Brisbane to Cairns road trip with Fraser Island & Whitsundays sailing tour

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 9

From: Brisbane

To: Cairns



Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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This 9-day Brisbane to Cairns road trip itinerary will take you along the famous east coast of Australia with a Fraser Island and Whitsundays trip. Experience Noosa’s golden beaches and laidback vibe before heading to the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island, famous for its wild dingoes, clear water lagoons and abandoned shipwrecks. Spend a night on board a sailing boat in the spectacular Whitsundays, spotting dolphins and clownfish before finishing in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements, please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.


  • Relax on the beach in chilled out Noosa
  • Explore the Maheno shipwreck on Fraser Island
  • Swim in the clear blue waters of Lake Mackenzie
  • Experience the Whitsundays on a maxi yacht sailing adventure
  • Finish your trip in the tropical north capital of Cairns
Brisbane to Cairns self-drive | map



Itinerary in brief:

  • 2 nights Noosa
  • 2 nights Fraser Island
  • 1 night Rockhampton
  • 1 night Airlie Beach
  • 1 night Whitsundays Sailing 
  • 1 night Cairns


Day 1: Brisbane to Noosa

On arrival into Brisbane Airport, you will collect your rental car and begin your journey up the east coast. The first stop is Noosa, located just over 1 and a half hours away.

On arrival check into your hotel and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Noosa is well known for its laidback vibe and its access to the stunning Everglades, where you can take canoe safaris and spot the local wildlife.

Day 2: Noosa

Why not head to the beach today for some relaxation, go shopping in the local boutiques or people watch from one of the many coffee shops or restaurants located in the town.

Day 3: Noosa to Fraser Island      

Head off early this morning for your drive up to Hervey Bay, 2 and a half hours away. On arrival head straight to the ferry terminal to connect with your boat over to Fraser Island. You will be greeted off the ferry and taken to your hotel where you will check in for the next 2 nights.

Day 4: Fraser Island

After breakfast you will be taken on a full day 4WD explorer tour of the island, visit the main beauty spots on the island including Lake Mackenzie, known for its clear waters and silicone sands and Seventy Mile Beach, a vast expanse of golden sands and home to the Maheno shipwreck, a perfect photo opportunity.

Day 5: Fraser Island to Rockhampton

After breakfast, depart the island at your chosen ferry time, pick up your car and do the 4-hour drive up to Rockhampton where you will spend tonight to break up your journey.    

Day 6: Rockhampton to Airlie Beach

Head off bright and early today as you have a 5-hour drive to your next destination, Airlie Beach. After checking in head to the lagoon for an afternoon relaxing by the pool and enjoying a swim.

You will check in for your sailing trip this evening and be given all the information you need to set sail in the morning. There are many different options for sailing in the Whitsundays, from catamarans, yachts to tall ship sailing in what looks like an old pirate ship. Trips can range from 1 day up to 3 nights so speak to one of our consultants when planning your trip and they can recommend the best boat for you.        

Day 7: Whitsundays sailing

Depart on your maxi yacht today on a Whitsundays sailing adventure, you will get the opportunity to snorkel and if you wish, dive off the boat, the waters here are rich in marine life from tiny orange clownfish to dolphins and even turtles. Visit the iconic Whitehaven Beach and be taken to 2 different spots at the end of the reef to get into the water and check out the tropical marine life.

Guests on the Maxi Yachts are encouraged to get involved with the sailing of the boat, so this can be a perfect time to brush up on your sailing skills as well as relax on the deck and enjoy the sunshine.           

Day 8: Airlie Beach to Cairns

Wake early this morning to spot dolphins swimming by the boat. Make sure you take part in an early morning snorkel, the best way to start any day! You will arrive back in Airlie Beach at 11am this morning, collect your car and head off on your final journey up to Cairns. The journey is a long one, taking 7 hours. If you feel this is too long, we can break the journey along the way – just let your consultant know.

You will check into your hotel in Cairns on arrival for a one-night stay

Day 9: Depart Cairns

You east coast trip ends here but if you wanted to extend your holiday, we can make some great suggestions about what you can do in the tropical north.



Summertime in Australia runs between November and February when the weather will be hot and sunny on the south-east coast. As you travel further north, the climate becomes tropical, with two main seasons, Wet and Dry. The wet season runs from October to March, bringing humid weather and rain, the dry from April to September, with sunny days and a comfortable temperature. Prices will be at a premium over the Christmas and New Year holidays and availability limited so be sure to book in advance. March to May and September to November can be mild and pleasant and crowds fewer.

Are you looking for more Australia ideas?

We’re experts in planning tailor-made holidays, so whether you’re looking for a luxury Australia holiday, ideas for a road trip, a Great Barrier Reef holiday or multi-stop flights to Australia with stopovers – let us help you with the planning. Our experts can tailor-make precisely the trip you’re looking for - this itinerary is purely a suggestion, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

What's included: 

  • Car hire inc. max insurance
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All activities & transport on Fraser Island
  • Return ferry to Fraser Island
  • Daily breakfast & 1 x lunch on Fraser Island
  • 1 night Maxi Sailing Adventure (including meals & activities)

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities


7 nights in 3* accommodation. 


  • Travelodge Rockhampton

  • Mango House Resort, Airlie Beach

  • The Balinese Hotel, Cairns

  • Plus 1 night on board a Maxi Yacht in a shared cabin


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