Camperman: Campervan Hire Australia

Townsville to Airlie Beach Drive

© John Benwell

Townsville to Airlie Beach 

277 km | 3.5 hr over 2 days

You could make this trip in one day if you left out most of the stops and rather just called in to Bowen or Cape Gloucester to stretch your legs and enjoy lunch by the sea.

Townsville to Bowen - 200 km | 2 h 20 m
Bowen to Airlie Beach - 77 km | 1 hr
Airlie Beach to Dingo Beach - 50 km | 45 m

The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef

AIRLIE BEACH campervan hire and motorhome rental

Burdekin Region

The road between Townsville and the rural town of Ayr winds through the verdant patchwork of sugar cane fields and snaking rivers of the Burdekin region to the rural town of Ayr (90 km south of Townsville). The Burdekin is well-known for its barramundi, mudcrabs, estuary species and off-coast reef fishing while Ayr is devoted to sugar cane, melon, and mango farming. Pick up tourist brochures at the visitor center on the south end of town for things to do in Ayr.

1200px Ayr Courthouse Qld
Ayr Courthouse

TOWNSVILLE campervan and RV rental


Bowen is Australia’s mango capital so naturally it has a big mango that you can pose in front of. Bowen is a coastal rural town with wide streets, wooden Queenslander homes, a slow pace, and friendly locals. There are plenty of things to do in Bowen. 

  • Grab a tray of mangoes, 
  • View the town’s 24 murals depicting historical events (grab a walking map from the visitor centre), 
  • Swim at picturesque Horseshoe Bay, which has a walking trail through enormous granite rocks as well as a campervan park if you fancy staying the night. 
  • Drive the campervan to the top of Bowen Hill Lookout and take in the 360 degree views. 
  • Grab a homemade pie from Jochheim’s
  • Enjoy a long lunch with sea views from Cove restaurant
  • Knock back a beer at the Grandview Hotel
  • The Bowen Foreshore is a great place for a picnic.


Horseshoe Bay Resort, Bowen

Dingo Beach and Cape Gloucester

If you’d like to discover one of Queensland’s best-kept secrets, venture off the highway just north of Airlie Beach to Dingo Beach and Cape Gloucester, a surprisingly beautiful and undeveloped part of the coast. Cape Gloucester has two beachside resorts. Montes Reef Resort is lively, while Cape Gloucester Resort is quiet and private. Enjoy the coastal scenery with a spot of lunch, then sleep it off in a poolside deck chair. Dingo Beach and Cape Gloucester are worth visiting before the developers discover it.

cape gloucester
Cape Gloucester Beach Resort

Map of Townsville to Airlie Beach Drive

Other Road Trips

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Contact Us


Campervan Hire Depots

Airlie Beach

Heart of Reef Shuttles, 48-50 Carlo Drive, Cannonvale, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223


20 Noble Avenue, North Gate, Queensland 4013
Phone: 1800 216 223


440 Sheridan Street, Cairns,
Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223


273 Elizabeth Street, Coburg,
Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223


23-25 Erskine Rd, Caringbah,
Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223


Do you have any questions or need additional information?

Toll Free Numbers
Australia (Free): 1800 216 223
Europe (Free): 0800 888 222 88 (land line only)
Int: +61 7 4081 3100
Main Office in Cairns
Mon - Fri: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Open for Pickups)
Cairns Local Time: