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Leichhardt Highway

Multiple Locations

It is the fastest route between the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and the calm beauty of the tropics. The Leichhardt Highway, named after the courageous explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, is an inland road that passes through the Queensland border town of Goondiwindi and then on to the coastal town of Yeppoon.

Leave the 'big smoke' behind as you drive through friendly country towns, past picturesque rivers where you can stop for a picnic or spot of fishing. There are so many things to do along this inland route - from bushwalks in National Parks, to historic museums full of artifacts and fun facts. Enjoy the changing scenery as you venture closer to the seaside. There are many affordable places to stay - from highway Motels to quaint Bed and Breakfasts.

Journey Details

Duration
240 Hours
Distance
2019 Kilometres

Facilities

  • BBQ Facilities
  • Public Telephone

Activities

  • Camping
  • Swimming

Full Itinerary

Start your sightseeing around this picturesque town at the border precinct - with its statue tribute to legend racehorse Gunsynd, Customs House, old border bridge, and river walk. The Botanic Gardens and Natural Heritage Water Park are both good places to pull in the van for lunch.

Through Moonie, the oil capital of Australia, the Leichhardt takes you to tiny settlements where from each extraordinary attractions wait to be explored. Caliguel Lagoon, seven kilometres south of Condamine is one. At this top free camping spot - great for fishing - during late summer and autumn rare purple water lilies bloom.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
Mode of Travel
Car

During late summer and early autumn, prolific blooms of rare pink water lilies can be seen on Chinaman's Lagoon when arriving in Miles. Walk the peaceful Dogwood Creek Walking Track, visit the outstanding Miles Historical Village Museum with its streetscape of authentically restored heritage buildings, or follow a wildflower trail during spring when native blossoms carpet the countryside.

At Taroom, Leichhardt blazed his initials into a coolabah located in Yaldwyn Street in 1844. Although the bark has now grown over the blaze, many photos still exist to prove its existence. The 300 year old tree has become an iconic landmark. Visit Gilberts Lookout and stand in the footsteps of Leichhardt and Gilbert who thought the view was the 'most pleasing natural picture' they had seen. For the next 150 kilometres, take your pick from lakes and pristine rivers to camp and fish. Sweet Isla Gorge's lookout is perfect for sunset.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
Mode of Travel
Car
Banana Shire to Rockhampton

Don't be surprised to find not a single banana growing anywhere near the township of Banana. It's actually named after a famous yellow bullock from back in the 1800's. Baralaba, 40 clicks from Rannes, is another great fishing gem for those that like to cast a line.

The Leichhardt Highway then takes you to the historic township of Mount Morgan. Once the home to the richest and largest gold mine in the world, it has a few secrets worth discovering. Next is Rockhampton, Capital of the Capricorn, and worthy as base for a night or two with so much to do.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
Mode of Travel
Car
Rockhampton to Yeppoon

Now officially right on top of the Tropic of Capricorn, in Rocky as the locals call Rockhampton, take the time to visit heritage-listed gardens, historic Quay Street, intriguing caves and the largest livestock-selling facility in Australia, Gracemere Sale Yards. Alternatively, relax and unwind on the banks of the Fitzroy River and wait for a Barramundi to 'have a chew.'

Yeppoon, 38 kilometres east of Rockhampton, is the end of the celebrated Leichhardt Highway. On the doorstep to The Great Barrier Reef, this exquisite area boasts long sweeping beaches and unspoilt National Parks. You may never want to leave!

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
Mode of Travel
Car

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Malanda Falls Conservation Park

Malanda, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Surrounded by dense rainforest, the North Johnstone River tumbles over basalt rock that was formed by an ancient lava flow at Malanda Falls. The much-photographed picturesque falls flow into an artificial swimming pool in this popular park near Malanda.

Millstream Falls National Park

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away.

Mount Hypipamee National Park

Atherton, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park features a diatreme (a volcanic pipe or vent) thought to have been created by a massive gas explosion. The gaping hole is 70 metres wide with steep granite sides that plunge 58 metres to the lake below.

Curtain Fig Tree

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
The Curtain Fig National Park contains the renowned Curtain Fig Tree, an enormous strangler fig tree. Located a short drive out of Yungaburra, a small town in the Atherton Tableland, the giant tree has several aerial roots hanging down from its branches that look like curtains.

Eubenangee Swamp National Park

Babinda, Cairns Area
Free Entry
One of the most important wetlands between Ingham and Cairns, Eubenangee Swamp is a birdwatchers' paradise, with over 190 species of birds recorded. Situated in the lowlands east of the Bellenden Ker Range (the wettest part of Australia), much of this park is flooded during the wet season.
Free Entry
Josephine Falls, a scenic section of Wooroonooran National Park, features a scenic waterfall fed by rains falling on Queensland's highest peak, Bartle Frere, which looms above this popular picnic area.

Clump Mountain National Park

Mission Beach, Cassowary Coast Area
Free Entry
This park, on the scenic coast just north of Mission Beach, contains some of the few remaining patches of undisturbed tropical lowland rainforest in North Queensland. These rainforest remnants are important habitat for the endangered southern cassowary.

Curtain Fig National Park

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park protects a small area of an endangered type of forest, called mabi forest, the local Aborignal (Ngadjon) word for the Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo. The large fig tree found in this park is unique because the extensive aerial roots, that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, have formed a 'curtain'.

Frankland Group National Park

Deeral, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Surrounded by extensive fringing reefs, the five islands of Frankland Group National Park feature rocky outcrops, dense rainforest, mangroves and coastal vegetation, making them a haven for wildlife. A colony of spectacled flying-foxes roosts on Russell Island, while manta rays and sea turtles have been spotted in nearby waters, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Lake Barrine, Crater Lakes National Park

Yungaburra, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This popular park features a deep crater lake surrounded by cool lush rainforest. Lake Barrine, part of Crater Lakes National Park, is a maar: a crater lake formed by volcanic explosions. In several places, large bull kauri pines, a species that once dominated the tableland forests, emerge through the rainforest canopy.
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