For the finale of our Great Ocean Road to Great Barrier Reef series, we’re heading out of New South Wales and into sunny Queensland on a journey from Byron Bay to Cairns.

It’s a stretch of coast that draws visitors from around the world so don’t miss it by catching a plane, drive instead and break the journey with stays at Ingenia Holiday Parks en route.

Chill out in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a popular haunt for surfers—for good reason—making it a great starting point for our last itinerary. Just a five-minute drive from Main Beach and the centre of town Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay offers an affordable accommodation option close the action. Tick off a stop at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland with a trip to the Cape Byron Lighthouse and be sure to visit one of the many markets held in Byron and nearby regional towns.

Stay: Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay

Experience the delights of the Sunshine Coast

It’s a three-hour drive from Byron to Noosa, and you’re spoilt for choice as to where to break the journey. Stop on the Gold Coast and visit one of its theme parks or power northwards and visit the Glass House Mountains or Australia Zoo. Ingenia Holidays Noosa North makes a great base for exploring the best of the Sunshine Coast. From inflatable water parks to four-wheel driving on the beach there’s something for everyone here, and you can’t go wrong with a stroll through Noosa National Park or a kayak through the Noosa Everglades.

Stay: Ingenia Holidays Noosa North

Have a whale of a time in Hervey Bay

Next stop is Hervey Bay, the world’s first Whale Heritage site. Settle in at Ingenia Holidays Hervey Bay and prepare for some awesome adventures. A whale watching cruise is a must in season (July–November) as getting up close to giant humpbacks is something you won’t soon forget. Another must-do is a day trip to Fraser Island. Take your car (4WD only), hire one or join a tour, you won’t be disappointed. It’s the largest sand island in the world and a truly stunning place with crystal clear creek and endless dunes.

Stay: Ingenia Holidays Hervey Bay

Queensland is a ‘big’ old state

It’s a 12-hour drive from Hervey Bay to Townsville, so set off early and take turns at the wheel. A long drive is the perfect excuse for a checklist car game, and what better to tick off than some of Queensland’s ‘big’ things. Keep your eyes peeled for the Big Barrel in Bundaberg, the Big Dugong in Rockhampton, the Big Cane Toad in Sarina, the Big Banana in Mackay and the Big Mango in Bowen. How many others will you see? After the long drive take a few days to explore Townsville and enjoy a day trip to Magnetic Island before heading on to Cairns.

Stay: Ingenia Holidays Townsville

Dive into the underwater world in Cairns

After the last drive, the four-hour stretch to Cairns will feel like a breeze and Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut will be waiting to welcome you. This park is a destination in itself with heaps to entertain the kids and it’s just 10 minutes from the cruise terminal for that trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel off the Reef Magic pontoon or view the underwater world from a glass bottom boat. Either is a fitting end to an epic journey.

Stay: Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut

Be sure to check out the other itineraries in this series or create your own. Start planning your East Coast road trip with Ingenia Holiday Parks now.

Explore our parks

Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay
This northern New South Wales hotspot needs no introduction. Byron Bay attracts some two million visitors to its sandy shores each year. To see what makes this beach holiday destination so alluring, stay amongst Ingenia Holidays Byron Bay’s 28 acres of parklands which fronts onto the famous Tallow Beach.
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BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut
Few holiday parks compare in popularity to our award-winning BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut in Tropical North Queensland. In fact, if you looked up the definition of ‘kid’s paradise’, you’re likely to see a description of BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut.
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BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Townsville
Enjoy the taste of the tropics and surround yourself with palm trees and landscaped gardens at BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Townsville.
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Ingenia Holidays Hervey Bay
If you like your beach holidays packed with coastal charm, Ingenia Holidays Hervey Bay has a camping, caravan or cabin site calling your name.
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Ingenia Holidays Noosa North
Get a taste of the tropics on the Sunshine Coast at Ingenia Holidays Noosa North. You’ll find everything you need for an activity-packed family holiday with a heated swimming pool, kid’s wading pool, playground, table tennis and pool table (to name a few) within the holiday park grounds.
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