Whether you prefer barra fishing in the Burdekin or Hinchinbrook, snorkelling fringing reefs around Magnetic Island, scuba diving wrecks or the Great Barrier Reef, bird watching at the surrounding wetlands, skydiving The Strand in Townsville or taking a wagon ride in Charters Towers, you will find it all in North Queensland.

This 10-day road trip itinerary will take you to some of the most beautiful and desirable destinations in far north Queensland. So hire your van, gather your mates and hit the road in this stunning part of the world!



Quick stats

650km trip distance

10 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Cairns to Mission Beach to Bingil Bay

Day 1
Cairns to Mission Beach to Bingil Bay

Drive up to the lovely town of Mission Beach, where you can try sea kayaking to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Mission Beach reminds us of how beautiful little beachside towns can be, blending vibrant art and culture with unique tourism attractions.Visitors to Tropical North Queensland can plan a day trip from Cairns or Port Douglas; it’s just under two hours from Cairns to Mission Beach.

Bingil Bay, the last beach of Mission Beach is a haven for artists, writers and musicians. Enjoy a freshly caught fish barbecued on the free barbecues at the water’s edge, or take in the walk to the top of Bicton Hill for awesome views of the Barnard Islands and over to Dunk and Hinchinbrook while hopefully spotting a cassowary on the way.

Mission Beach to Ingham

Day 3
Mission Beach to Ingham

See the works of local artists, and even get a chance to purchase some artworks at the TYTO Regional Art Gallery. Camp out at the Paluma Range National Park, where you can take an easy walk to the gorgeous Jourama Falls.

On the road to Townsville

Day 3
Townsville beach

Have lots of water fun at The Strand and meet aquatic locals at the Reef HQ or for a peaceful experience on yet another one of Townsville’s gorgeous northern beaches, visit Toolakea Beach and bring the whole family for a relaxing day out!

Townsville to Ayr

Days 4 - 5
Townsville to Ayr

Go surfing or just enjoy a pleasant barbecue at Alva Beach on the way to Ayr.

Ayr is a prime sugar country, with about 80,000 hectares of land under sugarcane, and an annual production of about 1.25 million tonnes of raw sugar. The district also contributes one-third of the nation’s mango harvest and is a major producer of melons and a host of other fruit and vegetables. Ayr is also famous for its water skiing.

Looking for a more exciting activity? Take the plunge into the SS Yongala Wreck site with Yongala Dive. The S.S. Yongala sank during a cyclone on March 23rd, 1911 with the loss of all 122 passengers and crew. It is one of Australia’s worst maritime disasters, and is sometimes called ‘Townsville’s Titanic’. It was not until 1958 that the wreck was dived and due to its remote location it has remained mostly untouched

Ayr to Airlie Beach

Day 6
Airlie beach

Explore Conway State Forest by foot when you take the Whitsunday Great Walk. If you still can’t get enough sun, head over to the Airlie Beach Lagoon or take the time to experience the Great Barrier Reef at nearby Whitsunday Islands.

Airlie Beach/Whitsundays

Days 7- 10

The Whitsundays is a world-renowned holiday destination, with Whitsunday icons like the Great Barrier Reef, Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach at the top of millions of bucket lists the world around. Airlie Beach is the hub of the Whitsundays region, being the largest town on the Whitsunday Coast, almost entirely focused on tourism.

hire and rentals

Kangaroo by the beach

Find out more about campervan hire in Cairns and explore Australia.

If you want to read more of our Cairns adventures, come and explore the dedicated Cairns Road Trips. Happy Exploring!


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