Top 5 tips to prepare for your Brisbane Airport car hire tour

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Sarah Glover
9 Aug, 2022
10 minutes to read

Plan wisely for an unforgettable journey

Brisbane is a subtropical centre of activity, a brilliant destination for sunseekers, and an even better starting point for a memorable road trip. With a car hire from Brisbane, Queensland is your oyster. Having your own set of wheels makes it easy to see all that’s on offer in this exciting and varied Sunshine State. New South Wales also lies just south of the city, with even more exciting places you could add to your car hire Brisbane Airport itinerary.

Flying into Brisbane is easy—the city boasts a busy international terminal and domestic terminal welcoming direct flights from many locations including significant travel hubs. Brisbane Airport car rental services are plentiful, and arriving travellers have a wide array of car hire deals. The city enjoys sunshine and warmth year-round and is a bold, bustling, fast-growing place with endless entertainment, fascinating history, and unique flora and fauna.

Planning to explore Brisbane and the surrounding regions by car? To make sure that you have the very best experience and take full advantage of what this part of Australia has to offer, we have put together five important pointers.

Read on and prepare for a journey to remember.

1. Book your car rental well in advance

Brisbane city with a bridge and harbour in the foreground.

A great rental car road trip starts with a great rate! Always book your vehicle hire well in advance to ensure that you:

Secure a vehicle. You don’t want to leave it too late and discover that everything is sold out, or that you can’t get the type of vehicle you need from your favorite car rental company.

  • Reduce stress. Having plans in place well before you fly makes the travelling experience easier and smoother.

  • Get the best possible price. Find cheap car hire using the simple GoSee search engine, you can compare different vehicles, brands (such as Bargain car rentals, East Coast car rentals, etc.) and rates to get the best car hire deal that suits your plans and budget.

You should have an idea of where you want to go and what you want to do with your Brisbane Airport car rental before you make a booking. There is a wide array of vehicle types and sizes available from the various rental providers, and knowing what you plan to do with your vehicle will make it possible to choose one that suits you.

For a couple embarking on an urban adventure in and around Brisbane itself, an affordable and economic compact car would be a great choice. For a family heading out of the city and into some national parks, an SUV with some more space and power would be the best pick. The cost of a rental car from Brisbane will vary according to the type of vehicle you choose, the time of year in which you travel, and the supplier—so do some research and find out what will fit your budget as well as your travel plans.

2. Research your car rental road trip itinerary

Come have a dip and take in the bright crystal-like white sand at Whitehaven Beach during your Proserpine holiday.

There’s always space for spontaneity. That’s the beauty of having your own set of wheels! However, to make sure that you manage to do and see the things that will make your heart sing, we recommend giving your overall itinerary some serious thought. Decide what those things are and how you’ll fit them all in.

This list of Australia landmarks might provide some inspiration; several of these places in Queensland and New South Wales are within reach of a road trip from Brisbane. Here are a few more spots that might spark your imagination:

For the animal lovers: Australia Zoo 

This iconic zoo and conservation centre was founded by the beloved Irwin family and has a fantastic range of native and exotic animals as well as some unique wildlife experiences. It’s around 1.5 hours’ drive from Brisbane.

For the beach bums: the Whitsundays

It will take you around two days of driving north from Brisbane to reach this incredible white sand, tropical island paradise. There are plenty of watersports on offer here, and the Great Barrier Reef is nearby. Alternatively, there is also lots of opportunity to do nothing but lie on the sand and soak up the Queensland sun.

For the thrillseekers: The Gold Coast

Less than an hour’s drive south of Brisbane is this bright, bustling stretch of coast famous for its nightlife, entertainment, shopping, surf, and theme parks. Anyone who likes a rollercoaster should make this a non-negotiable in their itinerary.

For the outdoor enthusiasts: Carnarvon National Park

Get off the beaten path and work this lesser-known destination into your plans. Located a day’s drive northwest of Brisbane, it’s where you’ll find the spectacular Carnarvon Gorge, some beautiful walking trails to suit all abilities, and fascinating indigenous history and heritage.

For the surfer crowd: Byron Bay

A few hours south and across the border into New South Wales is this popular coastal town, a mecca for surfers but popular with explorers of all kinds.

For the Outback explorer: Longreach

The journey is part of the adventure in the Outback—and it will take you at least two days to reach Longreach, hub town and place of immense historical interest. It’s known as the heart of Outback Queensland, making it a great base from which to explore.

Where you choose to take your hire car from Brisbane Airport will depend entirely on your travel preferences. That’s the beauty of a road trip! But a little itinerary planning will stand you in good stead and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-sees or must-dos.

3. Bring the right clothing

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If there’s one thing to note when packing for your Brisbane car rental road trip, it’s this: come prepared with sun protection! International visitors and even those arriving from more southerly parts of Australia may underestimate the harshness of the Queensland sun.

If you’re travelling in winter, or even late autumn or early spring, you should also bring long sleeves and warm pants in case of cold nights. Particularly in Outback areas, where winter days are often warm and sunny—but the temperature drops after the sun sets.

Don’t forget:

  • Sunblock/sunscreen. Lots of it!
  • A sunhat for everyone (preferably wide-brimmed), plus backups.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Long-sleeved but lightweight shirts for extra sun protection.
  • Shorts.
  • T-shirts.
  • Sandals.
  • Walking shoes or boots for hiking and other adventures.
  • A sweatshirt/jumper or two.
  • Long pants.

Before you travel to Brisbane, do some research about the weather and temperatures you might expect at the time of year you’re visiting. Having the right attire can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of a trip.

4. Stay safe on the roads and off them

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Straddling the tropic of Capricorn, Queensland can experience a range of weather conditions. There is also a vast expanse of Outback easily accessible with an airport car hire Brisbane, and the remoteness of those roads requires some forethought.

To ensure your road trip from Brisbane is smooth and you reach all your destinations safely, here are a few important tips:

  • Always have water in the car, both for the driver and passengers to drink and for the radiator in case of overheating.
  • Pack extra food and warm clothes for a long trip, especially if you are heading into more remote areas like Northern Queensland or the Outback. This is in case of a breakdown in an area where you can’t get help immediately. Consider the possibility of having to spend part or all of the night in the car and provision it accordingly.
  • Always have a method of communication with you. If you are arriving from overseas, this may mean that you need to verify with your cellphone service provider whether you can use your phone in Australia.
  • Remember the wildlife! Australia has some curious critters and also some dangerous ones. Always wear sturdy shoes when walking in bush or rural areas, pay attention to signs that warn against swimming in certain bodies of water, and watch out for larger animals like kangaroos on the road. In person, these marsupials are more intimidating than you might think and will do serious damage to your rental car if hit.
  • Don’t underestimate your distances. Driving while tired is dangerous, so plan regular rest stops and be realistic about how far you can drive each day.
  • There’s a unique hazard to contend with during any rental car adventure from Brisbane between June and November: cane trains. During this “crushing season” in Queensland, loaded narrow gauge trains run on dedicated railways to transport sugar cane to and from the mills. Many of the rails cross public roads. While all crossings are signposted, not all have warning lights to indicate when a train is approaching. Always slow down and check. The same can be said when you are on a Brisbane campervan rental.
  • Check the government website before you travel to Australia for any relevant news items or travel updates that may affect your trip.

Staying safe on the roads is the single most important tip we can offer for your Brisbane Airport car hire tour! It’s a good idea to check with your rental provider or booking agent what comes included in your rental cars and what can be added—things like a GPS and child car seats can often be included for a small extra charge or even for free.

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5. Make the most of your rental car freedom!

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You’ve chosen to get a car rental at Brisbane Airport rather than rely on public transport. Most car hire companies in Australia come with unlimited mileage, so take full advantage of your choice and explore.

To optimise your road trip potential, we suggest planning shorter driving distances each day rather than epic 8 to 10-hour journeys. The latter will allow you to cover more ground. However, the former means that you can take your time, pull over to enjoy the sights along the way, and turn off onto the roads less travelled when they beckon. There is also the option to rent a car from Brisbane Airport and return it elsewhere for a one-way trip, maximising the distance you can cover while still allowing time to wander and explore.

With your own set of (rented) wheels, you can choose to stay at Airbnbs, lodges, and camping grounds that are outside of main centres. You can see national parks, waterfalls, and remote coastal beauty spots. There’s freedom to act on personal recommendations, make changes to your itinerary, and drive an hour to try a restaurant that a local told you not to miss. A Brisbane Airport car hire is truly the best way to experience Queensland—and northern New South Wales—to the fullest.

You’re well on your way to an incredible journey with your rental car from Brisbane Airport. Keep this advice in mind as you make plans, and enjoy every moment! GoSee can help you to book the vehicle that will take you wherever you want to go—use the simple search engine on our Brisbane Airport car hire page to find your ideal wheels.