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From Cairns to Brisbane

13 nights from £1,099 per person

  • Included:
  • Accommodation
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
  • ATOL protection
  • Car hire and transfers
  • Maps and itinerary
Click here for Pricing & Dates


This two-week east coast self-drive tour takes you from the sunny shores of Cairns down to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. 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 Cairns, your journey will take you through the cultural Paronella Park, the bustling city of Townsville, the marvellous Whitsundays, the naturally beautiful Rockhampton and the golden sands of Fraser Island, before ending in the modern capital, Brisbane.


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


Days 1-3


You’ll fly in to Cairns and on arrival you’ll transfer to the BreakFree Royal Harbour where you’ll spend three nights. Cairns is known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Here you'll have the opportunity to head out onto the reef for snorkelling and kayaking, or visit nearby mountains and rainforests. There will be plenty of time for whatever you would like to do here.

Overnight: Bay Village Tropical Retreat (3 nights)

Day 4


After collecting your car you’ll drive south (348km) from the heart of Cairns to Townsville. Driving past Wooroonooran National Park, 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 south to Cardwell and Ingham, before arriving in Townsville, a modern, vibrant city with fantastic attractions, including Reef HQ housing the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium.

Overnight: Mercure Townsville Central Hotel

Day 5


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: Mercure Townsville Central Hotel

Day 6

Airlie Beach

Today you will travel south (273km) along the Bruce Highway, passing through the charming twin towns of Home Hill and Ayr and taking a detour through Bowen. Soon you’ll arrive in Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, the beautiful gateway to the 72 Whitsundays islands.

Overnight: Best Western Mango House Resort

Day 7

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: Best Western Mango House Resort

Day 8


Depart Airlie Beach and drive south onto Mackay. Whilst travelling to Marlborough take a stop in Yeppoon, a lovely seaside town overlooking the picturesque Great Keppel Island. You’ll then only need to travel 40 kilometres south 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: Albert Court Motor Inn (breakfast included)

Day 9


Continung down South along the coastline today, stop in Gladstone for lunch and venture on down to Bargara. Bargara is full of stunning beaches, beautiful rocky coastlines and here begins the Great Barrier Reef!

Overnight: Kellys Beach Resort, Villa

Day 10

Fraser Island

In the morning you will travel to Hervey Bay, ready for your departure to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and a fantastic spot 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 11

Fraser Island

Today you will embark on a fascinating full day ranger led Beauty Spots tour of Fraser Island (at your 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

Days 12-13


In the morning you’ll depart Fraser Island by ferry before collecting your car and driving south to Maryborough and passing through Gympie. You’ll head to the incredible Sunshine Coast to explore the golden sand beaches of Noosa and Coolum, and then continue through the hinterland region to arrive in Brisbane, the bustling capital of Queensland, where you’ll spend 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: Novotel Brisbane (2 nights)

Day 14

Depart Brisbane

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


  • Hotel accommodation as listed
  • Car hire and transfers throughout
  • Maps and itinerary

Book today

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

01342 310 5809am - 9pm Mon - Sun


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Jackie Sheehan was absolutely excellent and went to great lengths to sort out our holiday requirements. She was brilliant, I can't praise her highly enough - Andrew Kennedy

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