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Fastest driving route from Canberra to Brisbane

By Permanent Visitor - 15 December 2009 41

Wanting to hear from anyone who has driven from Canberra to Brisbane, or vice versa, within the last 6 months. I always take the inland route, however haven’t driven the coastal route for a couple of years and am wondering if it is faster than going inland nowadays.

All advice welcome!

What’s Your opinion?

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41 Responses to
Fastest driving route from Canberra to Brisbane
fnaah 9:59 am 16 Dec 09

Not bad sloppery! Ex-wifey and I did it in 13 in our 200SX. Had some issues with enormous swarms of grass parrots near Cowra, after that it was a pretty smooth cruise.

james270 9:55 am 16 Dec 09

Newell Hwy has just had its speed limit dropped from 110 to 100K/h. The conspiracy theorist in me suggests that there may well be more than the usual ammount of police patrolling the Newell at the moment:)

housebound 9:50 am 16 Dec 09

The inland route is tops, especially during the day. But just realise you may encounter a few long-haul trucks if you drive at night, and a few roos at dusk. Otherwise, it’s a great drive and loads faster and easier than the Pacific Highway.

Thoroughly Smashed 9:31 am 16 Dec 09

This one.

(Sorry, no meaningful contribution here.)

Skidbladnir 9:30 am 16 Dec 09

Google’s time estimator lies.

Barton – Lachlan Valley Way – Mitchell – Newell – Gore – Warrego (ie Canberra – Cowra – Molong – Dubbo – Gilgandra – Coonabarabran – Narrabri – Moree – Goondiwindi – Millmerran \Warwick – Toowoomba – Brisbane) is a twice yearly trip for me (hooray for regional friends and family), it normally takes about 15hrs through if you make minimal stops and obey speed limits, maybe 12 if someone were to risk a police-free speedrun on what are mostly straight flat roads.
Otherwise, take it slow, take in some small country towns, maybe overnight at Moree.

Yurgle_the_Yeti 9:15 am 16 Dec 09

I did a road trip to Brisbane back in June… I went up via the Pacific Highway and back via the New England HIghway. I recommend neither. The Pacific Highway is whole lot of roadworks and the New England is one lane and boring as all hell most of the way.

The quickest way that I know of is to go through Sydney, get on to the Pacific Highway and then turn off just after Raymond Terrace and go through Stroud, Gloucester, Nowendoc, Walcha, Uralla to Armidale along The Bucketts Way and then use the New England from there.

The Bucketts Way is a lot better now that they have surfaced it and the scenery is very good.

We did Brisbane to Canberra in about 14 hours going that way and only stopping for fuel… I strongly recommend not driving to Brisbane and back in one weekend though. It sucks. Take your time and enjoy yourself.

sloppery 8:41 am 16 Dec 09

Did it 6 years ago up the Newell Hwy in 12 hours neat. Once you get past Dubbo, it’s just straight and fairly flat, with a few towns. Watch out for cops, though.

ACTing like a Mama 8:18 am 16 Dec 09

We did the coast route – via sydney, lunch at Newcastle, dinner & overnight stay at Port Macquarie and then onto Brisbane the next day. We did this with a toddler and I have to say how surprised I was that we actually all had a really lovely trip. Hubby is not much of a driver, but the coast at least has some scenic views that kept him alert and interested.

That said, we went during school (not holidays) so I daresay the traffic would have been much lighter than it would be now.

Gungahlin Al 7:32 am 16 Dec 09

Yass Harden Young Forbes and Newell Highway with a 110kph limit and not too many trucks the rest of the way. Set the cruise control to the legal limit and relax… Roos and emus (esp through the Pillaga make night driving not so relaxed.)

Overnight in Coonabarabran (or camping in the beautiful Warrumbungles) with a night visit to the private telescope just out of town for some great star gazing that you’ll never get here.

Or if you are further along then camping or hire a cabin up in the Mt Kaputar mountains just east of Narrabri – the rock is brilliant and up top there are actually snowgums and you can see 11% of NSW in 360 degrees views.

Through to Gundi, then depending on time/sightseeing constraints, either via Warwick/Stanthorpe (watch the police) or Pittsworth/Toowoomba.

I enjoy the coast route now and then but there are so many major roadwork sections still that it is very slow – especially near Kempsey and especially at Christmas it’s a dice with one-a-year drivers and death. But if you are after a beach holiday, Flynns Beach Resort at Port Macquarie is on my list for a few days stop over.

Enjoy the break and take it easy on the drive.

trevar 7:29 am 16 Dec 09

Which inland route are you talking about? You could go via Richmond, Singleton and Armidale; or via Cowra, Bathurst, Mudgee and Armidale; or via Cowra, Dubbo, Narrabri and Tenterfield. I can’t offer any wisdom on their respective efficiencies, but I’d especially like to know about the Newell Hwy option, which couldn’t possibly be the quickest route, but is one I’ve always wanted to use…

krasny 7:25 am 16 Dec 09

We actually made better time going far west (i.e., up the Newell Highway) than the New England route – fewer towns, probably. This was discovered when all the border crossings bar St George were flooded, New Years 08. The Pacific Motorway around Gosford’s a disaster (at least, it was this time last year, and NSW don’t exactly have any money, or credibility to borrow it for road building), and dodging Sydney and the associated traffic is a) slow, and b) an enormous PITA.

songcarver 7:20 am 16 Dec 09

I find Google Maps to be pretty accurate with it’s time — and it says the Pacific Highway is the fastest, at 15hrs, 28 mins from my place in Kingston. New England Highway and then Newell highway for times:

Up The Duffy 1:05 am 16 Dec 09

The Newell Highway

indigoid 12:23 am 16 Dec 09

Google Maps says to go via Sydney and up the coast, so I’ll share my experience with the SydneySurfers Paradise part.

Coming back from a conference on the Gold Coast in August I rode my motorbike from Surfers to Mortdale in Sydney in about 14 hours, covering 980km. Stopped only for fuel and food. Map link here.

The home stretch from Singleton to Mortdale sapped my will to live.

I took the inland route because I’d been told that the Pacific Hwy roadworks in progress were ghastly and extensive. I certainly saw enough of them between Surfers and Grafton. It sucked.

The trip up there was longer but far more pleasant. Offtopic here though because I spent two days on it and went via Parkes and Coonabarrabran

futto 11:41 pm 15 Dec 09

i have always driven to Coffs using the Pacific Hwy and it gets faster every year. Now the Western Sydney orbital and the freeway north of newcastle is finished it’s shaved a good couple of hours off traveling.

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