Sun’s out: Take an epic 7-day campervan road trip from Brisbane to 1770!
So the European ski season is off the cards. And the Greek med cruising. And even the visit to see your mate in Bali that says “namaste” a lot. But you’re an Aussie, and there is one thing that nothing – not even the ‘Rona - can hold an Australian back from, and that’s travel.
Good thing we’ve been showing travellers how it’s done for twenty years. At JUCY, we are as clued-up about Aussie travel as your mum is about the latest happenings on the Crown.
And guess where people fly from far and wide to visit? In your own backyard! It’s time to pack ya bags, grab your mates (or your plus one) and hit the road for an epic 7-day campervan road trip from Brisbane to 1770.
We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to have a mega-adventure to rival the one you had planned overseas. Come with!
Brisbane to Noosa
First up, you’ll need wheels! And at JUCY, we’ve got six campervan models for you to choose from. If you’re into spending your budget on a tricked-out ride (we customise them ourselves), then consider our popular 4-berth Condo or 2-berth Coaster. If you’d rather spend your coin on extra adventures, choose our 4-berth Champ, or 2-berth Crib.
You’ll pick up your JUCY wheels at our Brisbane branch. It’s only a short ride from the airport (with a free shuttle bus if you’re flying in), and it’s in the perfect location for a speedy north-bound campervan road trip from Brisbane.
Kick-off your trip in style with some Noosa sunshine on this leg from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast. Only 90-minutes north, Noosa allows clearing your mind from any chaos you’re leaving behind at home or work. Enjoy the fact that Noosa local businesses are pros at ensuring there is a little of their sunshine in everything they do.
And that everything is a lot! Noosa is a jam-packed destination, with activities ranging from cool hikes to water-based adventures, to craft markets and fairs. Oh, and boy does Noosa know how to fatten you up, with tasty treats on offer that are hard to resist (we know *pats belly*).
A fave JUCY excursion is hiking the 4,000-hectare Noosa National Park. The rainforest meets the sea here, meaning you can be hanging with Aussie critters (the nice, ones, obvs, like koalas) on the land while watching marine mammals pass just off the shore.
If you’re into hiking, the Coastal Walk is a must. It’s three hours, meaning you’re truly working up an appetite for those Noosa nibbles on Hastings Street later. Pack your togs for a swim at the Fairy Pools and Tea Tree Beach.
Why limit your post-hike rewards to the fabulous regional eateries? There are also quaint boutiques, wellness salons, and a thriving nightlife scene.
Stay at the Noosa River Holiday Park. Praised for their friendliness and cleanliness, their unpowered campground sites are a great intro to the magic of #vanlife travels.
Noosa to 1770
Rise early to go tropical at the Noosa Everglades: sunrise is when you see it at its best. Did you know the Noosa Everglades are only one of two everglades in the world? Watch the sunlight reflect off the famous ‘river of mirrors' and witness the native osprey, pelicans, and jabiru spring to life.
If you’re travelling on a Wednesday or Saturday, detour via the colourful Eumundi Markets, Australia’s largest arts and craft market. Along with artisanal objects, Eumundi is perfect for farmer-fresh spoils to fill your JUCY campervan fridge.
Next, it’s the main drive on this campervan road trip from Brisbane: a 380km journey to 1770 (or Seventeen Seventy or the Town of 1770, as it’s also known). It's so-called for its history of Captain Cook landing here in the year 1770. The town may be pint-sized, but it packs an albeit sleepy punch. In part, this is thanks to it being the access point for the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
After a longish drive, choose your own adventure based on your energy levels. Either flop and drop at the isolated Chinaman’s Beach or take a hike on the 3km Red Rock Trail. Be sure to pack your swimmers for both, with the latter offering stretches of white sandy beach, along with refreshing rock pools. The 400-metre Paperbark Forest Walk is a low-key walking alternative with a fairy-forest kind of vibe – magical!
You started the day with the sunrise over the everglades, now conclude it with the sunset over the ocean at Bustard Park. 1770 is one of the few places on the Australian East Coast that watching the sunset over the sea is possible. For the adventurous, a sunset kayak tour is truly memorable - book with Liquid Adventures.
Park your JUCY camper at the 1770 Southern Cross Travellers Retreat.
1770 to Lady Musgrave Island
You can't make it to the Great Barrier Reef's southern tip without getting out on the water amid the world's most impressive coral reef. Well, you can, but you’d be missing out on one of Queensland’s most magical natural attractions, and who needs extra FOMO in their life?
Set amid 3,000 acres of living reef, Lady Musgrave Island gives you effortless access to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, swim, dive, and explore these exotic tropical waters. On land, birds swoop and tweet; below it, the magical marine waters teem with activity. If you’re lucky, you’ll spy the ‘great eight’: turtles, manta rays, clownfish, giant clams, maori wrasse, potato cod, sharks, and whales. A trip to Lady Musgrave is like thinking you’re going to the local shop for sweets and ending up at Willy Wonka’s Factory!
Day trip boats depart 1770 at 8:30 am, and you’ll be back in 1770 by 7 pm, just in time for fish and chips at the Rusty Pelican and another perfect sunrise (fingers crossed). Alternatively, take a picnic to the Headlands Lookout for 360-degree views.
1770 to Hervey Bay
Before departing southbound on the return leg on this campervan road trip from Brisbane, give thanks to the ocean gods with a refreshing wake-up dip at Agnes Beach.
Then on to Hervey Bay where the whale watching capital of the world (yes, world) is yours for the exploring. Right in your backyard, mate! Of course, whales aren't the only bait to hook local and global tourists. There are also ridiculously good-looking beaches, soulful town vibes, and fun activities to keep you entertained if you're beached out.
Like the water sports, you can sign up for at Scarness Beach. This stinger-free bay has savvy businesses offering jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, fishing and more. Or let your big kid out on the water slides at the Wetside Water Park.
If you’re into your history, head to Urangan Pier, stretching for almost a kilometre into the ocean. There’s also 21 historic buildings from the late 19th century at Zephyr Street. The Hervey Bay Esplanade weaves fascinating whale, marine life, and local heritage facts along its 16-kilometre path.
If you visit Hervey Bay from July to November, you’ll want to get out on a whale-watching cruise to see these majestic marine mammals up-close and personal (well, not too personal, these guys are huggggge).
So where to snooze?
Hervey Bay to Fraser Island
The World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is yours to explore today. And what a day it will be - Fraser Island is not world-famous for nothin’!
It’s not only the fact that the world’s largest sand island is abundant in postcard-perfect white sandy beaches. Nor the tropical temperatures of the turquoise seas. Or the shifting sand dunes. Sigh, why are we still here, when we could be there? But sure, we love you so we’ll keep sharing until your trip is sorted first.
K’Gari (Fraser Island’s traditional name), is 750,000 years old. With that kind of history comes wisdom from the flora and fauna that call K’Gari’s untamed rainforest home. You don’t need to be a botanist to get excited about the wildlife you’ll spy here: echidnas, swamp wallabies, sugar gliders, and a plethora of native birds.
This is alongside the resident wild dingoes, the purest dingoes in Eastern Australia. Please admire from a distance as they are feral. This handy guide may save your limbs or digits, so give it a read.
As Fraser Island is predominantly suitable for 4WD vehicles, you can take your JUCY camper with you on the ferry to the Kingfisher Bay Resort. We have discounts available, once again, then you can explore on tours from there. Alternatively, park up in Hervey Bay and either day trip over, or opt for glamping at Beachcamp Eco Retreat. Both places can organise some rad Fraser Island tours while you’re visiting.
Hervey Bay to the Sunshine Coast
For budding master chefs and botanists alike, start the day amid the lush greenery and weird-and-wonderful Australian bush tucker section of the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens. The gardens grow across the 26-hectares of sand dunes. From here, hit the road southwards.
While a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, a stop by Maryborough will break a road trip up just as sweetly. While Mary Poppins is entirely fictional, author P.L. Travers isn’t, and she was born in Maryborough. Depending on your time, you may want to simply snap a selfie at the Mary Poppins statue, or take in the Maryborough Mural Trail for more depth. If you’re really supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, then the Mary Poppins Festival will be a dream come true.
From Maryborough, return to the Sunshine Coast. It’s a vote from us for camping at the Noosa Habitat Everglades Eco Camping.
For sunset, why not head to Mount Tinbeerwah for the best valley and hinterland views? The rosy hues of the setting sun against the backdrop of the Glasshouse Mountains make the 15-minute drive and one-kilometre hike worth it. For more relaxed sunset vibes, book a table at Ricky’s.
Mount Coolum to Brisbane
Before you get all maudlin about returning your JUCY and ending this campervan road trip from Brisbane (we know, we know, it’s so hard not to become attached to our homes on wheels), the journey is not over yet! Phew.
While you might like to continue enjoying the comforts of our fabulous JUCY campervan beds, we recommend rising early. This is to beat the heat and hike Mount Coolum, 30-minutes south of Noosa.
Mount Coolum, is the world’s second-largest rock, second to Uluru. Unlike Uluru, it is permitted (and ethical) for you to climb it. Mount Coolum is a 25 million-year-old volcanic dome offering an intermediate-level trail through native bushland and forest to the summit. From there, use your time at the top to soak in the Sunshine Coast views. Allow 90-minutes return and skip this hike if it’s threatening rain.
You’ve earned a bloody good coffee now, and we’re fans of the Cuba Street Coffee Roasters Cafe. Whether you take a dip in the surf at Coolum Beach before or after your brew is up to you (well, duh).
Depending on how long you spend looking for a sweet treat for your morning’s efforts (clue: head to Curly’s on the Boardwalk, yum), will decide how much time you have to explore the other regional delights. Detour via Caloundra or Mooloolaba, beaches, take a side trip to the hinterland community of Maleny, or, if your butt muscles agree, visit the stunning Glass House Mountains.
Then it’s back to us and a teary farewell to your JUCY wheels. You may be sad now, but we’re not going anywhere, and we welcome you back anytime. You’re family now!
This 7-day gem of a campervan road trip to Brisbane got your feet a little itchy? Let us help you scratch it with our awesome vans for hire, epic JUCY deals, and friendly crew ready to assist as you plan your Queensland adventure. Call us on 1800 150 850 or BOOK NOW. See you soon!