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.

Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Squamish, Canada
8 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Me and my husband are planning on traveling from Cairns down along the coast towards Adelaide for a month starting in mid April 2012. Having never been to Australia we have lots of questions about the best way to get around and places to see. We are planning on going to the great barrier reef and spending some time in Queensland before heading down the coast. Any recommendations for trips/tours of the great barrier reef? And any other suggestions for places to stay and see along the way.

Our original plan was to rent a camper van and camp along the way, but after reading other posts, maybe this is not the best way to do it. Is it better to just rent a car versus a camper van? Any suggestions of companies to rent from? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks :)

Blue Dive Port Douglas
Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours, Scuba & Snorkeling, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Private Tours
Escape Discovery Adventures
Sightseeing Tours, Bus Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Private Tours
I'm Free Walking Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Walking Tours, Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours
Broadford, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
Level Contributor
2,344 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

You only have a month. This trip, conservatively, if you drive up to Townsville then back inland via Roma and then back to the NSW coast and through Canberra and Melbourne via the GOR to Adelaide is 5700 km.

Even if for some reason you went to Townsville and then inland straight to Adelaide it would be nearly 4000km.

Fly. Much cheaper, faster and leaves you time for sightseeing. You can check out the lower cost carriers such as Virgin and Jetstar

Fly Brisbane to wherever you want on the GBR and back. Then fly to Sydney and if you really want, drive along the coast to Adelaide via Melbourne and the GOR.

April will be a more pleasant time of year for campervanning, but you will still have to pay fees to caravan parks on the way round. Some people love campervans; others don't like the idea of having to carry their home around with them everywhere. It's a personal choice.

Destination Expert
for Cambodia
Level Contributor
18,833 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

A month would be fine (though I'd be ready to stab my OH after a month in a campervan!)

Check out http://www.mynrma.com.au/trip-planner.htm for route and timing ideas. Using the maps you can get an idea too of some paces to stop enroute

All those flights mentioned by Unclefey (above) ........ what a back and forth itinerary - you'd get totally giddy!

Sort through an itinerary and pos it for comment.

happy planning - April in Oz is lovely !



Broadford, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
Level Contributor
2,344 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Ok, well if you fly from Brisbane to your airport of choice on the GBR, then back to Sydney it will be, oooh, 2 flights. Spread over a number of days. My mistake, you wouldn't have to fly back to Brisbane before going to Sydney.

Or you can drive 3500 km to Cairns and back. Then another 1000 or so to Sydney.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
Level Contributor
11,563 posts
162 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

It would be a long drive and I think you'd get plenty of sightseeing along the way.

On this forum there have been some horror stories about some campervan rental companies, so if you choose carefully, it may be the way to go.

Be aware that parking on the side of the road to sleep overnight is not something I would recommend.

Have a look at some of the popular camping grounds to see if that suits eg


I'm not sure what age bracket you and your husband are, however there are a lot of over 50's and retirees in Australia who sell up / pack up and travel around Australia - we call them Grey Nomads. This site may have some information of interest to you.


Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
31,358 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Car and Campervan rental www.drivenow.com.au

Destination distances www.auinfo.com

Camp sites www.goseeaustralia.com.au

Accommodation www.wotif.com


Level Contributor
122 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Try www.driverabroad.com -theres quite a bit of info on there on driving in Australia, campervan and car rental options, driving distances and times etc

Level Contributor
11 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

I would recommend a combination of flying and hiring a car to cover this distance. There is so much to see, while seeing a lot of the same thing. For example the rain forrest and beaches around Cairns. There are so many beautiful spots to see, however see one seen them all (if you have a short time to visit). It maybe more enjoyable to relax at one beach than race around and see all of them!!

I highly recommend, the Kuranda skyrail and the botanical gardens in Cairns for a look at the tropical flora. If you take a trip(by hire car or tour) to the table lands there are plenty of picturesque waterfalls, rolling green hills and pockets of rain forrest.

The QLD coast is really beautiful, but there are fairly long distances between places. And a lot of the things to see although different are pretty similar. For example Port Douglas and Airlie Beach. Its a nice drive but I would rather have a good look around Cairns and local area(Tablelands) etc than see Airlie as well(I live in Townsville). Pick one or two spots to concentrate on then get a connecting flight down south would be my bet. All regional cities have pretty good connections with Brisbane and Sydney.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
145 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Campervans are a really popular way to travel in Australia and we have heaps of great caravan parks where you can stay as you travel. It really depends on how leisurly you want to make your trip but it is possible to do it. if it is not absolutely necessary to go to Adelaide I would only travel as far as Melbourne.

I'm not a fan myself of campervans because I don't like having to pack up your entire accommodation every time you need to go out for milk but lots of people love this travelling experience so go for it if that's what you enjoy.

Southern Alberta
Level Contributor
256 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

Hi Squamish.

Campervan, personally, is the way to go. We are an 'older' couple who did 3 months, 19,000km in a small campervan. Totally awesome and we are still very happiliy married.

Travelling to caravan parks gets you in touch with the travelling Australians. A very nice, friendly 5 o'clock drink crowd. And the caravan parks, for the most part, are much much better than most here in The Great White North.

Don't be too afraid when you see vans with lots of km on them. Pretty normal there.

Check out www.calypsocampervans.com.au. We had one of their vans.

10. Re: Queenslands to Adelaide...Campervan versus car rental?

-:- 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: 31 December 2012, 10:15