A good, old fashioned road trip. There’s something about it that just amps you up for an adventure. Sure you could shave days off your travel time by flying, but the highlight of a road trip is the stops you take along the way.
Australia is one of the most stunning places to drive through, and we think Queensland is unmatched when it comes to the best sights and sceneries. From the north’s tropical paradises to the vast red deserts out west and everything in between, you can’t beat it.
The only problem is getting from Point-A to Point-B can be rough when the roads change from bitumen to dirt and rock. But let’s be honest, you bought the 4WD to see more than just the well-trodden paths.
This list will take you through the best beaches, rainforests, tourist attractions and 4WD hotspots in the maroon state.
The Classic East Coast Trip (Brisbane to Cairns)
Queensland has some of the world’s best coastal cities – each scattered a rough 200km apart from one another.
If you’re seeking an off-the-beaten-track adventure, then it’s time to brave the huge 1700km road trip from Brisbane to Cairns, or vice versa. Tour past reef-fringed beaches and spot clusters of islands from the start of your journey to the finish. This drive will take you through historic rainforests, open planes and kilometres, upon kilometres of beach.
You’ll make stops through a range of towns and cities, each with its style and culture. We recommend making stops at Fraser Island near Bundaberg, the Finch Hatton Gorge in Mackay, Sandy Point north of Yeppoon and the Whitsunday Islands.
There is more than plenty to do, so brush up on your research or run the risk of missing a fantastic experience. But don’t stress too much, there will be plenty of time to do more on the return trip.
The Savannah Way (Cairns to the NT Border)
Trek from coast to country along this rough as guts tail. The Savannah Way will take you from the Cairns area into the heart of Australia and out the other end.
The unsealed route is Australia’s longest trip and would usually take you all the way to Broome WA, but border restrictions because of COVID-19 may force you to pull a U-turn at Burketown.
This is one of the most interesting trips in the country and in its 3700-kilometre entirety will take you about two weeks to complete (and that’s if you’re not taking time to explore properly). Tackling this drive is a big task, but one of the most rewarding trips you’ll ever go on. You won’t see better outback sites anywhere else in the country. Just be careful of when you go because certain parts of the track are inaccessible during the wet season.
The Great Beach Drive (Sunshine Coast to Fraser Island)
Whoever named this trip didn’t win creativity points, but they got the job done! This drive is great, there’s a lot of beach, and you’ll be driving for a whopping 380 kilometres of uninterrupted ocean scenery.
The Great Beach Drive connects the Sunshine Coast and the Gympie region with Fraser Island. If you love beach driving this is a must because you’ll be cruising along some of the world’s best beaches and through idyllic National Parks and World Heritage-listed areas.
You’ll need more than a Corolla to tackle this job because you’ll be on sand for most of it. Take your time and look at the water. This area is known to be home to dolphins, turtles, rare sea birds, and is a whale-sighting hotspot.
75-Mile Beach (Fraser Island)
With a name like that you won’t forget how far you’re travelling. The 75-Mile Highway will take you across the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. Home to a pure strain of dingo and native humpbacks, it’s got great potential for you to get up and close with some wild animals. Just don’t get too close, Dingos bite.
The drive is one of Australia’s most iconic 4WD tracks for road tripping. A drive down this 120km highway will lead you to picturesque swimming holes and stunning views of nature and sprawling sand dunes.
The Big Red (Brisbane to Birdsville)
If you’re craving a country experience, the Big Red is the trip for you. Make stops in some of the most iconic, rural Queensland towns.
The roads are rough, but the towns are sweet and welcoming. It’s a perfect balance of rugged driving and being able to reward yourself with a hotel bed and a beer at the end of the drive.
There are a few ways to tackle this trip, but every route has a unique group of towns and history. You can pass through Nindigully, Cunnamulla, Noccundra, Innamincka before reaching Birdsville; or alternatively you can pass Dalby, Roma, Charleville, Quilpie and Windora and still get to the same place.
You can also pass Betoota, a ghost town with a zero population that inspired the famous spoof news-site the Betoota Advocate.
At Austates, we understand the bond between tradie and four-wheel drives. When your vehicle is being used for work and fun, it’s important to equip it with the best, custom fittings. That’s why almost all our products can be fitted to a ute. We’ve helped countless people find the right equipment to make their jobs easier. Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more.