12 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £1999pp
Brisbane 1 night
Hervey Bay 2 nights
Rockhampton 1 night
Airlie Beach 2 nights
Magnetic Island 2 nights
Mission Beach 2 nights
Cairns 2 nights
Day 1: Fly to Brisbane.
Day 2 Brisbane: On arrival collect your car and make your way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to settle in and relax or perhaps take a wander and enjoy the city sights.
Day 3 Brisbane/Hervey Bay: Your journey begins as you head north through the Sunshine Coast to Noosa, a relaxed surf town with many cafés and bistros. Nearby is Cooloola National Park with walks and waterways you can meander before arriving in Hervey Bay, the main gateway to Fraser Island (approx 4½ hours).
Day 4 Hervey Bay: Day at leisure. Relax or choose from one of the excellent excursions on offer such as whale watching. Alternatively, consider booking a full day trip to Fraser Island, a World Heritage listed sand island, where you can explore the rainforest, creeks, beaches and a shipwreck (additional expense).
Day 5 Hervey Bay/Rockhampton: Travel to Rockhampton, stopping off en route at Gladstone for lunch the access point for Heron and Wilson Islands. Nearby you can visit Mt Morgan, an old gold mining town and limestone caves in the Berserker Range (approx 5 hours). Why not extend your stay with an optional extension to Heron Island? See page 56.
Day 6 Rockhampton/Airlie Beach: An early start as you head north to Mackay which is surrounded by national parks, and an ideal break in your journey before continuing to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands (approx 6 hours).
Day 7 Airlie Beach: At leisure. A chance to explore the local area taking in the majestic Cedar Creek Falls, followed by Proserpine coffee farm to sample some of their local produce. Travel to Bowen to relax on the stunning white sand beaches, before finishing the day at Hideaway Bay to view a stunning sunset. Why not extend your stay with an optional extension to the Whitsunday Islands? See pages 55-56.
Day 8 Airlie Beach/Magnetic Island: Leave this morning, stopping off at some of the picturesque beaches and secluded bays around Bowen, before arriving into Townsville (approx 3 hours). Here you will take a short ferry ride to Magnetic Island.
Day 9 Magnetic Island: A day at leisure to explore the island’s national parks, untouched tropical beaches and secluded bays. The contrasting landscape of this World Heritage listed island makes it truly distinctive. Rocky granite headlands fuse with the 23 bays and beaches to create a dramatic coastline while, visible from the sea, Mount Cook hovers above the eucalyptus woods and green vine forests.
Day 10 Magnetic Island/Mission Beach: Take the ferry back to Townsville and travel through the National Park following a route along the park’s southern edge. Little Crystal Creek is a great stop for a quick swim before driving onwards to Mission Beach (approx 3½ hours).
Day 11 Mission Beach: At leisure to relax. Mission Beach is made up of four beach villages linked by a wide golden beach to create the perfect base to relax and explore this unspoiled natural environment. A blend of sophisticated eateries, boutiques and art galleries nestle against lush tropical rainforest so you’ll find plenty to explore away from the beach.
Day 12 Mission Beach/Cairns: Depart this morning for Cairns, a great base for exploring the Tropical North’s Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, Kuranda and Barrier Reef (approx 2 hours).
Day 13 Cairns: At leisure. You may be happy to sit back and relax or, if you prefer, take the opportunity to head out and spend the day exploring the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef on an excursion.
Day 14 Cairns: Return your car at the airport and your tour concludes with your onward journey.
Accommodation: 4* Grand Chancellor, Brisbane; 4* Ramada Resort Hervey Bay; 4* The Edge Apartment Hotel, Rockhampton, 4* Toscana Village Resort, Airlie Beach; 4* Peppers Blue on Blue, Magnetic Island; 4* Castaways Resort, Mission Beach & 3*Plus Cairns Colonial Club.
Meals: Room only.
Tour price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights, 13 days group B car hire, return ferry from Townsville to Magnetic Island and accommodation as outlined.
12 night self-drive motorhome tour
Brisbane to Cairns is also available with a motorhome rather than a car. The price shown includes return international flights, one pre-night in Brisbane and a Britz Venturer motorhome with bonus pack for 12 days.