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Queensland Driving Holidays

For visitors looking to stumble across a unique experience and some real Queensland hospitality, mixing with the locals - then hiring a car and taking to the open road is a great option.

Queensland driving routes are perfect for the visitor who wants to see a bit more of the Sunshine State, and with relatively short distances between unique destinations they can be enjoying the beach one minute and tropical rainforests a short time later.

There is a fantastic array of contrasting scenery throughout Queensland that you really have to break away from the traditional tours to experience. Your views will change from coastal sands to luch rainforests, windey mountain roads, desert plains and unique Australian wildlife.

Heading out on your own driving tour will give you the freedom to stop at the lookouts and towns that interest you the most.

Gold Coast & Hinterland

Road to Lamington National ParkFrom the state capital Brisbane, an hour drive south is the Gold Coast. Here you’ll find a glittering array of sand, sea, sun, and surf along with a range of outdoor lifestyle activities. Cruise along the coastal roads with the sea on one side and the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast strip on the other. There are some trendy cafes along these coastal roads and the restaurants offer some of the best and freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.

From here it’s only a 30 minute drive west up the mountains into the Gold Coast Hinterland and Lamington National Park. Sit back and enjoy the windy mountain roads through rolling green farmlands, thriving rainforests and beautiful little villages. Feel free to stop at any one of the lookouts, bush walking trails or the abundant winery cellar doors and take the time to breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Sunshine Coast

Blackall Range Tourist DriveDriving north from Brisbane, the freeway will take you past the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains and within an hour visitors will be in the heart of the Sunshine Coast. This region is slightly more laid back than the Gold Coast, but the beaches are no less spectacular, the scenery no less breathtaking and the gourmet food trails will delight even the fussiest eater. The Sunshine Coast hinterland villages of Maleny and Montville are renowned for their amazing views over the coast as well as their local handcrafts, antiques and art.

At the northern tip of the Sunshine Coast region is Noosa Heads. Set on the edge of Noosa National Park and Laguna Bay, Noosa is one of the jewels of the Sunshine Coast with international standard shops, restaurants and accommodation.

Just an hour further north again, world heritage listed Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island, being more than 70 miles long and about 10 miles wide. For those with a four wheel drive, cars can be taken onto the island on ferry and driven along the surf beach that stretches for about 50 km. Visitors to the island should also spend some time exploring the rainforests and crystal clear freshwater lakes.

Around Cairns

Daintree LookoutIf you are starting your journey from Cairns there are also a number of great driving routes which can take an hour or a bit longer at a leisurely pace.

South of Cairns, a one hour drive down the Great Green Way will take you to Mission Beach which boasts 15 miles of sandy beaches and rainforest tracks. Just off the coast, tropical Dunk Island is accessible by water taxi.

Travelling north, the scenery is spectacular as you venture past the townships of Palm Cove and Port Douglas with their pristine beaches and luxury resorts and even further north you will find the spectacular Mossman Gorge, World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation.

Finally, if you have another day to spare, then the country to the west of Cairns will introduce to some of the most contrasting landscape in the world. Kuranda and Atherton on the tablelands have plenty of attractions to explore including the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and many miles of rainforest walks.

Travelling on in a westerly direction is harsh, rugged desert country and the Gulf Savannah region. Miles of orange dust will give you a taste of the real outback landscape. Also, just three hours from Cairns, at the Undara Volcanic National Park you will be able to visit one of the most fascinating outback landscapes at the Undara Lava Tubes.

So whatever experience you are looking for, a Queensland driving holiday can provide. Take your time, the highways or the byways, and enjoy all that this great state has to offer.