Nature Coast Australia
Road Trip

"Most of us adventurous types know there’s no better way to experience travelling than doing a Road Trip!"

The excitement of feeling free to do whatever you want and when you want is invigorating. There’s also the surprise factor on a Road Trip of not really knowing what’s around the corner or what you might come across, bringing another level of excitement and wonder. Plus, when you see something that takes your interest, you can stop and enjoy it for as long as you like and adapt your plan to spend the right amount of time where you want.



So, we’re not going to dictate Nature Coast Australia Road Trip Itineraries based on a number of days, or whether you are a solo, couple or family traveller, where you are from, or even assume that you would only be interested in certain themes like nature or food (we think you could like both!!).

If you’re independent and adventurous enough to plan a Road Trip to Australia’s Nature Coast, then we think you might enjoy planning & creating your very own trip, with the help of some local tips we have shared below.


Plan My Road Trip

Of course, if you have any questions or you would like a Road Trip Itinerary planned for you, we are here to help! We can create bespoke packages and itineraries based on your travelling needs and likes. Itineraries can be created for all types of travellers and incorporate hire vehicles, accommodation, experiences & tours according to your interests (active, nature, beach, luxury, food, diving, hiking etc). We will also consider your available travel time, budget & priorities when planning your Road Trip.
Simply complete our short online form and you'll receive the best recommendations from local experts.

When Is The Best Time To Travel?

The weather across Australia’s Nature Coast is warm year-round with minimal seasonal variations making it the ideal holiday destination any time of year. The most popular time is Spring (September to November) when the weather warms without being hot, and rainfall is minimal. However remember lots of Aussies also travel then, especially during school holidays so be sure to check and book ahead with your accommodation and tour experiences.

December to February "Aussie Summer"


There’s nothing quite like an Aussie Summer with long days spent at the beach swimming in the 27-degree warm, yet refreshing waters of the Pacific Ocean, or the sparkling freshwater lakes on K’gari (Fraser Island), or under the cool Sunshine Coast Hinterland Waterfalls.

Aussies like to surf, swim, hike, cycle, golf, or find a shady spot with an esky & BBQ, or a seaside bar and enjoy relaxing with friends.

Typically, daytime temperatures reach 30 degrees on average and night drops to about 22 degrees. Most Aussie’s take their long holiday break over Summer when school is out for six weeks, so this can make beaches and holiday destinations busy. There may also be higher levels of Summer rainfall and on humid days a crackling evening storm may roll in.

March to May "Autumn Downunder"


As Sumer changes to Autumn in our part of the land Downunder, the air becomes fresher with less humidity and the nights become cooler dropping to around 14-degrees. It’s a very mild season to enjoy and appropriate for travelling and all experiences. This tends to be the quieter travel season which means everywhere is less crowded and you may benefit from low season prices.

A highlight of this time is our Sea Turtle hatching season in April. Bargara Beach near Bundaberg is the best place to watch thousands of baby turtles hatch and flipper their way down the beach and into the ocean for their very first time.

June to August "Winter Nights"


By June, the nights may drop to around 10-degrees while still reaching daytime temperatures in the low 20’s. Some days especially if you are being active, you could still be comfortable in shorts and just need a jacket & pants for the evening and early mornings. The Hinterland obviously gets colder than the coast making it a great time to enjoy romantic cabins and log fires. Oceans may drop to below 20 degrees but are a great time for scuba diving our shipwrecks and reefs due to the clear visibility. Beachside on K’gari (Fraser Island) can also feel chilly at night.

During May to August the giant Manta Rays congregate on the southern Great Barrier Reef around Lady Elliot Island. From mid-July to October is our Humpback Whale Watching season and this is the best time to experience Hervey Bay which is known as Australia’s Whale Watching Capital because it’s the only place the whales stop on their return migration to rest, play and give birth to their claves.

September to November "Perfect Spring"


As Winter starts to fade and we head towards Summer, Spring is a lovely consistent season with mild days and nights making it very comfortable averaging around 15 to 25-degrees.

For some people, the ocean may still feel cool, but by October the beaches are becoming popular again with locals. During Spring there is minimal rainfall with lots of blue sky and clear sunny days.

How Long Do I Need?

Ideally, our recommendation is to spend at least 3 days in each location along Australia’s Nature Coast Road Trip. Below are some examples of the most popular things to do that we recommend you experience during your travels. However, the more experiences you want to do, or the more places you want to spend soaking up Australia’s Nature Coast, you’ll need to consider allowing more days to your itinerary.

Road Trip - The Sunshine Coast

To arrive at the Sunshine Coast by road, you’ll be travelling north or south along Queensland’s coastal Bruce Highway.

Alternatively, you could fly directly into the Sunshine Coast Airport or Brisbane Airport (Capital City of Queensland) and hire a car ready to start your adventure.

Driving north from Brisbane to the central area of the Sunshine Coast (i.e. Maroochydore), is about 100km and will take you around 1 hour and 20 mins to drive.

From Hervey Bay, the drive south to the Sunshine Coast will take about 3 hours without stopping.

You might consider taking extra time to visit some other beautiful areas along the way (small detour) like Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach. Some tours to K’gari (Fraser Island) also depart from here at Inskip Point by a short ferry to the southern tip of K’gari (Fraser Island).


Must Do’s

  1. Australia Zoo – Beerwah (driving from Brisbane you could visit the Zoo along the way on Day 1).
  2. Explore the vast clean, safe & unpopulated beaches – swim, surf, walk, relax, check out as many as you can, as this is what the Sunshine Coast is famous for.
  3. Sunshine Coast Hinterland – enjoy a 1-hour drive up into the hinterland mountains to experience quaint villages, farms, waterfalls, fresh produce & scenic green vistas.

What Else

  1. Hike the Glasshouse Mountains.
  2. Scuba Dive shipwrecks and local reefs.
  3. Enjoy organised Cultural & Food Tour Experiences.
  4. Indulge in the best Aussie shopping, markets & dining at amazing restaurants, bars & breweries.
  5. Relax by the resort pool.

See our Sunshine Coast page to book and find more detailed information including the best experiences, things to do, dining & accommodation.


Road Trip - Noosa

If you’re driving to Noosa from another Sunshine Coast area like Mooloolaba, it will only take you about 45 minutes to reach Noosa which is the most northern coastal town on the Sunshine Coast.

Noosa is a unique sub-tropical coastal village set by beautiful beaches, national parks, and the Noosa River.

If you’re driving south from Hervey Bay, you should allow about 2 hours to reach Noosa.

Directly from Brisbane the Road Trip to Noosa is 139km which is about a 2 hour drive.


Must Do’s

  1. Experience the iconic white sand and aqua blue surf beach of Noosa Heads which is next to the famous shopping & dining precinct of Hastings Street.
  2. Explore the breath-taking Noosa National Park which is accessed from Hastings Street. Follow the coastal walking trail where you’ll see beautiful bays & beaches, surf breaks, and spot local koalas, dolphins & turtles, and admire the Australian bush and eucalyptus trees. There are lots of lovely photo, picnic & rest spots to stop and take in the serenity.
  3. Choose your favourite adventure or experience depending on your interests – paddle a kayak or canoe in the Noosa Everglades, take a cruise or SUP on the calm Noosa River, explore the Noosaville shops & restaurant strip which overlook the river, take a 4WD beach drive tour and kayak, surf, or fish like the locals.

What Else

  • Feed that adventurous side and Learn to Surf or take a Tandem Skydive at Noosa.
  • There are lots of organised tours and experiences to enjoy across a broad range of interests & places such as e-bike tours to breweries, sea kayak to dolphins and explore quaint villages and forests of the Noosa Hinterland.
  • Soak up the sun & relax by the pool, or enjoy the many high-quality bars & restaurants along the Noosa River and Noosa Heads beachfront.

See our Noosa page to book and find more detailed information including the best experiences, things to do, dining & accommodation.


Road Trip - Hervey Bay

When you’re ready to recommence your Nature Coast Australia Road Trip, next you will drive north from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa to Hervey Bay.

Your GPS, road map or signs will direct you back onto the Bruce Highway and along the way you’ll pass through the country towns of Gympie, Tiaro and Maryborough.

These towns all have unique things to see & do, so if you want to take a break or see something interesting, there are plenty of places to eat, rest, shop & explore.

Your Road Trip will take about 2 hours to drive from Noosa to Hervey Bay.


Must Do’s

  1. If you're in Hervey Bay between mid-July to October, you must experience Hervey Bay’s unique Whale Watching experiences. Hervey Bay was declared the world’s first Whale Heritage Site and is known as Australia’s Capital of Whale Watching. During the southern migration, Humpback Whales make their way into the warm sheltered waters of Hervey Bay to rest and play, and for mothers to birth their calves and fatten them up before heading back towards Antarctica. The difference here is thousands of whales swim up to the boats and like to play around them, which is a very different experience to when they are swimming on their migration in the open ocean. Hervey Bay has over 15 different Whale Watching experiences ranging in different types of vessels, full and half day tours, and there are also swim with whale experiences.
  2. Hervey Bay is a picturesque, quiet & pristine bay with village centres that follow the beautiful 16km Esplanade overlooking calm & clear beaches. The large eucalyptus trees shade the lawns and there’s plenty of seats, BBQ’s and picnic areas to enjoy. There are also a few piers to walk out on over the water or to fish from, including the iconic 868m long Urangan Pier.
  3. From the Hervey Bay Marina, there’s many cruises to enjoy that allow you to experience the vast marine life including turtles, dolphins and dugongs, the remote west coast of K’gari (Fraser Island) with its freshwater creeks and azure blue waters, and the reefs and sand islands in the Bay.

What Else

  • Hervey Bay provides the best access to K’gari (Fraser Island) with different tour options and experiences available. The ferry runs multiple times daily from nearby River Heads to Kingfisher Bay Resort.
  • Take a day trip from Hervey Bay to the award-winning Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort on the southern Great Barrier Reef. After a short 35-minute scenic flight, you’ll have 7-hours on this unique coral cay island where you will experience some of the best coral and marine life snorkelling, diving or from a glass bottom boat.

See our Hervey Bay page to book and find more detailed information including the best experiences, things to do, dining & accommodation.


Road Trip - K'gari (Fraser Island)

You’ve now reached the bucket list moment of your Nature Coast Australia Road Trip! In 2021, Fraser Island’s name officially changed to K’gari (pronounced “gurri”), which is the Butchulla indigenous name for the world’s largest sand island and it's meaning is Paradise.

From Hervey Bay, you don’t have far to reach K’gari, as this is the easiest and most popular access point. It’s also time to change your transport unless you are in your own 4WD and are comfortable to drive it over sand tracks and beaches (please check your 4WD insurance to ensure you are covered on K’gari).

For most first-time visitors to K’gari, an organised tour is the best way to experience this world heritage listed phenomenon. There’s a range of tours and accommodation to choose from depending on your preferences. Many active travellers like to experience a Tag-Along Tour, because whilst the tour is organised and guided, they also get to drive the follow-on 4WD & camp. Alternatively there’s very comfortable and informative guided 4WD bus tours which are a very relaxing way to learn about and experience K’gari with overnight stays at the resorts.


Must Do’s

  1. Any tour of K’gari! There’s lots of choices from camping, resorts, 4WD bus tours, 4WD Tag-Along Tours, or self-drive 4WD hire.
  2. All tours and experiences will take you to the key sites including Lake McKenzie, Central Station & Pile Valley, Eurong, 75-Mile Beach, Eli Creek, the Maheno Shipwreck and the coloured sands of The Pinnacles. If you stay longer than a day, you’ll have time to also experience Lake Wabby, Indian Head and the Champagne Pools.
  3. Look at for the K'gari Dingo. Just like us they love to travel, swim, and spend a lot of time on the beach often walking up to 40 kilometres a day.

What Else

  • Alternative to a Hervey Bay departure point, some independent travellers and 4WD Tag-Along Tours depart from Inskip Point to the southern tip of K’gari. You can stay at Rainbow Beach and experience touring K’gari from there.
  • Kingfisher Bay Resort is an award-winning eco-destination and a beautiful place to be based, or to enjoy as a rest-stop during your Road Trip adventure.
  • Besides the iconic well-known sites of K’gari as already mentioned, there are many more places to see and things to do on the island. Locals and visitors enjoy spending time on K’gari beach fishing, hiking the Fraser Island Great Walk, or just hanging out enjoying the natural pristine lakes, creeks & 4WD adventures.

See our K'gari page to book and find more detailed information including the best experiences, things to do, dining & accommodation.


Road Trip - Bundaberg

Departing K’gari or Hervey Bay, you will travel north on the highway just over 100kms to Bundaberg which will take you approximately 1.5 hours to drive.

Bundaberg is a typical coastal Queensland farming town with an economy and lifestyle based on agriculture, both farming the land and ocean. This makes the region a popular foodie destination and home to some iconic international brands.


Must Do’s

  1. Visit Bundaberg’s most popular surf and swimming beach called Bargara Beach. Quaint, picturesque, relaxing, and home to the very popular Mon Repos Turtle Centre, dedicated to marine turtle research, protection, and education. During turtle nesting & hatching season, ranger guided night tours are held so you can experience turtles nesting, hatching and ultimately baby turtles making their way down the beach to the ocean for the very first time.
  2. Experience Lady Musgrave Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Take a leisurely boat cruise to this untouched coral lagoon and explore the island and snorkel from the fully equipped HQ platform located right near the reef bommies.
  3. The most globally famous brand and product from Bundaberg is Bundaberg Rum. If you enjoy a “Bundy”, or are inquisitive about its popularity or distilling process, take a guided tour through the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and better yet, book into the Blend Your Own Rum Experience.

What Else

  • Another iconic & well-known brand and product is Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. Most Aussie’s know their popular non-alcoholic ginger beer but with so many more products now available, a Barrel Tastings & Self-Guided Gallery Tour is very enjoyable.
  • Bundaberg is a very nice place for foodies to chill and explore as there are a variety of very good quality seafood and fresh produce eateries, gin, cider & brewery trails, and farm gate experiences such as at Australian Macadamias.

See our Bundaberg page to book and find more detailed information including the best experiences, things to do, dining & accommodation.


Congratulations! You’re now ready to dream, plan and do your Nature Coast Australia Road Trip!! If you are travelling from Queensland’s north, just work backwards making your way south along the coast from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast.

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