Airlie Beach to Brisbane Road Trip – Detailed Itinerary

Airlie Beach to Brisbane Road Trip
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The Airlie Beach to Brisbane road trip is a whole over a coastal route -offering you to visit lots of national parks and camping sites. So it’s sort of traveling the wheel of a campervan, you can’t stop in the middle without exploring the whole route.

Yes, lots of nature wonderful experience is waiting for you on this coastal route. Whether you are a visitor, or native to Arlie beach, if you need to go to Brisbane-this itinerary is for you. Just read first to last-you will rarely need to open the google map after reading this!

In the meanwhile travelling Brisbane from Arlie beach, there are almost 46 off-stops, with momentous visiting value. All of these stops not going to be described in our list, but surely we will describe the must-watchable list. If you want to cover all inclusion from our list, it will take about 10 days.

So Let’s see all the itineraries, attractions, and other prime actions you could do on this road trip.

Airlie Beach to Brisbane Road Trip: Itinerary, Attraction, and Activities

Route3 different routes (Bus/Car, Train, Plane)
Total Road Distance692 mi (1114 km)
Shelf Drive/Car (Direct route)13 hrs 43 mins  (normal traffic)
Bus18 hrs 55 mins
Train16 hrs 56 mins
Stops35 stoppage

Arlie beach to Brisbane is an 1114 (near about) road trip, if you nonstop drive you will need almost 13h in normal traffic. If you ride a bicycle it will take 2 days to reach. However, Brice Hwy (Perhaps local people called it bruce highway) is the main connecting road between these two places

Several means are there to reach Brisbane from Airlie Beach. Almost 6 are the most popular options. However, You can catch a direct flight either from Proserpine or Hamilton Island. Both are direct flights. The first flight will take 4h4m whereas the second option take 4h24m.

You can make a combination of bus trips and an air trip. In that case, you have to catch a bus from Airlie beach to Airlie beach station, then the air fry from here to direct Brisbane. This trip takes a total of 6h and 23m

Another option is riding on a direct train, which is from Airlie Beach to Brisbane. The journey will take almost 17h and 5m.

A direct bus trip also is there, that is from Airlie beach to Brisbane. And the duration is 18h55m. Now the most desirable riding option from Airlie beach to Brisbane is shelf driving a car.

Shelf driving is the most wanted riding for max travellers, they can stop their car at any point and can see the many local attractions. So shelf driving needs only 14h 52 m if you drive nonstop.

People often go for the Brisbane to Airlie beach road trip. The itinerary for Brisbane to Airlie beach road trip is also in the same manner, only you have to turn the list upside down in that case.

However, the mentionable stoppage between these two destinations is Noosa, Bundaberg, Maleny, Hervey Bay, and Mooloolaba. Now, Let’s describe all the ride segments on the Arlie beach trip toward Brisbane-

You can read also: Darwin to Uluru Road Trip

Airlie Beach to Proserpine

Only 22 minutes driving from Airlie beach via the Shut Harbour/State Route 59 and the first stoppage comes. This stoppage is Proserpine. The distance is only about 25 km.

You can take a short break to visit the wonderful Lake Proserpine (30 minutes driving far from central Proserpine). This lake features clean fresh water, people who go to visit here can enjoy camping, fishing even also can enjoy various watersports too.

In the meanwhile from Airlie Beach to Proserpine, you can visit the Airlie Beach Lagoon (just 1 min drive far from the beach, even you can go for a beach walk here).

Proserpine to Mackay

The distance and driving time from Proserpine to Mackay, Queensland is 1 hr 27 min (125.2 km) via Bruce Hwy/A1. You can also make a bus journey from Proserpine station to direct Mackay-in that case total riding duration will be 1h50m.

Mackay (/məˈkaɪ/) is placed on the eastern side of Queensland. The significant marine life makes Macay well known.

Also, this east coast region is popular for its blue Lagoon and Harbour beach. The other name of Mackay is the sugar capital of Australia, as this area supplies almost the maximum sugar to the whole of Australia.

Cities in between these two coastal regions are Breadalbane, Gunyara, Bloomsbury, Yalboroo, Pindi Pindi, Calen, North Mackay, Glenela. Erakala etc.

Visit spots in this road trip are- O’Connell River Tourist Park, The Blooming Mango Farm, Saint Helens Gardens Tourist Park, Mount Ossa Reserve, Zarby’s Café, Palm Tree Greek Rest Area, St Brigid’s Catholic Church,

On a short Detour from the highway, you also can visit the-Mount Oelion, Mount Ossa, Jolimont Caravan Parks, Pioneer Rigging Services, Kuttabul, The Leap Hotel, and Ridgewood Drive park.

A day trips on over Mackay should include visiting the following attractions-

Bluewater Lagoon, Orchid Display House, Bluewater Trail, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Artspace Mackay, Caneland Central Shopping Centre, Green Mount Homestead, Bucasia Beach, Goose ponds, Slade Points, Harbour Beach, Lambers Lockout, Pioneer River, Dolphin Heads, Sandfly Greek Walkway, Mackay Museum, Town Beach, Lamberts Beach, far Beach, Mackay Town Hall, illawong Beach, Armstrong Beach—so many others!

Most probably I have to write a separate session only writing how to explore the Mackay, the coat cities of Queensland!

Mackay to Yeppoon

3 hr 49 min of shelf driving, just after 353.6 km via Bruce Hwy/A1 you will reach another Queensland city, Yeppen on your Airlie Beach to Brisbane road journey. The top stop-off in between Mackay to Yeppoon is-(sometimes you may take a short décor!)

  • Rockhampton Botanic Gardens
  • Capricorn Caves
  • Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sarina Sugar Shed
  • Freedom Fast Cat Cruises
  • Mount Archer

Like other coastal cities, Yeppoon also has so many beaches and islands on the gulf. The topical climate of this city also is renowned, and highly tourist-friendly.

You can see lots of visiting spots in Yeppoon. Few mentionable are-Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary (highly recommended), Keppel Konnections (ferries, wonderful), Yeppoon Lagoon, Bluff Point Walking Track, Yeppoon Main Beach, Wreck Point Scenic Lookout, Fan Rock Lookout, Capricorn Coast National Park, Mount Jim Crow National Park, Appleton Park, The Mill Gallery, Beaman Park, etc.

Yeppoon to Tannum Sands

Tannum sands, the Gladstone Region Coastal town 172.9 km road far from the Yeppoon. It’s a small coastal town having only 84.3 total area. Driving all around 2 hr 6 min from the Yeppoon (via the Bruce Hwy/A1) will push you here.

Tannum Sands basically recognized for its various fishing venue. Other recognizable places of Tannum Sands are Great the Barrier Reef, The Boyne River, and Lake Awoonga.

Millennium Esplanade and Tannum Sands Beach, Canoe Point Beach and Parklands, Wild Cattle Islands National Park, Boyne Tannum Turtle way Artscape and Ocean Breeze Gallery are other 5 key concerns where you can spend your quality time in Tannum Sands.

Tannum Sands to Apple Tree Creek

Needs driving almost 2 hours from the Tannum sands centre to reach the Apple Tree Creek city. When I visited this place, I only stayed 1 hr here. So I made a short visit to Flying High Bird Sanctuary Zoo, and Childers Eco-Lodge (Wine tours and Tastings).

Apple Tree Creek to Woolooga

Drive another 1.5 hrs. from Apple Tree Creek city and reach Woolooga. Woolooga is only 221 kilometres far from Brisbane. You already may several times hear about this rural city. It is placed in the Gympie region of Australia. With an age of About 112 years, this city already bears so many attractions and glorious places inside of it.

Places to must-see in Woolooga are-Kilkivan Shire Museum, Curra Ridge Horse Rides, and Gympie Bone Museum. Woodworks Museum & Interpretive Centre, History Museums, Specialty Museums, Farmer and Sun, Gympie Regional Gallery, Play Back Gympie, Thai Remedial Massage Gympie

Best Accommodations to stay: There are various accommodations in Woolonga, most of them are charming, and relaxing and offer all modern facilities.

Staple House Bed & Breakfast, The Left Bank – Kilkivan, and Kilkivan Country Bed, and Breakfast are the three best places where you can get rid of yourself from long-trip tiredness. All these accommodations also offer affordable costs ranging from $36 to $110 per night.

Woolooga to Sunshine Coast

So you are only one stoppage far from Brisbane. Sunshine Coast is only 105 km far from Brisbane. However, this city also is very popular with lots of beaches, hinterlands, water sports, and so many others.

Driving 1 hr 28 min (122.2 km) via M1, you will reach Sunshine Coast from Woolooga. This southern Queensland is also famous for so many wonderful resorts and surf spots. If you are eagerly waiting to reach Brisbane, only spend 1 hr in the wonderful coastal area, so that you can cover all the nearby worthy places.

The best places to gather a new travel experience on Sunshine Coast are- Australia Zoo, Maleny Botanic Gardens, Bird World, Noosa National Park, Mooloolaba beach, The Original Eumundi Markets, Maleny Dairies, Noosa Main beach, Kondalilla fall, the Ginger factory. 

Some other important tourist places there are SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, Hasting Street, Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, King’s Beach, Queensland Air Museum, Noosa River, Mount Coolum, Bulcoack Beach, Noosa farmer’s Market, Ride on Marry and so many others.

Popular Cities on Woolooga to Sunshine Coast are Noosa, Mooloolaba, Caloundra, and Maleny. Each city mentioned here has tons of tourists place and other attractions.

Travellers can do many activities here. As all their cities are full of sea beaches, Laguna, national parks, and Museum-so there are a lot of scopes to make fun of.

The reality is-each Queensland city is very visit-worthy with hundreds of visiting places. You cannot cover any of these cities in only by few hours. Staying a minimum of 3 to 4 days could be enough to cover all of Queensland cities, including the Sunshine Coast city as well.

Sunshine Coast to Brisbane

Brisbane is only 103 km distant from Sunshine City. But the road trip needs to cross more distance that is, almost 120km. Shelf driving only takes 1 hr 20 min via M1.

Now you are at your destination. Such a destination that calls you into the mess of a noisy city, from the core of nature mother! Airlie beach is a coastal land that gives you relaxation from the busy city life. On the other hand, Brisbane is a city of crowdie mess.

Brisbane is the capital of the Australian state of Queensland. Rather it is also the most populous state comparatively all states in Queensland. And if you compare the population of this state with the whole of Australia, it is the third in rank.

So why do people come to Brisbane? Interesting question! Lots of reasons why people visit Brisbane. Brisbane is a diverse city, perfect for both local and international students, Each year a number of people come to this place to get admission to various Brisbane educational institutions. Other economic, financial, and medical reasons also pull people to visit this wonderful city.

Brisbane is not in the same boring condition always, it is turning green, being more modern-so much fun could make there. There are lots of cultural centers and art galleries. In Brisbane, all entertainment places, and parks always are open for all people.

Besides all of the these-lots of reputed restaurants, and bars -also can make your day with your friends or family.

Why is Brisbane so special? Because it has:

  • Lamington
  • Koalas
  • Sports
  • Steve Irwin’s world-famous Australia Zoo
  • Unique Underground Opera House
  • The 1982 Commonwealth Games
  • Wonderful Outdoor Space
  • Full of old and new architecture
  • List of world-ranked universities
  • So much more

Prime Attractions on Airlie Beach to Brisbane Road Trips

Though we have included all the off-stop and nearby attractions above on the Arlie beach road trip, let’s discuss some others places nearby this trip. If you take some short detours from the main road of Airlie Beach to Brisbane, the following top attractions could include on your experience list.

Whitehaven Beach

This wonderful beach is located on Whitsunday Islands. Approximately you have to cross 920 km distance from Brisbane to reach this place. From Airlie beach, it is only 26 km far. So when you start your Airlie beach road trip, you can take a short décor to reach here.

Hamilton Island Marina

Do you want to visit the heart of the Great Barrier Reef? Hamilton Island Marina is in there. Once you are on the way to Hamilton Island Beach, you will feel how the paradise way is! However, this beach is only 26.0 km far from Airlie beach, and you have to take the ferry to reach there.

Eungella & Cape Hillsborough National Parks

Eungella National Park takes 2 hr 14 min (171.8 km) via Bruce Hwy/A1 from Arlie beach. You will find rainforests, eucalypt forests, and hoop pines. Also, there are beaches and volcanic rock formations. There is also a marine park adjoins here. You can camp here also can bushwalk too.

Capricorn Caves

Capricorn Caves are 4 hr 58 min (460.5 km) via Bruce Hwy/A1 on an Airlie Beach road trip. And from Brisbane this distance is less far, almost 3h 6m driving time. Capricorn Caves are one of the greatest examples of Advanced Eco-Tourism attractions. You can also go there from Rockhampton Queensland. However, This cave is personal property but open to tourists as well.

Lady Musgrave Island

There is no direct way to reach Lady Musgrave Islands from the Airlie beach road trip. You have to go there via Agnes Water Fingerboard Road. However, you can also go there from Bundaberg Port Marina.

Rainbow Beach

If you are in hurry, this place is not for you! It is 10 hr 48 min (956.2 km) via Bruce Hwy/A1 from Airlie beach and 2 hr 54 min (237.0 km) via M1 far from Brisbane. However, both Rainbow beach and the Noosa Everglades-both are awesome sand dunes that can let you enjoy the stunning rainbow color in really!

Others: Great Sandy National Park, Northerly Surf Beach, Fraser Island (World’s Largest Sand Island), Caravan Park, Whitsunday islands (Airlie Beach after-a short far), Keppel islands, etc.

Explore Brisbane

The Queensland capital, Brisbane is a beautiful town placed on the Brisbane river. You may hear the name bio diverse paradise-this name perfectly matches Brisbane. Yes, Brisbane has more than 2,000 green parks where you will find more than 2500 plant species with so many wild animals.

And thanks to God, Brisbane is the only city in the whole of Australia which ranked on the Sustainability Cities Mobility Index! So people who are keen to live in a nature-based area-no doubt this city could be their first preference.

It’s a city of 15,826 km². You can go from one end of this city to another end within a few hours! Whatever, if you want to explore the whole of Brisbane, it will take 7 to 10 days. Even more of that will not make me surprised.

Having 1 or 2 days means you can visit Brisbane city with all its nearby surroundings. You can get the blend of nature culture and urban adventures here. Also, there are so many reputed restaurants, and shopping malls-you can visit a few of them.

The 5 best Accommodations to stay in Brisbane are Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane, Mantra on Mary, Brisbane One Apartments by CLLIX, Airport Clayfield Motel, and Hope Street Apartments by CLLIX.


What is halfway between Brisbane and Airlie Beach?

Gladstone, Australia is halfway between Brisbane and Airlie Beach. Usually, it’s the geographical halfway!

How many days do you need in Airlie Beach?

Overall 2 days is standard to visit the beach and its surroundings.

Final Words

So that’s all on Airlie Beach to Brisbane road trip. People often Brisbane from Airlie beach for several reasons, so hope this itinerary will help those people on their Airlie beach road trip.

If you are on an official tour, you could take a direct flight to reach Brisbane airport. Otherwise, any flexible options are open for you.

Before closing this session let me tell you one more things-the advantage of any road trip in a car is that you can stop anywhere you want, and thus can explore even an unknown rural beauty on your travel mind canvas.

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Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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