Cruising the sunshine coast from Brisbane to Noosa is exactly what it sounds like – a beachy, sun-soaked adventure full of sandy feet and spontaneous gelatos. The drive from Brisbane to Noosa is easily done in one day, or you can draw it out and make a proper road trip out of it. If you want to make the most of this luscious coastal area, follow our expert tips.
Brisbane to Noosa drive time: 2 hours.
Number of days needed: 3-7. Add an extra 2-3 days if you want to explore the Gold Coast as well.
How to get from Brisbane to Noosa: A JUCY campervan is an awesome way to travel from Brisbane to Noosa. You'll have more freedom to find campgrounds near the beach, and wake up next to the view. You'll probably follow the M1 Motorway most of the way, but we highly recommend taking plenty of detours and smaller roads - follow your curiosity! The best parts of the drive are the quiet beaches and nature reserves well away from the main road.
Top sights to see on the way:
- Bribie Island.
- Glass House Mountains.
- Noosa National Park.
- Great Sandy National Park.
- Surfing and boating in the Gold Coast.
- Noosa Everglades.
- Stunning sunsets over mountains and rivers.
BRISBANE TO BRIBIE ISLAND
85 kilometres - 2 hours
Pick up your campervan hire from JUCY Rentals Brisbane and head for the sand island surrounded by show-stopping waters, Bribie Island. It's the only one of Queensland's islands with a bridge across to the mainland. The bridge makes Bribie easily accessible and a logical first stop once you put Brisbane behind you on your way north!
What to do on Bribie Island:
- On one side of the island is a marine park that is home to dugongs, turtles, and other adorable aquatic critters. Take a boat cruise to spot all of this wildlife.
- Mangrove swamps are a haven for birdlife, so you can also see lots of creatures in the air.
- On the island you can choose to be active and take advantage of all the water sports on offer - learn to surf, or hire a kayak.
- Or just lounge around on the beach for a day.
BRIBIE ISLAND TO SUNSHINE COAST
95 kilometres - 1 hour 30 minutes
Drive for another 90 minutes north to reach The Sunshine Coast, an area most famous for its beach resorts and beautiful people strolling beautiful beaches.
What to do in and around the Sunshine Coast:
- Visit the spectacular Glass House Mountains, scenic peaks rising out of the surrounding forest. You can walk or picnic here to break up your driving time.
- Stop at the Australia Zoo on the way to Noosa; it's only a stone's throw from the Glass House Mountains.
- Stop in at fabulous beaches like Golden Beach (great for swimming) and Kings Beach (awesome for surfing).
- A fun option is exploring the waterways in the area on a paddleboard.
SUNSHINE COAST TO NOOSA HEADS
40 kilometres - 30 minutes
With hinterland, beach, river, and national park all within easy driving distance, you'll be spoiled for choice of activities in Noosa. The centre of the area is Noosa Heads, which is a good place to use as a base for exploring.
What to do in Noosa:
- Stroll through Noosa National Park and you'll be rewarded with stunning coastal bush, rainforest scenery and hidden bays. You might even spot some koalas, dolphins, whales and turtles!
- Check out Noosa Heads Main Beach for some serious sunbathing sessions or learn how to catch waves with one of the local surf schools.
- Join one of the local four-wheel-drive tours and head north to the Great Sandy National Park to get a glimpse of the stunningly beautiful coastal area including ancient sand dunes, miles of white sandy beaches and native wildlife.
- Get out on the water and up close to Noosa’s friendly dolphins with Noosa's Oceanrider. From July - September, you can also join them for a Whale Watching safari when thousands of majestic humpback whales migrate past Noosa. JUCY customers can get 10% off - just book directly and present your rental agreement on arrival.
- Skydive Australia/ Noosa: For the ultimate adrenalin rush, stop at the Sunshine Coast airport and go skydiving with Skydive Noosa. You'll exit the plane from up to 15,000ft for an insane 60 seconds of life-changing freefall, falling at over 200 km/hr over the stunning Sunshine Coast region. Then float under canopy for 5-7 minutes soaking up views of the picture-perfect beaches far below before landing on Coolum beach.
- If you want to splash out on your accommodation, stay a night at the Metzo Noosa. Alternatively, stay in one of the local hostels. Noosa Flashpackers is Noosa’s newest hostel with free breakfast, Wi-Fi and surfboard hire for all guests.
- For an ultimate country experience, embark on a Noosa Country Drive. How about conquering the majestic Mount Cooroora, watching stunning sunsets from Mt Tinbeerwah or visiting a brewery? This can be a day trip or if you feel like a farm stay, then we’d recommend Rosecliffe Farm Cottages where the resident alpacas, horses and chicken will welcome you 😊.
- The Noosa Everglades, one of only two everglades systems on Earth, is a world of water, wilderness and wonder in the upper reaches of the Noosa River. Known as the River of Mirrors because of the amazing reflections in the water, the Noosa Everglades is a 60km stretch of pristine waters, magnificent flora and fauna and narrow waterways. Experience breathtaking beauty and tranquillity as you explore the Noosa Everglades with guided and self-guided kayak tours, on a guided boat tour, in your own boat or on foot.
- Explore the area on electric bikes, it's the best (and most fun!) way to travel from A to B in Noosa.
MORE ROAD TRIPS FROM BRISBANE
Not ready to give back your JUCY keys? Check out these road trips from Brisbane - you could keep going all the way down to Sydney!
- A road trip itinerary from Cairns to Brisbane - you can do this trip in reverse to get a taste of tropical north Queensland.
- Brisbane to Sydney road trip itinerary - keep the adventure going all the way down the east coast of Australia