Road Trip from Brisbane to Hervey Bay: must-stops and what to see
Well done legend! A road trip from Brisbane to Hervey Bay should be on your bucket list and we are very excited for you because it is really amazing, better than what you’ve seen in your friends Instagram accounts.
First of all, don’t worry if you don't have a fully equipped 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser because, to be honest, it is not totally necessary. You can still have an unforgettable time driving from Brisbane to Hervey Bay, see some of the most beautiful places in Australia and just think about having fun and enjoying yourself. You will easily find petrol stations, camping areas, accommodation and very kind locals.
Expect to spot some Humpback Whales during season, dolphins, turtles and koalas! Explore the Glass House Mountains and get to know the stories of this magical place, surf in Noosa with spectacular views of the National Park, drive a 4WD in the largest sandy island of the world and even swim with whales in Hervey Bay.
Are you ready? Take notes of our recommendations for your road trip from Brisbane to Hervey Bay!
The Glass House Mountains
The Glass House Mountains are a must-stop on your way from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast. Located just one hour away from Brisbane, it offers great walking trails and views of the breathtaking mountain peaks.
If you end up spending the whole day at The Glass House Mountains National Park, which is very common if you choose to visit the Australia Zoo, you will probably want to spend the night there.
You can either camp at Coochin Creek camping area, only 15 minutes from the Glass House Mountains, or find a boutique accommodation in the area, which is also a great idea. There are quite a few options and all of them cozy and nice.
Maybe the best way to enjoy the day is waking up early in the morning and driving 1 hour to Noosa! We recommend taking the coastal road so you can make a few stops in some absolutely stunning open beaches like Coolum, Peregian and Sunshine before arriving at Noosa.
Try not to leave Noosa without visiting the National Park, with all that it has to offer, like Tea Tree Bay, the Fairy Pools, Alexander Bay and more. It is an amazing walk that goes from the beginning of the National Park, where the car park is, until Sunshine Beach. It can take 2 hours but go for it! You will not regret it.
You are here to enjoy so don't rush mate, take a few days to relax on the beaches of Noosa, a small but very cool town known for its surfing spots, coffee shops, excellent food and of course, sunny days!
If you love markets like us, you should visit Eumundi Markets on a Wednesday or Saturday.
Noosa’s accommodation options are really varied, from luxury hotels to Airbnbs and hostels, and even campgrounds and caravan parks like Belli Creek Park Campground (Eumundi) and Noosa Caravan Park (Tewantin). So is really up to you and your budget.
Alright then, once you leave Noosa and start heading north again, after 45 minutes you will enter the Great Sandy National Park, where Rainbow Beach is located.
Rainbow Beach is a tiny but captivating town that gives you the opportunity to camp on the beach and wake up in paradise. There are different campgrounds with great views to choose from and you can find them all here. Don't stress too much deciding which one because they are all quite similar and next to each other.
Carlo Sand Blow is a must for anyone visiting Rainbow Beach, a great place to watch the sunset and have a few beers!
Rainbow Beach is the perfect access to Fraser Island! You definitely will need a 4WD to get to the largest sand island in the world so if you don't have one, you can always book a tour or hire a car here.
If you decide to hire a 4WD or you already have one, you should know that the ferry leaves every half an hour from Inskip Point, close to the campgrounds. The ferry takes 10 minutes to cross to the island and you don't need a previous booking. Just make a quick stop at Manta Ray Barge office located at 66 Rainbow Beach Rd, or pay on board. It costs around $130 per car and remember to check the tides first.
The real name of this island is K’gari, which means “paradise”. The name has been given by the Butchulla people and it can`t be more accurate.
There are many ways in which you can explore Fraser Island and will always depend on how adventurous you are. You can either go for the day or sleep there. We are crazy about K’gari so our recommendation is to go for a couple of days! With 2 days - 1 night stay you will be able to see the best tourist attractions, although we must warn you ... you will not want to leave this magical place.
There are many campgrounds, hotels and retreats on Fraser Island that you can choose from.
A sense of freedom and adventurous rush will invade you once you put a foot on Kgari. Please write down these musts: Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby, Indian Head, Champagne Pools and Central Station.
If you are planning to go from Brisbane to Hervey Bay at any time between June to September, you will probably spot more than one whale during your road trip. Hervey Bay is potentially the best place to have a close experience with these magnificent animals.
Located at 1 hour and a half minutes from Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay offers day tours to explore the bay where Humpback Whales stop to rest and play on their migration south to the Antarctic. It is such a magical moment the one you share with this fascinating giants, with so much calm and excitement at the same time.
Although it seems there is not a big difference between the tours, try first to know what you want from this experience. You can either book a big cruiser to go around the bay for the whole day, or a smaller catamaran for a more private tour. You can even choose to put on a wetsuit and swim with these incredible animals if you choose the correct tour.
Since it took you some long drives to arrive here why don't you relax and enjoy it for a couple of days?
If you are travelling with your kids, don´t forget to visit the Wetside Water Park, they will love it! You can also take a walk around Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens and if fishing is your thing, grab your fishing rod and go to see a beautiful sunset at the historical and popular Urangan Pier.