Travellers Autobarn
Campervan Village
Cheapa Campa
Lets Go

Brisbane to Cairns One Way Campervan Rental

Planning a campervan trip from Brisbane up north to Cairns? Explore Australia's East Coast in a one-way campervan rental.

Use our comparison tool above to check prices and availability on campervan rentals from multiple suppliers.

Popular Campervans

Find the perfect camper for your travel needs

All Types

Apollo Euro Deluxe 6
Spaceships Alpha 2-Berth
Apollo Vivid Camper

Vivid Camper


Apollo Trailfinder Camper

Trailfinder 4WD Camper



Not all vehicles may be available. Use the search tool to check availability for your travel dates.

Brisbane to Cairns One Way Itinerary

This itinerary follows the coastline between the two major QLD cities of Brisbane and Cairns and covers a distance of over 1,800 km.

Part 1: Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast

Distance: 100-150 km

Estimated driving time: 1.5-3h

Things to see:

  • Australia Zoo
  • Glasshouse Mountains
  • Sealife Aquarium
  • Noosa Beach

Part 2: Sunshine Coast to Hervey Bay

Distance: 180-200 km

Estimated driving time: 2.5-3h

Popular attractions:

  • Whale watching
  • Fraser Island

Part 3: Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

Distance: 100-150 km

Estimated driving time: 1-2h

Attractions along the way:

  • Bundaberg Rum Distillery
  • Musgrave Island
  • Southern Great Barrier Reef

Part 4: Bundaberg to Rockhampton

Distance: 250-300 km

Estimated driving time: 3.5-4h

Things to see:

  • Rockhampton Botanic Gardens
  • Japanese Garden

Part 5: Rockhampton to Airlie Beach

Distance: 450-500 km

Estimated driving time: 5.5-6h

Attractions along the way:

  • Airlie Beach
  • Whitsunday Islands

Part 6: Airlie Beach to Townsville

Distance: 250-280 km

Estimated driving time: 3.5-4h


  • Reef HQ Aquarium
  • Magnetic Island
  • Billabong Sanctuary

Part 7: Townsville to Cairns

Distance: 340-380 km

Estimated driving time: 4.5-5h

Things to see:

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Daintree Rainforest
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway

Popular Attractions Along the Way

The Great Barrier Reef

When you’re in Cairns, it’s hard to miss the 1,429 miles long World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

No shortage of tour operators can deliver a day outing by boat, with opportunities to enjoy warm, calm water snorkelling and scuba diving, surrounded by the reef system’s – renowned vibrantly coloured marine life.

There are also glass-bottomed boats and submarine experiences, and options to suit everyone, including pontoons, stationed within the Outer Reef and various islands of the reef.

The Rainforest

Aside from the reef, the second most likely destination you’re likely to explore near Cairns is the Wet Tropics Rainforest, with two of the most popular destinations for a day being Kuranda and Daintree.

Kuranda is a town on the Barron River, 15.5 miles from Cairns, with a scenic train and cableway making for an easy day trip.

Known for its exceptional biodiversity, the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest (which contains Daintree National Park), north of Cairns, is the largest continuous rainforest in the country, as well as the world’s oldest rainforest.

The Whitsundays

Plenty of 1-day and multi-day cruises are available to explore the spectacular white beaches of the Whitsundays. One of Australia’s most loved and most photographed beaches is Whitehaven beach.

See our blog post A Snapshot of Tropical Queensland for more inspirational photos.

Hamilton Island

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any one-way rental fees?

Campervan rental companies may charge a one-way rental fee. If there is such a fee we will include it in the rental price listed in our comparison tool.

Can I travel in the opposite direction - from Cairns to Brisbane?

Yes - simply use the search tool at the top of this page to check availability.

Can I take my rental campervan on the beach?

Most rental suppliers in Australia restrict travel to sealed bitumen roads. Travel off-road on sand and beaches is expressly forbidden, and doing so will void your contract. You will also be liable for any damages incurred while travelling on the beach.

Can I take my rental campervan beyond Cape Tribulation?

No, the road from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown in Far North Queensland is unsealed and can be challenging. Generally, companies restrict access to this area. Check with your rental supplier for any questions regarding restricted areas.

Can I take my rental campervan to Cape York?

Generally, regular 2WD campervans are not permitted to travel to Cape York. Many companies make exceptions for 4WD campers, but written permission must be obtained first. Check with your rental supplier for any questions regarding restricted areas.

Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.