Driving Townsville -> Brisbane - places to stop/see?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 27, 2012 1:45 AM Last Post By: jclare1
Apr 25, 2012 5:28 PM
From there, we're planning on spending 3 nights heading down to Brisbane (where we'll stay with some other friends for 3 nights!) and then head home...
Can anyone recommend localities to stay in for the Townsville - Brisbane leg? Our very 'rough' plan at this stage is:
- 1 night in Airlie Beach, so we can do the Whitsunday cruise (or stop in Airlie Beach, do the cruise and and then overnight in Mackay?)
- 1 night in Rockhampton (or somewhere near that area)
- 1 night in either Bundaberg or Hervey Bay (or somewhere near that area)
- then an early start to do Australia Zoo on our way to Brisbane.
Does this sound 'do-able' or are we missing something great? We've broken it up so we don't have too much driving in any one day, and we're not keen on spending a fortune on accommodation. We're definitely beach/water people, snorkelling, swimming etc not so much tramping up hills etc!
Anna & Paul
Apr 25, 2012 6:45 PM
1You're going to be travelling at time of the year when days are not far off being their shortest so to get a days Whitsunday cruise in, you would really want to allow for two nights at Airlie Beach as driving away from there with darkness closing in is begging for a chance meeting with a kangaroo that you would rather not meet.
If you want to do a Whitsunday cruise, you would really want to get away from your friends no later than just after lunch to get to Airlie before too late in the afternoon and book your cruise for the next day.
Personally, I would feel that just a day cruising about is questionable as to the value if you have already been able to do some reef snorkelling up at Cairns.
And the water temp will be getting cooler for snorkelling, though nowhere as cool as in NZ.
Alternately, you could with an early departure, do Townsville to Rockhampton in a day and two nights there would allow a trip over to Great Keppel Island or alternately just one night there and visit the Botanical Gardens/Zoo in the morning and then a drive on to Childers, Maryborough or Gympie , all on the Bruce highway whereas Bundaberg and Hervey Bay would mean detouring off it and not a real lot at either location to make a detour for staying overnight of value.
You could then visit Australia Zoo and some of the other Sunshine Coast attractions or head on down for a night in Brisbane.
Apr 25, 2012 7:59 PM
2Something went awry with my reply... :/ Here we go again!
In terms of the Whitsunday cruise I have my heart set on this - we were thinking leave early morning from T'ville to get on the afternoon half day cruise out of Airlie, then stay the night and be on the road again early in the morning.
Pleased for the alternative options i.e. Childers, Maryborough & Gympie - what's in those places to see/do?
Thank you for your help!
Apr 25, 2012 8:23 PM
3Well, a half day cruise might be even less enchanting Anna but if you have your heart set on it!
There's not a great lot in either Childers, Maryborough or Gympie and I was just suggesting those as possible overnighters a reasonable half day and a bit drive from Rockhampton, the Rockhampton Zoo btw being basically free or a a gold coin donation last time I was there and Crocs there too, nice BGs they are too.
Childers is the smallest of the three and just really one main street, being the Bruce Highway but it is full of some lovely older style colonial days buildings, maybe a good late lunch or afternoon tea spot.
Maryborough on Mary River was nearly going to be the capital of Queensland in earlier days, there having been gold found in the region and a port established in days before the railway and roads etc.
I'd expect there could be a small museum or historical building and also many older style buildings there too, there also being the http://www.thevalleyrattler.com/
Gympie, on a bit further has the Mary River adjacent though you'll not really notice it from the highway which also skirts the town centre that also has a lot of older colonial buildings, Gympie perhaps a bit larger than Maryborough and in being closer to Brisbane has had more development in recent decades.
I think there is a Timber working museum there and on driving through on one occasion, I noticed an old mining headframe behind a park on the southern side of the town so there could also be a mining museum.
Apr 26, 2012 6:34 AM
4I camped in Cape Hillsborough National Park just north of Mackay, on the beach, with kangaroos visiting in the morning.
Apr 26, 2012 4:18 PM
5Nothing to see in Bundaber or Hervey bay (unless u want to go to Frazer Island)
Childers, Maryborough & Gympie... nothing to see unless u want to experience a very little taste of countryside!
Apr 27, 2012 1:45 AM
6I agree with Ranjon, it's not worth the detour to go to Bundaberg, which has got nothing to recommend it that I can think of. Hervey Bay is only 1/2 hour from Maryborough and the pier is a very pleasant spot as the sun goes down, the camp sites are right on the beach (swimming is rubbish - way too shallow unless you are prepared to wade out for about 2km) and good seafood for sale at the marina (urangan). Maryborough's saving grace is the number of old Queenslanders (buildings, not people) but you can see them as you drive through. Childers is the same, a few nice old buildings; although if it's still there, you can experience an authentic outback chinese restaurant (on the main drag) complete with Australian versions of Chinese food (lots of meat and deep fried everything) with well worn fittings and a dead fly in the window.
The timber museum on the northern side of Gympie is a nicer spot to stop that the official rest stop a few mintues further north up the highway. It has clean toilets and shady areas to sit and eat a picnic which you can use without paying to go into the museum. The museum was about $10/adult when I visited a couple of years ago and has the usual Queensland country town exhibits - a slab hut, bits and pieces from old pioneer days, old photos, old milling equipment etc but not much interpretation. There is also a gold museum. The best thing about Gympie is that it is on the highway and easy to leave. Nothing much happens in the evenings anywhere.
If you want a nicer drive than down the highway from Gympie to Australia Zoo, take the back road through the Mary Valley, Kenilworth and Maleny. Don't miss the bird show at the zoo. The croc shows go off a bit in winter as they get sluggish in the cold. If you have time, check out the Glasshouse Mountains on the way to Brisbane from Australia Zoo. I
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