5 Best Road Trip Sights Between Brisbane and Cairns

A road trip from Brisbane to Cairns is the ideal Queensland adventure, with endless must-see places on the map. The epic 1700km drive will take you anywhere from two days to ten to complete, depending on how jam-packed your itinerary is. There are so many things to do, but if you need a few ideas for places to stop, we have you covered with our collection of the best sights between Brisbane and Cairns.

  • Glass House Mountains

    81 km from Brisbane

    The first stop on your Queensland road trip is the stunning Glass House Mountains, located just outside of Brisbane. Magnificent hinterland scenery will accompany you along the drive between the six small towns in the area, where you can get a feel for the ease of country living. You can also pay respect to the traditional owners of the area, the Gubbi Gubbi people, who would often gather at the mountains' peaks for ceremonies. The gorgeous views from here will leave you in no doubt as to why the Glass House Mountains are the first must-see entry in this Brisbane to Cairns road trip itinerary.

  • The Big Pineapple

    34 km from Glass House Mountains

    The Big Pineapple is another legendary can't-miss stop between Brisbane and Cairns, only a half hour's drive north of the Glass House Mountains. Whether you want to enjoy a peaceful coffee, learn about the history of Queensland's pineapple industry, or even climb inside the Big Pineapple itself, there is something for everyone. Best of all, the Big Pineapple is absolutely free to visit! It is a golden opportunity to see this world-famous structure for yourself. At an impressive height of 16 metres and located on a hill overlooking the Bruce Highway, the Big Pineapple is impossible to miss on your Brisbane to Cairns drive.

  • Seventeen Seventy

    386 km from The Big Pineapple

    Next up on our road trip itinerary is the charming seaside town of Seventeen Seventy, named for the year in which James Cook's Endeavour made its second landing. The gorgeous coastal settlement is surrounded on three sides by ocean, and is truly worth visiting as you make your way from Brisbane to Cairns. Located not far off the Bruce Highway, you can drive all the way up to Wave Lookout and gaze across the vast Coral Sea. As one of the last ocean lookouts before the Great Barrier Reef, this is somewhere you just must stop and take in the view during your Queensland road trip.

  • Cape Hillsborough National Park

    589 km from Seventeen Seventy

    Just past the halfway point between Brisbane and Cairns is the beautiful Cape Hillsborough National Park. The park encapsulates a perfect cross section of all that Queensland has to offer, from lush rainforest and iconic Aussie wildlife to vibrant beaches and mangrove ecosystems. While there are plenty of places between Brisbane and Cairns where you can connect with nature, Cape Hillsborough goes above and beyond in this regard and allows you to truly immerse yourself in the scenery. It is hard to believe that the national park is only a short detour off the highway as you meander north, and is yet another must-see destination on your Queensland road trip.

  • Wallaman Falls

    525 km from Cape Hillsborough National Park

    The final stop on our Brisbane to Cairns itinerary may be a bit further off the beaten track, but this time the destination really is more important than the journey. Wallaman Falls is the highest single drop waterfall in Australia at 268 metres, and with a road that takes you right up to the main lookout, there is no excuse to miss out on this spectacular view. You will rapidly find yourself mesmerised by the crashing water and the enveloping rainbow mist as you observe the falls from the top of the lookout. Beyond this point, you can enjoy the rest of Girringun National Park, full of more breathtaking gorges and falls. Wallaman Falls is the perfect final stop on our list of the best sights between Brisbane and Cairns.

There is so much to see on an east coast Queensland road trip that it is easy to become overwhelmed by the options. Luckily for you, the five locations we have compiled are all must-see places on any Brisbane to Cairns adventure. Whether you want to explore every nook and cranny of the coast, or you would rather sit back and take in the scenery from the comfort of your car, this itinerary will have you craving your next road trip journey even by the time you reach Cairns. Remember to sufficiently prepare for long-distance driving before you leave, take regular breaks and bring plenty of snacks!