Set off on a modern day adventure as you 'blaze a trail' along the fully sealed Leichhardt Highway linking Australia's second largest city Melbourne through Queensland's border town Goondiwindi to the charismatic heart of the Capricorn Coast, Yeppoon.
First traversed by courageous explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, this inland route - recognised as the fastest touring route from Melbourne to the Tropics - takes you away from the hustle and bustle, making it a perfect choice for your next trip.
Countless treasures tempt you to linger longer - picturesque inland waterways brimming with freshwater fish - perfect for anglers, world acclaimed botanic gardens, intriguing National Parks, tranquil lagoons, and welcoming locals always ready for a chat.
Step back in time as you walk through historical collections that will truly amaze you, witness what was once the world's largest and richest gold mine and then there's the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef! Add to that a range of accommodation options fitting every budget and you'll soon understand why this acclaimed historic route lives up to its reputation as one of excitement and discovery.... less
Watch as Melbourne, Australia's second biggest city, disappears behind and you head north to the rich heritage river town of Narrandera. Along the way, historical gardens, buildings, wineries and the mighty Murray River, Australia's longest river, await. The Murray's sandy banks form mini beaches fringed with red gum forest, and make an ideal spot for a picnic or a night's camp.
For those who enjoy a round or two or golf, Narrandera, set on the Murrumbidgee River, in the heart of the Riverina, boasts the Lake Talbot Complex, one of the finest golf courses in country New South Wales.
Today it's off to Dubbo - the city of unexpected attractions. Along the way, walk the 'crooked mile' of West Wyalong's main street - once a bullock track woven around gold diggings. Call into the Albion Hotel in Forbes and check out the tunnels built to secure the safe passage of gold back in the good old days. Notorious bushranger Ben Hall and his gang once ruled the roost around here. He now leads a much quieter life in the town's cemetery! At Parkes, see the amazing CSIRO Radio Telescope - where filming took place for the Australian hit movie "The Dish".
Everyone enjoys an up and close encounter at Dubbo's Western Plains Zoo where over 1,000 animals roam free of cages. Don't forget the sausages - there are free barbecues. As the road stretches north, look up at night - this is Big Sky Country. Coonabarabran, nestled in the charming foothills of the Warrumbungle Mountain Range, claims the title of Australia's Astronomy Capital. The skies along this part of your journey are said to be the clearest in the country. Travel through the Pilliga Scrub to Narrabri - don't miss Sawn Rocks, one of Mother Nature's masterpieces - then allow Goondiwindi welcome you to Queensland.
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.
When Leichhardt camped at Miles, he called it Dogwood Crossing. At the state of the art Dogwood Crossing @ Miles, hear local pioneers tell heroic tales. Step back in time with a visit to the Miles Historical Village - considered one of the best collections of Australian memorabilia. Follow a wildflower trail during spring when dainty blossoms carpet the countryside.
At Taroom, see one of the best examples of Leichhardt's blazes in the main street. 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.
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.
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!
|Start from:||9-25 Dynon Road, West Melbourne VIC 3003, Australia|
|End at:||34 Hankinson Street, Narrandera NSW 2700, Australia|
|Duration:||4 hours 36 mins|
|Start from:||34 Hankinson Street, Narrandera NSW 2700, Australia|
|End at:||LOT 11 Narromine Road, Dubbo NSW 2830, Australia|
|Duration:||4 hours 10 mins|
|Start from:||LOT 11 Narromine Road, Dubbo NSW 2830, Australia|
|End at:||67 Elizabeth Drive, Goondiwindi QLD 4390, Australia|
|Duration:||5 hours 23 mins|
|Start from:||67 Elizabeth Drive, Goondiwindi QLD 4390, Australia|
|End at:||LOT 12 Paddys Creek Road, Miles QLD 4415, Australia|
|Duration:||2 hours 34 mins|
|Start from:||LOT 12 Paddys Creek Road, Miles QLD 4415, Australia|
|End at:||LOT 144 Leichhardt Highway, Banana QLD 4702, Australia|
|Duration:||3 hours 1 min|
|Start from:||LOT 144 Leichhardt Highway, Banana QLD 4702, Australia|
|End at:||16 Dowling Street, Park Avenue QLD 4701, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 49 mins|
|Start from:||16 Dowling Street, Park Avenue QLD 4701, Australia|
|End at:||4 Park Street, Yeppoon QLD 4703, Australia|