|Trip Length: 7 days Total Distance: 655 km Road Conditions: All sealed roads|
Run away from it all on this 7 day itinerary into an eco-tourists paradise. From Queensland's dazzling capital Brisbane, with its big city lights, travel a few hours by car to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Allow Queensland's beautiful southern beaches to escort you along this awe-inspiring route - there's adventure, relaxation, and plenty of new experiences to be had.
Visit seaside communities, where time is always on your side. Explore the largest sand island in the world - World Heritage listed Fraser Island - what a delight! Witness the natural wonder of whales as they breach, slap and splash close by.
Encounter seventh heaven when you stay a while on a coral cay. Under a moonlit sky, watch in awe, as huge sea turtles come ashore at Mon Repos. There's lakes and dams to tempt the anglers, world-class walking tracks, colourful markets and field upon field of vines to explore. Up in the clouds taste locally grown delicacies by a flickering fire, or pitch the tent in a magnificent bunya pine forest and watch the wildlife go by.
There's so much more to uncover driving around this outstanding region so very close to Brisbane - it truly has the lot. Camp on deserted beaches or be pandered to at world-class resorts.
Note: This drive is accessible along sealed roads and suitable for 2WD vehicles. If you wish to self-drive Fraser Island or take the drive through the Kinkuna Section of Burrum Coast National Park a 4WD vehicle is required.
Feel the sub-tropical flair as soon as you land in Queensland's vibrant capital city, Brisbane. It presents some of the best shopping, food, wine, arts, and entertainment on offer.
Saunter through major art exhibitions, catch a symphony or watch the ballets latest show in Brisbane's cultural hub. Cross over the river and discover a city oozing with heritage and pride. Play at a boutique casino housed in a heritage-listed building or quicken the heart beat and embark on an adventure climb of Brisbane's Story Bridge for a novel view of the cityscape. Get an insight into the Brisbane way of life at the Museum of Brisbane, City Hall - it's free. Wine and dine in one of the splendid restaurants preparing cuisine from across the state or go continental visiting China Town, downtown from the city centre.
Follow the highway north to Caloundra, the entrance to the Sunshine Coast. Picnic by the tranquil waters of the Pumicestone Passage then follow the coast road seeing some of the Sunshine Coast's most popular beachside resorts.
Then it's onto Noosa! Spoil yourself dining at a street café by the sea before wandering along the beach under the light of the moon caressed by a gentle sea breeze. Select your accommodation from lavish resorts to a camp site by the sea.
Spend day 2 exploring Noosa. If you like a little of nature and the good life, then Noosa is for you. Sit and sip on Hastings Street - a tree-lined promenade filled with boutique shops and world class restaurants - as the waters of Laguna Bay lap the beach right next door. Stroll the seaside boardwalk or catch the shuttle bus to the National Park at the end of the street.
Deliberate on taking a diversion and drive up into the hinterland. Over rolling hills, through lush thick rainforests and pine plantations, the roads in the hinterland have hidden treasures around each corner - it's a perfect journey for those who enjoy walking through galleries, craft shops, and savouring good food and great wine.About the Drive
|Duration:||2 hrs 10 mins|
|Road Conditions:||All sealed roads|
Drive northwards through Gympie, 'Queensland's Golden City' and relive the days of the first gold rush at the Gold Mining Museum. If it's August, you'll hear the tunes of hundreds of country music and blues artists performing in Amamoor State Forest.
Head to the coast, for east is Rainbow Beach, just 78 kms north east of Gympie. Cross the river and follow the road through the Great Sandy National Park. If you're in a 4WD then access the beach and trek down 40 Mile Beach a real public road!
Pick up lunch from one of the take-aways at Teewah Village and cruise north to the Coloured Sands - ancient sand cliffs displaying a magnificent array of over 74 various colours! Take the walk up to Double Island Point Lighthouse and nearby look at the rusting ship wreck of the Cherry Venture.
For further adventure, take a drive to the Carlo Sand Blow - a huge sand dune towering high into the sky. Not only does it give an excellent view, for the more daring it's a great platform for hang gliding or take a cardboard box, rip it open and try sand tobogganing - there's no charge and the adrenalin rush lasts all day.
At Tin Can Bay see the dolphins when they come in each day to visit - what a splash! Continue north to Hervey Bay, Australia's premier whale watching destination and the stepping off point into World Heritage listed Fraser Island the largest sand island in the world.About the Drive
|Duration:||4 hrs 35 mins|
|Road Conditions:||All sealed roads|
If your visit coincides with the migrating whales - July to November - then hop aboard and get on out into the bay for an up close and personal experience with these enormous mammals from the deep. Feel the spray of water as they breach just metres from the boat - you can almost reach out and touch them they are so close.
See the sights around the coastal villages that make up Hervey Bay - there's over 40 kms of beaches! This is a wheelie friendly location - there are 13kms of sealed waterfront tracks and wheelies can also go for a dip as there's a plastic wheel chair free of charge - what insight!
Now it's time for Fraser Island! Don't worry if you don't have a 4WD there's numerous hire options and plenty of tours that can accommodate your visit. If you do have your own, load it up as Fraser is a 4 wheel drivers Mecca.
This charming island surrounded by 120km of white sandy beaches has the perfect mix - seclusion or adventure. It's easy for everyone to encounter its amazing array of natural wonders with the island resorts and private operators offering a superb focus on tours making sure no one misses out.
Float an hour or two away on a crystal clear fresh water lake, walk through ancient rainforests or fish and fish until you drop. Kayak around the islands edge as dugong and sea turtles feed on the sea grass beds below. Watch as humpback whales relax in the sheltered waters of Platypus Bay. Play in the shadows of immense cliffs of coloured sands.
In spring watch the wildflowers blossom carpeting the forest and heath in colour. Wildlife watch - this island refuge is home to 230 species of birds and many reptiles and mammals including the Fraser Island Dingo, the purest strain Dingo left in Australia.
A little house keeping - if you have your own vehicle you must obtain a vehicle access permit before departure to the island. Camping also requires a permit.About the Drive
|Road Conditions:||Optional 4WD access|
Unleash yourself from this island's magical clutch and head on northwards to the delightful town of Childers. Take in the brilliant moving display at the Palace Backpackers Memorial. Admire the restored buildings lining the main street. Learn all about early medicine at the Pharmaceutical Museum, then maybe wander through the Military and Memorabilia Museum, tucked away down Ashby Lane.
Icecream buffs indulge in your fantasy at Mammino macadamia icecream factory or hear all about our Australian reptiles along the same road at Snakes Downunder. Wine connoisseurs - burgeoning wineries are ideal for a tipple.
From Childers either continue directly north to Bundaberg or steer the car to Woodgate - a laid back little town on a wonderful section of beach. 4 wheel drivers an alternative route to Bundaberg from Woodgate is through the Kinkuna Section of Burrum Coast National Park.
Then it's into Bundaberg - or Bundy as the locals say - the home of the bear on the bottle. Mosey around this delightful city - see the huge whaling wall, Bert Hinkler House before heading out to the seaside holiday resort of Bargara.
From November through to March each year, on the beaches around Bargara a natural phenomena takes place - it is really worth the trip to see. Book in for a nightly tour at Mon Repos, the largest Loggerhead Turtle Rookery on the Australian Mainland. Watch in amazement as these giant ancient mariners come ashore to nest from November to January and then from late January to March thousands of little hatchlings scrabble up through the sand.
After a late-ish night you'll still be on a high from the night's previous experience with the great sea turtles. Take the time out and discover the stunning ladies of the reef - pristine coral cay isles just off the coast - it's the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Jump on a launch or take a flight and visit Lady Musgrave Island - a back to wilderness island with no facilities and wonderful scenery; Lady Elliot Island with its nature-based resort right on the reef. Spend some time - snorkel, dive or just relax awhile.
From here choose your best option for the trip home. You can return your hire car and fly back from Bundaberg or drive back to Hervey Bay, Sunshine Coast or Brisbane to pick up a flight home. Consider the leisurely option and drive back to Brisbane and deliberate exploring the hinterlands and Bunya Mountains along the unhurried back roads. Escape to the forested mountains scattered with waterfalls, pineapple plantations, galleries and many spectacular views.
About the Drive
|Duration:||1 hr 50 mins|
|Road Conditions:||All sealed roads|