Monday, 26 March 2012

Brisbane to Cairns Roadtrip!

Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island
Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island
By kevgibbo - - Flickr

The East coast of Australia is a path full of many beautiful discoveries, the best being the abundance of beaches with white sand and transparent rolling waves. Take a Campervan roadtrip from Brisbane up the coast North to Cairns. This takes you along Bruce Highway for a 1,703km roadtrip, however, don't just take the highway but explore various places off the beaten track on the way.

The best time to take a trip to this subtropical area is between April and November when it's drier and the temperature is more moderate. Pick up a camper for you and your family or friends in Brisbane and hit the road to the
Sunshine coast.

Noosa Australia
Noosa Heads Paddle Boarder
By eGuise Travel - Flickr

The whole route up passes many, many fantastic beaches so I won't name them all but be sure to spend some time when you spot one to your liking.
Australia Zoo is a top attraction, the creation of Australia's famous Steve Irwin.
Noosa Heads, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Mooloolaba are the main centre along this stretch, all resort type beach towns with plenty of great eateries, shops and of course beaches.
If you're in these parts on a Saturday or Wednesday, spend a pleasant and possibly bountiful morning at the Eumundi Markets. Head off route to Mary Cairncross park where you can get a fabulous view of the Glass House Mountains. While you're up there, take the scenic route from
Maleny to Montville where many a quaint coffee shop and craft store call home.

Spend a night in one of the many parks along the way, but we recommend:

Lake Waddy, Fraser Island
Lake Waddy, Fraser Island
By peterjoel1 - Flickr

Don't laugh at the names, but Gympie to Gin Gin is the next leg of the journey. On this leg you have the option to ferry over from either River Heads or Hervey Bay to the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. A beautiful sand island with great fishing, sparkling sand and waters, creeks and Lakes. If you want to take the Camper over, you will need a 4WD vehicle.
Go for a whale watching cruise in Hervey Bay, take a tour of the Bundaberg Rum distillery in Bunderberg or the Mon Repos Conservation Park turtles (only November to March).

The recommended park along the way is:

But if you want to spend a night or two in a more peaceful and quiet stretch of the coast, stay in Rainbow Beach, Burrum Heads Woodgate or Bargara.

Between Gin Gin and the tropical Rockhampton, there is many more coastal stops. However, Lake Awoonga and Lake Monduran are stocked with Barramundi if you want to try your luck with the rod. Rockhampton Botanic gardens are superb visit, with tropical plants, a Japanese garden, BBQ's and a tearoom. Rockhampton has many a historic building, so take a wander down Quay Street and see many of the fine buildings. Free camp along the Calliope River near Bruce Highway or stay at:

Rockhampton 31-10-2007 11-17-33
Capricorn Caves
By androoouk - Flickr

From Rockhampton, head out to Emu Park on the headland. Here, a large white sculpture - the singing ship, commemorates Captain Cook. Hidden organ pipes are activated by on-shore breezes causing it to actually sing. Nearby, are the Capricorn Caves, a huge tourist attraction. You can adventure cave through them or take a more relaxing guided tour. The huge domed cathedral cavern impresses all and the caves even have a camping ground. Further up the coast check out the coal exports or the Pine Islet lighthouse.

DSC77/Australia/Queensland/Airlie Beach harbour
Airlie Beach Harbour
By dany13 - Flickr

From McKay to Townsville we're getting even more tropical. Airlie beach overlooks the Whitsundays and is a perfect holiday destination with a tropical climate and good shopping. Take a day trip cruise over to the Whitsundays, a remarkable waterway made up of 74 islands all with perfect beaches and pristine waters. South of Townsville take some time at the Billabong sanctuary, dedicated to protecting native animals. Discover the Great Barrier reef's ecosystem at Reef HQ, an educational centre for the Marine Park.

Stay at:

Jourama Falls
By Mads Boedker - Flickr

The Townsville to Cardwell leg is where you can do an abundance of Tropical activities. Start off feasting on Mangoes at 'The Frosty Mango' roadside cafe between Rollingstone and Ingham. Camp by the Jourama Falls in the Paluma Range National Park. In this forested and beautiful area you can take a walk to the falls lookout, bathe in the swimming holes or watch the kingfishers flitting about. Take a look at the cane sugar fields or drive through the pine plantation and native forests to have a picnic by the Spa Creek swimming hole.

Spend a night or more at:

Paronella Park
Paronella Park
By Tasmin Slater - Flickr

Between Cardwell and Cairns is one of the prettiest places in Australia. Lush rainforests, rugged mountains, waterfalls and the Great Barrier Reef islands. Walk through Paronella Park private garden with stairways and even a castle. If you're game for a 15km summit walk you can find yourself at the highest peak in Queensland, Mount Bartle Frere. White water raft on the Tully, North Johnstone or Barron Rivers, suitable for thirteen year olds up.

This stretch of coast has many a great place to stay. These are a few:

Well, you have reached Cairns, 1700km+ later. From here, drop the Campervan and finish up, go up further to the fantastic town - Port Douglas or head along the Northern Coastline towards Darwin! Whatever you do, have a fantastic journey!

Find your Campervan at Campervan Hire Sale Finder. Leave us any comments for great attractions or if you've done this road trip.


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