Planning a road trip from Melbourne to Queensland.?

My sister and I are planning on a road trip in January. I basically want to see the great barrier reef.
Now we are all confused as to how much it’s going to cost (considering that we’ll rent a car) and what route would be worth taking (sight seeing and safety)
Time is not an issue.


  1. The very first thing you need to do is join the RACV, and get some touring maps and advice from them. They can give you a variety of routes, there are at least four you could take, and their trip maps list all the service stations and tourist traps along the way.
    My favourite route is up the Newell Highway, inhabited by B doubles and semis though. The coast road on the Princes Highway is probably the best scenic wise if you have the time to take it all in.
    As far as cost, that also depends on what type of accommodation you plan to use, the cheapest would be caravan sites with on site vans or chalets. You will need at least $100 a day for fuel and food. Eat at pubs for your main meal if you can, they have magnificent meals that are far better and nutricious than Maccas or KFC.
    RACV also have camping and accommodation guides as well. Check out car rental sites and also van rental, which may turn out to be cheaper than motels at least.
    Also remember that in some areas you may need Toll passes, so ensure you get a daily pass at least for any toll road you may use, or if you have a car with a toll reader, take the reader with you.

  2. It would probably be easier and cheaper to fly to Hamilton Island or Prosperpine and take one of the cruises out to the Reef

  3. If seeing the Great Barrier Reef is your aim, taking the inland route on the Newell Highway will get you there more quickly and cheaper than going on the coast road (thus leaving you with more time and money to see the Reef). But if you want to make a real trip of it, consider renting a campervan and going on the coast road. You would have the option of taking the Hume to Sydney then up the Pacific Highway, or you could do the whole trip on the coast, through Gippsland and the NSW south coast. Having the campervan would mean your accommodation is taken care of, and you will have autonomy when it comes to food and where you stay. Or as Neil suggested, fly to Cairns and rent a car up there.

  4. If you are renting a car, time is an issue because you pay by the day for the car rental. As far as petrol is concerned it is about 3500km from Melbourne to Cairns. If you have a car which uses 7 litres per 100km you will use 245 litres of fuel which, at $1.50 a litre will cost you $367.50 – and the same again if you are driving back. 8 litres per hundred will be 280 litres for $420; 6 litres per hundred will be 210 litres for $315.

    To the cost of renting the car and paying for petrol you need to add the costs of food and accommodation on the way.

    Driving your own car is reasonable for two people, renting one is going to be very expensive.

  5. Rent a car for a road trip?
    Are you and your sister that wealthy?
    Then why are you on a road trip when it is obvious you can afford a 5 star ocean cruise?
    You are right, you really DO need to look up costs.

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