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Cairns - Brisbane

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1. Posted by krissyh23 (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

My friend and I are heading to Australia in September. We're planning on travelling from Cairns - Melbourne in a car we're planning to buy in Cairns. We plan to take about 2 - 2.5 months to do this. A friend is planning to meet us in Brisbane and we're just trying to determine approx how long into our trip we should get her to meet us there. Do you think 5 weeks should be sufficient for us to make it from Cairns - Brisbane (giving us time to buy a car in Cairns) Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
~ Kristina

2. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Respected Member 550 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Five weeks would be more than enough to travel from Cairns to Brisbane. I think it took me about 3-4 weeks to do the same trip, but if you're allowing time for buying a car then 5 weeks sounds a good time scale.

Personally I loved hanging out in Cairns so even if you weren't buying a car you might want to spend some time there in any case.

3. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kristina,
Five weeks is plenty. All it does is fix the date you have to be in Brisbane. There isn't a huge amount to see between Airlie Beach (south of Cairns) and Brisbane anyway, so meeting your friend their is good.
The only thing that might trip you up is if you are a keen diver - you could end up wanting to stay up north to see the Great Barrier Reef!

4. Posted by maba (Inactive 227 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

As the others have said, 5 weeks is suficent for that leg of your trip. You may find you will spend more time in the Cairns area of FNQ (Far North Queensland) as it's a great location & the weather will be good. Places like Cooktown, Cape Tribulation, The Atehrton tablelands are all well worth a visit (stay overnight in Cooktown).

As you head South, Townsville is a major regional town with Magnetic Island (effectively a suburb) well worth the day trip. Then of course the Whitsundays where you can access the islands and the GBR (Reef). Oh and Fraser Island is a must, but you will have to take a 4WD tour out there from Hervey Bay.

Unless you plan to stick to the coast & the beaches, consider zig zagging a bit and take in some of the inland areas of Queensland. This will give you a glimpse of the outback. Palces like the town of Charters Towers just out from Townsville also Carnarvon Gorge but you need to book ahead (even camp sites) but there are some fantastic walks to be had (stay a few days).
The same applies as you head South into NSW & Victoria and the weather becomes cooler - don't concentrate on the coast alone, go inland & check out some of the towns and national parks.
Enjoy your adventure

5. Posted by krissyh23 (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks so much for your suggestions:) I will definately consider them as we plan our trip. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. So far we don't have much on our intinerary. We're more fly by the seat of our pants type girls but I'm definately doing some reading as I don't want to miss anything that's a 'must do'

Thanks again,

6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

From Hervey Bay you can also do whale watching trips. We spent a couple of days in Rockhampton, 'Australia's Beef Capital', but there wasn't that much to do apart from eat steak - though there was a small zoo and a nice botanic garden.