Tourism Whitsundays, Queensland Australia, Whitsundays Holidays - Tourism Whitsundays QLD - Drive The Whitsundays to Cairns
The Whitsundays, Queensland.
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Australia is the kind of country that is best explored behind the wheel of a car; nothing beats an Aussie Roadtrip! This certainly applies to North Queensland, many of the best places to experience such as deserted beaches, waterfalls and freshwater creeks, can be quite remote, and with each region being so different and diverse, self-driving is the way to go.

Below we have mapped out the perfect itinerary including a couple of must do's on your way!

Day 1 – Airlie Beach to Greenvale

First Stop: Ayr | 188km North of Airlie Beach | 2 hour drive

From Airlie Beach head north along the Bruce Highway for about 2 hours. On the drive you will encounter mostly farmland, there aren't too many facilities on the way so be sure to grab some supplies from Ayr and stop for some food before you hit the road again!

Second stop: Billabong Sanctuary | 70km North of Ayr | 1 hour drive

Stop in and say hello to some of Australia's local residents at the Billabong Sanctuary! All your favourite animals are here– over 50 native species including crocs, kangaroos, koalas, wombats, dingoes, parrots, emus and of course those whistling ducks with their insatiable appetite for seeds.

CREDIT TEQ Kangaroo at Billabong Sanctuary

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Final stop: Greenvale | 256km North-West of Billabong Sanctuary | 3 hour drive

We finish the day with a stopover at Greenvale, home to the Three Rivers Hotel made famous by Slim Dusty with the song of the same name. Treat yourself to a cold, refreshing drink and tasty bite to eat in the shady oasis at the rear of the hotel. There is also the Greenvale Caravan Park if you are camping or vanning.

Day 2 – Greenvale to Cairns

First stop: Millstream Falls National Park | 257km North of Greenvale | 3 hour drive

After a long drive it's time to stretch your legs! Millstream Falls National Park is located 3.5 km south-west of Ravenshoe on the Kennedy Highway. Turn left into the signposted entrance and follow the 1 km road to the picnic area. Parking is available for long vehicles. The park is made up of two sections: Big Millstream Falls and Little Millstream Falls. The Big Falls are reputedly Australia's widest single-drop waterfalls. Swimming is not permitted, but there are two good hiking trails: a 680m forest circuit leads to the falls, and the WWII Heritage Walk (1km return) passes the 1940s camp sites of hundreds of Aussie troops. Little Millstream Falls is accessed by a separate route. Travel along Tully Falls Road for 3 km and then turn right into Wooroora Road. Follow this for 1.5 km to the turn-off to the car park.

CREDIT TEQ Millstream Falls

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Second stop: Ravenshoe | 5.5km North-East of Millstream Falls | 10 minute Drive

Who could resist the chance to sink a cold bevy at the highest pub in Queensland? Ravenshoe is the highest town in Queensland at 920 metres, it is a lush region, comprising of mountain pastures and un-spoiled World Heritage rainforest, the perfect place to cool down after exploring the Millstream Falls!

Third stop: Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit | 30km North-East of Ravenshoe | 30 minute Drive

Time for a swim! Getting three waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland in on one day seems a stretch, but not for Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Ellinjaa who are all neighbours. Located in the lush Tablelands Region, they're accessible off a loop road so you can zip between them to your heart's content.

You know you're getting a visual feast when you visit Millaa Millaa. This icon of the Cairns Tablelands is the most photographed waterfall in Australia. It has even featured in a few TV commercials, so there's a good chance you will recognise it when you see it.

To access the falls turn onto Theresa Creek Rd, Millaa Millaa falls are the first you will find, continue along Theresa Creek Rd to discover the other two. There is a tea house at the turnoff to the waterfalls, the perfect place to gab a bite to eat and a coffee.

CREDIT TEQ Millaa Millaa Falls

Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Optional detour: Mungalli Creek Dairy | 15km South-East of MIllaa Millaa Falls | 15 minute drive

Dairy farmers were among the first settlers in the Atherton Tablelands, arriving more than 100 years ago. The industry is still thriving and you can happily spend a few hours dairy-hopping, stopping off to taste ice-cream, gelato, cream, milk, yoghurt and cheese. Mungalli Creek Dairy is a stand-out, offering the largest range of biodynamic organic products in Tropical North Queensland. Visit in summer and autumn for the award-winning ricotta and feta.

Final stop: Cairns | 101km North-East of Millaa Millaa Falls | 1.5 hour drive

Take the scenic route via Gillies Range Rd up to Cairns through the Atherton Tablelands. Passing through lush farmland, dense rainforest and up winding hills this drive is well worth it!

Looking to go from Cairns to The Whitsundays? We have you covered here.

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