Brisbane to Mackay Road Trip – 9 Exciting Stops to Visit

Brisbane to Mackay Road Trip
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It is a good idea to plan a road trip to Mackay from Brisbane. Mackay is almost 967 km from Brisbane. It takes approximately 11 hours with a continuous car drive to get there. Bruce Hwy/A1 is the best and fastest route to get there.

Mackay is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and is surrounded by beautiful beaches, national parks, and waterways. The city is known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, and snorkelling.

From the bustling city of Brisbane to the laid-back coastal town of Mackay, you have much to see and do on this trip. I can’t wait to hit the road and share adventures with you! Let’s start.

Brisbane to Mackay Easy Road Trip: Itinerary, Places, Distance & Attractions

Transportation ModeApproximate time 
Car10 hours 53 minutes
Bus17 hours 39 minutes

Your travel time to get to Mackay from Brisbane by different modes of transportation will be approximated as given below.

Brisbane to Caboolture

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Driving Distance:127 km

Driving Time:  50 minutes by car

Just after the Brisbane Caboolture is an excellent place to stop and have some fun. It is about 48 km from Brisbane it takes 50 minutes to get there via M1.

Caboolture is located in the beautiful Moreton Bay region, home to several stunning beaches, national parks, and forests. This makes it an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Caboolture is also a great destination for those seeking adventure, with various activities such as skydiving, hot air ballooning, and rock climbing.

Top Attractions in Caboolture

Caboolture has many opportunities to explore beautiful attractions. Here are a few top-rated attractions to visit.

  • Caboolture Historical Village
  • Redcliffe Peninsula
  • Caboolture Warplane Museum
  • Australia Zoo
  • Morayfield Environmental Education Centre

Accommodation in Caboolture

You can visit the following hotels for your stay in Caboolture.

  • Caboolture Riverlakes Motel
  • Caboolture Colonial Motor Inn
  • Caboolture Central Apartments
  • Caboolture Country Motel
  • Caboolture Holiday Village

Restaurants in Caboolture

Following are some of the best restaurants to dine in Caboolture.

  • The Curry House
  • The Steakhouse Grill
  • The Fish & Chips Shop
  • The Thai Kitchen
  • The Mexican Cantina

Caboolture to Eumundi

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Driving Distance: 76 km

Driving Time: 52 minutes by car 

The next stop is Eumundi. It is 76 km far from Caboolture and takes 52 minutes to reach there by car via M1.

Eumundi is a small town located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. It is known for its weekly markets, which feature handmade crafts, local produce, and live music.

The town also has many art galleries, cafes, and restaurants. Eumundi may be an excellent place to visit if you enjoy markets and small-town charm.

Top Attractions in Eumundi

Eumundi is peaceful; you can spend time in the following attractions.

  • Eumundi Aquatic Centre
  • Eumundi Drive-In
  • Eumundi Museum
  • Eumundi Brewery
  • Eumundi Markets

Accommodations in Eumundi

I recommend you book a room in the following hotels.

  • Eumundi Caravan Park and Camping Ground
  • Eumundi Boutique Hotel
  • Eumundi Hotel and Motel
  • Eumundi B&B Cottages
  • Eumundi Holiday Village

Restaurants in Eumundi

You must visit the following restaurants if you want to experience versatile recipes.

  • The Eumundi Thai Restaurant
  • The Eumundi Smokehouse
  • The Old Emu Hotel
  • The Eumundi Brewery & Brewery Shop
  • The Eumundi Larder

Eumundi to Owanyilla

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Driving Distance: 116 km

Driving Time: 1 hour and 23 minutes by car

After Eumundi, you can stop at Owanyilla. It is 116 km from Eumundi it takes almost one and a half hours to reach Owanyilla. You must drive your car via M1 and Bruce Hwy/ A1.

Owanyilla is located in the Fraser Coast region of Queensland, which is known for its stunning beaches, waterways, and national parks. This area is famous for its variety of flora and fauna, which makes it a paradise for nature lovers.

The Fraser Coast region is an excellent attraction for adventure lovers, with activities such as fishing, snorkelling, and 4WD tours available.

Top Attractions in Owanyilla

You have the opportunity to explore the following beautiful attractions in Owanyilla.

  • Great Sandy Strait
  • The Tin Can Bay Inlet
  • Cooloola Coast
  • Rainbow Beach

Accommodations in Owanyilla

For affordable accommodation, you can visit the below hotels.

  • Point Lookout Cabins
  • Seabreeze Holiday Units
  • Point Lookout Village
  • Point Lookout Wilderness Retreat
  • Beachside Cottage

Restaurants in Owanyilla

You must visit the below restaurants for tasty meals.

  • The Owanyilla Diner
  • Owanyilla Seafood Market & Grill
  • The Owanyilla BBQ & Grill
  • Owanyilla Pizza & Pasta House
  • The Owanyilla Chinese Restaurant

Owanyilla to Gin Gin

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Driving Distance: 132 km

Driving Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes by car

After Owanyilla, Gin Gin is the next best tourist destination to stop at. It will take 1 hour and 35 minutes by car via Bruce Hwy/A1 to get there. 

Gin Gin is known for its rich history and natural beauty, with many attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.

Gin Gin is known for its friendly and welcoming community, which makes it an excellent destination for travelers looking for a more authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience.

Top Attractions in Gin Gin

I recommend you visit the below places to make your visit memorable.

  • Gin Gin Art Gallery
  • Gin Gin National Park
  • Gin Gin Showgrounds
  • Gin Gin Murals
  • Gin Gin Historical Museum

Accommodations in Gin Gin

Below are some best hotels to spend a night in Gin Gin.

  • Gin Gin Motor Inn
  • Gin Gin Hotel
  • Gin Gin Tourist Village
  • Gin Gin Country Retreat
  • Gindee Caravan Park & Tourist Village

Top Restaurants in Gin Gin

Your experience of dining in the restaurants below will be great.

  • Gin Gin Chinese Restaurant
  • Gin Gin Indian Restaurant
  • Gin Gin Thai Restaurant
  • Gin Gin RSL Club
  • Gin Gin Country Club

Gin Gin to Miriam Vale

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Driving Distance: 98.5 km

Driving Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes by car

Miriam Vale can be a good spot to have rest and fun. It is about 98 km far from Gin Gin; you may get there within an hour by car via Bruce Hwy/A1.

Miriam Vale is also located close to several national parks and nature reserves. These parks offer a variety of activities for visitors, including hiking, fishing, and birdwatching.

Overall, Miriam Vale is great for travellers interested in nature, history, and culture. It offers a range of activities and attractions that are sure to appeal to a wide variety of travelers.

Top Attractions in Miriam Vale

Your stay in Miriam Vale can be fantastic if you visit the below tourist attractions.

  • Miriam Vale Nature Reserve
  • Miriam Vale Lookout
  • Miriam Vale Museum
  • Lady Musgrave Island
  • The Miriam Vale Heritage Trail

Accommodations in Miriam Vale

Here is the list of some top-rated hotels for accommodation in Miriam Vale.

  • Sea Breeze Motel
  • The Cattlemen’s Motel
  • The Miriam Vale Hotel
  • The Miriam Vale Tourist Village
  • The Miriam Vale Caravan Park

Top Restaurants in Miriam Vale

Following are some best restaurant options in Miriam vale to enjoy spicy meals.

  • The Miriam Vale Chinese Restaurant
  • Miriam Vale Fish and Chips
  • The Country Kitchen
  • The Miriam Vale Cafe
  • Royal Hotel Miriam Vale

Miriam Vale to Ambrose

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Driving Distance: 99.8 km

Driving Time:  Approximately 1 hour and 4 minutes by car

You can take a stop at Ambrose, which is about 100 km from Miriam Vale. You may need to drive for an hour to get there via Bruce Hwy/A1. 

Ambrose is home to various landscapes, including lush rainforests, rugged coastlines, and rolling hills. This makes it an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The people of Ambrose are known for their warm and friendly nature, making it a welcoming destination for tourists.

Top Attractions in Ambrose

Your visit to the following attractions in Ambrose will be unforgettable.

  • Bakers Creek Falls
  • Ambrose Hot Springs
  • East Eton Dam
  • Ambrose Art Gallery
  • Mount Ambrose

Accommodations in Ambrose

You can go to the following hotels to book a night stay in Ambrose.

  • Queenslander Hotel
  • Ambrose Country Retreat
  • Rose Hill Hotel
  • The Hotel Ambrose
  • The Ambrose Mote

Top Restaurants in Ambrose

You must visit the following restaurants to have dinner in Ambrose.

  • Gourmet Corner
  • Mexican Grill
  • Chinese Takeaway 
  • The Sushi Bar
  • The Italian Kitchen

Ambrose to Rockhampton

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Driving Distance: 69.7 km

Driving Time: 46 minutes by car

I suggest you have some rest at Rockhampton on your route to Mackay. It is about 70 km from Ambrose, and that will take 46 minutes to get there via Bruce Hwy/A1 by car.

Rockhampton is located in the heart of Queensland’s Capricorn Coast, known for its stunning beaches and natural landscapes. Visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities in the region’s national parks, forests, and waterways.

It is home to a rich and diverse culture, with several museums and galleries showcasing the region’s history and art. 

Top Attractions in Rockhampton

You must visit the below tourist attractions to make your trip more enjoyable.

  • The Rockhampton Art Gallery
  • The Rockhampton Zoo
  • The Dreamtime Cultural Centre
  • The Rockhampton Botanic Gardens
  • The Rockhampton Heritage Walk

Accommodations in Rockhampton

Here is a list of some excellent facilities providing hotels in Rockhampton.

  • Comfort Inn Rockhampton
  • Rockhampton Central Plaza Hotel
  • Best Western Cattle City Motor Inn
  • Quality Hotel Rockhampton
  • The Criterion Hotel Rockhampton

Top Restaurants in Rockhampton

Here is a list of some best restaurants that can provide you with tasty international cuisine.

  • The Rockhampton Hotel
  • The Thai Elephant Restaurant
  • The Grilled Gourmet
  • The Wharf Kitchen & Bar
  • The Belted Galloway

Rockhampton to Clairview

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Driving Distance: 209 km

Driving Time: 2 hours and 14 minutes by car

Clairview is another best destination for tourists to stop on their way to Mackay. It is approximately 209 km from Rockhampton, and that may take 2 hours and 14 minutes by car via Bruce Hwy/A1 to get there.

Clairview boasts stunning natural beauty with its pristine beaches, lush green forests, and crystal clear waters. Tourists can enjoy various outdoor activities in the nearby national parks, such as surfing, fishing, snorkelling, and hiking.

Clairview offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and comfortable accommodations, making it a tourist destination.

Top Attractions in Clairview

Below are some of the top-rated tourist attractions that are worth visiting in Clairview.

  • Clairview Beach 
  • Clairview Lookout
  • Clairview Community Park
  • Clairview Art Gallery
  • Clairview Market

Accommodations in Clairview

Your stay in the below hotels will be great.

  • Clairview Beachfront Holiday Park
  • Dolphin Point Clairview
  • Clairview Retreat
  • Clairview Beachfront Apartments
  • Clairview Beachcomber Motel

Top Restaurants in Clairview

During your stay in Clairview, below are some excellent restaurants to enjoy spicy foods.

  • Ocean View Cafe
  • Sugarbowl Cafe
  • The Beachside Bistro
  • The Wharfside Grill
  • The Seafarers Restaurant

Clairview to Mackay

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Driving Distance: 129 km

Driving Time: 1 hour and 29 minutes by car

Next to Clairview, Mackay is your final destination of the journey. It is almost 129 km from Clairview; you may need to drive for one and a half hours by car via Bruce Hwy/A1 to get there.

Mackay has several stunning beaches perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The region is home to the Whitsunday Islands, a popular destination for snorkelling, diving, and sailing.

Mackay has a rich history and cultural heritage, with many museums and art galleries showcasing the region’s history and art. It has a thriving dining and nightlife scene, with various restaurants and bars to choose from.

Top Attractions in Mackay

You can visit the following attractions during your stay in Mackay for fun and to explore nature.

  • Mackay Marina Village
  • Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre
  • Mackay Regional Heritage Village
  • Mackay Regional Council Libraries
  • Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Accommodation in Mackay

You have options below for affordable and better accommodation in Mackay.

  • Quest Mackay
  • Ibis Styles Mackay
  • Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina
  • Mercure Mackay Marina
  • Hotel Mackay

Restaurants in Mackay

Here is a list of some top restaurants that are worth visiting for a better dining experience.

  • The Mill at The Botanical
  • Seafarers Restaurant
  • The Good Life
  • Whitsunday Hotel
  • The Glass Room Restaurant


How to travel from Brisbane to Mackay without a car?

There are a few options for travelling from Brisbane to Mackay without a car:
Whatever mode you use, ensure your reservation at least one day before departure.

How many days do you need in Mackay?

It depends on the activities and attractions you want to experience in Mackay. If you want to see all the major attractions, you may need at least 3-4 days.
However, if you want to relax and enjoy the beach, 1-2 days may be sufficient. Ultimately, the amount of time you need in Mackay depends on your interests and preferences.

What is the best month to visit Mackay?

The best month to visit Mackay is typically June, as it is the driest and warmest month of the year, with average temperatures ranging from 24-28°C.
This makes it the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities such as beach-going, fishing, and hiking. It is a suitable season to visit Mackay, so there will be plenty of events and activities to enjoy.

What is the best route to travel from Brisbane to Mackay?

The best route to travel from Brisbane to Mackay is to take the Bruce Highway. This route will take you through the towns of Caboolture, Gin Gin, and Rockhampton before reaching Mackay.
The total distance from Brisbane to Mackay via the Bruce Highway is approximately 900 km, and it typically takes around 10-11 hours to drive.

How much time for the flight from Brisbane to Mackay?

The flight from Brisbane to Mackay typically takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes. It may cost you between 120$ and to 350$ for different airline services.


A road trip to Mackay from Brisbane, Queensland,  is filled with stunning landscapes, charming small towns, and plenty of adventure. This trip has something for everyone, from the hinterland’s subtropical rainforests to the coast’s golden beaches. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to visit national parks, explore quaint villages, and indulge in delicious local food and drink.

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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