Arrive in Brisbane
Begin your journey in Brisbane and on arrival check into your accommodation for the next two nights. This is a great chance to explore Australia’s third largest city and enjoy the sights. You’ll find a huge selection of trendy restaurants and bars as well as shops, art galleries and museums.
Overnight: The Sebel Brisbane Apartment Hotel
Brisbane to Fraser Island (300km)
Collect your car today and head north onto the Bruce Highway, travel along the sunshine coast from Caloundra to Noosa skirting the hinterland region. On arrival into Hervey Bay, continue to River Heads Village for departure to Fraser Island, the world’s largest Sand Island at 123km long, an absolute haven for nature lovers. Drop your car off (parking at additional cost) and board onto the Kingfisher Bay Ferry ready to relax and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Today is yours to spend at leisure, opt to embark on a fascinating full day ranger led Beauty Spots tour of Fraser Island (own expense), where you’ll learn all about the cultural and natural history of the island, as well as swimming in freshwater lakes, wandering through tropical rainforest, and driving along the incredible Seventy Five Mile Beach. Your evening will be free for you to relax or take part in a ranger guided activity or a spotlighting walk.
Overnight: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Fraser Island to Bargara (140km)
Depart Fraser Island and return to River Heads to collect your car and continue north along the coastline today, stop in Childers for lunch in one of the cafes and sample the famous local ice cream before venturing on to Bargara. Bargara is full of stunning beaches, beautiful rocky coastlines and here begins the Great Barrier Reef!
Overnight: Kellys Beach Resort, Villa
Bargara to Rockhampton (301km)
Take the highway to Gladstone today and stop off for lunch before continuing 110 kilometres north to Rockhampton, where there are wonderful natural attractions including the large spire at Curtis Park that marks the exact line of the Tropic of the Capricorn.
Overnight: Edge Apartments Hotel
Rockhampton to Airlie Beach (481km)
Today you will travel north along the Bruce Highway toward Marlborough and onto Mackay. Take a short detour to Cape Hillsborough National Park where the rainforest and reef meet, there is plenty of lovely walking trails here to stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors. Continue onto Proserpine and soon you’ll arrive in Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, the beautiful gateway to the 74 palm-fringed Whitsundays islands
Overnight: Airlie Beach Hotel
This day is free for you to explore. Take a sailing trip and spend the day on one of the impressive Whitsundays, or simply relax on Airlie Beach.
Overnight: at Boathaven Bay Holiday Apartments
Airlie Beach to Townsville (273km)
Today you will travel north for 273km along the Bruce Highway, detouring through Bowens and passing through the charming twin towns of Home Hill and Ayr before arriving in Townsville, a modern, vibrant city with fantastic attractions, including Reef HQ housing the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium.
Overnight: Seagulls Resort Townsville
Your whole day will be free for you to explore Townsville, we'd recommend heading over to the nearby Magnetic Island to discover the National Park and beautiful beaches or head on down to the busy waterfront ‘The Strand’ and wander around.
Overnight: Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville
Townsville to Cairns (348km)
Drive north 348km from the heart of Townsville to the heart of the tropics and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef - Cairns. Travel past Wooroonooran National Park and take a detour at Innisfail onto the Old Bruce Highway, travelling through Mena Creek to visit Paronella Park, a fascinating area full of culture and heritage. Afterwards, you’ll continue to the World Heritage Region and check into the Bay Village Tropical Retreat for the next 3 exciting nights of your stay.
Here you'll have the opportunity to add on a reef snorkelling excursion, go kayaking, or visit nearby mountains and rainforests. You’ll enjoy plenty of time to explore the surroundings and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.
Overnight: Bay Village Tropical Retreat (3 nights)
Today you'll return your car to the airport and catch your flight home.