K'Gari rock pools and whales

From Brisbane to Cairns Self-Drive

13 nights from £2,999 per person Including Flights


This two-week east coast self-drive tour takes you from the vibrant capital of Queensland up to the sunny shores of Cairns. During your journey you’ll be blessed with some incredible experiences including stays at some of the finest white sand beaches in Australia as well as authentic Aussie culture. Starting in Brisbane, your journey will take you through the golden sands of Fraser Island, the naturally beautiful Rockhampton, the marvellous Whitsundays, the bustling city of Townsville and the cultural Paronella Park before ending at the spectacular gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns (TM - ATS).


  • Enjoy the vibrant city of Brisbane
  • Explore the beauty of Fraser Island
  • Discover the natural attractions of Rockhampton
  • Marvel at the Whitsundays with a visit to Airlie Beach
  • Explore the modern city of Townsville, including Reef HQ, Magnetic Island, and The Strand waterfront
  • Discover the interesting  heritage of Paronella Park
  • Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef

Tailor-make this holiday:
Our travel specialist can tailor-make this itinerary to your requirements, whether you’d like to extend your stay, change a hotel or perhaps you would like an upgraded stay along the way – our experts will be happy to create a tailor-made holiday for you.

Whats included?
  • ATOL protection
  • Car hire and transfers
  • Maps and itinerary
Why Book with Australian Sky?
  • Hassle-free - book direct quickly and easily
  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • Low deposits
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Days 1-2

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

Day 3

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

Day 4

Fraser Island

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

Day 5

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

Day 6

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

Day 7

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

Day 8

Airlie Beach

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

Day 9

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

Day 10


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

Days 11-13

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)

Day 14

Departure Day

Today you'll return your car to the airport and catch your flight home.

  • All accommodation as listed
  • Car hire and transfers throughout
  • Maps and itinerary pack

What's not included:

  • Optional excursions
  • Meals

Alex Cooper
Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday

01342 310 580 Call us 9am-7pm Mon-Fri / 9am-5pm Sat-Sun

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