|Trip Length: 4 days Total Distance: 1703 km Road Conditions: All sealed roads|
Stretching from Brisbane to Cairns the Pacific Coast Touring Route could be the backbone of your Queensland driving adventure.
There are plenty of great diversions along the way. Have a look at the day-by-day outline to get the whole picture.
From Queensland's exciting capital city of Brisbane, the Pacific Coast Touring Route promises travellers treasures of parks and gardens, arts and crafts, glorious beaches and bays as they venture north to the city of Bundaberg and the Great Barrier Reef.
Sights of rugged mountain ranges where spectacular beauty meets Aboriginal dreaming legend, food and wine experiences, superb islands, and coral cays all combine with many other diverse attractions along the 369 km route to make this one drive packed full of experiences.
The call of the Sunshine Coast takes you from Brisbane, to splendid places where everyone is provided for - from anglers and surfers to the faithful followers of art and fashion and then there's the hinterland - with great walks, vibrant markets and fresh produce.
Hear the tales of the gold rush days that swept Gympie off her feet, and from Queensland's oldest provincial city Maryborough, travel to Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach and step off the mainland into World Heritage Wilderness with a visit to Fraser Island.
You can leave your car at Urangan Boat Harbour, cruise to Fraser Island for the day or stay a night or two. There's a good range of accommodation from resorts to cabins, through to camping. Either hire a 4WD and experience driving in sand, or join a ranger guided 4WD tour. Return back to the mainland and continue on your journey north.
For the climax, travel to the southern Barrier Reef, marked by the sugar city of Bundaberg - the best possible entrée to one of the natural wonders of the world -The Great Barrier Reef!
Bundaberg is a gateway to 17 sandy beaches, 140 km of coastline and coral cays. Watch sea turtles hatch and burst through the sands of Mon Repos and whales breach close to the shore or explore the ecologically rich Lady Musgrave Island - a true coral cay.
From big-city lights to skies dense with stars above south pacific islands, the Pacific Coast Touring Route offers you any form of accommodation or service you could ever require - it has the lot!About the Drive
|Duration:||5 hrs 12 mins|
From Bundaberg, home of the famous bear and his Bundy Rum, through Gladstone and Rockhampton, to the tropical city of Mackay, the Pacific Coast Touring Route is a drive filled with unique opportunities and exciting adventures.
As part of the nation's Highway One, you'll journey to the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef - the largest living structure on earth - and its array of colourful aquatic life and islands. Become mesmerised watching vibrant reef fish swim amongst multi-coloured coral.
Soak in the ambience of the islands scattered offshore. There is an activity to suit all from snorkelling and diving to coffee cruises. Maybe just sit on the beach and watch the sunset over the mainland then hundreds of stars fill the balmy night sky with the scent of the tropics heavy in the air. Onshore numerous beaches and picturesque bays framed by rocky headlands provide isolated locations to unwind - this is life!
Visit the numerous natural and manmade wonders of this drive; Mt Etna Caves, Eungella National Park, Lady Musgrave Island, the extensive tropical plant collection at Rockhampton's Botanic Gardens are just a few. Inspect the modern industrial city of Gladstone - a city so clean and green it's hard to comprehend the extent of the big business going on here - for confirmation check out the free tours. Get to know the locals - sit up at a bar and chat with cane farmers or maybe hear tales from fishermen who ply the legendary Swain Reef.
Watch whales breaching as they migrate along the coastline, sit in awe as turtles struggle up white sandy beaches to lay their eggs in protected rookeries. Surround yourself in cool rainforests; wander trails and tracks through marvellous conservation and national parks.
This 656 km section of the fully sealed Pacific Coast Touring Route crosses the Tropic of Capricorn with the National Heritage Walking Trail criss-crossing the route. The climate is sub tropical to tropical and as the route takes you further north the need for winter woollies will soon be forgotten.
It's hard to imagine there could be any nasties on such an idyllic route however marine 'stingers' such as the box jelly fish do inhabit the northern warmer waters between November and May. Many beaches have stinger enclosures so you won't miss out on the chance to frolic in the Coral Sea. Grab a copy of the Stinger Awareness Brochure from a Tourist Information.
Listed as one of Queensland's 'must do' drives, the diversity of attractions is so remarkable you may need to add a day or two to your original itinerary. Don't forget your camera, sunscreen and hat and check out some of the coastal and hinterland communities along the way - there are some wonderful hidden secrets among them.About the Drive
|Duration:||7 hrs 54 mins|
Think of clear tranquil waters filled with colourful coral and tropical fish, luscious mouth watering fruits and succulent seafood, long white sandy beaches, islands where harmony prevails and secluded rainforest pockets - this is a glimpse of what awaits the traveller taking the scenic Pacific Coast Touring Route from Mackay to Townsville. If you've ever wanted to go to paradise this is the drive for you! You will wonder how life could get any better!
The 394 km sealed route hugs the coast line as it journeys north through green fields of sugar cane that become towering infernos turning the night sky red at harvest and past orchards where branches laden with mangoes droop toward the ground.
Explore earth's largest living structure - The Great Barrier Reef - world heritage listed and one of the natural wonders of the world. One of the beauties of the Great Barrier Reef is it's accessible to everyone - whatever your level of fitness or adventure requests are there is something for you. If you're in the area from late spring to early summer you may just witness one of natures amazing acts - the spawning of coral or as the locals call it 'an underwater snow storm'.
Just as in all tropical waters, visitors to North Queensland should be aware that saltwater crocodiles do inhabit the creeks and rivers and marine 'stingers' such as the box jelly fish frequent the waters of the northern beaches between November to May. However, it doesn't mean you miss out on a dip in those inviting crystal clear waters - many beaches have stinger enclosures for safe swimming and its wise to grab a copy of the Stinger Awareness Brochure from a Tourist Information Centre.
North Queensland has only two seasons - wet and dry. Typically, the wet season is from January to March and temperatures are usually always pleasant - even in winter the mercury rarely falls below 14 degrees Celsius.
This is a drive that you could accomplish in two days at a hectic pace or it could take you a couple of months visiting all the welcoming coastal and hinterland communities, getting to know the locals, island hopping and did we mention the reef? There are so many experiences to be had.
Prepare yourself for a drive of a lifetime along the Pacific Coast Touring Route - a breathtakingly beautiful journey through a part of North Queensland that every Australian should explore at least once.About the Drive
The Great Green Way is now an established touring route and is noted for the depth and variety of the attractions along the way. It is quite short compared with other iconic road trips such as the Matilda Highway. But with deviations to the coast and hinterland, do not leave yourself short of time as you will be disappointed.
The Townsville locals think nothing of driving direct to Cairns for a business appointment or a day trip out on a game fishing charter, while the good folk of Cairns likewise travel straight to Townsville for an important appointment or sporting event such as when the Cowboys are playing a home game there.
But let's take it a bit easier. A stocktake of attractions along the way include 12 National Parks, over 20 tropical islands, cascading waterfalls, secluded swimming holes and walking tracks. Near Mission Beach in Licuala State Forest, explore the habitat of the illusive cassowary.
Have your camera ready because this drive turns up photo opportunities frequently and they range from the natural attractions including highway lookouts that offer panoramic views over patchwork fields of sugarcane and banana plantations to pockets of pristine rainforest near Innisfail, to larger than life creations like the Golden Gum Boot in Tully.
Feeling hungry along the way, look out for the roadside stalls that offer fresh-from-the-tree seasonal fruit at farm-gate prices.
Enterprising foodies have discovered wonderful ways of blending the local fruit and berries into ice-creams and sundaes and these refreshing stops are well sign-posted to tempt you to come and try their taste sensations.
Country towns that once owed their origins to agriculture such as sugarcane farming now turn their attention to catering for travellers just like yourself, so respond to their invitation to spend more time in their midst and enjoy their hospitality.
There are even tourist radio stations to tune into so that you don't miss out on what this great drive has to offer.
The Great Green Way is your magic carpet ride that will land you in a world of environmental wonders, scenic beauty and friendly people - enjoy the experience.About the Drive
|Duration:||4 hrs 47 mins|