Whether you're a Queensland native or visitor on a holiday, you won't want to miss this state's beautiful sites. And there's no better way to view these sites than to take a few days with you, your family, a reliable rental car and the open road.
Queensland offers numerous road trips, and we'll discuss five of the most gorgeous here.
1. Overlander's Way
Named for the drovers who moved cattle from the Kimberley to the east coast of Queensland, Overlander's Way covers over 1,500 kilometres. This route starts in Townsville and goes to the Northern Territory border.
Start off with scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef before heading inland for fossil hunting in Hughenden. Enjoy an underground tour at Isa Hard Times Mine, and watch the sunset on Mount Isa. Experience the thrill of the gold rush in Charters Towers, and stop by any of the numerous festivals and rodeos along the way.
2. Great Tropical Drive
As the name suggests, the Great Tropical Drive is an excellent choice for amazing nature sites. You actually have 13 different route options for this road trip. Depending on how much time you have, you can do all the routes in about two weeks or do them one at a time.
Like Overlander's Way, this trip begins at the Great Barrier Reef. On this road trip, however, you'll also enjoy the Daintree Rainforest and the Undara Volcanic National Park lava tubes.
Go whitewater rafting on Tully River, and learn about the love story behind Paronella Park, which includes the ruins of a Spanish castle. Admire prehistoric rock art near Laura, and go hunting with a guide on a Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tour.
3. Great Green Way
This road trip is a mere 450 kilometres between Townsville and Cairns. If you can make it to Magnetic Island as well, you should. The Great Barrier Reef can again be thoroughly enjoyed during this trip because you'll have numerous places to stop and play along the road.
Rainforests, waterfalls and inland swimming holes all populate this road trip, as well as plenty of delicious seafood restaurants and cultural learning opportunities. Over on Magnetic Island, you'll find a wealth of wildlife to enjoy and plenty of water activities, such as jet skiing. Watching the sunset over mainland Australia is also a sight you'll never forget.
4. Adventure Way
Starting in Brisbane and journeying inland to the middle of the Outback, Adventure Way retraces the steps of Cobb and Co., the original outback settlers. The full trip is over 1,000 kilometres, and most of the road allows any vehicle to drive with ease. For the last 150 kilometres to Currawinya National Park, however, choose a vehicle with four-wheel drive.
On this road trip you can see the Dig Tree where the Burke and Wills expedition came to a tragic end. Just 30 metres downstream of the Dig Tree is the Face Tree, carved by John Dick in 1898.
The nearby St. George River offers fishing, boating and possible sightings of impressively sized codfish. Then visit Bunya Mountains National Park, home of wallabies and many beautiful birds. Pull off at Picnic Point in Toowoomba for a nice lunch.
5. Matilda Highway
From Barringun to Karumba, stretching about 1,800 kilometres, Matilda Highway is easily one of the longest road trips you can take in Queensland. Much of the road is sealed but unfenced, meaning it's usually wise to only drive during daylight hours. You may see stock and wildlife on the road along this route.
Enjoy the Charleville Cosmos Centre as well as the Bilby Show along the way. Fish for barramundi on the gulf of Karumba. Stop by the Qantas Founders Outback Museum, and learn about the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways.
Enjoy the beauties of Queensland on one of these planned routes, or discover an adventure of your own! Talk to a rental car service about the best vehicle for making your planned trip.