Explore all that Queensland has to offer, from stunning beachside Currumbin to Cooktown in Far North Queensland. Along the way find a wide range of natural wonders as well as heritage sites from the National Trust Australia (Queensland)…
Set off on your adventure along the Currumbin to Cooktown Driving Trail.
Begin your journey in Currumbin, with its famous surf culture, stunning rock pools and hinterland. Be sure to visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and meet some of Australia’s much-loved native animals.
Head to Brisbane to spend a few nights exploring the Queens Wharf precinct, Queensland Maritime Museum, the Queensland Museum or enjoy a show at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Take a short drive west to Wacol to explore Brisbane’s oldest remaining Farmhouse, and have high tea at Wolston Farmhouse.
Stay the night in Ipswich where you will find the Workshops Rail Museum. If you’re visiting in May or September, don’t miss the Greater Houses of Ipswich when local homeowners open their historic and significant homes to the public.
Head inland to historic Toowoomba.
Stop by Grandchester Railway Station on the way. Toowoomba hosts the spectacular Festival of Flowers during September. The town is also home to Cobb+Co Museum which holds the National Carriage Collection. Here you will also find the Royal Bull’s Inn in Drayton – a preserved nineteenth-century hotel. Wander the original garden and stables, or visit at night for a paranormal tour.
Next stop is Gympie, just north of the Sunshine Coast. Explore the range of heritage buildings which date back to its time as a major gold mine. Also, discover the beautiful national parks which lay just outside the region – including the Great Sandy National Park and Woondum National Park.
Famously known for being the birthplace of Mary Poppins’ author, PL Travers, Maryborough is the next stop along the trail. A visit to Brennan and Geraghty’s Store Museum is a must. Relive the twentieth-century retail experience with this fascinating museum trapped in time.
From here travel only a short distance to spend the night in Hervey Bay. Drive north to the beautiful town of 1770, made famous as the second landing by James Cook on Australian soil and known as the birthplace of Queensland.
After passing through Rockhampton, just 45km northeast is Emu Park where you can spend the night overlooking its stunning beaches from the hilly landscape. A Captain Cook ship monument commemorates his discovery of Queensland.
Travel to Charters Towers and discover the remains of what once was Australia’s second largest city after a gold discovery in 1871. Visit the Stock Exchange Arcade which was once responsible for tapping into the world trade markets via a telegraph. In town visit the Zara Clark Museum which also reflects the town’s golden past along with a remarkable collection of WWII military memorabilia.
Your road trip continues to the beautiful coastal city of Townsville. Take a trip up to Castle Hill lookout for a 360-degree view of the city, visit the Museum of Tropical Queensland and explore the historic architecture and visit the Townsville Heritage Centre to visit Currajong House and Gardens. Take a short ferry ride to explore the beauty of Magnetic Island which sits within the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
Spend your next night in the Atherton Tablelands which features stunning scenery. Visit Hou Wang Temple and Museum which is the last timber and iron Chinese temple in Australia. The museum offers a fascinating insight in to Chinese heritage in north Queensland. The award winning Paronella Park is also a must see, along with the Historic Village in Herberton.
Finally, you will reach Cooktown - the gateway to the Cape York Peninsula, located at the mouth of the Endeavour River, where James Cook beached his ship for repairs in 1770. With beautiful rainforest and waterways, Cooktown offers stunning examples of historic architecture in a charming community. Partake in fishing charters, croc river tours or visit the Powerhouse Museum. The James Cook Museum also features the fascinating history of Cooktown inside one of its 19th-century convent buildings and home to the original anchor and cannon from HMB Endeavour - a must see!
This could be your Currumbin to Cooktown driving trail. A trip of a lifetime with so many stories to hear, hidden gems to discover and stunning natural heritage all along the beautiful state of Queensland.