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BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO TRAVEL
Driving Distances: Brisbane - Cairns 1750 km
On this journey to Tropical North Queensland, you can experience three World Heritage Listed locations: Fraser Island, The Great Barrier Reef, and the Daintree Rainforest. And if that is not enough to satisfy your love of nature and the environment, then whale watching at Hervey Bay is a "must do" magical experience. Enjoy the comforts of an RV, Campervan or Motorhome for this tropical escape.
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Brisbane is often referred to as 'The River City', as it is build around the meandering Brisbane River. Over recent years, many new buildings have been constructed giving the city a modern look. It is a youthful city, as many overseas students study and live in or close to the city. The most enjoyable way to get around is by 'Rivercat'. One of Brisbane's main attractions is 'Southbank' with its huge man made beach and lagoon; restaurants, cafes, pubs, shopping, and great markets on the weekends.
 
  Australia Zoo. Steve Irwin, the famous 'Crocodile Hunter', is sadly missed by his fans around the World; but his spirit, passion and energy are clearly evident at Australia Zoo. Terri and Bindi, and the staff have carried on Steve's great wildlife conservation and humanitarian work. The Zoo is an exciting, vibrant and fun place to be. The shows in the Crocoseum are highly entertaining and the crocodile feeding will have you on the edge of your seats. There is a fantastic range of animals to see.  
  Maleney & Montville, are major tourist towns on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Both are famous for their arts, crafts, cafes and restaurants; and a great place to try the local produce. From his deli cafe in Maleny, Colin James' award winning ice cream is divine and the wasabi cheese, from the Maleny Cheese Factory, is delicious. The views from the Blackall Range are superb, especially to the south of Maleny, over the remarkable volcanic plugs that comprise the Glass House Mountains.  
  The Sunshine Coast. Driving down from the Blackall Range, the panoramic views over the Sunshine Coast are magnificent. If you have arrived in Brisbane from overseas, this may be your first opportunity to experience Australia's beautiful beaches. Moolooaba, Maroochydore and Coolum beaches have holiday parks located right on the beach. Just pull-up your campervan or motorhome and relax. Perhaps you could learn to ride a surfboard or have a delicious seafood lunch in the local Surf Clubs.  
  Noosa is arguably the most ideal holiday destination in Australia. The beautiful white sandy beach faces north and is generally protected from the wind. The average winter temperature is around 20C (68F) and people swim all-year-round. Hastings Street is the hub for cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping. In walking distance from Hastings Street is the Noosa National Park. The path that hugs the coastline has some of the most beautiful views over Laguna Bay, looking north towards Fraser Island. The Noosa River precinct of Noosaville is a great place to park the campervan or motorhome and have a barbeque in the park adjacent to the river. The barbeques are electric and free of charge. The Noosa Council has done a fabulous job creating this park that stretches 1.5 kms along the river. On the other side of Gympie Terrace are plenty of cafes and restaurants. Eating fish and chips in the park, watching the sunset over the river, is very popular. The world famous Eumundi Markets are only a short drive out of Noosa. Open every Saturday and Wednesday mornings, the markets have a real carnival atmosphere. Musicians from all over the World and local indigenous bands add to the atmosphere. From arts and crafts, to food and coffee, and fresh produce, you are guaranteed to find something that takes your fancy. If not, there's always the good old Aussie pub across the road.  
 
Rainbow Beach. Heading up the coast, a good detour to take is to Rainbow Beach. It's a pretty drive through thousands of acres of pine forests, and past spectacular native grass trees that take hundreds of years to grow, and that thrive after being burnt by bushfires. At Rainbow Beach you can take 4wd tours of the Cooloola National Park and the 40km beach that stretches to Noosa. A popular place to visit is the 200 metre high sandy cliffs, comprising as many as 72 different coloured sands.Hervey Bay. Because Fraser Island is only accessible by 4WD vehicles, we recommend that you use Hervey Bay as your base and take day tours to Fraser. Whale watching tours also leave from Hervey Bay from August to October.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is strikingly beautiful. With its magnificent circumference of white sandy beaches, multi-coloured sand cliffs, crystal clear rivers and lakes, and ancient rainforests; Fraser Island is high on the list of Australia's "must see" natural attractions. This special place is World Heritage listed. Its near perfect climate makes it ideal for exploring and observing the island's flora and fauna, including migratory birds and protected species such as dugongs and turtles.
Whale Watching. Each winter, an estimated 3,000 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Queensland's warmer coastal waters. Protected by Fraser Island, Hervey Bay is ideal for whales to rest and to give birth. Viewing whales, some up to 15 metres in length and weighing up to 45,000kg (99,000lbs), is a fantastic and exhilarating experience. Being naturally curious, these whales will often swim up to the boats, under the boats, and then put on a spectacular show by leaping out of the water.
 
   
  This wonderful trip to Tropical North Queensland can be planned in three parts:
  1. Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Harvey Bay and Fraser Island
  2. Traveling from Hervey Bay to Cairns
  3. Cairns, Port Douglas, The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest
If you are planning to undertake this trip, you should consider spending the majority of your holiday in areas 1 & 3, where there are concentrations of natural attractions and tourist related facilities. There are many cities, towns, villages and interesting places to explore on your way up the coast; however plan your trip carefully so you don't run out of time thus limiting your stay in Cairns.

The chart below is a guide to how much time you might spend in each location, based on a 14 day holiday.
 
 
DEPART
km
ARRIVE
NIGHTS
BRISBANE
60
AUSTRALIA ZOO
 
AUSTRALIA ZOO
60
NOOSA HEADS
3
NOOSA HEADS
150
RAINBOW BEACH
 
RAINBOW BEACH
125
HERVEY BAY *
3
HERVEY BAY
470
ROCKHAMPTON **
1
ROCKHAMPTON
335
MACKAY ***
 
MACKAY
150
AIRLIE BEACH ****
2
AIRLIE BEACH
280
TOWNSVILLE
1
TOWNSVILLE
350
CAIRNS
2
CAIRNS
67
PORT DOUGLAS
2
 
  * Three nights at Hervey Bay would depend on, if you are visiting during the Whale Watching season. That is spending one day on Fraser Island and one day Whale Watching.
** After a 470 km drive from Hervey Bay, we recommend that you spend the night in Rockhampton; or even better at Yeppoon, which is a beach-side town, 40 km from Rockhampton.
*** You should be aware that the 335 km drive from Rockhampton to Mackay is not very interesting and sparsely populated. You should fill-up with fuel at Rockhampton.
**** The two nights at Airlie Beach would depend on, if you intend going out on a day tour to one of the islands or perhaps a day cruise on a sailing boat.

Hervey Bay to Cairns.
As you will be passing through most of the cities and towns between Hervey Bay and Cairns, in this section we only mention several we feel may be of particular interest. If you request a quote for a vehicle, we will email you a detailed list of website links including all towns specific to this tourist route.
 
  Childers is a charming little sugar town, approximately 1 hours drive from Harvey Bay. The main street is lined with unusual Brazilian leopard trees and a number of beautifully preserved historic buildings featuring ornate, wrought iron, balconies. Sadly Childers is more known for the tragic fire, in 2002, that took the lives of 15 young backpackers. The rebuilt hostel is now a monument and a moving experience to visit. On a lighter side, the town is a great place to explore and stop for a coffee.  
  1770 is located on the coast, approximately 500km north of Brisbane, midway between Bundaberg and Gladstone. Lieutenant James Cook, who discovered Australia in 1770, landed here, less than a month after landing, just to the south of Sydney, on the shores of Botany Bay. On his journey north, he bypassed Sydney Harbour and next set ashore at Seventeen Seventy. It's a quiet coastal town with beautiful beaches and views north. The only drawback, is that it is a boring, one hour drive in from the highway.  
  Airlie Beach is like a tropical version of Byron Bay. Both are beautiful and vibrant places, with an eclectic mix of backpackers looking for a fun time in town, and tourists using Airlie as a base to travel out from Shute Harbour to the magnificent Whitsunday Islands and the southern section of The Great Barrier Reef. There is a huge choice of day tours out to the islands and reef, including sailing trips on fabulous ocean going catamarans to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach. This pristine expanse of pure white silica sand fringed by brilliant blue water and lush tropical island, has to be seen to be believed.  
  Bowen is an hours drive north of Airlie Beach. It's such a pretty little tropical town, that Baz Luhrmann chose Bowen as the location for his epic movie 'Australia', starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Part of the set, which is a replica of Darwin during World War II, has been left as a tourist attraction. It's a great place to stop for a award winning pie or a coffee in the cafe that Nichole & Hugh frequented during the shoot.  
  Townsville is the tropical capital of North Queensland. A large port and commercial hub, Townsville has established a nice balance between essential city services and facilities, and attractions for the tourists including the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, wildlife sanctuary, art galleries, museums, parks, restaurants and the spectacular Strand beachfront promenade. The city has gracious historical buildings, old pubs, and the mall is home to the vibrant Sunday morning markets.  
   
 
 
Cairns is the major holiday destination in Far North Queensland, attracting tourists from all over the world wanting to experience The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The city skyline has been influenced by tourism with most buildings comprising holiday accommodation. With tourism, comes a great variety of cafes restaurants, and shopping to suite every taste and budget. The Esplanade is the lifestyle hub of Cairns, with a large sandy swimming lagoon, grassy picnic areas, walking tracks, public barbeques, and children's playground. A great place to soak up the atmosphere and departure point for cruises out to the Great Barrier Reef.
 
  Kuranda is a another major tourist attraction, just a short distance out of Cairns. There is so much to see and do in this picturesque mountain village, that you should allow a whole day for exploring, shopping and eating. A fantastic way to get to and from Kuranda is by the famous Scenic Railway from Cairns. A spectacular journey with magnificent views of rainforests, ravines and waterfalls. Another breathtaking way to get to Kuranda is via the Skyrail, with absolutely superb views down over Cairns and out to the Coral Sea. The village itself is a virtual smorgasbord of galleries, cafes, restaurants, arts, crafts, markets and indigenous culture; something to please every visitor and beautifully crafted souvenirs to take home. The village is surrounded by lush rainforest with thousands of plant species and precious wildlife such as the luminescent blue Ulysses butterfly and the Green Tree Frog.  
  The Great Barrier Reef is recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is World Heritage listed. It has recently been voted the World's best destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council. All compelling reasons why you should visit this remarkable natural attraction. There are many tours out to the reef catering for snorkeling, diving; viewing the reef from glass bottom boats or from a helicopter, or just lazing about on the deck of a sailing boat. All memorable experiences.  
  Port Douglas. The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is considered as one of the most scenic in Australia. Just out of Cairns are the very pretty northern beaches including Trinity Beach and Palm Cove. Further north, and hugging the coast, the road winds it way past spectacular beaches and coastline. Port Douglas is a little town, BIG on character, atmosphere, hospitality and friendliness; an eclectic mix of people after a good time. The town has some wonderful restaurants and great Aussie pubs. It is a great town to make your base for trips out to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.  
  Daintree Rainforest. This area of Far North Queensland is often described as "Where the Rainforest meets the Reef." What a bonus this is for tourists! Two World Heritage listed areas so close to each other; yet so different and uniquely beautiful. Superlatives are simply inadequate in describing this place. You have to visit it to appreciate it. Visitors will find hiking trails, scenic lookouts and camping sites; however to get the most out of your visit to the Daintree, a guided tour is recommended.  
   
 


For information on additional trips out from Cairns and Port Douglas, 'click' here

More Information. If you book through GoOzGo and indicate your preferred tourist route or destination, we will email you a detailed list of website links specifically related to your choice. This will make it easier for you to further plan your holiday, book holiday parks, preview attractions etc.

Obtain a Quote . To obtain a quote, you first need to select a vehicle from our comprehensive range of RV's, Campervans and Motorhomes. On our Vehicles page, GoOzGo's Easy Guide will simplify the process of selecting a vehicle that will suite your requirements and budget.