you could travel west up into the Atherton Tablelands and over into the outback after visiting the Undara Lava Tubes . There is also a lot to see and experience around Cairns, like visiting the Great Barrier Reef and the Kuranda Sky Rail amongst other attractions.
- Mission Beach , a beautiful coastal village surrounded by rainforest and coastal farmland – just a couple of hours drive south of Cairns. Explore coastal settlements including Bingle Bay on the way. There is a lovely low cost camping area at Bingle Bay which is right on the beach front. The camping area only has basic facilities. There is a good opportunity to see a Cassowary near Mission Beach, so keep you peepers peeled.
- Tully, back out on the highway is one of the wettest towns in Australia so has a large gumboot monument as a tribute to its climate. Also a big sugar area so lots of trains going to/from the mill. And yes, it’s often raining when passing through!
- Enjoy viewpoints which look out over Hinchinbrook Island (with the best lookout near Cardwell ) on the way to Townsville .
- Townsville has a nice esplanade, good for a picnic and walk. Drive up Castle Hill for some amazing views over the city and out to Magnetic Island . If you have time, take a day trip out to Magnetic Island, via ferry (leave your RV Hire on the mainland). The island is in a ‘rain shadow’ which creates quite a different climate and landscape to the areas further north on the mainland. On the island you can swim, enjoy walks or get a bus to explore the island. Alternatively you can hire a ‘mini moke’ and drive around the island.
- Alligator Creek National Park is a nice detour off the highway. There is a good day use area, and a camping area, complete with toilets and showers. As it is a national park campground, it is a great low cost camping option. Usually a good opportunity to see plenty of wildlife like rock wallabies, kangaroos and scrub turkeys.
- Bowen – Our favourite place in Bowen is at snorkelling at Horseshoe Bay; only a few minutes from town and a very pretty drive out to the beach. In Bowen, you can also get some excellent views over the Whitsunday Islands from driving up Flagstaff Hill.
Enjoy the murals in town and the memorabilia from the move ‘Australia’ which was filmed here recently.
- Airlie Beach – the gateway to the Whitsundays which are stunning islands with long white beaches. Airlie has great restaurants, sights and nightlife. There is a manmade lagoon at Airlie Beach and also enjoy bushwalks in The Conway Range behind Airlie Beach. A majority of the tours to the Whitsunday Islands leave from Shute Harbour, near Airlie Beach. Enjoy the markets on Saturday morning at Airlie Beach.
- Clearview has a lovely commercial camp and also a free camping area a little further along the side road for those that are fully self-contained RV Hire and don’t require the extra facilities. Both are in excellent locations and right on a bluff which gives a great viewpoint for sunrise.
- Rockhampton spans the Tropic Of Capricorn and is the self proclaimed “beef capital” of Australia
- Agnes Water and The Town Of 1770 is a worthy detour from the Bruce Highway. Agnes Water boast Queensland’s most northern surf beach while 5kms away you’ll find the laid back relaxed community of 1770. If you’re finding the campgrounds at the beaches a bit busy for you, check out the commercial camp ground at Round Hill – good opportunity of seeing kangaroos and black cockatoos in the evenings/mornings.
- Enjoy ‘the Larc’ while in 1770, which is an amphibious vehicle that drives up the coastline of Bustard Bay to the isolated Bustard Head Lighthouse – the first lighthouse to be built in Queensland. Have a fantastic day, spotting an abundance of wildlife, spectacular scenery and learning about the history of the area. The full day tour which was a fantastic way to see the more remote coastline.
- Bundaberg – another pretty detour off the Bruce Highway. If you visit 1770 first, take a secondary road down to Bundaberg which is a stunning drive. Bundaberg has attractions which are popular like finding out more about ‘Bundy Rum’ or ‘Bundaberg Ginger Beer’, which are both very popular drinks here in Australia. Head out to Bargara on the coast for more enjoyable scenery.
- Hervey Bay is one of the locations where you can take a day tour to Fraser Island. A great way, when on a limited time frame, to experience World Heritage listed Fraser Island (the largest sand island in the world) is on a 4WD day tour. You can see all the main highlights like the stunning Lake Mackenzie, enjoy a rainforest walk, see the spectacular and colourful sand dunes and even go for a couple of swims. There’s a variety of different day tours available, and these can also be taken further south from Rainbow Beachif you have more time to head out to this beautiful seaside community.
- Noosa, at the northern end of the Sunshine C0ast offers everything from boutique shopping and exquisite cuisine to picnics on the beach. Also enjoy the nearby Noosa National Park situated on Noosa’s headland. It is full of great walks and wildlife.
- Enjoy the coastal driver from Noosa to Caloundra if you have time, through many popular season towns and past long golden beaches – plenty of campgrounds along this route for your RV Hire. These can be busy during popular times like school holidays and Christmas.
- Glass House Mountains – these are large remnants of volcanic peaks that are quite stunning against an otherwise flat landscape and can be seen from the Bruce Highway, heading back to Brisbane. There’s a look out and also walks up and around some of the mountains.
- Australia Zoo, a very popular attraction made famous by Steven Irwin (aka the Crocodile Hunter).
Click here to download a one page Brisbane to Cairns pdf
Please note while great care has been taken putting together these highlights to assist with your travel plans, sometimes local tourist attractions do change because of weather, conditions or another adverse reason which we are not aware of. We do suggest checking with local information centres as you travel to receive the most up to date information.
We look forward to speaking to you further if you are interested to campervan Australia – fill in our easy to use Quote Form for Campervan Hire to get information on costs for your specific travel dates, or you are welcome to send us an email or give us a phone call.