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

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking/Trekking
  • Off Road Driving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming

Full itinerary

Goondiwindi to Miles

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

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

A pretty place, Theodore is shaped like a point between the Dawson River and Castle Creek, its palm lined streets give a tropical feel to the place. Hewitt Park surrounds the water tower and is a great spot for a picnic lunch or if you’d prefer a river view, Rotary Park in 5th Avenue overlooks Castle Creek. 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
Mode of Travel Car
Route Type One Way
Level of Difficulty Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
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
Mode of Travel Car
Route Type One Way
Level of Difficulty Level 2: Suitable for families with young children

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Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$51 - 210
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a unique rainforest experience, taking you on an unforgettable journey over and through Australia's World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests. Spanning seven and a half kilometres in the Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway glides just metres over the canopy, its comfortable six-person gondola cabins providing spectacular views of the rainforest, tropical Cairns, the Coral Sea and lush Cairns Highlands.

Daintree Discovery Centre

Cow Bay, Douglas Area
From AU$32 - 35
A multi-award winner, the Discovery Centre is nestled in the heart of the rainforest, 10 kilometres north of the Daintree River. The Centre is a 'must see' for anyone visiting the area and where you can experience the rainforest at every level - from the forest floor to the upper most reaches of the canopy.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
From AU$9.50 - 9.50
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage.

Castle Rock Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Castle Rock is a tower of coral at the Agincourt Reefs, accessible from Port Douglas on a day trip. Rising from 25 metres to almost break the surface, Castle Rock is home to trevally, snappers, sweetlips, goatfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish and a very friendly Malabar groper called Colin.

Fitzroy Island National Park

Fitzroy Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Fitzroy Island National Park is rugged with diverse landscapes featuring granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. This island national park, close to the mainland, and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation, Douglas Area
Stepping straight on to the beach from the rainforest is a very special experience at Cape Tribulation. This extraordinarily pretty stretch of the Daintree National Park is where you can climb aboard a fast boat to explore the Great Barrier Reef or take a kayak to nearby islands.

Twin Peaks Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Saxon Reef off Cairns is dotted with a number of wonderful dive sites, including the brilliant Twin Peaks. Two huge coral bommies, rising from 18 metres to almost touch the surface, give the site its name and always make for an impressive dive.

Laura

Laura, Cook Area
Laura is a small town, with a population around 100 people on the Cape York Peninsula in Tropical North Queensland. the township boasts the largest collection of prehistoric rock art in the world. The area around Laura is known for Quinkans, giant figures who according to Aboriginal legend, were spirits that lived in the crevices of rocks.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one of the highest rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth.

Barracuda Bommie Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
With a name like Barracuda Bommie you would expect to see barracuda at this dive site, and fortunately it rarely disappoints. Located on the Agincourt Reefs, off Port Douglas, Barracuda Bommie is a giant pinnacle of coral that rises from the sandy sea floor at 26 metres.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).