We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

1 post
2 reviews
Save Topic
Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

Hi, my name is Glenn and me and my mates are keen on hiring a campervan from Cairns and driving to Sydney on the coastal route. There will be 6 of us and and have about 7 days, we are looking at flying from Syd to Canberra for a car show on the 3rd Jan 2014, i know its a while off but really want to make sure we have the best itinery and route. Just wondering the best places to stop on the way down, party places, attractions, must see's. We are quite well travelled 30 yr olds. Thanks for your tips and advice.

Level Contributor
18,129 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

If you are well traveled, you will no doubt have looked at a map and seen that it's over 2600 km from Cairns to Sydney on the coastal route.

I suspect you won't be doing much partying.You will have to drive nearly 400 km a day to make the trip in 7 days. Driving a campervans over Xmas/New Year when every man and his dog (including a LOT of police) are on the road, is going to take all of every day.

I'd suggest you fly from Cairns to Brisbane and maybe drive from there to Sydney or have a good holiday in Cairns, enjoy FNQ and then fly to Sydney and do your partying there.

Why would you fly to Canberra from Sydney? By the time you include getting to and from airports to city centres, it's cheaper and quicker to take the bus.

Lismore, Australia
Level Contributor
200 posts
157 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

Agree with the bus from Sydney to Canberra - much more convenient, and much cheaper.

Cairns to Sydney: you could drive from Cairns to Townsville or Mackay and then fly to Brisbane or Sydney. Or fly Cairns to Brisbane - the drive down to Sydney takes one day without breaks, so this would be easy to do in your schedule, with stops at Gold Coast and Byron Bay, if you like to party.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
87 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

Yep, 7 days driving and the partying probably won't fit...

If I were you, I'd decide what I wanted to get out of the trip and limit it that way. If you like the topics, then just stick around cairns, whitsundays, etc. there's more than enough to occupy you for a week but keep in mind the weather around that time of year. Alternatively, the Sydney to Hervey Bay route (someone already mentioned Byron Bay) will provide you with a great beach vibe and perhaps less rain, although you never know these days anymore!

As already mentioned, around holiday time you should expect traffic and Police. Its a well traveled route. The highways are often interrupted by small towns and other areas where the speed limit decreases, so don't expect to cover a ridiculous amount of kilometers each day.

Whatever you do though, I'm sure you'll have a blast! Travel safe.

Lancaster, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

Hi, we've just done this for our honeymoon, we started on the 7th dec in port Douglas and arrived in sydney on Christmas Eve. Yes, we took our time but still had some days where we spent 6 hrs a day on the road. There is no motorway for the majority of your journey, it's basically like driving the majority route at 60mph on the A6. A lot of it is very dense and all looks the same too. I would say there are many towns you get to which you could easily miss out as they aren't special. Port Douglas is a brill starting point, you can easily visit the Great Barrier Reef from here and it's the best place for it too I'd say. Airlie beach is good and full of young people. There's nothing too memorable in townsville or rockhampton or mackay. It's great to say you've seen these places but in 7 days you haven't got time to waste seeing things that aren't that great. Brisbane is good but I've no idea where you'd park your campervan. In between Brisbane and sydney we had 2 stops at Coffs Harbour and port Macquarie, both nice with different things to look at. If we were doing it again, we wouldn't drive it, we'd start at port Douglas (with the reef) then you can fly to tiny airports such as airlie beach and hervey beach (from Hervey Bay you can visit Fraser Island) then fly from there to Brisbane then fly to sydney. If you really want to drive it, 7 days is going to be hard and you're not going to have much time to enjoy what it has to offer. Make sure more than 2 of you can drive the van also just in case, but I'm sure u no that. Hope this has helped, have a great time

5. Re: Driving from Cairns to Sydney in 7 days

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:15 am, December 27, 2013