Sydney To Cairns Road Trip: Top 26 Tips

Note: This guide was last updated 8 months and 15 days ago. If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Sydney to Cairns road trip is one of the best journeys you can experience in the Australia. The 2,421 km of Sydney to Cairns drive takes around one day and 3 hours without stops.

This article includes 26 tips that turn your Sydney to Cairns drive into an unforgettable journey. So if you’re looking for the best hotels, restaurants, and places to visit on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns, take your coffee and keep reading!

9 Best Hotels On The Road Trip From Sydney To Cairns

You should stay on the Sydney to Cairns road trip at some points. Here are the¬†top nine hotels¬†on the Sydney ‚Äď Cairns route!

1. Merewether Motel

Merewether Motel

Merewether Motel is one of the best hotels; you can stay on the Sydney to Cairns road trip. Driving from Sydney to Merewether Motel might take around¬†2 hours. Our stay at The Essex was an agreeable one. Our hostesses were extremely accommodating, and the locale proved ideal for our needs ‚Äď with a comprehensive cleaner executing excellent work! We extend thanks to her in appreciation of her efforts! All amenities available allowed us some brief respites from our daily raster here and there. Check the Merewether Motel, one of the best hotels in Newcastle, New South Wales, on¬†TripAdvisor¬†and¬†Booking.com¬†for recent reviews, prices, and availability.

2. Mid Town Inn Narrabri

Mid Town Inn Narrabri

Mid Town Inn Narrabri is another hotel where you can choose to stay on the road trip to Cairns from Sydney. Located in Narrabri, New South Wales, the hotel is 534 km away from Sydney, and it would take 6 hours and 8 mins to drive. Again, the hospitality was first-rate, and we were particularly appreciative of the tranquility of our accommodations. In addition, the hotel is conveniently close to choice eateries; what more could one ask for? If you want to learn more about the Mid Town Inn Narrabri, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

3. Albert Motel

Albert Motel

Didn‚Äôt our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to the Albert Motel. Albert Motel is located in Moree, New South Wales, and it‚Äôs¬†634 km¬†away from Sydney. You can arrive there in¬†7 hours and 15 mins¬†of non-stop driving. This luxuriously appointed hotel is situated in the very center of Moree, boasting elegant rooms with sumptuous bathrooms and courteous staff. We were thrilled with the delicious breakfast served each morning ‚Äď all those in charge had also been most obliging! Check the¬†TripAdvisor¬†and¬†Booking.com¬†pages of Albert Motel for more information.

4. Roma Central Motel

Roma Central Motel

If you are taking a road trip from Sydney to Cairns, Roma, Queensland, is must have a place you should visit. Plus, Roma Central Motel is one of the best hotels in town. The hotel is¬†1,063 km from Sydney, and it would take 11 hours and 51 mins to drive. Nestled in the bustling heart of Roma, this luxury hotel provides prime access to many eateries and cafes. Hotel personnel is eager to answer any queries that may arise ‚Äď whether about local attractions or general travel advice! High-speed internet connectivity is available at all hours, making for an inviting atmosphere upon arrival. If you need more info about the price and availability of Roma Central Motel, check the TripAdvisor¬†and¬†Booking.com¬†pages.

5. Injune Motor Inn

Injune Motor Inn

Our next hotel is Injune Motor Inn, Injune, Queensland. It will take 12 hours, and 51 mins of car ride o reach this hotel from Sydney. The hotel is of exceptional quality and impeccable hygiene. Guests may select this establishment for a tranquil stay that provides convenience and comfort. Check the Injune Motor Inn on TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Injune Motor Inn for reviews, prices, and availability.

6. Springsure Overlander Motel

Springsure Overlander Motel

Another hotel you can accommodate on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns is Springsure Overlander Motel. It‚Äôs possible to arrive at this hotel, located in Springsure, Queensland, within 15 hours and 31 mins drive from Sydney. The accommodations at this modern hotel were spotless and impeccably arranged. The cuisine provided by the on-site eatery was exquisite ‚Äď an experience that will remain unforgettable! Before making the reservation, we suggest you read the latest reviews on¬†TripAdvisor¬†and¬†Booking.com.

7. Midlander Motor Inn

Midlander Motor Inn

Another hotel that deserves to be on the list is Midlander Motor Inn. It’s located in Emerald, Queensland, and is 1,466 km from Sydney. You can arrive there within 16 hours and 18 mins of car drive. The hotel rooms are spacious, providing a serene ambiance. If you visit sensibly, take advantage of the shared pool to decompress; each room boasts an ample refrigerator compartment, flat-screen TV for entertainment options, air conditioning, and microwave for convenience! If you need further information, you can check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Midlander Motor Inn.

8. Beach House Motel, Townsville

 

Beach House Motel, TownsvilleLocated in Townsville, Queensland, Beach House Motel, Townsville is another hotel where you can stay on the Sydney to Cairns road trip. Beach House Motel, Townsville, is 2,079 km from Sydney and will take 22 hours and 51 mins of non-stop driving. The hotel staff was incredibly accommodating. Our rooms were meticulously kept, immaculate and spacious; they also offered a wide range of dining options nearby! Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Beach House Motel, Townsville, for more information.

9. Park Regis City Quays

Park Regis City Quays

As we approach the end of our list, another hotel we would like to introduce to you is the Park Regis City Quays hotel. Park Regis City Quays, Cairns, Queensland, is 2,421 km from Sydney, and you can arrive there win1 a day, 3 hours of non-stop driving. Nestled in an idyllic central location boasting easy access to attractions, shops, and dining establishments, this esteemed Hotel Bleu offers the perfect accommodations for travelers seeking convenience. Guests will find themselves ensconced in opulent surroundings with immaculate rooms and an extensive balcony offering a tantalizing alfresco setting for savoring meals. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Park Regis City Quays for more information about the Park Regis City Quays hotel.

In this part, we explained nine hotels you can stay at on the road from Sydney to Cairns. You can pick one of them that suits your taste. Remember to share your experience by commenting on this post. It will help people who will take Sydney to Cairns route.

Now, it’s time to discover the best restaurants from Sydney to Cairns. We have nine restaurant recommendations worth your attention.

9 Best Restaurants On The Sydney To Cairns Road Trip

If dining is a pleasure, some restaurants will please you on your Sydney to Cairns road trip. This section lists nine restaurants to dine at on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns. Stay hungry and enjoy!

1. Wil & Sons

Wil & Sons

We want to start our restaurant recommendation list on Sydney to Cairns’s road trip with Wil & Sons. Wil & Sons is located in Newcastle, New South Wales, 169 km from Sydney. It would take 2 hours and 9 mins of driving. Indulge in the gastronomic delights and cordial ambiance of this establishment. We particularly recommend our ceviche and wagyu steak dish! For more information about Wil & Sons, you can visit TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of Wil & Sons.

2. On Lee

On Lee

On Lee is another top restaurant you can eat at on the road trip to Cairns from Sydney. Located in Narrabri, New South Wales, On Lee is 534 km from Sydney and would take 6 hours and 8 mins to drive. The cuisine served at the eatery was quite palatable. We visited this establishment in the late afternoon and reveled in its vast array of selections, including particularly noteworthy Chinese fare. If you want to learn more about On Lee, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

3. Cafe Omega

Cafe Omega

Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who are fond of food is Cafe Omega. It will take¬†7 hours and 17 mins¬†of car drive to take¬†634 km¬†from Sydney to Cafe Omega, Moree, New South Wales. We set out to try three distinct delights ‚Äď grilled cheese, pineapple, and raw fingers ‚Äď each of which was excellently flavored. Their coffee was exemplary and deeply gratifying too! We were thoroughly satiated with the overall standard we encountered at this establishment‚Äôs segment. You can check Cafe Omega on¬†TripAdvisor¬†or¬†Google Maps¬†for more information.

4. Bakearoma

Bakearoma

Bakearoma deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Roma, Queensland. Explore succulent sandwiches at this idyllic establishment in the bustling metropolis center. We were also taken with our Bacon and Cheese Croissant; it was pretty impressive! Furthermore, we were charmed by how attentive and diligent service was provided. Bakearoma is 1,063 km from Sydney, and it would take 11 hours and 52 mins of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about Bakearoma, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

5. Cafe on Second

Cafe on Second

Cafe on Second will be an excellent choice in Injune, Queensland, if you enjoy dining. It’s 1,154 km from Sydney and would take 12 hours and 51 mins of car driving. Are you in need of a break from your journey? If so, this delightful eatery should be your dining destination! Delicately seasoned hamburgers offer a delicious flavor while remaining cost-effective; what more could you ask for? If you want to learn more about the Cafe on Second, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

6. Springsure Convenience & Takeaway

Springsure Convenience & Takeaway

Another restaurant we recommend you visit on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns is Springsure Convenience & Takeaway, Springsure, Queensland. It will take 15 hours and 30 mins of driving to reach Springsure Convenience & Takeaway from Sydney. This roadside flavor stop boasts a charming interior design with captivating hues. During our excursion, we had pizza here and can attest to its delectable qualities! For more information about Springsure Convenience & Takeaway, you can check the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of the restaurant.

7. Theo’s Cafe, Emerald

Theo's Cafe, Emerald

Ranked seventh on our list, Theo’s Cafe, Emerald appeals to those who want to turn their Cairns vacation into a memorable experience. Located in Emerald, Queensland, 1,465 km from Sydney, it’ll take 16 hours and 16 mins to drive. Explore the delectable delights of a one-of-a-kind culinary experience at this endearing establishment nestled in the downtown district. Their delicious breakfasts will leave you satisfied! If you want to learn more about Theo’s Cafe, Emerald, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

8. A Touch of Salt

A Touch of Salt

Cafe on Second is an excellent restaurant that is 2,077 km away from Sydney. Cafe on Second is located in Injune, Queensland, and you can reach there after 22 hours and 49 mins of car driving. The establishment boasts a veritable interior design. If you’re seeking some deliciously roasted poultry, we highly recommend sampling it within this enchanting eatery! If you want to discover the menu and more information about A Touch of Salt, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

9. Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse

Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse

Eating is a serious business. Another restaurant preferred by those who take this job seriously is the Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse, Cairns, Queensland. It is 2,421 km from Sydney and would take around 3 hours of car driving one day. The city’s premier cuts of beef are eager to be sampled at this renowned flavor haven of Cairns. We earnestly recommend you visit this establishment, whose friendly and knowledgeable personnel will make your experience unforgettable. You can see the official TripAdvisor and Google Maps pages of Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse for detailed information.

This section lists our nine restaurant recommendations for your road trip from Sydney to Cairns. These suggestions will help you turn your 2,421 km journey into a feast of taste. Of course, you can choose a suitable restaurant according to your preference. Remember, like you, people planning a Cairns road trip need your opinion. Therefore, please share your experience with us in the comment field at the end of the blog post.

In the next section, we list the destinations worth seeing along the route from Sydney to Cairns. Keep reading.

8 Places To Visit On The Sydney To Cairns Drive

A unique experience awaits you in Cairns. However, on your road trip, there are also some fantastic destinations, like Newcastle and New South Wales. We want to explain the top eight destinations we recommend on the Cairns route.

1. Newcastle Memorial Walk

Newcastle Memorial Walk

Newcastle Memorial Walk will be the first destination we recommend you stop by on your Sydney to Cairns road trip. Located in Newcastle, New South Wales, Newcastle Memorial Walk is 171 km away from Sydney, and it would take 2 hours and 10 mins to drive. Indulge in this tranquil promenade and revel in the panoramic views of the sea from its serene haven. Revisit some of your favorite small businesses as you take a momentary break from everyday life, savoring a refreshing respite with those closest to you! If you want to learn more about the Newcastle Memorial Walk, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

2. Sawn Rocks

Sawn Rocks

Sawn Rocks, Narrabri, New South Wales, is one of the destinations we recommend you stop on the Sydney to Cairns route. It’s 571 km from Sydney, and it’ll take about 6 hours and 34 mins of driving. So settle into the balmy afternoon atop this renowned parkland, marveling at the majestic formations of colossal rocks that resemble an array of organ pipes. We encourage visitors to embrace their curiosity and explore the area thoroughly in search of a well-planned progression leading straight to these astonishing natural wonders! If you want to learn more about Sawn Rocks, you can check it on TripAdvisor or their website.

3. Moree Visitor Information Centre

Moree Visitor Information Centre

One of the stops you should pay attention to when you take the road trip from Sydney to Cairns is Moree, New South Wales. And if you visit Moree, New South Wales, we suggest you visit Moree Visitor Information Centre. You can arrive at Moree Visitor Information Centre after 7 hours and 15 mins of driving. Nestled within the serene loveliness of this verdant sanctuary, visitors can indulge in a captivating experience amid its picturesque natural vistas. You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of the Moree Visitor Information Centre for more information.

4. The Big Rig, Roma

The Big Rig, Roma

Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit The Big Rig, Roma, Roma, Queensland, on the Sydney to Cairns road trip. The Big Rig, Roma, is¬†1,062 km¬†from Sydney, and you can arrive there after the¬†11 hours and 50 mins¬†of drive. Immerse yourself in the ever-evolving Australian oil and gas sector at The Big Rig. This destination allows visitors to study this dynamic area of Australia‚Äôs history. Should you delve deeper into these sectors ‚Äď which have arguably impacted the country‚Äôs development ‚Äď we encourage a visit! In addition, you should check¬†TripAdvisor¬†and The Big Rig, Roma‚Äôs official website, before going there.

5. Injune Information Centre

Injune Information Centre

In Injune, Queensland, Injune Information Centre ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns. You must take 12 hours and 51 mins of driving to arrive at the Injune Information Centre. Investigate the history of Injune with this establishment, boasting knowledgeable staff. Become acquainted with fascinating details about its legacy! If you want to learn more about Injune Information Centre, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

6. Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre

Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre

Another attraction you can visit on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns is Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre, Emerald, Queensland. Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre is 1,465 km from Sydney, and it would take 16 hours and 16 mins to drive. If you are interested in exploring Queensland’s offerings and obtaining an intimate knowledge of the state, this center should be on your itinerary. It is highly recommended! For more information about Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre, you can check their TripAdvisor page or official website.

7. Billabong Sanctuary

Billabong Sanctuary

You can visit many destinations on your Sydney to Cairns journey. One of these destinations is Billabong Sanctuary, located in Townsville, Queensland. You can arrive at Billabong Sanctuary after¬†22 hours and 45 mins¬†of driving. Australia is a treasured destination for travelers who want to experience the captivating magic of nature firsthand. If you wish to discover its incomparable beauty, consider visiting Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville ‚Äď an opportunity that will leave you spellbound! This remarkable facility boasts hundreds of exotic animal species from across the globe, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience. If you want to read the reviews of previous visitors about Billabong Sanctuary, you can visit Billabong Sanctuary‚Äôs¬†TripAdvisor page¬†or¬†their website.

8. Esplanade Boardwalk, Cairns

Esplanade Boardwalk, Cairns

As we near the end of our list of the top 8 best places to visit on the road trip from Sydney to Cairns, it would be unfair not to mention Esplanade Boardwalk, Cairns. Esplanade Boardwalk, Cairns, locates in Cairns, Queensland, is 2,422 km from Sydney, and it takes one day 3 hours and drives from Sydney to get there. Nestled amid Cairns, this coastal region boasts an unforgettable experience with its awe-inspiring vistas. Within this territory, visitors can enter at no cost and enjoy a break while relaxing amid many popular attractions. If you want to learn more about Esplanade Boardwalk, and Cairns, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From Sydney to Cairns

Here we are answering the frequently asked questions about the Sydney to Cairns drive.

How Long Is The Road Trip From Sydney To Cairns?

  • With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the Sydney to Cairns road trip takes approximately¬†one day and 3 hours¬†to drive. The driving distance between Sydney to Cairns is 2,421 km.
  • If you want to make the Sydney to Cairns road trip by¬†bike, the time you spend on the road will be¬†four days and 20 hours.
  • If you are crazy enough and plan to¬†walk¬†the Sydney-Cairns route, you will have to walk for¬†19 days and 10 hours.

Where Do You Stop On Driving From Sydney To Cairns?

There are many beautiful pit stops along the way to Cairns. You can visit Newcastle, New South Wales; Narrabri, New South Wales; Moree, New South Wales; Roma, Queensland; Injune, Queensland; Springsure, Queensland; Emerald, Queensland; Townsville, Queensland; Cairns, Queensland; on the road. Here we list eight places to visit for you. For more information about the best places on the Sydney to Cairns journey, you can check the 8 Best Places To Visit On The Sydney To Cairns Road Trip.

  1. Newcastle Memorial Walk: 171 km / 2 hours and 10 mins to drive from Sydney | 2,290 km / 1 day 2 hours and of going to Cairns.
  2. Sawn Rocks: 571 km / 6 hours and 34 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,917 km / 21 hours to Cairns.
  3. Moree Visitor Information Centre: 633 km / 7 hours and 15 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,788 km / 19 hours and 42 mins of driving to Cairns.
  4. The Big Rig, Roma: 1,062 km / 11 hours and 50 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,360 km / 15 hours to Cairns.
  5. Injune Information Centre: 1,154 km / 12 hours and 51 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,267 km / 14 hours to Cairns.
  6. Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre: 1,465 km / 16 hours and 16 mins to drive from Sydney | 956 km / 10 hours and 39 mins of driving to Cairns.
  7. Billabong Sanctuary: 2,076 km / 22 hours and 45 mins to drive from Sydney | 365 km / 4 hours and 26 mins of driving to Cairns.
  8. Esplanade Boardwalk, Cairns: 2,422 km / 1 day 3 hours and to drive from Sydney | 1.1 km / 3 mins of driving to Cairns.

Where Should You Stay On The Road Trip From Sydney To Cairns?

There are many excellent hotels during your road trip from Sydney to Cairns. We have selected nine hotels for you. These hotels are listed below. Remember, you can find detailed information about these hotels in the 9 Best Hotels On The Road Trip To Cairns From Sydney section.

  • Merewether Motel:¬†169 km / 2 hours to drive from Sydney | 2,289 km / 1 day 2 hours and of going to Cairns.
  • Mid Town Inn Narrabri:¬†534 km / 6 hours and 8 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,889 km / 20 hours and 49 mins of driving to Cairns.
  • Albert Motel:¬†634 km / 7 hours and 15 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,788 km / 19 hours and 42 mins of driving to Cairns.
  • Roma Central Motel:¬†1,063 km / 11 hours and 51 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,359 km / 15 hours of driving to Cairns.
  • Injune Motor Inn:¬†1,154 km / 12 hours and 51 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,267 km / 14 hours of driving to Cairns.
  • Springsure Overlander Motel:¬†1,398 km / 15 hours and 31 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,023 km / 11 hours and 23 mins of driving to Cairns.
  • Midlander Motor Inn:¬†1,466 km / 16 hours and 18 mins to drive from Sydney | 956 km / 10 hours and 39 mins of driving to Cairns.
  • Beach House Motel, Townsville:¬†2,079 km / 22 hours and 51 mins to drive from Sydney | 348 km / 4 hours and 21 mins of driving to Cairns.
  • Park Regis City Quays:¬†2,421 km / 1 day 3 hours and to drive from Sydney | 1.3 km / 5 mins of driving to Cairns.

Where To Eat Between Sydney to Cairns?

Considering taking a break and having a nice meal on your Sydney to Cairns drive, consider the nine restaurants we have chosen. In addition, you can read detailed information about the restaurants in the section titled 9 Best Restaurants On The Sydney To Cairns Road Trip.

  1. Wil & Sons: 169 km / 2 hours and 9 mins to drive from Sydney | 2,289 km / 1 day 2 hours and of going to Cairns.
  2. On Lee: 534 km / 6 hours and 8 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,888 km / 20 hours and 49 mins of driving to Cairns.
  3. Cafe Omega: 634 km / 7 hours and 17 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,787 km / 19 hours and 42 mins of driving to Cairns.
  4. Bakearoma: 1,063 km / 11 hours and 52 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,358 km / 15 hours of driving to Cairns.
  5. Cafe on Second: 1,154 km / 12 hours and 51 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,267 km / 14 hours of driving to Cairns.
  6. Springsure Convenience & Takeaway: 1,397 km / 15 hours and 30 mins to drive from Sydney | 1,024 km / 11 hours and 24 mins of driving to Cairns.
  7. Theo’s Cafe, Emerald: 1,465 km / 16 hours and 16 mins to drive from Sydney | 956 km / 10 hours and 39 mins of driving to Cairns.
  8. A Touch of Salt: 2,077 km / 22 hours and 49 mins to drive from Sydney | 348 km / 4 hours and 20 mins of driving to Cairns.
  9. Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse: 2,421 km / 1 day 3 hours and to drive from Sydney | 1.7 km / 7 mins of driving to Cairns.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from Sydney to Cairns. We have listed nine hotels, nine restaurants, and eight places to visit on the Sydney to Cairns drive. We have also given you detailed information about each site so that you can make an informed choice about where to stay, eat, and what to see. This guide has helped make your road trip from Sydney to Cairns as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever taken the Sydney to Cairns road trip? It would be perfect if you shared your experience with other travelers who want the same experience. You can share your thoughts about the road trip from Sydney to Cairns and your recommendations about this route by using the comment field below.

Video: Cairns Road Trip ‚Äď Travel Guide

In this video, you can find a detailed travel guide about Cairns.




Tolga

Hi, I'm Tolga. Your guide for unforgettable road trips across the USA, Europe, and Australia. I offer destination insights, tips, and occasionally use AI for added accuracy. Let's explore the world one road at a time!

Leave a Comment