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Explore Queensland in a rental car from DriveNow

The natural beauty of Queensland take you on an adventure in some of the most enchanting scenic areas the country has to offer. The state is quite sizable, with plenty to see and do for travellers of all ages. Because of its collection of fantastic locations, you’re going to want to plan which areas you want to check out before you go. Perhaps you want to start by flying into Brisbane Airport and spending time in the Sunshine State’s capital. Or maybe your priority is outside the big city, in tropical Townsville or the glittering Gold Coast. Whatever your plans may be, car hire in Queensland from DriveNow gives you the flexibility to carve out an itinerary as you see fit. One of the most important aspects of Queensland is that the weather is nice and warm. This is something you can consistently count on, especially if you’re going to stay out by the coast. Remember this when packing, as you might not have to worry about bringing a heavy coat and rain boots with you. See if you can grab a Queensland rental car with a sunroof to ride around in the sun with the top down. Queensland offers an abundance of destinations to suit a variety of vacation styles, so whether you like to explore urban playgrounds or prefer the beach, travelling with your family and/or friends or travelling solo, the north of Australia has the destinations for you. And your Queensland car rental can put them all on your doorstep.

Driving in Queensland

Frequently asked questions on hiring a car in Queensland

Where can I pick up a car rental in Queensland?

All major destinations have car rental branches, the most popular being Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Townsville Airports, as well as all large towns and city locations.

What sort of car should I hire in Queensland?

Depending upon your destination and passenger numbers generally a small compact car will get you around most of the state just fine. If travelling with a large family or group, you might like to consider a people mover or SUV. Be aware that Queensland is a large state with most of the population living along the coast so ensure your vehicle is suitable for the travel distances of your trip.

What are the speed limits Queensland?

The maximum speed limit is 100kmh on freeways and rural highways. In suburban areas unless otherwise sign posted the maximum speed is 50kmh and 40 around school zones during the beginning and end of school days.

Are there toll roads in Queensland?

Yes, in and around Brisbane. Speak to your car rental operator about how road tolls are charged to you whilst renting their vehicles.

How long do I need to explore Queensland?

Given it's size you could spend several weeks exploring Queensland. The most popular areas are the coastline and the most popular long road holiday is Brisbane to Cairns or visa-versa. Allowing 2-3 weeks for this journey will give you a great experience and time to enjoy the Sunshine state.

How big is Queensland?

Queensland is Australia’s 2nd largest state at 1.8sq km, 7 times larger than the UK, and has a total coastline of almost 7000kms. To put that into perspective that’s greater than London to New York.

Are there freeways in Queensland?

Yes, and often referred to as Motorways. These are largely located around built-up areas particularly in South East Queensland. More remote areas will be serviced by single or dual lane highways.

What do I do if my vehicle hits native wildlife?

You do need to watch out for animals on Queensland roads, particularly at dusk and nocturnal driving (where possible it is recommended to avoid driving at night in unfamiliar rural areas). If you do hit a marsupial you should stop and check whether they have any young in their pouches. Contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

Do I need a GPS in Queensland?

Yes. Given its size and geography a Sat Nav aid is recommended although your smart phone’s Maps app will likely provide a good alternative where there mobile phone coverage. If you are visiting from overseas consider a local data plan as map apps will consume data which can be expensive when using data roaming. If your travel plans are in the remote Outback consider a satellite phone or EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Beacon) as mobile phone coverage will be limited. EPIRB’s can be purchased in Australia from as little at $350. Talk to your chosen rental company if your plans take you to remote parts of Queensland.

Are there speed cameras in Queensland?

Yes, fixed and mobile speed cameras operate throughout Queensland. Any infringement notice incurred during your rental period will be forwarded to you by your rental company and they may also charge you an administration fee.

Use DriveNow to find the best deals in car rental across Queensland

The Sunshine State is one of the most rewarding locations in all of Australia when it comes to holiday exploration, and car hire in Queensland from DriveNow can give you the tools you need to achieve your vacation goals in comfort and style.

When you rent a car with us, you put yourself that much closer to all the amazing natural beauty that this part of the world has to offer. DriveNow’s Queensland car hire lets you compare available makes and models from some of the most popular car producers in the world. All you have to do is search by the features most important to you and use our free, simple comparison service to find the right one. It’s easier than convincing yourself to buy that expensive knickknack as a “souvenir.”

We’ve been helping Australians get the keys to great car hire for more than a dozen years. In that time, we’ve built up strong partnerships with Queensland's most trusted names in the industry, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, Keddy and Thrifty to bring you a massive collection of quality cars to select from.

Why Use DriveNow for Car Hire in Queensland?

  • We always search for the latest and cheapest available rental rate
  • Immediate email confirmation and locked in rental price
  • Free booking service with no fees or hidden charges
  • Includes all taxes and levies (excludes young driver surcharge and optional extras)
  • 100% based, owned and operated in Australia

When planning a holiday, there are plenty more interesting things to spend time thinking about than car hire. Book car rental in Queensland with DriveNow and free yourself up to concentrate on what you’re going to see, where you’re going to stay, and what you’re going to eat on your trip of a lifetime.

The Beach is Within Reach with Queensland Car Hire in Brisbane

Perhaps the best place to start your Queensland trip is in the state capital of Brisbane. The city itself holds plenty of appeal for a variety of travellers, and its proximity to some of the most attractive beaches in the entire country makes it an optimal jumping-off point for a quick daytrip in your rental car of a full-fledged road trip up the coast.


Explore the latest fashions in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall

While the allure of other cities nearby will surely be strong, Brisbane itself is well worth a few days before venturing around Queensland in your rental car. If you need some last-minute items for your holiday or just feel like going on a bit of a shopping spree, Queen Street Mall in the bustling CBD is the place to be. If you happen to be in town on a Sunday, the Riverside Markets are a great place to pick up boutique, artisanal arts and crafts and clothing.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast's beaches stretch right along this iconic Queensland coastline

If you pick up a rental car in Brisbane, chances are high you’re planning on taking the hour drive south down to the Gold Coast. This iconic Queensland city can be what you want it to be. If you’re looking to get out and about and burn the midnight oil, the massive collection of busy nightclubs and late-night restaurants and pubs will serve you well. Of course, if you’re looking for a bit of sandy fun and/or relaxation, the Gold Coast has that in spades, too. Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads are just two of the favourite spots of visitors and locals alike.

Sunshine Coast

With a name like the Sunshine Coast, can this place be anything but gorgeous? Hop in your Queensland car hire and head about 105km north to this collection of stunning beaches. As a bonus, you can take a short trip in your rental car to the nearby Fraser Island, one of the state’s aforementioned World Heritage listed areas. Take the ferry across and not your rental car as Fraser island is 4 wheel drive territory and rental companies do not permit their vehicles to travel on it.

Explore 5 World Heritage listed sites with your Queensland car rental

If you rent a car in Queensland, you’ll just need a ready and willing attitude and some navigation tools to have what it takes to experience some of the finest sites in all of Australia.

Here’s a bit of a preview of what you’ll see in these areas to whet your appetite.

The Great Barrier Reef

Beautiful and captivating, the Great Barrier Reef is home to numerous species of marine life Source: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most breathtaking heritage areas in the world and home to the largest coral reef on the planet, stretching 2,000 kms along Queensland’s coastline. There you’ll find more than 1,500 species of fish and a paradise for divers and snorkelers.

Fraser Island

With a multitude of landscapes showcasing all the wild and wonderful life in the northern part of the country, Fraser Island has well and truly earned its status as a Heritage Listed site. You can explore massive rainforests, walk alongside hundreds of freshwater lakes, or grab some car hire and explore Fraser Island via an enchanting 120km of beachy highway.


The Riversleigh World Heritage listed site is located in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and features a storied fossil mammal site that is routinely ranked in the top 10 of such sites in the world. This spot is a healthy drive inland, so you’ll want access to your own set of wheels to make it happen. If you rent a car at Brisbane Airport, you’re looking at around 10-11 hours on the road before arriving at your destination.

The Gondwana Rainforests

The outstanding Purling Brook Falls are just one highlight of the Gondwana Rainforests in Queensland Source: Tatters

The Gondwana Rainforests sit on the Queensland border with New South Wales, just about 50kms west of Coolangatta are the largest area of subtropical rainforest in the world. The northern cousins of the Gondwana Rainforests in New South Wales, this tropical stretch is largely unchanged in terms of flora and fauna from centuries past and features unique masses of subtropical and Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. Consisting of the Lamington, Springbrook, Mount Barney and Main Range national parks, the forest is less than 50 minutes drive from Gold Coast airport at Coolangatta.

The Wet Tropics

Yet another protected (thank goodness!) collection of impressive rainforest, the Wet Tropics of northeast Queensland stretches from Townsville to Cairns. Scientists love it for its link to the past; everyday visitors love it for its amazing plants and animals.

Head North for More Fun in your Queensland Hire Car

Flying into Townsville Airport and renting a car can be the first step to a wonderful adventure in the upper half of Queensland. While the southern half of the country often gets a lot of the hype, there’s plenty to see and do in the northern region as well.


The north Queensland outpost is a great foundation from which to build a holiday to remember. Before going on your merry way, consider spending a few days in town. Hit the Strand for a lovely walk along the beach and fun swimming spots for the kiddos before sitting down for a meal with a view. Then, if the timing works out, head to 1300 Smiles Stadium and cheer on the hometown North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL.


Once you’ve tasted Townsville, it’s time to hit the road. It’s hard to pass up Cairns, one of the best places from which to experience the magical Great Barrier Reef. The city is about 410km north of Townsville, well within reach in your rental car. Luckily for you, the adventure starts before you even reach your destination. When you hop in your Queensland car hire and make your way to Cairns, you’ll travel along the luscious Great Green Way. This stretch features an array of gorgeous views that live up to its spectacular name.

If you and the family are happy to live life on the road for a bit, there are also plenty of family-friendly campervan adventures in and around Cairns that are great for the little ones!

Port Douglas

Chill and Relax on 4 Mile Beach in Port Douglas

A bit further north of Cairns sits Port Douglas, another sensational holiday destination accessible in your Queensland rental car. You’ll get a taste of tropical rain forests, including the Mossman Gorge and Daintree areas, and dazzling beaches. All of this adds up to a full-fledged Queensland experience all in one spot that ticks heaps of boxes for those looking for outdoor adventure.