When your on your way to Cairns from Brisbane you go through Mackay. One trip about 60km west of Mackay worth checking out is the Finch Hatton Gorge, Waterfall and Rainforest. A great place to stay is the Finch Hatton Gorge Cabins. 4×4 needed in the wet season, but in the dryer months a normal car is fine to cross the creeks to get there. Quite beautiful scenery, rainforest as impressive as SE QLD, not quite as impressive as Daintree. On the way worth grabbing a Aussie Pie at the Pinncale Pub or continue on to Eungella Chalet and onto the top to see the real live Platypus.