We are in AUSTRALIA
You want to travel from Queensland to New South Wales.....maybe leave from Brisbane or the Sunshine or Gold Coasts.
I would suggest you buy a map and check out your options ...do not rely totally on devices such as 'tom-toms' for your overall plan.
Three main choices spring to mind
(1) Pacific Highway along the coast and accessed from the Gold Coast. in Queensland
(2) The New England Highway from the Darling Downs
(3) The Newell Highway from Warwick (via the Cunningham Highway first to Goondiwindi).
(1)Pacific Highway... You certainly will pass through some very beautiful towns and you can divert to some beautiful beaches....lots to see...you can divert west this way....even cross over to the New England Highway. There have been may major improvements and there divided roads as well as two way... but this is a busy highway . I used to love the older Pacific Highway and all the small towns along the way...you never became bored
(2)The New England Highway is quieter than the Pacific but the speed limit keeps changing through the many small towns so you could find yourself paying speeding fines if you are not careful.
Seems to have a lot of improvements happening (read as delays). Mostly 2 way so be careful. I do like the little towns though. I did not see anything over 100K along the way.
This is the way we go on one of our VIRTUAL TOURS
(3) The Newell Highway. You first head out of Warwick via Inglewood and pick up the Newell Highway at Goondiwindi This highway is 2 way so watch for oncoming traffic and mind your fuel supply in places. Not so many towns and the speed limit often is 110k. Seems to have more transport trucks than the New England.
A hire car is a great way to travel around Queensland.
Firstly, you must have a valid overseas drivers license for the same class of vehicle you have hired, and be carrying your licence with you. If your licence is in a language other than English, you should carry a recognised English translation of it when driving.
For people coming from the UK to Australia, you should feel right at home, as driving here is on the LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD. The steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car.
The maximum speed limit in cities or towns is from 50 - 60km/h and on country roads and highways it is 100 - 110km/p. Signs indicate the speed limits. There is a good chance they may be quite slower than you are used to driving at, but beware, there are mobile speed cameras and cameras at Traffic lights. Fines are big!
Some of our roads have arrows painted on them to remind you of which side you should be driving on, this is because of the many head on smashes that have occurred with tourists used to driving on the RH side of the road. Fatique is another big factor because distances are much greater than a lot of European countries. Just pull up for a few minutes at one of the roadside areas built just for this.
You must give way to the right at unsigned cross intersections and on roundabouts, and at STOP SIGNS, your vehicle must come to a complete halt. If you do happen to miss your street, do a U-turn at a set of Traffic Lights or turn-through where a sign states you can.
Here, Seat Belts are compulsory and a fine is automatically given if caught not wearing one. You may be pulled up at a Breathalizer station where you are tested to see if you are under the legal 0.05 percent blood alcohol limit for drivers holding an open license.
Two or three standard drinks in an hour could put you over the limit.
More information is on the website listed below.
This tip is written in answer to a forum question.
A must do in Queensland if you are travelling by Public Bus, is to HAIL THE BUS.
This means, when waiting at the Bus stop for your number to come along, when you see the Bus approaching, you must put your arm out for it to stop.
If you don't do this, then the Bus will drive straight past.
Look at the sign, you will see a photo of a Bus and person with their arm out hailing the Bus.
Exit numbers have just been introduced on the Bruce Highway (M1) north of Brisbane(2012)......If you know your exit number it is very helpful in finding your way....Please note gaps have been built in the numbering to allow for additional exits in the future.
I find it tricky that the M1 is both north and south of Brisbane and is connected by The Gateway M2
Exit number from the Bruce Highway (M1)
Exit 157 - Pumicestone Road
Exit 163 - Steve Irwin Way
Exit 171 - Johnston Road
Exit 188 - Steve Irwin Way / Caloundra Road
Exit 190 - Frizzo Road / Pignata Road
Exit 194 - Sunshine Motorway/ Buderim/ University
Exit 200 - Chevallum Road / Mons Road
Exit 201 - Nambour Connection Road/ Maroochydore Road
Exit 208 - Nambour - Bli Bli Road
Exit 210 - Nambour Connection Road
Exit 215 - Yandina - Coolum Road
Exit 224 - Eumundi - Noosa Road / Eumundi- Kenilworth Road
Exit 230 - Cooroy Connection Road
EXITS SOUTH OF BRISBANE ARE MUCH MORE EXTENSIVE SO PLEASE FOLLOW LINKS.
The Gateway Motorway ((M2 to Eight Mile Plains and M1 to Pine River) connects the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast and merges with the M1 and the Logan Motorway
Pacific Motorway (M1)....please see website
The Pacific Motorway (M1) is 100K from Brisbane to the NSW border
Here is a link for Logan Motorway which connects Ipswich to the M1 at Loganholme.
Tolls apply to some sections of these roads.
People who are interested in this review would also find Just Mind the Round-a-bouts helpful....and do look at Outback Travel
ALL my driving review links are now(2013) listed here
Queensland has three (3) International Airports with some international flights on trial at this point in time being conducted at The Sunshine Coast Airport(2012).
Brisbane is the main airport with International and Domestic arrivals and departures in two separate sections
I quite like the system that once you go through security you are in the main shopping and lounge area and that is it...you do not have another security/passport control at the boarding gate.
The air train which begins at the Gold Coast is an excellent service
Sunshine Coast is trialling some international flights. A few teething problems with major hold ups being experienced at bag screening. Only one coffee shop in the baggage area otherwise one needs to go through security for drinks and shopping
This is NOT an 'all weather' airport and boarding is from the tarmac.
We flew into Cairns (far north) while some upgrades were happening and some flights were being diverted from "coming in on a wing and a prayer" above the mangroves....there are a few hills for the pilots to mind.
I am told by VTer tropicrd that Cairns now has an undercover car park area,and an undercover pick up and drop off passenger areas. There are coffee shops,cafes, and a bar and shops.
The signs are easy to follow and all at one level,no elevators or lifts necessary.(2012)
Gold Coast This airport is in the heart of the Gold Coast not far from the New South Wales State border. Retail shopping, a bar,and departure lounges available.
Some travellers by pass Brisbane for example to take advantage of Jet Star premium economy to destinations such as Japan.
Gold Coast Airport is the only airport in Australia to be in two states at the same time. The runway is in both New South Wales and Queensland
If you are injured or taken ill in outback Queensland it is comforting to know the journey for help is made much easier by our Royal Flying Doctor service....The RFDS
The service is a not-for-profit organisation.
Support comes from the Government....corporate sponsors and fund raising.
We have fund raising on Buderim every year....usually a luncheon and fashion parade ...... last week there was an event called with horse 'Heading North' which passed by the country music event at Munna Creek raising funds for the flying doctor.
History from the web site
"The RFDS began as the dream of the Rev John Flynn, a minister with the Presbyterian Church. He witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas where just two doctors provided the only medical care for an area of almost 2 million square kilometres. Flynn’s vision was to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ for these people and on 15 May 1928, his dream had become a reality with the opening of the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service) in Cloncurry, Queensland"
If you are wondering about the photo there is a VT mascot and photos of VTers in front of a photo of the plane.
Queensland has 3 INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
These are BRISBANE, GOLD COAST [close to Brisbane], and CAIRNS, for all those people who fly in to see the Great Barrier Reef.
Brisbane Airport is very busy, and I find it takes awhile to go through customs and passport control. On the other-hand, in my experiences at the Gold Coast, I have found it quite quick.
There are lots of smaller airports all over Queensland. For your convenience, I have listed the website which will take you to the map showing where all airports are located in Queensland.
Queensland is a large place compared to places like UK, France, Ireland and other European countries and it takes some "getting around" especially once you leave the south-east corner.
Even if you hire a car distances are long and you see miles (kilometers) of similar stuff as you head out of the populated areas.This is mind boggling if you are not expecting it and difficult to comprehend. There are also special road conditions to be aware of. You would be wise to stop at driver reviver free coffee places as going to sleep at the wheel is a killer.
I remember the strange feeling when I saw mirages in the very hot weather when travelling in the outback.
Beware of hitch hikers.They are not all friendly. Unfortunately some nasty incidents have occurred on lonely roads.
We have trains going north from Brisbane which branch west from key coastal towns. The tilt train is our most modern service on the northern run. Buses will take you to a number of places but things become more primitive as you head north until you reach those same key places such as Rockhampton. From the air Rocky is just a speck in a sea of nothingness.
Planes leave Brisbane airport for a good number of Queensland towns...not jumbo jets though.
Do your homework before venturing too far away from civilization
See my page Australias Greatest Train Journeys
Although train travel is expensive in QLD---it is still a wonderful way to see the state of QLD in a relaxed and slower style of travel.
The Sunlander is an old train and will most likely be replaced by the newer Tilt trains to and from Cairns and Brisbane in the near future.
It offers sleeper cars and sitting cars with recliner seats and plenty of leg room.
It has a club car to relax with a drink or a snack or if you like an opportunity to meet other travellers.There is also a dining car where you can have a more substantial meal.
The Queenslaner Class cars started to operate on June 2nd 2011 but are expensive.
This kind of travel is not for every one.
It departs Cairns every Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday @ 9:15 am and arrive at Brisbane every Wed,Friday & Sundays---approx 36 hours per trip, most times it is two/three hours late.
It also has train link coach connections from Proserpine to Airlie Beach and Maryborough West to Hervey Bay--(Fraser Island area).
The cost for an economy recliner seat from Cairns to Maryborough West is $431 aus and then an extra cost for the connection coaches.
The scenery is wonderful and gives the traveller an insight into the vast distances within QLD towns. The big picture windows are a great opportunity to take photo's from the train.
When I first saw the sign on the bus 'Gold Coast Shuttle' I thought that it said Gold Coast Shuffle...ha, ha, ha....and I was thinking that that would be an interesting dance.
Getting parking spaces close to the beach, even in the off season is not easy so the bus is a really good option.
Be Careful when taking trips to Fraser Island in a 4WD. It can be dangerous. Up to 11 people are shoved into a 4WD Landcruiser and head over driving for two days with whoever has a licence. Lots of roll overs occur because of in experienced drivers. Driving on sand is not easy ,there are tides ,rocks and dunes ,dingoes,other drivers,walkers and even an areoplane lands on the main beach there There are fantastic two day tours that are guided and are a great way to also go visit the island. Self driving can be great but there is an accident monthly on fraser with mainly injuries from other travellers (knees into noses etc).
I travelled from Brisbane to Cairns by bus. Got myself a mini travel pass which is valid for 45 days and allows unlimited stops between the two towns (no backtracking). The cheapest version of that pass is obtained & maintained online, 231 AU$ (Nov. 06).
Usually you have two or more buses covering the distance you want to travel. The buses used weren't brandnew, but still comfortable with onboard toilet. They were mostly on time, just once I had to wait for more than 30 min.
Competitor Premier has cheaper fares, but there's just one bus per day and you might end up having to wait for the bus at 2am...
Start at darthmilmo's VT pages for everything you want to know about transport & everything you want to know about 2/3 of the continent including the non-human inhabitants.
During your trip throughout Queensland, look at the color of the sign to determine which type of road you are going to be using:
Blue Signs indicate tollways
Green Signs indicate standard highways
Brown Signs indicate tourist or scenic roads.
Hope your trip to Queensland was as fun as mine!
As there are many airports throughout Queensland, I thought I would emphasize the only International Airport within this state. Direct flights from the US, NZ, and Southeast Asia find their way to Brisbane or as it is affectionately known, Bris-Vegas.
The airport does not seem very large, and was easy to negotiate, although we were disappointed at how small their carry-on luggage limits were. Only 7kgs is rather small for carry-on, and we needed to check our bags which caused us delays.
All in all, there was a good food selection in the airport, and the rental car was easy to get to.
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