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OUTBACK Q U E E N S L A N D Live Australia's Story

M A P S – T O W N D E TA IL S – E V E N T S – T R AV E L L E R S ’ T IP S

WWW.OUTBACKQUEENSLAND.COM.AU


IT’S BETTER IN THE OUTBACK of Australian dinosaur fossils in the world and the impressive Dinosaur Canyon. Not 2019 was the Year of Outback Tourism just a drawcard for tourists, the museum and what a year it was with more than attracts paleo enthusiasts from around one million visitors choosing to adventure the world for hands-on dinosaur digs. Outback. Drive east along the Matilda Way to Those million plus visitors travelled by Longreach and you’ll discover another of train, plane, guided tours and good old our Outback champions. Guests staying fashioned road trips on their adventure at Saltbush Retreat’s Gold winning selfbeyond the coast. contained accommodation are raving The passion and enthusiasm of our about the exquisite 4.5 star Homestead Outback Tourism operators is legendary Stables and 4.5 star Slab Huts. A soak and in 2019 they stepped it up another in one of the three clawfoot baths on notch with several taking out Gold in the The Outdoor Bath Terrace paired with a Queensland Tourism Awards. pamper pack and nibbles platter is going over a treat too. Winning Gold in the Major Tourist

OUR OUTBACK WINNERS

Attractions category, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs has had a lot to do with Winton’s new title as Australia’s dinosaur capital. It’s home to the largest collection

Up north in Queensland’s Gulf Savannah, Cobbold Gorge continues to kick goals. Not only winning Gold in the Hosted Accommodation category for the fourth


Left: Camping under the stars in the Outback Right top: Moble Homestead Right middle: Wallaroo Outback Retreat Right bottom: Shandonvale Station

year in a row, they also took out Gold for Tourist Attractions. While at Cobbold Gorge, guests can join the Gorge Tour featuring Australia’s first Glass Bridge. The bridge spans a 13-metre gap and 19-metre drop into cool spring-fed water below.

MEET SOME OF OUR WORKING GRAZIERS What could be better on your Outback adventure than a chance to meet local graziers and stay on their stations. Just outside Quilpie in the heart of the red gibber landscape you’ll discover Moble Homestead which has been in the Rutledge family for five generations. Stay overnight in your choice of a private hut, cottage or ensuite room in the family homestead. Enjoy their fabulous hospitality and stunning gardens framing a tranquil waterhole. Keep an eye out for the resident peacock! Nestled amongst the magnificent sandstone cliffs of the Carnarvon Ranges is Wallaroo Outback Retreat, a 72,000 acre cattle property. Glamping tents are the order of the day here. Indulge in a luxurious night’s rest in beds made with crisp white linen. Wake up amongst the towering Eucalypts, listening to the magical sounds of the bush. If you’re keen to get more hands on, then the 15,000 acre Shandonvale Station might just be the ticket. It’s around a 45 minute drive from Barcaldine or 1.5 hour drive from Longreach. Their 100-year-old Shearing Quarters have been completely renovated for a luxury Outback experience. By day you can explore the property, fish, relax or take part in the daily workings, like mustering and feeding the stock.

TAKE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED If this isn’t your first outback roadtrip then you may be keen to get some dust under your tyres and explore some lesser known drives. The Barcoo Way adventure drive has been developed by the locals who live in the towns along the famous Barcoo River. It’s designed for Outback explorers keen to dig deep and discover the real deal. Most of the year, the Barcoo River is a chain of waterholes that link Tambo, Blackall, Isisford, Yaraka and Windorah.

Further north, the Discovery Drive Loop links the Overlander’s Way, Australia’s Dinosaur Trail with the fascinating Channel Country. You’ll visit Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond, Julia Creek, Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Boulia and Winton. It’s packed to the brim with Outback legends, ancient discoveries and bucket-list adventures.

There’s something about a road trip that fires up the soul and gets the heart pumping. You certainly don’t need to be an expert off-roader to explore Outback Queensland. Most of the key drive routes are fully sealed but if you’re looking for an off-road adventure we have those too. Just be sure to brush up on the basics for safe driving in the Outback. outbackqueensland.com.au

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CONTENTS GENERAL INFORMATION It’s Better in the Outback....................Inside Front Cover What’s New....................................................03 Outback Events............................................ 04 Queensland Map..........................................06 The Year of Indigenous Tourism...............08 Australian Age of Dinosaurs.......................10 Cobbold Gorge.............................................12 Saltbush Retreat...........................................14 Mitchell Grass Retreat................................. 15 Outback National Parks..............................16 Getting There | Travel Tips.......................20 Find Your Perfect Next Road Trip.............26 9 Ways to See a Dinosaur...........................36 Directory......................................................110 Accredited Visitor Information Centres...................Back Cover

REGIONS South West....................................................42 East..................................................................58 Central West................................................. 64 Far West......................................................... 84 North West....................................................94

TOWN INDEX Adavale...........................................................49 Alpha...............................................................72 Aramac...........................................................72 Augathella......................................................47 Banana............................................................63 Baralaba.........................................................63 Barcaldine......................................................72 Barcoo............................................................90 Bedourie.........................................................89 Betoota...........................................................89 Biloela.............................................................63 Birdsville.........................................................89 Blackall........................................................... 73 Boulia..............................................................91 Burke & Wills Junction............................. 100 Charleville......................................................47 Cheepie..........................................................49

Cloncurry.................................................... 100 Cooladdi.........................................................47 Cracow...........................................................63 Cunnamulla...................................................48 Dajarra......................................................... 100 Duchess....................................................... 100 Dululu.............................................................63 Emmet............................................................70 Eromanga.......................................................49 Eulo.................................................................48 Goovigen.......................................................63 Hughenden................................................. 102 Ilfracombe.....................................................70 Injune..............................................................46 Isisford............................................................70 Jambin............................................................63 Jericho...........................................................72 Julia Creek...................................................103 Jundah............................................................90 Kajabbi......................................................... 100 Kynuna..........................................................103 Longreach......................................................70 McKinlay.......................................................103 Middleton....................................................... 71 Mitchell...........................................................46 Morven...........................................................47 Mount Isa.......................................................99 Moura..............................................................63 Muttaburra.....................................................72 Nelia..............................................................103 Opalton.......................................................... 71 Prairie........................................................... 102 Quamby....................................................... 100 Quilpie............................................................49 Richmond....................................................101 Roma...............................................................46 Stamford..................................................... 102 Stonehenge...................................................90 Surat................................................................46 Tambo............................................................. 73 Taroom...........................................................63 Thangool........................................................63 Theodore.......................................................63 Toompine.......................................................49 Torrens Creek............................................. 102 Urandangi......................................................91 Wallumbilla....................................................46 Windorah.......................................................90 Winton............................................................ 71 Wowan............................................................63 Wyandra.........................................................48 Yaraka.............................................................70 Yowah.............................................................48 Yuleba.............................................................46

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WHAT’S NEW

WHAT’S NEW 6 REASONS TO VISIT THE OUTBACK IN 2020

I

f you’re the person in your friendship group who likes to try new things before anyone else has even heard of them, it’s time to add Outback Queensland to your travel list.

This new experience will complement the existing Stockman’s live day and night shows.

2019 may have been the Year of Outback Queensland Tourism, but the good times will keep rolling in 2020, with six new experiences ready to welcome guests.

3. REACHING NEW HEIGHTS

Whether you come by road, rail or air, get your mitts on these six new attractions taking over Outback Queensland.

1. CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, C’MON The Qantas Founders Museum will shine bright in 2020 with the launch of ‘Luminescent Longreach’, a sound and light show projecting the history of Qantas onto the fuselage of its fleet. The night show will launch in May – just in time to celebrate the centenary celebrations of Qantas. The new infrastructure doesn’t stop there, to protect you from the elements of those hot outback days, the museum is installing a roof over the planes to ensure visitors are in ultimate comfort all year round.

2. STOCKMAN FOR THE DAY If you needed more excuses to add Longreach to your 2020 to-visit list, Stockman’s Hall of Fame is all the convincing you need. Next April, the team will unveil a $15 million redevelopment, including a brand-new cinematic experience. Let your guide ‘Hugh’ (not Jackman, we asked) take you on a visual journey through history, retracing the footsteps and celebrating Australia’s stockmen and women.

Cinderella may have had a glass slipper, but Cobbold Gorge now has Australia’s first glass bridge. Spanning the width of the gorge, you’re able to walk over the 11m glass bridge, spanning the gorge’s sandstone cliffs. Leave your vertigo at home – this is one experience you’ll want to look down to see.

4. THE BIGGEST RIG Roma might be known for oil and gas, but visitors will be digging for history in 2020, with the opening of The Bigger Big Rig Observation Tower and Tree Walk at The Big Rig in Roma. The observation tower will be 30m tall and the 150m tree walk will showcase visual displays.

5. MORE REASONS TO GET OUTDOORS If you thought the outback was just a land of desert plains, we’ve just found your perfect road trip rest-stop – Hughenden’s recreational lake precinct. The 22-hectare (that’s 35 football fields) lake precinct features a 500m rowing course, figure 8 for water-skiing, slalom circuits, boat ramp access as well as a sheltered sandy beach, recreational zone including shelters, BBQs, parklands and a kids play area. Our swimmers are already packed!

Clockwise from above left: An artist’s impression of Luminescent Longreach Cobbold Gorge Glass Bridge The Big Rig, Roma Be a stockman for the day

6. EVENTS GALORE It’s not just Outback Queensland’s attractions that are growing – the outback calendar is jam-packed with quirky outback events. The Outback Queensland Golf Masters will return in 2020 with your chance to tee off for the million-dollar hole-in-one as well as Julia Creek Dirt n Dust, Birdsville Big Red Bash and the Mount Isa Rodeo. There are new-event-kids on the block too – the Festival of Outback Opera in Mount Isa and Birdsville’s Beer, Wine and Food Festival will be launching in 2020. What new tourism experience are you most excited for? outbackqueensland.com.au

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MARK YOUR DIARIES FOR THESE

2020 EVENTS

Every event will leave you with a story to tell...

FEATURING

MARCH

JUNE

JULY

14th

4th - 6th

2nd - 5th

JAMBIN STATE SCHOOL P&C BULLARAMA

KING & QUEEN OF CQ BIG BOAR COMPETITION, JAMBIN HOTEL, CALLIDE

BASH BREAK ON BROLGA FEST, QUILPIE

APRIL

4th - 5th

4th

MUTTABURRA STOCK SHOW

OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS, QUILPIE

MAXI RACES, MAXWELTON

6th - 7th

7th - 9th

9th - 13th

SIMPSON DESERT ULTRA, BIRDSVILLE

BIRDSVILLE BIG RED BASH

ROMA’S EASTER IN THE COUNTRY

11th - 12th

13th

EASTER IN THE VINES, ST GEORGE

HUGHENDEN PORCUPINE GORGE CHALLENGE

11th - 12th

20th

SOUTH WEST EVENTURES, ST GEORGE

17th - 19th JULIA CREEK DIRT N DUST FESTIVAL

MAY 1st - 4th BARCALDINE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE FESTIVAL

2nd

RED AND WHITE GALA, LONGREACH

20th - 21st OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS, BILOELA

22nd - 28th FESTIVAL OF OUTBACK OPERA, MOUNT ISA

23rd - 25th

8th - 12th CLONCURRY STOCKMAN’S CHALLENGE

11th BEDOURIE CAMEL AND PIG RACES AND CAMP OVEN COOK OFF

11th - 12th OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS, BLACKALL

14th - 19th CHANNEL COUNTRY MUSIC MUSTER,THARGOMINDAH

17th - 19th BOULIA CAMEL RACES

QUILPIE DIGGERS CUP

OUTBACK WRITERS’ FESTIVAL, WINTON

18th - 19th

2nd - 3rd

26th - 27th

OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS, HUGHENDEN

WINDORAH YELLOWBELLY HUNT

14th - 17th MUSIC IN THE MULGA, EULO

THE HALF WAY THERE SHINDIG, CHARLEVILLE

26th - 4th July

19th - 23rd

VISION SPLENDID OUTBACK FILM FESTIVAL, WINTON

SHEARERS SHINDIG, THARGOMINDAH

27th - 28th

22nd - 24th HARRY REDFORD CATTLE DRIVE REUNION, ARAMAC

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6th

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OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS, CHARLEVILLE


18th - 19th OLD WHEELS IN MOTION RALLY, BILOELA

24th - 26th OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS, LONGREACH

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

5th

1st - 2nd

THANGOOL CUP RACE DAY

ISA STREET FESTIVAL, MOUNT ISA

BIRDSVILLE BEER, WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL

19th - 20th

5th

2nd

24th - 26th

“OUR QANTAS, OUR PEOPLE” – EXHIBITION, LONGREACH

WINDORAH INTERNATIONAL YABBY RACES

ISISFORD FISHING COMPETITION

6th - 9th

4th - 5th

MOUNT ISA MINES RODEO

BIRDSVILLE RACES

25th

5th

HUGHENDEN RUGBY 7’S

6th - 9th

25th

GEMFEST “FESTIVAL OF GEMS” , ANAKIE

GRAZING AT THE WATERING HOLE, THALLON

13th - 16th

5th - 13th

BETTER IN BLACKALL FESTIVAL

BEACH TO REACH

WINTON CAMEL RACES

30th WATTI-WATTI WALKING TRACKS, BIRDSVILLE

31st July - 2nd Aug CLONCURRY CURRY MERRY MUSTER

14th - 22nd COBB & CO FESTIVAL, SURAT

14th CELEBRATION OF THE QANTAS CENTENARY FLY IN, LONGREACH

15th “BACK TO THE 40S” CLONCURRY WORLD WAR II HISTORY EXPERIENCE

11th - 13th CHARLEVILLE BILBY FESTIVAL

11th - 13th

12th

OUTBACK PADDLE REGATTA FESTIVAL, LONGREACH

26th BAMBA GII FESTIVAL, ROMA

OCTOBER 3rd - 4th VDMFEST, BILOELA

10th THEODORE BULLS N BARRELS BONANZA

NOVEMBER 16th

CLONCURRY BEAT THE HEAT FESTIVAL

QANTAS CENTENARY BIRTHDAY WEEK, LONGREACH

11th - 12th

28th

OUTBACK FOOD, WINE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL, LONGREACH

NINDIGULLY PIG RACES

21st - 23rd DROVER’S CAMP FESTIVAL, CAMOOWEAL

28th - 30th CUNNAMULLA FELLA FESTIVAL

28th - 30th LONGREACH YELLOWBELLY FISHING CLASSIC

For more information on Outback Queensland events, visit

outbackqueensland.com.au

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REASONS TO VISIT THE OUTBACK

W

hile 2019 may have been the Year of Outback Queensland Tourism, visitor numbers in 2020 are expected to be even bigger with the Premier’s announcement of the Year of Indigenous Tourism. Outback Queensland has a strong connection with Indigenous culture and heritage, and we invite you to share in the stories of Indigenous Australians with a tour through Outback Queensland. Here are just a few of the ways you can explore our cultural experiences in 2020.

RED RIDGE Red Ridge is a not-for-profit community organisation, delivering art programs and projects to marginalised and disadvantaged outback communities. Their projects include visual arts, performing arts, design, craft and textiles which can be accessed across 11 government areas in Outback Queensland. The Red Ridge team delivers programs such as fashion parades with local designers, public art displays, painting and art workshops, jewellery making and leather craft workshops.

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CARNARVON GORGE Carnarvon Gorge may be 27 million years old, but it continues to welcome up to 70,000 visitors every year, proving some things just get better with age. Located in Queensland’s Central Highlands, approximately a three-hour drive from Roma in the Carnarvon National Park, Carnarvon Gorge is home to sandstone cliffs, an abundance of bird and plant life including ancient cycads and culturally significant Indigenous artworks. It’s a bit of a hike (literally) to see the ‘Art Gallery’, considered to be one of the most significant stencil artworks in the country. Featuring over 2,000 artworks, ochre stencils and engravings, this cultural site is displayed along up to 62m of sandstone wall in the national park. To ensure the area remains untouched, a boardwalk has been erected along the wall for tourists to visit and photograph. You can experience Carnarvon Gorge on your own, but a guide is recommended. Join Australian Nature Guides: carnarvongorge. info/carnarvon-gorge-tours

WALLAROO OUTBACK RETREAT

Each and every Red Ridge program focuses on art as a mental health outlet and the importance of public art and connecting communities.

A 72,000-acre cattle station is the last place you’d expect to find Indigenous art, but Wallaroo Outback Retreat has many surprises in store for guests.

Visit Red Ridge at their headquarters in Blackall and pick up a piece of Indigenous art for yourself or get involved visiting: redridge.org.au

You’ll find the five-star retreat 89km north of Roma, amongst the Carnarvon Ranges.

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Wallaroo Station hides many Indigenous sites including the Rainbow Cave which

PHOTO: Eddie Safarik

THE YEAR OF INDIGENOUS TOURISM


INDIGENOUS TOURISM shows paintings and stencils on the rock faces and Arch Rock, a sandstone rock formation. There’s also the Axe Factory, where hundreds of rock indents tell of where blade-sharpening took place thousands of years ago. Due to the size of the property, you’ll need a helping hand to navigate these sites. The knowledgeable team at Boobook Ecotours know this land like the back of their hands.

Clockwise from far left: 2020 – Year of Indigenous Tourism Guided walk, Moss Garden Bowinda Gorge, Carnarvon Gorge National Park

Book a Carnarvon Ranges tour to learn about this site from an experienced team of ecologists and professional guides: boobookecotours.com.au

AUSTRALIAN STOCKMAN’S HALL OF FAME The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame offer a spectacular tribute to the roles Indigenous people played in the pastoral history of Outback Australia in their nightly show. A ‘Wall of Honour’ shares the stories of the Aboriginal men and women who helped shape Australia and their connection to the land.

When she’s not at Ridgee Didge Café, Cheryl also runs Trackers Tours, showcasing the best experiences of Barcaldine – from the history of the region to dinosaur encounters as well as Indigenous cultural tours. Book your tour today: trackerstours.com.au

Book your Longreach Indigenous experience: outbackheritage.com.au

CHARLEVILLE COSMOS CENTRE & OBSERVATORY

BETOOTA SERPENT

Charleville Cosmos Centre & Observatory might be known for studying the galaxy already, but as of 2020, they’re adding a new tour focused on ‘Universal Dreaming’.

Located in the Diamantina Shire, in the south-west of Outback Queensland, sits the ghost town of Betoota. Not just famous for a satirical news publication, Betoota is home to Gibbers, the Dreamtime Serpent. The serpent artwork can be seen from a distance and was created by the local women’s public art project to tell women’s Dreamtime stories. The Dreamtime Serpent represents the river systems connecting the Channel Country and was created using stone and gibbers from the region. To get there, follow the Warrego Way: outbackqueensland.com.au/drive/ warrego-way

RIDGEE DIDGE CAFÉ Based in Barcaldine, the Ridgee Didge Café is owned and operated by local Inigai woman, Cheryl Thompson. As well as a favourite breakfast and lunch haunt, Ridgee Didge Café employs Indigenous staff and provides training opportunities for local Aboriginal women. Cheryl has also created her own blend of Indigenous coffee, Coolamon Coffee, which is served in the café and represents the region. If you’re feeling peckish, stop in for a meal at the Ridgee Didge Café and look through the range of Indigenous products on sale too: ridgeedidgecafe.com.au

Toast marshmallows and be inspired by ancient stories and people’s connection to the stars around the Universal Dreaming fire pit delivered by a local Bidjara Elder. Book your Universal Dreaming tour: cosmoscentre.com To complete your Indigenous journey in Charleville, pay a visit to the Warrego River. With its rich Indigenous history, on the northside of the river you’ll find a 1.4km walking track designed by the local Aboriginal people, called ‘The Waadyanana Pathway’.

SOUTH WEST QUEENSLAND INDIGENOUS CULTURAL TRAIL Join the South West Queensland Indigenous Cultural Trail (SWQICT) on a trail of seven communities across Outback Queensland that hold significance to the local Indigenous people. A joint project between SWQICT, the Surat Aboriginal Corporation and the University of Southern Queensland Community Futures, the trail visits key cultural heritage sites across Dirranbandi to St George, Surat, Roma, Mitchell, Charleville and Cunnamulla. For more information, visit: swqict.com outbackqueensland.com.au

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AUSTRALIAN AGE OF DINOSAURS

S

ince the chance discovery of a 95-million-year-old sauropod femur in 1999, an indelible link has been created between Winton’s prehistoric past and its future. Grazier David Elliott was mustering sheep on his property near Winton when he almost rode his motorbike straight into the fragmented remains of a large, long-necked dinosaur that had become partially exposed. ‘I was in the right place at the right time,’ says Elliott, who, together with his wife Judy, devoted the subsequent two decades to setting up the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. While the discovery of dinosaur bones in Outback Queensland is nothing new – an Austrosaurus was found north of Winton in the 1920s – it took the continued publication of excavated specimens and years of work by hundreds of volunteers to make the Museum a destination. The Museum is located 24km southeast of Winton on a giant mesa called The Jump-Up, a primeval place with huge cliffs and gorges and panoramic views of the rolling plains. The Jump-Up is a beautiful wilderness area that was designated Australia’s first International Dark-Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association in 2019 to protect the unique nocturnal environment that exists on the isolated plateau. ‘When we built the Museum we wanted it to be on The Jump-Up because the top of The Jump-Up represents the Earth’s surface as it was 30 million years ago,’

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Australian Tourism Awards 2019 Finalist Major TouristTourist Attractions Attractions


AUST. AGE OF DINOSAURS

Elliott says. ‘The Jump-Up is in itself a monument to natural history. A jumpup is the Aboriginal English term for a mesa. We decided to call it The JumpUp in recognition of the Indigenous connection to the land,’ he says. Tours of the Museum are split between three areas — the Laboratory, the Collection Room housed in the Museum’s multi-award-winning Reception Centre and Dinosaur Canyon which includes four outdoor exhibits of life-sized dinosaurs. The volume of prepared fossilised specimens going through the Fossil Preparation Laboratory has made it the most productive in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the discovery of vast quantities of fossilised specimens and their preparation in the Laboratory that has contributed greatly to the Museum’s success and popularity. The hard work and enthusiastic support of hundreds of people who love to work, live and breathe the dinosaur dream is embodied in the Laboratory. Scientifically described specimens from the Laboratory are displayed in the architecturally designed Reception Centre, in the Collection Room. The temperature-controlled room houses the holotype specimens of Diamantinasaurus matildae (Matilda), Australia’s most complete sauropod skeleton, Australovenator wintonensis (Banjo), Australia’s most complete theropod skeleton, Savannasaurus elliottorum (Wade) and Ferrodraco lentoni (Butch),

Queensland’s most complete flying reptile published in 2019. From the Reception Centre visitors take a trip across The Jump-Up on the solar powered Noble Express shuttle to Dinosaur Canyon Outpost. It is here that the rich biodiversity of The Jump-Up and Channel Country is explained by Savannah Guides, and life-sized Australian bronze dinosaurs and flying reptiles come to life in the world they inhabited 95 million years ago. The Museum tour takes visitors on a journey through deep-time to explore where and how dinosaur bones are found and what’s involved in digging them up. Visitors will see fossils being worked on and revealed for the first time in at least 95 million years, then meticulously pieced back together again, researched and displayed for everyone’s fascination and enjoyment. Countless visitors recommend the Museum as a ‘must see’ experience and for many, guided tours of the Museum spark a greater interest and desire to get involved. One program offered to members of the public is the PrepA-Dino experience. If you’d like to experience the thrill of working with real dinosaur bones, new to science and each a national treasure, you can! Work with museum staff to remove rock from the fossils with pneumatic scribes prior to them being studied by palaeontologists. In the words of Mike Radel, who stayed for 10 days to attain his Honorary

Clockwise from left: Visitors enjoy the Dinosaur Stampede exhibit at Dinosaur Canyon During tours of the Laboratory visitors are able to touch real 95-millionyear-old dinosaur fossils The Guardian of the Bridge, the watchful Winton ornithopod at Dinosaur Canyon Life-sized concrete dinosaur bones on display in the Death in the Billabong exhibit at Dinosaur Canyon The beauty of the southern night sky on show at Australia’s first International Dark-Sky Sanctuary: The Jump-Up

Technician certification, it was ‘a rare and thrilling endeavour … addictive.’ By the end of 2020 visitors will also be able to visit the March of the Titanosaurs exhibition, featuring a relocated 60m-long sauropod trackway and Gondwana Stars Observatory, designed to view Winton’s extraordinary night-sky through the lenses of large telescopes. Construction on an additional multimillion-dollar Australian Age of Dinosaurs’ Museum of Natural History is planned for 2022. David says it has been ‘an honour and a privilege’ to give back to the community. ‘It used to be that visitors travelled through Outback Queensland to get to somewhere else. Now they are coming to Outback Queensland in order to delve into Australia’s natural history,’ he says. outbackqueensland.com.au

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SNAP A SELFIE ON AUSTRALIA’S FIRST GLASS BRIDGE AT THE MULTI-AWARD WINNING

COBBOLD GORGE

TOURS AND ACCOMMODATION

D

eep in the heart of Outback Queensland’s Gulf Savannah region lies the hidden gem of Cobbold Gorge. Discovered by cattle grazier Simon Terry, this hidden oasis lied tucked away within rugged sandstone formations. ‘I still remember vividly as we went around the first bend of the creek it started to unfold. I knew straight away this was an unknown treasure. The Gorge seemed to go on forever. We felt as though we needed to not speak. We switched the motor off and listened to the sounds of silence. It was incredible. That day was 1993 when we discovered a natural wonder in our own backyard and I knew we needed to share this discovery with the rest of the world.’ With the discovery of Cobbold Gorge on the family cattle station they took the leap to diversify and commenced operation of a tourism business with exclusive access to Cobbold Gorge. The main criteria of the operation was to conduct minimal impact on the environment whilst protecting, interpreting and showcasing this natural asset. Through continual development and innovation this tourism destination is now a three time Silver winner of the Australian Tourism Awards, and seven time Gold winner of the Queensland Tourism Awards for Hosted Accommodation and Tourist Attractions.

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wildlife corridor. Our pledge to protect this unique environment, combining Savannah Guides training, allows us to offer the very best experiences.

Nature Cobbold Gorge is a natural attraction set amongst the rugged Hampstead sandstone. The six kilometre long gorge is characterised by a series of water holes, rock falls and 30 metre high walls that narrow to just two metres wide in places. As it is spring fed, the water level remains constant throughout the year and delicate ferns and grasses thrive along the waterline. These unique features of Cobbold Gorge offer visitors a naturebased experience through interactive tours and informative commentary.

Geological Cobbold Gorge was created by a series of geological processes. This unique geology is interpreted during a guided bush walk to the top of the escarpment, then crossing over the new Cobbold Gorge Glass Bridge where guests are rewarded with a magnificent 360-degree view of the Gorge below, before circling down to then silently glide through the narrows of the Gorge where the walls tell the story of time. A guided tour provides visitors with an unforgettable insight to the geological story that continues to unfold each day.

COBBOLD GORGE TOURS

Adventure

In 2009 our commitment to environmental sustainability saw the creation of a 4,720 hectare Cobbold Gorge Nature Refuge and

The focal point of the tours is the Gorge. Guests can either navigate through the last 500 metres of the Gorge on a Stand

outbackqueensland.com.au

Australian Tourism Awards 2019 Finalist

Australian Tourism Awards 2019 Finalist

Hosted Accommodation

Tourist Attractions


COBBOLD GORGE Up Paddle Board (SUP) or Cruise via custom-made, ‘silent’ electric powered boats. Both have been designed to ensure minimal disturbance to the abundant wildlife, in addition to enabling visitors to hear the sounds of nature as they glide along the water. It is a truly sensory experience for visitors as they listen to water dripping from seepage in the rocks and birds calling overhead. They slowly and silently pass in close proximity to the walls of the Gorge, and are treated to a visual spectacle of colour, light and shade on the towering sandstone cliffs, at one point gently touching the walls as they crouch to pass under an overhang. Native fish and turtles are visible below the surface and Johnstone River crocodiles are often spotted on rocky outcrops. In order to protect the fragile environment, access to Cobbold Gorge is by guided tour only from the water, land or air via scenic helicopter flights.

Historical European history is interpreted during the tours in the form of the stories of the early explorers and pastoralists Frank Edward Cobbold, brothers John and Patrick Corbett and John Graham MacDonald. These men and their families were instrumental in opening up the North and their achievements are retold during the tour.

Howlong Station The history of cattle grazing covers the cattle grazing pursuit of the Clarke and Terry families and their origins. The fire, flood and famine endured over the ages and thus determining the breed of cattle grazed today. As an authentic working station, every guest gets a touch of this life by driving to Cobbold Gorge through the grazing lands, and those who do a helicopter flight get a much greater overview of the station.

COBBOLD VILLAGE A warm welcome, a friendly smile and genuine outback hospitality is waiting for you. Getting off the beaten track doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or convenience at Cobbold Village. Cobbold Village provides a unique blend of accommodation, recreational, dining and licensed bar facilities. The village is nestled in a beautiful natural 22 acre setting that is characterised by kangaroos and forest Mitchell grasses, rocky ridges, basalt boulders, cycads and towering ironbark and eucalypt trees. More than 100 species of birds have been identified in the area. A chorus of birds greets visitors at dawn each morning and resident agile wallabies can be seen quenching their thirst in the village dam. Guests gather around the campfire at night to reflect on the day and meet new friends.

Clockwise from top left: Cobbold Gorge has Australia’s first glass bridge Take a guided tour through the Gorge Cobbold Village Walking along the glass bridge

Whether you’re an adventurous grey nomad, on a family holiday, with your partner, children or travelling on your own, Cobbold Village has accommodation options to suit every traveller and budget. Guests have a choice of 30 air-conditioned cabins, 38 caravan sites (powered and self-contained) and 20 shaded campsites that are strategically located in the surrounding natural environment. Daily meals, snacks and beverages are available from Cobbold Bistro and licensed bar which overlooks the village dam. Access to a range of complementary recreational activities are available at the village including bushwalking, mountain biking, bird watching, canoeing, aqua golf and self drive itineraries. For those seeking total relaxation, the highly Instagrammable infinity pool with Outback Queensland’s first swim up bar provides the perfect venue. Guided tours and scenic helicopter rides over the surrounding landscape depart daily from Cobbold Village during the dry from 1 April till 31 October annually. outbackqueensland.com.au

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SALTBUSH RETREAT

AUTHENTIC OUTBACK ACCOMMODATION FOR THE DISCERNING TRAVELLER

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he outback symbolises the essence of Australia to many visitors. Picture sprawling cattle stations, rustic buildings, old bathtubs doubling as stock tanks, endless starry skies and fiery outback sunsets. If, like many travellers, you are keen to explore but are doubly keen to hang on to life’s luxuries, then read on. After arriving at Longreach Airport, take your seat in Saltbush Retreat’s airconditioned shuttle bus for transfer and check-in. While on the shuttle, enjoy the light-hearted banter from your driver, a born and bred local. Yep, there’s bound to be a good story or two here! On the short drive they’ll point out the close proximity of both the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum – just a short stroll away from your accommodation. If you’re looking to hear a few more stories about the town, hop on their complimentary Local Legends Town Tour (subject to availability). Ask about the schedule when you check in.



Self Contained Accommodation



Self Contained Accommodation

As you pass through the gate to Saltbush Retreat, you’ll see the 3.5 star Outback Cabins, perfect for those seeking comfort and convenience. But given the theme of this story is ‘luxury in the Outback’, let’s talk more about the 4 star Slab Huts and the 4.5 star Homestead Stables. Often described as rustic but beautiful accommodation, these more recent additions to the property have been designed to capture the unique textures and tones of Outback Queensland. Recreating an early settler’s home, the Slab Huts have been crafted using traditional outback building techniques with some quirky outback features. Picture canopied queen bed, copper bathroom sink, leather tub chairs and private rustic verandah – perfect for watching the nocturnal Eastern Grey Kangaroos gather at dusk to feed. Or, is that a Whistling Kite you see circling overhead? The exquisite Homestead Stables were inspired by the stable boys quarters found

WHAT’S IN A NAME? What’s in a name? Old Man Saltbush is a fast-growing shrub native to the Longreach region. Traditionally, its seeds were used as a food source by the Aboriginal people. Its leaves are edible, salty in flavour and rich in protein, antioxidants and minerals. Guests can expect to see plenty of Saltbush growing naturally around the property.

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RETREATS on an outback station in years gone by; but with a few more luxury items than what was offered to the stable boys! Step inside and you’ll appreciate the impressive cool concrete and corrugated iron interiors. Spot lampshades fashioned from barbed wire, a magnificent old gate doubling as a bedhead, and an enormous ensuite bathroom with double copper sink. True to the theme, the room features a traditional stable door where the top and bottom halves open independently. Guests staying in Slab Huts or Homestead Stables have access to the exclusive Outdoor Bath Terrace. To those unfamiliar with this term, visualise a raised timber deck and three authentic clawfoot baths paired with quirky side tables fashioned from sawn off logs. Pop on your bathers, pre-fill the clawfoot bath and enjoy a luxurious soak under a blanket of spectacular outback stars. For an added treat, organise with reception for a bath pamper pack and tasty nibbles platter to enjoy with your favourite beverage. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options are available for purchase. So, here’s the thing. You can have an authentic outback holiday and keep your luxury creature comforts. Ditch your plans for your usual weekend away destination and choose Saltbush Retreat instead. It’s the same flight time from Brisbane to Longreach as it is to Melbourne, but it’s a world away in experiences.

Opposite page top: Slab Hut interior Opposite page middle: Outdoor Bath Terrace Opposite page bottom: Homestead Stables interior Below: Slab Hut verandah Above right: Birds on the Mitchell Grass Plain

MITCHELL GRASS RETREAT ‘HERALDING A NEW ERA OF GLAMPING IN LONGREACH’

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t began as an idea over a quiet sunset drink as they surveyed the surrounding Mitchell Grass plains……

Tanya and David Neal have lived in Longreach for 12 years and for the last seven have called their 60 acre property, just a few minutes’ drive from town, home. They’re not new to the hospitality industry either – sharing the management of two other Longreach accommodation properties (Longreach Motor Inn and Saltbush Retreat) with Judy and Damien Kennedy. So back to the sunset……and the Mitchell Grass plains….. As the golden red hues changed to deep blue, they marvelled at the clarity of the outback sky at night. The stars were shining so brightly from the inky darkness; a sky free from the light pollution found in towns and cities. This is the outback they want to share with their visitors. It’s all about getting back to basics. They wanted to create an authentic outback experience that is low impact on the environment and blends seamlessly into the Mitchell Grass landscape. Glamping Tents ticked all the boxes for three key guest benefits; technologydetox, nature-based break and spending quality time with friends and families. Glamping or ‘glamorous camping’ proved the solution for giving guests the best of the great outdoors while keeping the comforts of home. Each of the 15 permanent luxury tents will feature a private deck plus ensuite

bathroom complete with a huge tub and even bigger views. The spacious open plan design also boasts a kitchenette and sumptuous king-size bed. Families are very welcome and can be accommodated in one of the five family tents which include a king-size bed plus swags for the kids – what an adventure! Taking hero spot in the shared space is the sparkling saltwater pool (solar heated in winter) and communal firepit. Some tents have their own private firepit; ideal for cosy winter nights. No need to pack the esky with your brekky supplies either. Guests can access a daily breakfast bar in the shared space. Whilst there’s no doubt the hero heritage attractions in Longreach are top class, it’s the lesser known natural attractions that David and Tanya want to share with you. Starlight’s Lookout is a striking Jumpup (Mesa) around 40km northeast of Longreach. Head out for sunrise or sunset for spectacular 360-degree views after a short climb. If you’re keen to extend the adventure, then perhaps a sunset Helicopter flight might do the trick. Kayak enthusiasts will be amazed at the birdlife they’ll spot along the Thomson River. There’s even plans for some Yoga and wellness retreats. Watch this space. Mitchell Grass Retreat will open in April 2020. Visit www.mitchellgrassretreat.com.au for more information. outbackqueensland.com.au

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OUTBACK

NATIONAL PARKS

BLADENSBURG NATIONAL PARK In Mitchell Grass Downs and Channel Country, vast grassland plains surround impressive flat-topped plateaus and sandstone ranges. See an amazing variety of wildlife and glimpse the rich Aboriginal heritage and pastoral history of Bladensburg. Bush camp at Bough Shed Hole, where wallaroos, red kangaroos and prolific birdlife will keep you company. Don’t miss: Drive the 72km return ‘Route of the River Gum’ to discover many places of interest including waterholes along mostly-dry Surprise Creek. Explore the restored Bladensburg Homestead, now an information centre. Getting there: Access is from Winton via the Winton-Jundah Road and the Route of the River Gum.

BOODJAMULLA (LAWN HILL) NATIONAL PARK

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Getting there: Access is from Mount Isa via the Overlander’s Way and CamoowealGregory Downs Road. 4WD vehicles are required.

sandstone walls of this site of deep cultural significance. Discover what lies above the cliff line on the 6.4km return Boolimba Bluff walk.

CAMOOWEAL CAVES NATIONAL PARK

Getting there: Access is from Injune and Rolleston via the Carnarvon Highway and the sealed 45km Carnarvon Gorge road.

Wide expanses of Mitchell grass plains and spinifex woodland cover the Barkly Tablelands, while beneath the surface, caves and sinkholes have formed in 500-million-year-old dolomite. Take a picnic break in this peaceful park. Watch for woodland birds and waterbirds, and stroll to view cave and sinkhole entrances (access not permitted). Explore the park’s internal roads by mountain bike. Getting there: Access is from Mount Isa via the Overlander’s Way and Urandangi Road. 4WD vehicles are recommended.

CARNARVON NATIONAL PARK – CARNARVON GORGE SECTION

Lawn Hill Creek has carved a spectacular gorge into ancient sandstone, with orange cliffs towering above emerald green waters, creating an oasis in the arid landscape of the Barkly Tablelands and Gulf Savanna Plains. At Riversleigh World Heritage Site, 25-million-year-old fossils reveal our prehistoric past. Bush camp in Lawn Hill Gorge or by the banks of the Gregory River.

Hidden in the rugged ranges of Queensland’s central highlands, Carnarvon Gorge features towering sandstone cliffs, vibrantly coloured side gorges, diverse flora and fauna and Aboriginal rock art. Camp in the national park visitor area during Easter, June – July and September – October Queensland school holidays, or bush camp at walk-in Big Bend camping area year round. Spend several days exploring the gorge on foot to appreciate the natural beauty of this rugged wilderness and its exceptional Aboriginal rock art sites.

Don’t miss: Learn about Waanyi Aboriginal culture at Wild Dog Dreaming and view ancient rock art and stone engravings. Paddle a canoe through the peaceful gorge, spotting for turtles and birds along the way. Discover fossils of ancient mammals, giant birds and huge crocs on the Riversleigh Fossil trail.

Don’t miss: Crisscross Carnarvon Creek as it winds to a tranquil pool at Big Bend on the 19km return Main Gorge walking track. Explore side-tracks leading to narrow, hidden gorges and timeless rock art sites. At the Art Gallery, gaze at more than 2,000 engravings, ochre stencils and freehand paintings adorning the 62m-long

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CARNARVON NATIONAL PARK – KA KA MUNDI SECTION More than 30km of remote sandstone escarpments and plateaus of the Great Dividing Range dominate the skyline in this remote section of the park. Old cattle yards near some of the springs are reminders of early European history. Bush camp at Bunbuncundoo Springs sheltered by overhanging sandstone cliffs. Don’t miss: Visit the springs and spot a myriad of wildlife attracted to the water, including king parrots, wompoo fruitdoves and swamp wallabies. Admire views of imposing Mount Mooloolong’s craggy sandstone spire or Mount Ka Ka Mundi, a remnant of volcanic basalt. Getting there: Access is from Springsure via the Dawson Development Road, Buckland Road and signed tracks through Yandaburra. 4WD vehicles are recommended.

CARNARVON NATIONAL PARK – MOUNT MOFFATT SECTION Sculpted sandstone outcrops, spectacular views from the highest plateau in Queensland and highly significant Aboriginal rock art sites are features of this section. Camp near the Maranoa River, or at the Rotary Shelter Shed with amazing views, or in shaded woodland near Marlong Creek. Don’t miss: Visit cultural sites and rock formations, such as Cathedral Rock and


NATIONAL PARKS

Lawn Hill National Park

The Tombs, on the lower sandstone slopes, before climbing to the top of the basalt-crested plateau for magnificent views. Drive the 37km Mount Moffatt circuit past many of the park’s main features or tackle the high-clearance 4WD track to the head of Carnarvon Creek. Getting there: Access is from Mitchell or Injune via Womblebank Station. High-clearance 4WD vehicles are recommended. Allow three hours’ travel time from either town.

CARNARVON NATIONAL PARK – SALVATOR ROSA SECTION In this western-most section of Carnarvon, crystal clear springs flow into Louisa Creek and the Nogoa River that meander beneath rocky sandstone crags and spires. Bush camp on the broad sand bank of the Nogoa River. Don’t miss: Enjoy easy walks and sightseeing through this open country as you explore the park on foot to see flowing springs and towering sandstone formations. Go birdwatching and admire wildflower displays in spring. Picnic beneath a skyline of ragged, pink-hued cliffs at Louisa Creek junction. Getting there: Access is from Springsure via the Dawson Developmental Road and from Tambo via the loop road Wilderness Way. 4WD vehicles are required.

COMBO WATERHOLE CONSERVATION PARK Waterholes on the many-braided channels of the Diamantina River, which meanders across the Mitchell grass downs, provide a refuge for wildlife in dry times. The most famous of these waterholes, Combo Waterhole, may have been the inspiration for bush poet Banjo Paterson’s ‘Waltzing

Matilda’, our unofficial anthem. Walk around the waterhole, spotting for birdlife along the way, and picnic under the shade of a coolabah tree. Getting there: Access is from Winton along the Matilda Way. 4WD vehicles are recommended.

CULGOA FLOODPLAIN NATIONAL PARK Coolabahs, black box and grasses flourish on this floodplain in the Murray-Darling Basin, a haven for wildlife. Bush camp under coolabahs and river red gums beside lagoons. Spot waterbirds in the wetlands, and look for emus, mulga parrots, Major Mitchell cockatoos and apostlebirds on the plains. After rain, listen and look for elusive water-holding frogs. Getting there: Access is from Cunnamulla or St George via sealed and unsealed roads. A 4WD vehicle is essential.

CURRAWINYA NATIONAL PARK

Getting there: Access is from Cunnamulla via Eulo and the Hungerford Road. 4WD vehicles are required.

DIAMANTINA NATIONAL PARK Arid lands of sand dunes, grass plains and weathered sandstone ranges merge with the many braided channels of the Diamantina River. Wetlands support many resident and migratory birds. Bush camp at Hunters Gorge and Gum Hole camping areas. Discover relics from pioneer settler days, enjoy majestic desert views and enjoy rewarding birdwatching. Don’t miss: Explore the 90km one-way Warracoota Circuit Drive to learn about the desert landscape and its importance to the Maiawali and Karuwali people. Visit Janet’s Leap lookout for a bird’s-eye view of picturesque Diamantina Gates. Getting there: Access is from Winton via the Kennedy Developmental Road and an unsealed track following the Diamantina River. 4WD vehicles are essential.

EXPEDITION NATIONAL PARK Red sandplains, rocky ranges and mulga scrubs contrast with rivers, wetlands and two large sprawling lakes in one of Queensland’s largest parks. Bush camp or picnic at Ourimperee waterhole, along the Paroo River or at Myninya, a semi-permanent wetland. Discover a rich Aboriginal heritage and pastoral history dating from the 1860s and reflect on a bygone era at once-bustling woolsheds. Don’t miss: Stroll freshwater Lake Numalla’s sandy shoreline or birdwatch over mesmerising saltwater Lake Wyara – full to the brim one visit, parched dry another. Enjoy fishing, canoeing and spectacular birdwatching around the lakes. Learn about the endangered bilby, being given a ‘second chance’.

Rugged gorges with high sandstone cliffs, spectacular views of the Carnarvon ranges, and colourful wildflowers in late winter and spring are highlights of this rugged outback park which includes Robinson Gorge, Lonesome and Beilba sections. Camp at Starkvale (Robinson Gorge) among the eucalypts beside a permanent waterhole, or at Beilba in open woodland with views over a rocky gorge, or at Lonesome in a grassy area surrounded by brigalow scrub and forest on the banks of the Dawson River. Don’t miss: Hike to a lookout and gaze into the deeply-dissected Robinson Gorge, or head to Shepherds Peak for views over the surrounding peaks and valleys. Admire outbackqueensland.com.au

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LAKE BINDEGOLLY NATIONAL PARK A string of salt and freshwater wetlands provide an important wildlife refuge in an arid landscape – thousands of waterbirds flock to this inland oasis to feed and breed. Enjoy a picnic and explore the 9km Lake Bindegolly circuit around the lake’s edge, birdwatching along the way. See wildflowers in spring. Getting there: Access is from Cunnamulla via the Adventure Way.

LAKE MURPHY CONSERVATION PARK

Lookout, Kroombit Tops

Beilba’s wildflower displays of grevilleas, flannel flowers, acacias and pea flowers in late winter and spring. Enjoy rewarding birdwatching by day and spotlighting by night for gliders, geckoes and owls. Getting there: Access to Robinson Gorge section is via Taroom or Bauhinia Downs; access to the Lonesome and Beilba sections is via Injune.

HELL HOLE GORGE NATIONAL PARK The deep gorges, rugged cliff-lines and waterholes and rock pools of remote Hell Hole Gorge contrast starkly with the harsh, arid mulga landscape. Bush camp near the waterhole, hike around waterholes and stroll along the top of the plateau high above the creek. Spot redtailed black cockatoos, spinifex pigeons and yellow-footed rock wallabies, and see stunning wildflower displays after rain. Getting there: Access is from Adavale via unsealed Adavale-Blackall road and MiloGooyea road. 4WD vehicles are required.

IDALIA NATIONAL PARK Craggy escarpments emerge from dense mulga woodland on the Gowan Range tablelands. Bush camp in thick mulga scrub at Monks Tank and go birdwatching, wildlife spotting, scenic driving and exploring historical sites. Tick six species of kangaroos and wallabies off your ‘must see’ list. Imagine stories behind the rusty iron and splintered bush timber of old stockyards, huts and pastoral-era relics at Old Idalia. Don’t miss: Walk to Wave Rock, a cliff overhang carved over time by wind and sun; and Rainbow Gorge, a mass of white, red and yellow-stained sandstone. Getting there: Access is from Blackall via Isisford Road, Yaraka Road and ldaliaBenlidi Road. 4WD vehicles are required.

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ISLA GORGE NATIONAL PARK

Soft precipice sandstone has eroded into a breathtaking panorama of cliffs, peaks, overhangs, tunnels and arches. See this breathtaking panorama change from yellow to orange and pink with the angle of the sun. Enjoy brilliant displays of wildflowers, panoramic views or walk the historic hand-paved Flagstaff Road. Stop over on your journey for a picnic or camp atop a cliff face and watch the sunrise over the landscape below. Getting there: Access to Isla Gorge lookout is from Miles or Banana via the Leichhardt Highway and a short access road.

KROOMBIT TOPS NATIONAL PARK

Standing above surrounding farmlands, the sandstone escarpments, gorges, creeks and waterfalls of Kroombit Tops provide a cool retreat. Bush camp by the side of a creek or in a tall blackbutt forest setting. Listen for the unusual call of the endangered Kroombit tinkerfrog – a series of sharp, metallic ‘tinks’. Don’t miss: Discover the final resting place of Beautiful Betsy, a WWII Liberator bomber that crashed on the plateau in 1945. Hike the Escarpment track through open blackbutt forest for glimpses of the Boyne Valley or explore Kroombit Tops’ unusual tropical rainforest along the Rainforest walk. Getting there: Major access routes are from Gladstone, Biloela, Monto or Ubobo. 4WD vehicles are required (2WD access is possible from Gladstone and Ubobo, with limited access within the park).

Nestled beneath Murphy’s Range in the central highlands, Lake Murphy is a perched lake that fills only when nearby Robinson Creek overflows. Following rain, see ducks and large wading birds revelling in the shallows of this ephemeral perched lake, or, in the dry season, watch wallabies graze the land where water has evaporated. Camp in the pleasant semi-shaded open camping area and spotlight at night for greater gliders and masked and powerful owls. Getting there: Access is from Miles or Banana via the Leichhardt Highway and Fitzroy Developmental Road.

LARK QUARRY CONSERVATION PARK Ancient rocks have been eroded into a striking landscape of jump-up country with flat-topped hills (mesas), gullies and steep, broken escarpments. Take the ‘roller-coaster’ drive over these ancient mesas to the site where, 95 million years ago, dinosaurs left more than 4,000 footprints on the shores of a lake! The footprints are now protected in a stateof-the-art building, Trackways. Access is by guided tour only, fees apply – tickets can be purchased in Winton. Don’t miss: Step back into the age of dinosaurs on a guided tour of the Dinosaur Trackways. Explore walks through spinifex and climb broken escarpments to gaze east over Mitchell grass plains. Getting there: Access is from Winton via the Winton-Jundah Road. 4WD vehicles are recommended.

LOCHERN NATIONAL PARK In this ‘boom and bust’ country, devastating droughts are followed by flooding rains that nourish the plains and transform parched channels into wetlands teeming with life. Camp by a permanent waterhole in the shade of coolabah trees. Throw in a line at any waterhole; and canoe or kayak at Broadwater Waterhole. Explore the 40km Lochern habitat drive to


NATIONAL PARKS see relics from the area’s pastoral history and watch waterbirds in the lagoon. Getting there: Access is from Longreach via the Longreach-Jundah road and an unsealed road to the park boundary. 4WD vehicles are recommended.

MOORINYA NATIONAL PARK Dry, flat plains clad in open woodlands and criss-crossed by seasonal watercourses provide a refuge for wildlife. Bush camp near the old Shirley shearing shed and explore the park’s internal roads by 4WD or mountain bike. Look for red kangaroos, common wallaroos and koalas. At night listen for barking owls and look for sugar gliders soaring between trees. Getting there: Access is from Townsville via the Overlander’s Way and Aramac Torrens Creek Road. 4WD vehicles are recommended.

MOUNT SCORIA CONSERVATION PARK This striking mountain, a volcanic plug formed by volcanic activity 20–26 million years ago, rises above plains of grazing land and features many-sided basalt columns, rocky scree slopes, open woodlands, vine thickets and diverse birdlife. Have a bush picnic, go birdwatching or simply enjoy the park’s wildlife. Explore the short walk to the base of the mountain for views of the summit, the distinctive basalt columns and scree slopes. Getting there: Access is from Biloela and Thangool via the Burnett Highway and a 5km sealed road.

MUNGA-THIRRI (SIMPSON DESERT) NATIONAL PARK In Queensland’s largest park (1 million hectares of the Simpson Desert), 80,000-year-old parallel dunes, with bare windswept crests and slopes secured by spinifex and cane grass, are separated by flat plains of wind-polished gibber pebbles, mineral-encrusted claypans and open shrub lands. Bush camp under starlit skies and experience exhilarating isolation of ‘big dune’ country. Discover wildlife adapted to harsh conditions such as mulgaras (burrowing marsupials), lizards hiding in spinifex clumps and many species of birds. Don’t miss: Stop and snap a photo atop Big Red to mark the start of your desert adventure. At Poeppel Corner, marvel at the large salt lakes where Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory meet. Getting there: Access is from Birdsville via the old Birdsville track, private property and desert tracks. High-clearance 4WD vehicles are essential.

Lawn Hill Gorge, Boodjamulla National Park

NOTE: All national parks within the Simpson Desert are closed annually from 1 December to 15 March due to high daytime temperatures.

gums grow atop vivid red sand dunes. Bush camp near the Barcoo River. Explore the Desert Drive through spinifex and red sand country, and enjoy birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Discover Aboriginal cultural sites including water wells and stone arrangements.

PORCUPINE GORGE NATIONAL PARK Towering cliffs of coloured sandstone, pockets of vine forest and deep permanent waterholes along Porcupine Creek contrast with the savannah plains surrounding Porcupine Gorge. Bush camp near the rim of the gorge and gaze over this ‘little Grand Canyon’ from the lookout. Don’t miss: Walk down into the gorge to discover the pyramid-shaped sandstone monolith rising dramatically from the gorge floor and explore sculpted sandstone pools of Porcupine Creek.

Getting there: Access from the south is via Blackall, Quilpie or Windorah, and from the north via Longreach or Jundah. 4WD vehicle is recommended.

WHITE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK This rugged wilderness of spectacular white sandstone bluffs and gorges features diverse plants and animals. Stop for a picnic at the scenic Burra Range lookout. Camp in an open woodland setting at Canns Camp Creek. Mountain bike ride to Sawpit Gorge lookout or Poison Valley. Look for frilled lizards and spiny knob-tailed geckos among rocky outcrops, and in winter see colourful displays of wildflowers.

Getting there: Access is from Hughenden via the Kennedy Developmental Road.

WELFORD NATIONAL PARK

Getting there: Access is from Charters Towers and Hughenden via the Overlander’s Way.

The coolabah-lined Barcoo River slices through Mitchell grass plains and arid mulga woodlands; and spinifex and ghost

TRAVEL SAFELY

Many parks in Outback Queensland are very remote, with minimum services and no facilities. You need to be experienced in remote area travel and self-sufficient with food, water and fuel. Plan ahead; camping permits and fees must be paid in advance. Check Park Alerts for park access, closures and conditions.

For important safety tips visit: www.parks.des.qld.gov.au/experiences/safety_in_parks_and_forests.html

Connect with Queensland National Parks: qld.gov.au/NationalParks

qldnationalparks

qld.gov.au/Camping

@QldParks; #QldParks

qld.gov.au/ParkAlerts

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Getting t here RAIL

THE INLANDER

Enjoy the beauty of an outback adventure and travel by train. Travelling to Outback Queensland is easier and more comfortable than ever before with Queensland Rail Travel.

To experience the natural treasures of North Queensland’s rugged yet beautiful bushland, hop aboard The Inlander. From the tropics of Townsville to Australia’s rodeo capital, Mount Isa, The Inlander takes you on a historic journey past Charters Towers and through the Great Dividing Range. Sit back and relax in forward-facing seats as you watch the coastlines turn to the vast outback landscapes.

Offering a range of travel options to the outback, the Queensland Rail Travel network goes from Brisbane to Cairns and west to Charleville, Longreach and Mount Isa. Choose your own journey with access to a range of outback destinations with these rail services:

SPIRIT OF THE OUTBACK This fascinating overnight journey spanning between Brisbane and Longreach offers a unique insight into the history and culture of early Australia. Wonder at the ever-changing landscape, as the Spirit of the Outback journeys through the heritage towns of Blackwater, Emerald and Barcaldine, before arriving into the very heart of the Queensland outback, Longreach. From the comfort of your Economy Seat or First Class Sleeper, watch the outback come to life in front of your eyes and enjoy hearty outback inspired, chef-prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner with some of the best of Queensland’s produce. Connect with the available coach service from Longreach to Winton to explore the home of Waltzing Matilda. The Spirit of the Outback departs Brisbane on Tuesday and Saturday, and Longreach on Monday and Thursday.

THE WESTLANDER

The Inlander departs Townsville on Wednesday and Saturday and Mount Isa on Thursday and Sunday.

THE GULFLANDER All aboard the historic Gulflander! This legendary railmotor takes travellers on a five-hour journey along the heritage-listed Normanton to Croydon line. You’ll travel along the original rail and sleepers, laid between 1888 and 1891. Known as the ‘Tin Hare’, the Gulflander is one of the remaining great characters of the rail world. The train which goes from ‘nowhere to nowhere’ winds its way through the wetlands and grasslands of the Gulf Savannah and is the perfect way to discover an area steeped in pioneering history. Train enthusiasts and history buffs alike will enjoy the onboard staff of accredited Savannah Guides. The Gulflander operates weekly from Normanton to Croydon on Wednesday and Croydon to Normanton on Thursday with Thursday’s return journey allowing more time to stop for photo opportunities.

Discover the pioneering essence of Outback Queensland with a journey aboard The Westlander. This 777-kilometre scenic journey from Brisbane travels across the Great Dividing Range and through the rich farmlands of the Darling Downs, and out to Charleville via Roma. You’ll enjoy a comfortable journey where you can grab a window seat, sit back and watch the striking scenery pass you by. An array of Outback Queensland experiences await you at your destination or you can connect with the available coach service to explore the nearby outback towns of Cunnamulla and Quilpie. The Westlander departs Brisbane on Tuesday and Thursday, and Charleville on Wednesday and Friday.

Allow Queensland Rail Travel to plan your next ultimate rail journey by calling 1800 627 655 or visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au.

Visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au or see your local travel agent. QRT4005.4


OUTBACK QUEENSLAND

TRAVEL TIPS

WITH 901,574KM2 OF LANDSCAPE (THAT’S TWICE THE SIZE OF CALIFORNIA TO GIVE YOU SOME CONTEXT), OUTBACK QUEENSLAND CAN BE A DAUNTING EXPERIENCE FOR A FIRST-TIME TRAVELLER. BUT DON’T BE SCARED – WE PROMISE IT’S A FRIENDLY PLACE.

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o make planning your trip west a bit easier, take note of these tips to make the most of your maiden voyage to the outback.

PACK ALL THE ESSENTIALS Major highway fuel stops are rarely more than 200 kilometres apart, so it should not be necessary to carry extra fuel. However when you do see ‘no fuel’ signs, it means exactly that. If you’re driving, we recommend packing the car with road trip essentials like a first aid kit, a spare tyre, and a good tool box to ensure you’re prepared for anything.

CHECK THE WEATHER Hot, sunny days and Outback Queensland go hand in hand, however the most temperate travelling weather is between April and October (winter/spring). Remember, no matter the season, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen is recommended for any time of the year. While you can’t deny the temperatures of Outback Queensland in summer, you won’t regret packing the woollies if visiting between April and August. Winter nights can fall below freezing, so you don’t want to be without a warm swag, gloves and a cuppa.

TIME YOUR TRIP WITH AN EVENT If you need an excuse to head to the outback, time your trip with Outback Queensland’s calendar chock full of memorable and quirky outback events.

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Not only is the outback home to the biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere (aka the Mount Isa Rodeo) and the world’s most remote music festival (here’s looking at you Birdsville Big Red Bash), the outback offers a range of sporting, race and cultural events.

BECOME AN ‘OUTBACK MATES’ MEMBER How would you like Mates rates for your travels? With over 300 deals on accommodation, food, tours and merchandise, make the first card you pull out of your wallet your Outback Mates one. Pick up yours online for $20 at www.outbackmates.com.au or at any participating Visitor Information Centres.

PREPARE FOR A DIGITAL DETOX While most towns have phone coverage with the Telstra network, expect a ‘no service’ reading travelling between towns. A satellite phone and/or UHF radio are always recommended while travelling.

DROP INTO THE LOCAL VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE You’re guaranteed more than a friendly ‘G’day’ at your closest Visitor Information Centre, which can help you with the latest local information in each town. You’ll be able to get any required permits as well as stock up on maps, brochures and guides that share where to go and what to do in the outback.


TUNE INTO LOCAL RADIO FREQUENCIES FOR THE LATEST TRAVEL AND WEATHER INFORMATION Bedourie, Birdsville, Boulia – 106.1 FM Biloela – 94.9 FM Charleville – 603 AM Cunnamulla – 106.1 FM Julia Creek – 567 AM Longreach – 540 AM Mount Isa – 106.5 FM Quilpie – 106.1 FM Roma – 711 AM Tambo – 105.9 FM Theodore – 105.9 FM

Visit a Visitor Information Centre for latest road conditions or visit qld.traffic.qld.gov.au / 131 940.

GETTING THERE

WATCH OUT FOR WILDLIFE

RAIL EXPERIENCES Jump on board one of four outback rail services for a scenic route to the outback, where you can sit back and relax and watch the coast turn to country. Queensland Rail services include: ■ Spirit of the Outback (Brisbane to Longreach) ■ The Westlander (Brisbane to Charleville) ■ The Inlander (Townsville to Mount Isa) ■ The Savannahlander (Cairns to Forsayth)

Enjoy a classic outback road trip without being the driver, with a bus journey, taking you across the major drive routes of Outback Queensland.

AIR CONNECTIONS If you’re short on time but big on experiences, see the outback from above. Qantas, Virgin and/or REX service: ■ Barcaldine

■ Cloncurry

■ Mount Isa

■ Windorah

■ Bedourie

■ Cunnamulla

■ Quilpie

■ Winton

■ Birdsville

■ Hughenden

■ Richmond

■ Boulia

■ Julia Creek

■ Roma

■ Charleville

■ Longreach

■ Thargomindah

SELF DRIVES Embark on the ultimate outback road trip with eight major drive routes taking you to all corners of the Outback. You can also pick up a hire car from major retailers like AVIS, Budget and Hertz from Roma, Charleville, Longreach, and Mount Isa Airports.

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Most active at dawn and dusk, these Aussie animals enjoy grazing on the edges of the roads, and often wander across them in front of unsuspecting cars. Where possible, time any driving to the middle of the day, and if you do have to drive in twilight, please take extra caution.

BE CAUTIOUS ON THE ROADS

BUS SERVICES

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From kangaroos and emus to cattle and echidnas, there is no shortage of wildlife to play ‘I Spy’ with in Outback Queensland.

Take care when passing and overtaking road trains, heavy vehicles and caravans. Ensure you have a clear line of sight, allow plenty of room and be prepared to move over to the side to overtake. If a road train or heavy vehicle is approaching you from behind or from ahead, move as far left as possible or stop if necessary to allow it to pass. When meeting road trains and heavy vehicles on single lane roads, slow right down and move to the left. Move off the road entirely if it is safe to do so and stop to avoid driving into any obstacles on the verge. Be cautious in wet conditions as road verges can be soft and slippery, so when pulling to the left, keep your right wheels on the bitumen and move slowly to avoid being bogged.

SHARE YOUR ADVENTURES ONLINE If you’re headed west for the trip of a lifetime, don’t forget to share your adventures with #outbackqueensland on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The Outback Queensland community loves to meet new faces and places to explore.


has Outback Queensland

totally covered

Our heart is in the country Book a seat via our website rex.com.au Or enquire through your favourite Travel Agent Phone us on 13 17 13

Regional Express


FIND YOUR PERFECT NEXT

ROAD TRIP

BUCKLE UP WITH THESE ROAD TRIP ADVENTURES:

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TRAVEL

Far left: A road near Roma Left: Enjoy Outback Queensland’s many road trip adventures

C

hoosing which road to take in an area that’s over twice the size of California can be a little overwhelming at the best of times. Throw in niche interests like dinosaurs, endurance events and pioneering history, and the decision of which of the nine drive routes you’re going to take becomes even harder. It pays to follow the advice of the locals, who have racked up the clicks on their odometer, with this guide to Outback Queensland’s best drive routes.

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F OR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP THAT GOES STRAIGHT THROUGH THE MIDDLE: MATILDA WAY

Before you arrive in Karumba, be sure to stop by Normanton to snap a photo with Krys the Savannah King, a replica of the largest croc in the world (8.6m), who was caught in the area in 1957.

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FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP THAT GOES FROM CITY TO COUNTRY: WARREGO WAY

Starts:....................................................Brisbane Ends:.................................................... Birdsville Distance:.............................................. 1,578km Suggested time frame:..... 12 days (one way) Weaving from Brisbane to Birdsville, watch the city lights fade away as you make tracks west along the Warrego Way.

Starts:............................................. Cunnamulla Ends:.................................................... Karumba Distance:.............................................. 1,812km Suggested time frame:..... 10 days (one way)

Your first taste of the outback is Roma, aka cattle country. Time your trip for a Tuesday or Thursday to see the largest cattle yards in the Southern Hemisphere in auctionaction.

Cutting through Outback Queensland like a hot knife through butter, the Matilda Way ventures vertical from Cunnamulla in the south to Karumba in the north.

From Roma, take a history lesson at Charleville’s Top Secret WWII United States of America Air Forces (USAAF) tour, before heading further west.

Kick off your trip with a visit to the Cunnamulla Fella, before taking off to the star-studded town of Charleville. Check out the Cosmos Centre and Observatory, before stopping to say hi to the bilbies at the Charleville Bilby Centre.

Join the dots on the map between Quilpie and Windorah (home to the International Yabby Races) before visiting a town with a population of zero, Betoota.

Heading north west, pay visits to Tambo, Blackall and Barcaldine, before arriving into Longreach to stay and play a few nights. Swap Longreach for dinosaur country, Winton, and discover the story of the jolly swagman at the Waltzing Matilda Centre. It’s not all modern history, in Winton you can lay your eyes on the world’s largest Australian dinosaur fossil collection at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. Veering further north, Cloncurry awaits, where you can fly through time at the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery, discovering the history of the quintessentially outback Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The iconic outback town of Birdsville marks the end of Warrego Way line, but if you choose to time your travels with the race that stops the outback or the world’s most remote music festival, you’re guaranteed to stay and play a while in this tiny outback town.

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 FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP THAT INCLUDES ALL THE OUTBACK FAVOURITES: OVERLANDER’S WAY

Starts:................................................ Townsville Ends:.............................................. Camooweal Distance:..............................................1,081km Suggested time frame:....... 5 days (one way) The clue is in the name of this outback drive route; and the Overlander’s Way passes across the northern pocket of

Outback Queensland, taking you from Townsville’s coast to the country. You’ve officially hit outback dirt from Hughenden, the town which buddies up with Richmond (next on the route) to create two-thirds of the Australian Dinosaur Trail. From there, head west to Julia Creek, where a small town of 400 people reside. That is, unless you’ve chosen to come for the second week in April when 3,000 people join the town for its annual triathlon aka Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival. Passing through Cloncurry, continue along the Overlander’s Way to arrive in cowboy country, Mount Isa. Home to the largest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere, get ready to don your Akubra and start your boot scootin’.

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F OR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP THAT PACKS A PUNCH: ADVENTURE WAY

Starts:....................................................Brisbane Ends:............................................... Innamincka Distance:.............................................. 1,152km Suggested time frame:....... 7 days (one way) With a name like the Adventure Way, you know you’re in for a road trip of epic proportions. You’ll know you’ve hit the right tarmac from Brisbane when you reach Cunnamulla, which has the largest population of roos and wallabies in Outback Queensland. Stop for a while in Eulo, where you can rejuvenate your body after the long hours of driving by soaking in a tub full of ancient artesian mud, while enjoying a glass of wine, the fresh air and a view of the outback. Continue on to Thargomindah, which houses the world’s third (and Australia’s only) hydro-electricity system, embracing the power source after London and Paris. outbackqueensland.com.au

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Finish the road trip by crossing the border to South Australia, to the tiny town of Innamincka, with a population of just 12 people, to celebrate your journey.

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FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP THAT CROSSES TWO STATES: AUSTRALIA’S COUNTRY WAY

Starts:...................................................... Sydney Ends:.......................................... Rockhampton Distance:.............................................. 1,615km Suggested time frame:....... 7 days (one way) Shakespeare first asked ‘what’s in a name’, but Australia’s Country Way has got your answer, with this road trip taking you up the nation’s east coast – outback style. Starting in Sydney and trailing up through Queensland, pass through Biloela in the Banana Shire, best known as part of the Sandstone Wonders. Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by national parks (that’s right, there’s five national parks) and natural encounters present themselves around every corner. From Biloela, it’s a two hour trip to Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia, where this road trip comes to an end.

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FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP THAT GOES THE LENGTH (ALMOST) OF QUEENSLAND: GREAT INLAND WAY

Starts:...................................................... Sydney Ends:................................................. Cooktown Distance:..............................................1,863km Suggested time frame:..... 14 days (one way) If Australia’s Country Way got you hooked on country over coast, we raise you an extra 248km across the Great Inland Way.

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Starting from Sydney, your first and only taste of Outback Queensland is cattle country in Roma, where you can catch weekly cattle sales, tour the Big Rig at night and hit the races for the annual Easter in the Country Festival. When in Roma, put an extra day onto your itinerary to visit Carnarvon Gorge via Injune – this sandstone sanctuary has got more variety than a Cadbury Favourites box of chocolates, with tropical rainforest meeting dirt plains and rocky arches and cliffs towering throughout.

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FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP WITH A BIT OF BITE: AUSTRALIAN DINOSAUR TRAIL

Starts:................................................ Richmond Ends:....................................................... Winton Distance:.................................................330km Suggested time frame:....... 4 days (one way) You might have to think outside the box when it comes to imagining the forest-like landscape that once filled Outback Queensland when dinosaurs roamed the land.

From Roma, continue up the coast of Queensland to the tropical north town of Cooktown, passing through Emerald, Charters Towers and Port Douglas.

Make tracks towards dinosaur country, with a triangle of towns (Winton, Hughenden and Richmond) creating the Australian Dinosaur Trail.

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Explore the historical hub to witness evidence of a dinosaur stampede, the largest Australian fossil collection, and ancient marine creature fossils.

FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP WITH A FRUITY TWIST: LEICHHARDT HIGHWAY

Starts:............................................... Melbourne Ends:.................................................... Yeppoon Distance:..............................................2,019km Suggested time frame:..... 10 days (one way)

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Your Queensland stint of this journey starts at Goondiwindi, and goes from bush to beach.

Starts:................................................ Charleville Ends:................................................. Charleville Distance:.................................................995km Suggested time frame:....... 5 days (one way)

You won’t regret a stop in the outback town of Banana, which contrary to what its name suggests wasn’t named for its abundance of the tropical fruit. The town was actually named after a local yellow coloured bullock that was given the nickname. Make tracks from Biloela for two and half hours north east, travelling through Rockhampton before arriving in the beachside town of Yeppoon.

FOR AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP MADE FOR SCIENCE LOVERS: NATURAL SCIENCES LOOP

X marks the spot for science lovers on the Natural Sciences Loop, circling the local treasures of the south west pocket of Outback Queensland. Starting at Charleville, work your way clockwise through Cunnamulla, Eulo, Thargomindah, Eromanga and Quilpie to discover the history, natural beauty, science, and flora and fauna of the south west pocket.


TRAVEL

Discover Queensland’s unique spirit as you journey into its rugged outback aboard enduring favourite, the Spirit of the Outback. Connect with fellow travellers or simply enjoy the view, as you delight in the chef-prepared meals and camaraderie. Sit back and watch the world outside your window change from bustling Brisbane to laidback Longreach.

Above: Take in a beautiful sunset at Landsborough Highway between Longreach and Ilfracombe

Visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au or see your local travel agent.

Below: Carnarvon National Park and surrounds

An unforgettable adventure 21/01/2020

QRT4005.4_Outback QLD travellers Guide_SOB half page.indd 1

in Australia’s heartland

4:11:44 PM

Explore the contrasting beauty of Australia’s iconic outback, including the tiny towns, rich history, local characters and unique attractions that make up The Outback Loop. Fly or drive and discover the beauty of the outback for yourself on The Outback Loop.

Download or order your map at theoutbackloop.com.au

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Take the drive

Tambo · Blackall Isisford · Yaraka · Windorah CAMPING · FISHING · BOATING · 4WD

To Longreach Lochern NP

Isisford

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Stonehenge

Oma Waterhole

Welford National Park

Arno Crossing

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Lumeah

Expe Natio

HWY UGH

281

Hell Hole Gorge NP

Carnarvon National Park

RO

Hammond Downs

Windorah

Mount Playfair

BO

Langlo-Adavale Track

131

DS

48

‘Retreat’

55

Minnie Downs

Salvator Rosa Section

44

Tambo

Battle Waterhole

Rollest

91

102

Emmet

53

Tambo Windorah

N

22

Blackall

20

47

Wilderness Way Loop

A

Trafalgar

Douglas Ponds

L

Welford Lagoon

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Mount Slowcombe Idalia Yaraka National Park

Jundah

Little Boomerang

To Barcaldine

Avington Waterhole

To Birdsville

Injun

Adavale Mariala NP

Chesterton Range National Park

Follow the river road skirting the tranquil billabongs of the mighty Barcoo. These backroads take you through prime sheep and cattle land to the corrugated red dunes of Windorah.

barcooway.com.au Morven

Charleville

Quilpie

Mitchell

WARRE GO HWY

To Brisba

Roma Mornington Island

Port Douglas Kuranda Mareeba

T E R R I T O R Y

Sweers Island

Tirranna

Adels Gregory Grove Downs Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) Riversleigh National Park Fossil Fields

Burke & Wills Junction

Waggabundi

Q U E E N S L A N D

Gunpowder Kajabbi

Julia Creek

Quamby

N O R T H E R N

Mount Isa Cloncurry

Kynuna

Hughenden

Richmond Stamford

McKinlay

Dajarra

Porcupine Pentland Gorge

Maxwelton

Nelia

Duchess Urandangie

Innisfail Mount Garnet Mount Ravenshoe Tully Surprise Georgetown Undara Cardwell Copperfield Gorge Croydon Einasleigh Ingham Forsayth Cobbold Gorge Townsville

Normanton

Burketown

Camooweal

Gordonvale

Atherton

Karumba Doomadgee

Cairns

Combo Waterhole

Middleton

Winton

Bedourie

Mackay

Stonehenge

Plan an epic road trip in North West Queensland

Moorinya National Park Moranbah

Muttaburra

Clermont

Aramac

Ilfracombe Longreach

Proserpine

Torrens Creek

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways Diamantina National Park

Charters Towers Homestead

Corfield

Bladensburg National Park

Boulia

Prairie

Bowen

Balfes Creek

Capella

Jericho

Barcaldine

Tambo

Both routes

Rockhampton

Alpha

Blackall Emmet

Emerald

FULLY SEALED

Gladstone

Rolleston

Biloela Banana

The North West Loop and Discovery Drive are both ‘must do’ self-drive routes, packed to the brim with iconic Outback experiences. Expect to indulge your adventurous spirit; be captivated by the open road; sample delicious Gulf seafood; and to immerse yourself in Australia’s cultural heritage. Jundah

Bundaberg

For more information and to download the route maps visit – www.drivenorthwestqld.com.au

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Fro m Syd n ey, Me l b o u r n e a n d Bri s b a n e to t h e S o u t h e rn Gre at Barr i e r Re ef o r t h e Ou t b a c k , t h e j o u rn ey i s al l a b o u t ta k i n g t he ti m e to ex pl o re ro a d s l es s t rave l l e d .

Adventure Way


ASTRONOMY | NATURE & WILDLIFE | DINOSAURS | GEOLOGY | HISTORY The sky’s literally the limit on this fully sealed outback adventure loop. If you prefer ‘sight doing’ over ‘sightseeing’ then be sure to allow time to actively explore the towns along the route. Take a look at some of the town highlights.

Charleville

11 12 13 9 10

14. Bilbies 15. Cosmos Centre and Observatory 16. Native Timber Walk 17. Top Secret WWII History Tour

9. Living History Centre at Eromanga 10. Eromanga Natural History Museum 11. Baldy Top Lookout 12. Opal Fossicking Area near Quilpie 13. Opal Altar at St Finbarr’s Catholic Church

1. The Artesian Time Tunnel 2. Cunnamulla Bushlands 3. Artesian Mud Baths 4. The Living Opal Gallery of Yowah

5. Lake Bindegolly National Park 6. Pelican Point on the Bulloo River 7. Thargomindah Hydro Power Plant and Artesian Bore 8. The Burke and Wills ‘Dig Tree’ on Cooper Creek

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4

6 7

5

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CHARLEVILLE Stargazing & Endangered Marsupials n n n n n n

Get up close and personal with the endangered Bilby Discover the night sky and so much more at the Cosmos Centre & Observatory See the Vortex rainmaker guns and learn their story Uncover the top secret USAAF WWII base Follow the Outback Native Timber self-guided walk See the automated Weather Balloon release daily at 9:15am

Charleville Visitor Information Centre Railway Station, King Street, Charleville | P (07) 4654 3057 tourism@murweh.qld.gov.au www.experiencecharleville.com.au

CUNNAMULLA Artesian Bores & Natural Sandhills n n n n n

Discover the ancient artesian water story and Time Tunnel Kayak the tranquil waters of the Warrego River Spot the Cooper Creek Turtle and native birdlife Soak in an artesian bore or artesian mud bath (Eulo) Fossick for the unique Yowah ‘nut’ opal

Cunnamulla Fella Centre 2 Jane Street, Cunnamulla | P (07) 4655 8470 visitor@paroo.qld.gov.au www.cunnamullatourism.com.au

THARGOMINDAH Wetland Systems & The Dig Tree 14 15 16 17

n n n n n

Take a tour of Australia’s first hydroelectricity plant, mud brick hospital and old jail Drive to the historic Burke & Wills Dig Tree (only 14km unsealed) Spend a day at the historic Noccundra Hotel Follow the Bulloo River walk to the Weir Discover salt and freshwater wetlands at Lake Bindegolly

Thargomindah Visitor Information Centre Echidna Place, 37 Dowling Street, Thargomindah | P (07) 4621 8095 tourism@bulloo.qld.gov.au www.explorebulloo.com.au

EROMANGA Giant Marsupial & Dinosaur Discoveries n n n n n

Journey to Australia’s furthest town from the sea See giant Diprotodon (world’s largest marsupial) fossils found in Eulo Meet Cooper, a Titanosaur, Australia’s largest dinosaur Learn how to prep real fossilised dinosaur bones Discover Australia’s largest oil producing region

Eromanga Natural History Museum 1 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga | P (07) 4656 3084 info@enhm.com.au www.enhm.com.au

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QUILPIE The Boulder Opal & Hell Hole Gorge n n n n n

Fossick for boulder opals and admire the Opal Altar Climb Baldy Top summit for awesome sunset views Catch yabbies and yellowbelly in the Bulloo River Take a day trip to Hell Hole Gorge Spot native birds and wildlife at Lake Houdraman

Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, Museum & Gallery 51 Brolga Street, Quilpie | P (07) 4656 0540 tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au www.visitquilpieshire.com


OVERLANDER’S WAY T O W N S V I L L E

TENNANT CREEK

Barkly Homestead QLD/NT BORDER

Three Ways

BOODJAMULLA (LAWN HILL) NATIONAL PARK

Camooweal

MOUNT ISA

T E N N A N T

C R E E K

CAIRNS COOKTOWN NORMANTON

Homestead

Cloncurry Julia Creek Maxwelton Nelia Ma

Winton

Mingela Charters Towers

Ravenswood

Pentland Hughenden Torrens Creek Richmond Prairie

CLERMONT

a tild

Kynuna

TOWNSVILLE

PORCUPINE GORGE CAIRNS

CROYDON

McKinlay BOULIA

Travelling the Overlander’s Way will allow you to take in the wonders of the vast rugged cattle plains, dramatic basalt landscapes, spectacular gorges, prolific wildlife and take you on a journey through architecturally rich historic towns without even having to leave the bitumen.

T O

Wa

Stamford

y

MUTTABURRA

There is plenty to see and do for the adventurous enquiring soul, so pack your flippers and your hiking boots and get ready to experience an outback adventure of a lifetime.

LONGREACH

Unearthed Centre and Museum, Cl oncurr

y

Travelling the Overlander’s Way is easy, come by plane, train or coach, or get your free driving map and travel the Overlander’s Way at your own pace.

This self-drive track served as an important line during World War II and stretches across 1550 kilometres taking you from the reef to the outback in a matter of days.

wers rters To Hill, Cha rs e w o T

facebook.com/overlandersway twitter.com/overlandersway instagram #overlandersway

www.overlandersway.com TOWNSVILLE VISITOR TOWNSVILLE INFORMATION CENTRE HIGHWAY VIC P: (07) 4721 3660 P: (07) 4780 4397 townsvillenorthqueensland.com.au JULIA CREEK VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE P: (07) 4746 7690 atthecreek.com.au

CLONCURRY UNEARTHED VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE AND MUSEUM P: (07) 4742 1361 cloncurry.qld.gov.au

CHARTERS TOWERS VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE P: (07) 4761 5533 visitcharterstowers.com.au

FLINDERS DISCOVERY CENTRE, HUGHENDEN P: (07) 4741 2970 visithughenden.com.au

KRONOSAURUS KORNER, RICHMOND P: 1300 576 665 kronosauruskorner.com.au

OUTBACK AT ISA P: (07) 4749 1555 outbackatisa.com.au

THE BARKLY TABLELAND AND HERITAGE CENTRE, CAMOOWEAL P: (07) 4748 2022 droverscamp.com.au

TENNANT CREEK VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE P: 1800 500 879 barklytourism.com.au


Love a Good Road Trip? The fully sealed 1812 kilometre highway stretches from the New South Wales border all the way to the Gulf of Carpentaria, from Cunnamulla to Karumba. Traversing the ‘real outback’, the route is filled with friendly local characters, unique attractions and unspoiled natural sites. Four days is a comfortable drive, depending on how long you spend discovering the unique charms of each township.

Along the Matilda Way you will discover little known secrets, experience the raw history of the region and natural wonders of the vast and ancient landscapes. As you’re travelling, check the byways along the route; there are plenty of side-trips that add to the overall outback experience. Just remember you are sharing the road with huge road trains, livestock and native animals, take care and give way, you’ll protect your vehicle and the truckies will thank you for it. Come and enjoy experiencing the Outback along the Matilda Way.

outbackqueensland.com.au/drive/matilda-way

Normanton

TOWNSVILLE

Burke & Wills Junction

NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Matilda Way is one road that most definitely leads to adventure, and a different one each day.

CAIRNS Karumba

Cloncurry McKinlay Kynuna

QUEENSLAND

Winton

Longreach

Ilfracombe Barcaldine

Blackall Tambo Augathella

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Charleville

Wyandra Cunnamulla

NEW SOUTH WALES

/matildaway

/matildahighway


9 WAYS TO SEE A DINOSAUR IN OUTBACK QUEENSLAND

ONCE UPON A TIME, WHEN DINOSAURS ROAMED THE LAND, OUTBACK QUEENSLAND RESEMBLED A LANDSCAPE MORE TELLING OF A TEMPERATE FOREST THAN THE DUSTY PLAINS IT’S KNOWN FOR TODAY.  

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DINOSAURS

Opposite page: Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton Left top: Hughie the replica Muttaburrasaurus at Flinders Discovery Centre Left bottom: Eromanga Natural History Museum Below: Penny the Plesiosaur at Kronosaurus Korner

F

ast forward 95 million years and scientists are slowly piecing together the bones of Outback Queensland’s history. 

With a dinosaur trail in the heart of the outback, along with traces found in the north and south west pockets, here’s how we recommend taking a paleo tour of Outback Queensland.

1. ENCOUNTER THE MARINE GREATS Become mates with ‘Krono’ the Kronosaurus queenslandicus and ‘Wanda’ – Australia’s largest fossilised fish at Kronosaurus Korner Museum in Richmond. Back when these two dinos roamed the land, you would have been standing in an inland sea – even though the red dirt covering the town today makes it hard to believe. Step back in time with a theatre presentation that brings the long-gone watering hole and prehistoric creatures back to life. Home to not just the largest prehistoric marine creatures and fossilised

fish, Kronosaurus Korner also has what’s considered one of the bestpreserved dinosaur skeletons. You can see paleontology in action and witness fossils being prepared in real-time through glass windows into the preparation laboratory or become a paleontologist for the day at their free fossicking site. 

2. W  ALK THROUGH A DINOSAUR STAMPEDE Shiver with Jurassic Park levels of spinechilling eeriness as you spot 3,300 giant stone footprints at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. Just 115km south west of Winton you’ll find the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede, dating back 95 million years. This extraordinary piece of Australian dinosaur history occurred when up to 150 small carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs were stalked by a large meateating enemy of the dinosaur world. Spooky!

OTHER THAN FOSSILISED FORM, VISIT THESE SPOTS TO SEE DINOS ACROSS THE OUTBACK: ■ Pose for a photo with the giant Muttaburrasaurus replica in Muttaburra ■ Follow the footprints outside the North Gregory Hotel in Winton (where you can also sit down to dine with a dino-inspired meal) ■ Snap a shot of you with the massive marine reptile guarding the entrance to Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond

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3. WALK ON THE WIDE SIDE Your jaw will meet the floor at Australian Age of Dinosaurs, which houses the world’s largest Australian dinosaur fossil collection. Track 24km from Winton to see the dinosaur fossil display and working laboratory where you can see the bones being dusted off by volunteers. The Museum offers an extended seven day exploration dig for those seeking a more in-depth experience and dinosaur encounter.  Don’t forget to wander through the collection room which is home to Banjo and Matilda, two of Australia’s most complete dinosaur skeletons.  For a walk on the wild side, trek through Dinosaur Canyon where life-like dinosaur replicas can be spotted in their natural habitat.

4. SAY HI TO COOPER THE TITANOSAUR Meet Cooper, the friendly giant dinosaur (aged 95 – 98 million years old) at the Eromanga Natural History Museum in the south west pocket of Outback Queensland (accessed via the Natural Sciences Loop). He’s quite the famous giant too – one of the world’s largest dinosaurs, and certainly the largest in Australia.

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Not only does the museum collect dinosaurs but it’s home to some of the world’s largest mega fauna and a variety of micro fauna thought to be 50,000 to 100,000 years old. 

5. SEE THE ANCIENT CROCS OF ISISFORD You’ll be yelling Crikey! at the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre in Isisford (about an hour south of Longreach), with its life-sized replica model of an Isisfordia duncani. This old girl won’t bite – but being the evolutionary ancestor of the crocodile, you can imagine she had some bite 98 million years ago. If you’re not croc crazy, take a look at the 100-million-year-old Bulldog Fish and the displays of local fauna, flora, reptiles, birds and fossils from the region. 

6. MEET HUGHIE IN HUGHENDEN A trip to Hughenden isn’t complete without visiting its most famous local, Hughie, a life-sized skeletal Muttaburrasaurus. You’ll find him at the Flinders Discovery Centre and Museum, where you can also explore impressive international fossil collections, interactive displays and Australian dino bones found in the area from 1865 up until modern day digs.


DINOSAURS As one third of the triangular dinosaur trail of Outback Queensland, fill your weekend with the prehistoric giants.

7. FOSSIL AROUND Skip the museums and head straight to where nature and history come together – the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil deposit. Found in the southern part of Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, the Riversleigh section covers 10,000 hectares, however only a small portion (Site D) is open to the public. Plan your trip around the annual fossil dig each July for an extra special encounter.  Preserved in limestone, some fossils date back 15 – 25 million years, providing insight into mammal evolution.

Opposite page: Sunset at Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Discover the ancestors of our native wildlife, from the largest freshwater crocodile to feather-tailed possums and kangaroos with sharp teeth.

Bottom left: Walkway at Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways

Of course, if you can’t make it to the fossil fields, a visit to Mount Isa’s Riversleigh Fossil Centre is the next best thing, saving you the drive to get there.

Left: Display Foyer at Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways

Above: Lark Quarry Conservation Park

Below: Australian Age of Dinosaurs

8. WADE THROUGH WESTERN WATERS While the ancient inland Eromanga Sea dried up long ago, the Stone House on Pituri Street in Boulia nods to its bones, literally, with a collection of marine reptile fossils on display. Delve deep into the Cretaceous Era, learning about the environment and

examining the explicit details of the marine creature fossils such as teeth.

9. FOLLOW THE DINO CLUES ACROSS THE OUTBACK From dino sculptures and signs, to meals and museums, you’ll soon see why Outback Queensland is obsessed with the prehistoric creatures. outbackqueensland.com.au

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››› ork   Rest W ›

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Central Highlands qLD Pl

ay

  ›››   D i s c o v

er

Visit

Experience

Carnarvon Gorge | Sapphire Gemfields Lake Maraboon | National Parks Emerald: Gateway to the Outback

Amazing wildlife | Awesome walks Rugged 4WD routes | Wild Mountain Bike rides Great fishing | Fossicking for Sapphires

Visit www.chdc.com.au for our lifestyle guide and video


CARNARVON GORGE CAMPING & ACCOMMODATION

MINERS HERITAGE WALK-IN MINE

Takarakka Bush Resort – your Carnarvon Gorge adventure starts here. ■ Only accommodation & camping ■ Set on 100 bush acres & surrounded open all year round by Carnarvon Creek ■ Just minutes to entrance of gorge ■ Abundant wildlife ■ Spacious powered & unpowered ■ All vehicle access (bitumen road) campsites ■ Roast dinners & guided tours ■ Studios, Cabins & ‘Glamping’ tents (seasonal) ■ Top rated amenities ■ Winner Customer Service award 2019 escape. explore. discover. P 07 4984 4535 | info@takarakka.com.au www.takarakka.com.au (book online)

Australia’s Largest Underground Sapphire Mine Tour ■ Designer Sapphire Jewellery ■ Established 1984 ■ Gift ware, Crystals and Minerals ■

Guided Tours Multi Award Winning ■ Fossicking Park ■ Undercover Picnic Area ■ Coffee Shop ■ ■

Open 7 Days: April – September, 9am – 5pm; October – March, 9am – 3pm (minimum of 2 people per tour) “Your One Stop Introduction to the Sapphire Fields” 97 Heritage Road, Rubyvale P 07 4985 4444 | admin@minersheritage.com.au www.minersheritage.com.au

BLUE GEM TOURIST PARK

NEW ROYAL HOTEL

925 Anakie-Sapphire Road, Sapphire P 07 4985 4162 bluegemtouristpark@bigpond.com www.bluegemtouristpark.com.au

Cnr Keilambete & Goanna Flats Roads, Rubyvale P 07 4985 4754 info@rubyvalehotel.com.au www.rubyvalehotel.com.au

Located in the heart of the Sapphire Gemfields. ■ Large Grassed Sites for Vans & Camping ■ Cabins ■ Great Take Away Food ■ Fossicking Park ■ Convenience Store ■ Fuel, Gas, Ice ■ Sapphire Jewellery ■ Pet Friendly ■ Fossicking Licences Excellent customer service every time.

Judged Queensland’s Best Bush Pub 2014, 2015 and 2016, this true Aussie pub is located in the heart of the Gemfields. Grab a cold beer or wine and enjoy a great meal, stay in the unique log cabins or top up your supplies at the Bottleshop.

barr amundi discovery centre & Hatchery K arumba

Chat with a local in the Visitor Information Centre for free maps, travel tips & advice

Take a tour and ‘Feed a Barra’ or explore our hatchery in a behind the scenes tour

Explore the amazing secrets of the Gulf Savannah in the Interpretive Centre

barracentre.com.au | P 07 4745 2211 | 149 Yappar St , Karumba FEATURES FREE general admission, theatre admission, art gallery admission RV Friendly parking | WiFi | barista made coffee | fresh cooked meals | gift shop outbackqueensland.com.au

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THE SOUTH WEST INCORPORATING THE COMMUNITIES OF CHARLEVILLE, ROMA, QUILPIE, EROMANGA AND CUNNAMULLA

CAIRNS

Mount Isa

Julia Cloncurry Creek

NT

TOWNSVILLE

NORTH WEST

ooking for adventure? You’ll find it in the south west. In fact, it’s so adventurous, they named one of the drive routes which cuts through this outback territory, ‘The Adventure Way’.

QLD

Winton Boulia

L

Richmond Hughenden

CENTRAL WEST Longreach Barcaldine Blackall Tambo

FAR WEST

Biloela

Windorah

EAST

Birdsville Eromanga

SA

Quilpie

Charleville

Cunnamulla

NSW

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Roma

BRISBANE

SOUTH WEST Thargomindah

Expect big nature and a kaleidoscope of colour as red sands give way to thriving wetlands and national parks plus ideal access to Carnarvon Gorge. Animals come in all shapes and sizes, from the cute, small bilbies you find in Charleville to Cooper, Australia’s largest dinosaur who calls Eromanga home. Adventure isn’t just reserved for daylight hours either. When the sun’s gone down, the galaxy puts on a nightly show.


THE SOUTH WEST

YOU CAN’T SAY YOU’VE BEEN TO THE SOUTH WEST UNTIL YOU’VE: EEN THE MILKY WAY 1 STHROUGH A MEADE TELESCOPE AT THE COSMOS

CENTRE AND OBSERVATORY

OME EYE-TO2 CFUNNY BONE WITH COOPER, AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST DINOSAUR

COOTED DOWN A SAND 3 SDUNE IN CUNNAMULLA ISIT AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST 4 VCATTLE SALEYARDS IN ROMA – JOIN ONE OF THE TOURS AND SEE A TRUE AUSSIE INDUSTRY AT WORK

OAKED IN THE MINERALS 5 SOFBATHS THE ARTESIAN MUD IN EULO Cattle saleyards at Roma

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WHAT YOU’LL LEARN CAMPING WITH KIDS IN THE OUTBACK ON A FAMILY ROAD TRIP FROM ROMA TO EROMANGA, THE BUSH SERVES UP LIFE SKILLS THAT CAN’T BE TAUGHT INSIDE A CLASSROOM. BY MARK DAFFEY

H

iking can be too pedestrian to excite 10-year-old boys like Finn. Though our son moans and groans about hiking more than we’d like, he loves climbing steps and stairways – for reasons only kids like him would understand. So when his mother tells him there are 900 steps for us to climb before we’ll reach Boolimba Bluff, where we’ll watch the dawn break over Carnarvon Gorge, we almost have to hold him back. Steps, for kids like Finn, are novelties; just like camping. Take torches, for example, which every camper uses. Kids never tire of playing with them, do they? Especially when they’re camping. What pre-teen boy hasn’t switched on a torch and imagined himself to be Luke Skywalker fighting off Darth Vader with a torch that doubles as a light sabre, after all? So when I tell Finn that we must hike through darkness to get to the bluff, using only torches to light the way, he’s more than willing to jump up out of his sleeping bag to do it – if only to save the galaxy, of course. He’s also beguiled by the shapes and sizes of the rocks and stones he finds inside the park, first by the steppingstone bridges across the creek, and then by the elliptical pebbles beneath the water. Bigger rocks, he finds, are excellent for building stone towers and for making loud splashes when he hurls them into the creek, after he’s been told not to. Smaller nuggets are ideal for skimming competitions against his parents. Beating them, he finds out, is even better.

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Best of all, though, is how camping allows him to be outdoors all the time. He’s not one for staying inside (unless he’s allowed to watch television), for he’d much rather kick a footy or play cricket. But he especially loves it when he’s given the chance to swim in a creek or river, and the sandy beach that’s located conveniently near our campsite slopes into a waterhole that he wants to splash about in every chance he gets. The Rock Pool inside the park is perfect for cooling off in too, particularly after we’ve just been hiking.

THREE THINGS THE KIDS WILL LEARN IN THE SOUTH WEST ALL NUTS GROW 1 NONOTTREES. In Yowah, about 160km west of Cunnamulla, take the kids fossicking for Yowah Nuts – AKA boulder opals that shimmer with light and dark-brown siliceous ironstone.

WHEN IN ROMA Paradoxically, considering Finn’s love of water, our end goal on this trip is to reach a place that proclaims itself to be Australia’s furthest town from the sea – Eromanga. After camping in Roma for the night (home of Australia’s largest cattle auctions that take place each Tuesday and Thursday), we continue west through Mitchell and Morven towards Charleville, following a highway that cuts through fields of waisthigh grass and mulga country. During the latter half of the 19th century, the town of Charleville sprung from the banks of the Warrego River to service colonial pastoralists whose bullock teams required streets wide enough to accommodate them. After feeling like a caged bull travelling inside the car all morning, Finn is champing at the bit when we park outside the Charleville Bilby Experience (charlevillebilbyexperience.com.au) that’s housed inside the old railway station.

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MUD BATHS ARE MORE FUN. Soaking in mineral-rich mud in a vintage bathtub in Eulo is about as far removed from the nightly bath routine at home. Just don’t tell them how good it is for them! artesianmudbaths.com.au

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WHO WAS AUSTRALIA’S FIRST SELF-MADE MILLIONAIRE? You’ll find out at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre and Regional Art Gallery and Museum. cunnamullatourism.com.au


THE SOUTH WEST

This page: Far Left: Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge Left: Knotosaurus sculpture, Eromanga

GETTING HERE Roma is a six-hour drive west of Brisbane along the Warrego Way. Don’t want to drive the whole way home? It’s a two-hour flight time between Charleville and Brisbane on QantasLink. Plan your holiday: outbackqueensland.com.au/outbackregions/south-west

Bilbies have existed in Australia for 15 million years and once roamed across 70 per cent of the country. But with the arrival of Europeans (and the dogs and cats that accompanied them), bilby numbers have shrunk dramatically, so much so that their habitat is now confined to a few arid pockets sprinkled across the northern states. It’s now estimated that fewer than a thousand bilbies remain in the wild. All moneys raised through tours and merchandise sales at the bilby centre are tipped into the Save the Bilby Fund, and that’s all Finn needs to hear for him to purchase chocolate bilbies that his eagle eyes detect resting on the counter just inside the door. The Bilby Experience tour that we’ve also booked enlightens us into the perilous plight faced by one of our cutest marsupials. And it rewards us by allowing us to enter the centre’s nocturnal house. We aren’t able to hold a bilby on this occasion – the 9am Up Close and Personal tour permits that – but our energetic son is fascinated by how active two of these furry natives are as they scurry from desert shrub to hollowed trunk and back inside the sandy-floored enclosure. Even he wouldn’t manage to keep up.

THE STARS ALIGN Our camp that night is at the Evening Star Tourist Park (eveningstar.com.au)

on Thurlby Station, 8km north west of Charleville. This welcoming, family-owned park was named after the planet Venus, which is visible above the tree line from the bar and fire pit that campers gravitate towards each evening. It’s here where Finn assumes the role of chief burger flipper on the camp kitchen barbecue, adapting skills he’s developed as our breakfast pancakeflipping maestro during these past few weeks. He’s also become a dab hand at roasting marshmallows over an open fire – something he never ordinarily does back home in suburban Melbourne. By getting away from the city and camping every night he’s learning valuable life skills. One such example is building a shelter. When we erect our tent, he knows exactly which rod goes where. And I never need to ask him to hammer the pegs in. That’s the best part, after all.

LAND OF THE DINOSAURS Had we decided to head south to Cunnamulla, we could’ve taught the little fella a thing or two more about life on the land, with sheep shearing (in season) and cattle mustering just two of the true blue outback experiences on offer. This is the hometown of the Cunnamulla Fella, immortalised by Slim Dusty in song and in double-life-size bronze by sculptor Archie Sinclair, after all. But after a dewy night, emu sightings grow increasingly common and the

vegetation becomes sparser as we edge towards desert country. After stopping to investigate the opal altar inside St Finbar’s Catholic Church in Quilpie, it’s a further hour’s drive to our final destination. Eromanga’s population is listed at just 45 souls. However, its most celebrated resident is a dinosaur that pre-dates the town by some 95 million years, when the country around here was still part of the ancient Gondwana supercontinent. In 2004, prehistoric remains belonging to the largest dinosaur ever to roam across Australia were found just outside Eromanga. Finn was astounded to learn that these bones had never before been identified; that it was a previously undiscovered species that was later called a titanosaur. Measuring 30 metres long from nose to tail, Cooper is now housed inside the Eromanga Natural History Museum (enhm.com.au) on the town’s fringes. So of course we had to go and see it. And when we did, what surprised Finn, as he craned his neck upwards, is that Cooper’s thighbone was taller than me. Naturally, that’s unimaginable for a kid whose father is a giant in this world. But even more inconceivable is that after millions of years of being buried beneath the earth, a boy who was just 14 years old – a kid, of all people – had found them. Honestly, how could that possibly be? outbackqueensland.com.au

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ROMA REVEALED Where country meets the Outback MITCHELL, SURAT, INJUNE, WALLUMBILLA AND YULEBA

THE BIG RIG

ROMA’S BIGGEST BOTTLE TREE

MITCHELL GREAT ARTESIAN SPA

Hollywood hang your head in shame. Even the most talented movie writer couldn’t tell a tale like the history of oil and gas in Queensland.

Being rounder than you are tall is a perfectly healthy claim if you are a bottle tree. Wander along the Adungadoo Pathway and check out Roma’s big bottle tree boasting an incredible 9.51m girth.

Relax in a big way at the Great Artesian Spa in Mitchell. Open 7 days a week the spa offers both cool and hot therapy pools filled with mineralised water drawn directly from the Great Artesian Basin which holds over 65,000 million megalitres of water.

The Big Rig tells of all the twists and drama of when oil and gas first flowed in our nation, the story of our oil and gas pioneers comes alive through exhibits, machinery displays, audio-visual features and our local “Roma Rigger” guides. Connect the past to the present, and learn how the characters, technology and engineering along with the hard times and amusing stories has carved the way from humble beginnings to today’s multi-billion dollar industry. Join The Big Rig Night Show Sunset Experience and ignite your interest in sabotage, drama and intrigue through the eyes of a “Roma Rigger” guide, with a glass of Outback port and an original sound and light show.

ROMA SALEYARDS Hoof it over to the Roma Saleyards for their free behind-the-scenes tour held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all things beef. The Centre has just had a major upgrade, including a new interactive Interpretative Centre, which is open each weekday. The enormity of the Saleyards really needs to be seen to be believed.

SURAT TO YULEBA COBB & CO HISTORY Cobb & Co was at one time the largest transport network in Queensland, with 3000 horses covering 16,000km a week. The last horse drawn stagecoach ride took place in 1924 ending in Yuleba. Today you can follow the Cobb & Co way departing from the Changing Station Museum in Surat retracing the route to Yuleba.

WALLUMBILLA Wallumbilla is big on rail history as the town was a significant rail siding for loading produce from the surrounding farms, while today the old grain shed provides an insight into life on the land and recounts the tragic 1956 train crash.

ROMA.........................................................................................................Population: 6,848 ROMA VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 2 Riggers Road, Roma | P: 07 4624 0204 E: tourism@maranoa.qld.gov.au | www.mymaranoa.org.au

INJUNE.......................................................................................................... Population: 461 INJUNE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 32 Hutton Street, Injune | P: 07 4626 0503 E: tourism@maranoa.qld.gov.au | www.mymaranoa.org.au

INJUNE AND CARNARVON GORGE At 30kms long and 60m deep, Carnarvon Gorge positively dwarfs mere humans. Before heading bush to marvel at this sandstone wonder, spend time at Injune and take in the history of the old coal mine and characters of the town, both alive and dead.

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MITCHELL................................................................................................. Population: 1,031 GREAT ARTESIAN SPA 2 Cambridge Street, Mitchell | P: 07 4624 6923 E: mitchell.spa@outlook.com | www.greatartesianspa.com.au


WINNER

V I S ITO R ’S C H O I C E OUTBACK QUEENSLAND REGION

CHARLEVILLE & SURROUNDS Experience Charleville

INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF MORVEN, AUGATHELLA AND COOLADDI

6 SECRETS YOU’LL UNCOVER IN AND AROUND CHARLEVILLE 1. THE TOP SECRET WWII TOUR Who’d have thought Charleville hid one of the most top secret bases the US Army Air Force built in Australia during World War II? Over 100 buildings were constructed and hidden beneath mulga trees and chicken wire; and it housed up to 3500 US Army Air Force personnel. Take a Top Secret WWII Tour through Charleville’s Top Secret Precinct where the remnants of the base still stand and guides tell you how locals and USAAF personnel kept it all such a secret. experiencecharleville.com.au

2. S TARS, PLANETS, THE MOON, THE MILKY WAY AND MORE You won’t find a clearer night sky than here in Outback Queensland; and the best place to see it is at Charleville’s Cosmos Centre. There’s barely any light pollution, and at night the entire roof of the Centre rolls off and you’ll see binary stars, star clusters and planets like you’ve never seen before. You can also visit during the day and enjoy the interactive ‘Astronomy by Day’ session and see the surface of the sun through a Hydrogen Alpha telescope – it is the largest and most important star of the solar system. In 2020, the Cosmos Centre will also have their brand-new Planetarium, providing guests with an alternative on cloudy nights and some exciting new daytime experiences. cosmoscentre.com

3. HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH A RARE AUSSIE ANIMAL There’s no better place in Australia than Charleville to meet one of the country’s

most threatened marsupials. Charleville Bilby Experience gives visitors the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with bilbies on tours offered nowhere else in the world. Here, bilbies are bred for re-introduction into nearby Currawinya National Park, but you can meet them first on an exclusive one-on-one tour (other tours are also available). You’ll see bilbies up close in a nocturnal house established in the historic Charleville Railway Station.

Rodeo & Races. The area’s got a rich history of bushrangers and bullockies and you can meet their modern-day descendants across three days of the Easter long weekend. There’s music, mayhem and some of the biggest bucking bulls in Queensland, and if you’re around on New Year’s Eve, the rodeo comes back to town for one night only.

charlevillebilbyexperience.com.au

6. CAMP LIKE A JOLLY SWAGMAN

4. C  OME TO ONE OF QUEENSLAND’S TINIEST TOWNS It’s one of the smallest towns in Australia; and you’ll meet every single person in town at the Fox Trap. Mind you, there’s only three residents in Cooladdi, but they all work at a place that’s a pub, a post office, a restaurant and a motel all rolled into one. Found 88 kilometres west of Charleville, it’s a popular pit-stop along the way to Birdsville; so you’ll find plenty of like-minded travellers stopping in to check out a relic of the outback (Cooladdi once housed almost 270 people). murweh.qld.gov.au/cooladdi

5. BUCKING BRONCS AND BUSHRANGERS It’s the party that’s been going on in Augathella for 85 years! Every Easter since 1933 the town population doubles, and triples, and more, when the community comes together for the Augathella Diggers

facebook.com/ augathelladiggersrodeoassos

Head back in time and find yourself a spot within a real-life working outback bush camp at Morven, 91 kilometres east of Charleville. Gidgees Bush Camp is open seven days a week from April to September. Introducing… Morven Rural, where they offer quality products at competitive prices. Ensuring they provide exceptional service is their number one priority. Morven Rural is owned and operated by the same vivacious #ladybosses that run the Morven Truck Stop, and is set to be a real go-er so make sure you call into the Morven Truck Stop and Morven Rural to see what they may just have for you. The Morven Museum is well worth a look, but the miniature buildings and kerosene hut are something very special. Make time to visit while in Morven and enjoy the street scaping that is making this little town come to life. morventruckstop.com/rural murweh.qld.gov.au/morven

CHARLEVILLE....................................................................................... Population: 3,300 CHARLEVILLE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE Railway Station, King Street, Charleville | P: 07 4654 3057 E: info@murweh.qld.gov.au | www.experiencecharleville.com.au

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CUNNAMULLA & SURROUNDS Live like a Local

INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF EULO, WYANDRA AND YOWAH

6 WAYS TO TAKE TO THE WATERS AROUND CUNNAMULLA Most people think of the outback as arid, red and dusty, however millions of years ago, a huge inland sea covered the area. Water is life out here, and its power to mould the landscape and communities remains ever present. While Australia may be known as a dry continent the Great Artesian basin flows silently below, extending across 22% of the nation’s land mass with a majority in Queensland. The discovery of this underground water source in the late 19th century accelerated the establishment of agriculture across the previously overlooked outback. Discover your own oasis in the Outback with these 6 ways to take to the waters around Cunnamulla.

1. ARTESIAN BATH ANYONE? After unhitching the van at the Artesian Waters Caravan Park in Yowah, ease the tension and head over to the Artesian Spa. Consisting of hot and cool(-er) pools, the spa, which is open all year round, is a great place to unwind and has a hoist to assist those with mobility impairments. If you prefer bubbles in your bath, Yowah Artesian Spa has two naturally heated baths. If your skin is as dry and cracked as a creek bed in drought, dial up the outback therapy with an artesian mud bath in Eulo. A mineral rich clay is mixed with artesian water, in your choice of temperature, to provide a therapeutic experience so good it has been rumoured to take the bend out of corrugated iron. Relax with a sundowner in your private bath with open sky views – and some nibbles – as you turn back the years.

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2. DRINK TO YOUR HEALTH Save yourself the trip to your local health food store before you set off – Life Energy Water, a naturally alkaline mineral water, is bottled from a deep and pure source and bottled in Wyandra.

3. TIME TRAVEL TO THE EROMANGA SEA Travel back in time to really understand the importance of the Great Artesian Basin at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre. Entering an old mine shaft you are transported through the sandstone back to a time when the Eromanga Sea covered the outback.

The Warrego River meanders past Cunnamulla and here on the banks is the perfect place to stop and turn on the waterworks. Hire a kayak for a paddle or just float around to cool your engines. The Warrego River Walk is an easy 1.6km track that highlights the fauna and flora of the area.

6. SEE TWO GREAT LAKES Discover why Currawinya National Park is one of Australia’s most important waterbird habitats, with a visit to its two lakes. Lake Wyara and Lake Numalla are two large lakes separated by a few kilometres of sand dunes. While Lake Numalla is freshwater, the slightly larger Lake Wyara is saline.

4. SPEND A DAY AT THE BEACH Wyandra began life as a water stop for the steam locomotives running the rails to Charleville and while it might be over 800km inland from the Gold Coast, Wyandra boasts its very own beach. Tucked into a bend on the Warrego River this sandy patch is the perfect spot for all the regular ‘day at the beach’ activities so pack a picnic and the cricket bat.

5. TAKE A BREAK ON THE BANK Five Mile Waterhole on the Paroo River just outside of Eulo offers a great spot to cast a line or birdwatch amongst the coolibah trees along its banks.

LIQUID MAGIC Water works its magic in more ways in the outback. Did you know that opals are formed by water carrying silica evaporating and the silica deposits aggregating over time. You can even go fossicking for the famous Yowah nuts in the fields just outside Yowah.

CUNNAMULLA...................................................................................... Population: 1,300 CUNNAMULLA FELLA CENTRE 2 Jane Street, Cunnamulla | P: 07 4655 8470 E: cunnamullainfo@paroo.qld.gov.au | www.cunnamullatourism.com.au


QUILPIE SHIRE Your Outback Adventure

INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF ADAVALE, CHEEPIE, EROMANGA AND TOOMPINE

Quilpie Shire is a stunning Outback region in South West Queensland that is steeped with a rich pioneering and prehistoric history and an abundance of birdlife and natural wonders that is sure to entertain the whole family. There is plenty to explore throughout the Quilpie Shire’s other towns: Eromanga, Toompine, Adavale and Cheepie. All of which are easy day trips from Quilpie or fantastic overnight destinations. Situated along the Natural Sciences Loop, Quilpie Shire is a must for Your Outback Adventure….here are six reasons to get you started….

1. HELL HOLE GORGE NATIONAL PARK Nestled away 69km north of Adavale is the incredible Hell Hole Gorge National Park. A true hidden gem of the Outback, Hell Hole offers opportunities for camping and other activities such as hiking, 4WDing, birdwatching, swimming, photography or just simply enjoying the peacefulness of the bush. The beauty of these weathered gorges and unexpected waterholes is something that has to be seen to be believed.

2. E  ROMANGA NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Not only is Eromanga the furthest town from the sea in Australia, it is also home to Australia’s Largest Dinosaur, a 95-98 million-year-old Titanosaur called ‘Cooper’ at Eromanga Natural History Museum (ENHM). Not only does the museum have dinosaurs but some of the world’s largest mega fauna and a variety of micro fauna which were discovered nearby in Eulo and are thought to be 50,000 to 100,000 years old. ENHM offers a range of tours and experiences – learn to prep fossils and join

fossil digs. The guided tour, The Australian Giants Tour, runs four times a day.

3. THE WONDER OF THE BOULDER OPAL Allow Quilpie Shire to introduce you to a radiant beauty – the exquisite Quilpie Boulder Opal. There’s truly something magical about the Boulder Opal and there’s no better place to see it in all its glory than St. Finbarr’s Church’s Opal Altar, Font and Lectern. Fossick to find your own gem and a lasting precious memory of your time at the Quilpie Shire at the free fossicking area located two kilometres from Quilpie. For the more adventurous travellers, organise a fossicking permit and step back in time to the 1800s and explore Duck Creek and Sheep Station Creek, 62km from Toompine.

4. SUNSETS, FLORA AND FAUNA There is nothing more beautiful than an Outback Sunset, and Quilpie has two top spots to see one! Sitting by the banks of the picturesque Lake Houdraman or from atop Baldy Top Lookout with its 360-degree view. If a relaxing stroll is more your thing the Bulloo River Walk is a tranquil way to appreciate the native flora and fauna of the Bulloo River Catchment.

5. A UNIQUE PIONEERING HISTORY The Quilpie Shire is home to nine museums, celebrating the long and incredible history of the area, with the Durack’s of Kings in

Grass Castle fame, through to how Quilpie was established when rail came to town. Explore the Quilpie Airport and learn how Amy Johnson accidentally landed in town or how we sourced our power or the commemoration of our military history and connections. Your experiences are not limited to Quilpie. When you head to Adavale explore the outdoor displays and learn about early Policing in the Outback, or while in Eromanga put the Living History Centre on your itinerary and hear stories from the locals. Our museums and displays will share the joys, triumphs and challenges that have created who we are today.

6. QUIRKY OUTBACK EVENTS Do you know what colour a Kangaranga Do is? Neither do we! But we do know that it’s one of the unique Outback events held in the Quilpie Shire. Rodeos, Motorbike Gymkhanas and Enduro, Campdrafting, Polocrosse and Racing are just some of the exciting events on offer for visitors. In 2020 Quilpie is also set to host the Outback Queensland Masters at the 18-hole sand green golf course. Visit our website for more information about what is happening when you are in the Shire in 2020. This is only the start of Your Outback Adventure in the Quilpie Shire, come visit us to find out what else to explore. Facebook.com/visitquilpieshire Instagram.com/visitquilpieshire Twitter/visitquilpieshire

QUILPIE......................................................................................................... Population: 813 QUILPIE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE, MUSEUM & GALLERY 51 Brolga Street, Quilpie | P: 07 4656 0540 E: tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au | www.visitquilpieshire.com

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Blue Dog Photography

A do e t- nc us ie m er p ex Book today! Book into one of our tours **NOTE: Bilby viewing only available during tours

9am Premium Tour Up Close & Personal A completely unique and personal bilby encounter!

3pm Bilby Experience

• Meet a bilby face to face and pat them whilst in the keepers arms • Exceptional photo opportunity and memorable experience • Nocturnal house tour and show • Ideal for all ages and especially families • Nocturnal house tour and show

Open April to October, Monday - Saturday Closed Sunday and Public Holidays

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL Online Bookings Available

HISTORIC RAILWAY STATION King Street, Charleville Queensland p: 07 4654 3681 - Charleville Bilby Experience p: 07 4654 3057 - Bookings (Visitor Info Centre) e: Charleville@savethebilbyfund.org

www.charlevillebilbyexperience.com.au


e r i h S h e w r Mu

Events 2020

Australia Day Celebrations January 26th Adrian Vowles Cup February 28th & 29th Charleville Races March 14th Re-enactment of the Smith Bros Flight - 100 years March 14th Welcome to Charleville Party March 21st Charleville Triathlon March 22nd Veteran One & Two Cylinders Cars and Motorbikes April 1st - 7th 30 Year Commemoration of Charleville 1990 Floods event April 19th - 25th Smith Family Cod Classic (including the Steve Fox Memorial) Charleville Fishing Competition April 9th - 12th Augathella Diggers Easter Rodeo April 11th Augathella Easter Races April 13th

May the 4th be with you at the Cosmos Centre May 4th Outback Seniors Games May May Day Bowls Carnival May Weathering Well with Jenny Woodward May 13th Charleville & District Agricultural Show May 15th-16th Charleville Show Rodeo May 15th Charleville Show Races May 16th Morven Winter Ball May 30th Junior Fishing Competition June 14th Charleville Half Way There Shindig Street Party June 26th Outback Golf Masters - Charleville Golf Club/ Cosmos Centre June 27th & 28th

MONTHLY EVENTS 1st Saturday of each month Markets at Historic House Museum Last Sunday of each month Charleville CBD Local Markets

WINNER

V I S ITO R ’S C H O I C E OUTBACK QUEENSLAND REGION

Dog Trail Short Course & Quick Shears July 11th Charleville Races July Anniversary of the Man on the Moon @ Cosmos Centre July Charleville Races August Camp Oven Classic August 15th Charleville Performing Arts Festival August Beach to Reach 2020 - Dinner under the Stars September 9th Charleville Bilby Festival, Street Parade September 11th Billy Cart Derby September 12th Charleville Bilby Festival Fur Ball September 12th Charleville National Bilby Day September 13th Morven Races September 12th Carp Busters Fishing Comp September 18th - 20th Charleville Auxiliary & Ambulance Gymkhana September 19th - 20th Charleville Races September 26th QRRRWN Conference October 15th - 17th Charleville Races October 24th Charleville Cup Festival October 31st - Nov 3rd Charleville Cup Races November 3rd New Year’s Diggers Augathella Rodeo December 31st Charleville New Years Eve Fireworks December 31st

Visitor Information Centre Charleville Railway Station Charleville Qld 4470 P 07 4654 3057 E tourism@murweh.qld.gov.au www.experiencecharleville.com.au


BAILEY BAR CARAVAN PARK

STORIES & SCONES AT HISTORIC HOTEL CORONES

You’d be mistaken for thinking Hotel Corones’s history is the script for Hollywood’s next big feature film! HEAR the remarkable story of Harry Corones, who made Australian History and still holds an Australian Record today. BE AMUSED by stories of Harry’s comical antics eg. What does the H.C. stand for on the bar pillars? LEARN tales of rich and famous who have stayed at the hotel including Royalty. GAIN exclusive access to areas of the hotel not accessible to public and guests. ENJOY a scrumptious afternoon tea and more…. OPERATES: 2pm – APR to OCT: Daily – NOV to MAR – Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun. PRICE: $30 – Includes tour, souvenir & afternoon tea.

G’day, come and stay .. for your total Outback experience as featured on Discover Downunder & Queensland Weekender.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL: Rachel’s Clothing Rack 39 Wills Street, Charleville P 0409 860 114 E hotelcoronesstoriesandscones@gmail.com

196 King Street, Charleville | P 07 4654 1744 Toll Free 1800 065 311 | baileybar@bigpond.com www.charlevillebaileybar.com.au

COBB & CO CARAVAN PARK

■ ■ ■ ■

BBQ and hobby horse racing Camp oven dinners Spit roast dinners Grassy/shady sites Luxury and standard en-suite cabins

■ ■ ■

FREE Wi-Fi hotspot Polite pets welcome Ask for your STAY ‘n SAVE Vouchers

EVENING STAR TOURIST PARK ADJOINING THURLBY STATION

Offering a choice of caravan or cabin accommodation where you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet in a bushland setting with your choice of powered or unpowered sites and still close enough to the town centre. PARK FACILITIES ■ Coffee shop + Eftpos ■ Coin operated laundries ■ Free Wi-Fi at reception ■ Drive thru sites + shady sites ■ BBQ/camp kitchen ■ Dump points ■ Plenty of room for large vehicles ■ Happy hour campfire (Apr-Sep only) ■ Disabled access amenities ■ Pets welcome CABIN ACCOMMODATION ■ Air conditioned + linen supplied ■ Cooking facilities ■ Ensuite + television

Evening Star Tourist Park is located 8km west of Charleville, along the Adavale Road, in the heart of the Mulga lands. We invite you to relax and warm yourself beside the biggest campfire in south west QLD and be dazzled by mother nature’s ultimate evening accessory… her brilliant night sky. ■ Big drive through sites, with room to move ■ Clean, spacious amenities with disabled and laundry facilities ■ Licensed bar + daily happy hour with damper ■ Big camp kitchen fully equipped for guests ■ Pet friendly ■ Full mobile phone coverage with free Wi-Fi available ■ Historic woolshed and farm machinery memorabilia

1 Ridgeway Street, Charleville | P 07 4654 1053 john@caravanparkscharleville.com.au www.caravanparkscharleville.com.au

818 Adavale Road (8km west of Charleville) P 07 4654 2430 | eveningstarvanpark@gmail.com www.eveningstar.com.au

EVENING STAR GAZING

Wander down the ‘star path’ to Evening Stars’ historic Woolshed and enjoy the true Outback night sky. Have its wonders explained by your local guide who has over 20 years’ experience in Outback astronomical tourism. Numbers are limited – small, intimate groups ensure personal attention, thought-provoking discussion and plenty of viewing time with double stars, star clusters, nebulae, planets and the moon all part of our nightly experience (dependent on the cycle of the sky). ■ Large Celestron CPC 1100HD Telescope (as used by Prof. Stephen Hawking) ■ Pet friendly Onsite at the Evening Star Tourist Park, 818 Adavale Rd, Charleville P 07 4654 2430 | eveningstarvanpark@gmail.com www.eveningstar.com.au

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THE SOUTH WEST

Ellangowan Hotel

Top Secret WWII Tour

Meals | Accommodation | Laundromat COLDE ST

BEEkR m!

Step inside the world of the ‘Top Secret Precinct – Charleville’ and discover what 1942 marked the arrival of...

for 100

We're in th e

Ellangowan Hotel

0411 545 194

Smiley's

The USAAF arrived in Charleville during WWII. They set up camp here for four years and would spend around $1.4m (1940’s currency) constructing 101 buildings on the site. So just how do you keep something that large a secret? Book the Top Secret WWII Tour today to discover what

the top secret actually was and listen to the story behind it all ... it’s fascinating – you won’t be disappointed. Follow your local guide in your own vehicle around what once was a USAAF Top Secret Base inside today’s Top Secret Precinct.

‘Brisbane Line’ coming soon!

To book go to experiencecharleville.com.au or call 07 4654 7771

Café & Restaurant

Open 7 Days... Eat In or Take Away Tea & Coffee | Milkshakes Sandwiches | Pies | Chips | Salads

April – September | Daily tours from 10.30am October – March | Mon, Wed & Fri from 8.00am Bookings Essential

Augathella Palms

Motel

P: 0411 545 194 E: augathellapalms@gmail.com www.augathellapalms.com.au

Download the Charleville App for further tour details and updates! www.charleville.eventapp.com.au

THE ROCKS MOTEL AND ON THE ROCKS RESTAURANT On the Rocks Restaurant

WHERE CITY STYLE MEETS COUNTRY HOSPITALITY For travellers who appreciate that little bit extra, our motel and restaurant have rightly earned their reputation as THE place to stay and dine when visiting Charleville.

Modern Australian Cuisine

Relax by the Pool

n n n n n n n n n n

Studio Garden View Room

No 1 TripAdvisor Motel and Restaurant in Charleville 20 modern and stylish rooms, surrounded by landscaped gardens and a swimming pool Located in the centre of town Modern Australian Cuisine offered in a relaxed dining format Studio rooms offer coffee machines and mini bar Studio Garden View rooms have the additional convenience of microwave ovens and toasters Self Catering Family rooms with a separate bedroom Free Airport transfers 74 Wills Street, Charleville Free Wi-Fi P: 07 4654 2888 Reasonable Room Rates.. you’ll be surprised E: bookings@rocksmotel.com.au

BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

www.rocksmotel.com.au

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28-30 AUGUST 2020 Enjoy a jam-packed line up of country music, rodeo, barrel racing, bushmen contest, shearing, wood chopping, dog trial demonstrations, market stalls, fireworks and outback hospitality. Cowboys, bull riders, shearers and stockmen will converge on our famous town making this event a great couple of days out for the whole family. Tickets available online, at the gate or from the Cunnamulla Fella Visitor Information Centre.

cunnamullafellafestival.com.au

Cunnamulla, Eulo, Yowah & Wyandra Take the time to live like a local and immerse yourself in outback adventure, history and nature. Visit the Artesian Time Tunnel to be transported back in time 100 million years. Stop in at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre art gallery and museum. Explore natural and cultural heritage trails or try your luck at the Yowah opal fields and maybe even find your fortune.

For your FREE travel pack stop by the Cunnamulla Fella Centre cunnamullafellafestival/ Jane Street, Cunnamulla | Call 07 4655 8470 |

CHARLOTTE PLAINS OUTBACK MAGIC CUNNAMULLA

Charlotte Plains (27,000ha) is famed among camping enthusiasts for its camping haven near the free-flowing artesian bore. Soaking in nature’s hot mineral spa bathtubs under the stars is a great extra with a campfire which adds colour and warmth. Wonder at the history, vastness, sheep, cattle, emus, roos, birdlife and sunrises. A variety of accommodation and camping is available. Don’t forget the property tours of the shearing shed, station cemetery and home of memorabilia. Dine under a galaxy of stars by the open campfire. Planes, coaches and groups are welcome. Free Wi-Fi at homestead. Dogs permitted. Dream and enjoy real outback magic and top hospitality. Airstrip: Length 940m S28° 04’ E146° 11’ P 07 4655 4923 | charlotteplains@gmail.com www.charlotteplains.com.au

Sheep in Cunnamulla

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THE SOUTH WEST

NEW

Home to Australia’s largest dinosaur

Eromanga Dinosaurs

‘COOPER’

Queensland Australia

FOR BOOKINGS & EXPERIENCES: Phone (07) 4656 3084 Email info@enhm.com.au

www.enhm.com.au 1 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga Queensland 4480, Australia

ANNUAL EVENTS April - Adavale Rodeo, Gymkhana & Campdraft April - Toompine Easter Gunshoot May - Quilpie Cup June - Quilpie Polocrosse Carnival

Quilpie Shire - a stunning Outback region in South West Queensland that is steeped with a rich pioneering and prehistoric history.

July - Bash Break on Brolga July - Outback Golf Masters July - Nockatunga/Toompine Polocrosse Carnival

Incorporating the towns of Cheepie, Adavale, Toompine, Eromanga and Quilpie there is sure to be something to entertain.

August - Quilpie Golf Open September - Kangaranga-Do September - Quilpie Show & Rodeo

Dinosaurs - Opal - Art - Exhibitions - Events - National Parks - Outback Pubs - Museum - River walks or simply watch the sunset at Baldy Top, your Outback Adventure starts here!

Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, 51 Brolga Street, Quilpie QLD 4480 (07) 4656 0540 tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au www.visitquilpieshire.com

September - Pride of the West Races September - Quilpie Gymkhana and Enduro October - Quilpie Bowls Carnival

Find us on

facebook.com/visitquilpieshire instagram.com/visitquilpieshire #visitquilpieshire

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BOOBOOK ECOTOURS ROMA, QLD

An Adventur e Awaits… Experience parts of Outback Queensland few will get to explore with BOOBOOK’s local guides who are recognised ecological experts. ■ Australian wildlife, plants, scenic lookouts, sandstone gorges, unique Aboriginal art, local industries and more… ■ Small groups travelling in comfortable air-conditioned 4WD vehicles ■ Come on a fun half or 1-day tour. For the more adventurous participate in our 5-day Eco-science Expedition ■ One-hour flight from Brisbane, good roads and rail access ■ Exclusive access to large privately-owned properties ■ Fully catered – scrumptious wholesome tucker

The Big Rig tells of all the twists and drama of when oil and gas first flowed in our nation

The Big Rig Entry and Self Guided Tour 7 days; $15 adult | $10 child

Immerse yourself in their stories, stand beneath the rigs and gain an understanding of the hope, ingenuity and mateship that shaped the Australian oil, gas and energy industry

P 07 4622 2646 | info@boobook.biz www.boobookecotours.com.au

The Big Rig Guided Tour

2pm weekdays (ex public holidays); $20 adult | $15 child

Bring your Oil Patch Museum experience to life with one of our experienced “Roma Rigger” guides. Hear all the crude stories and gritty details of an industry that history almost forgot

NINDIGULLY PUB

The Big Rig Night Show Sunset Experience

Sternes Street, Nindigully P 07 4625 9637 nindigullypub@hotmail.com www.facebook.com/NindigullyPubOfficial Enjoy a big, wholesome country-style meal available 7 days a week or sink your teeth into our famous Oversized Burgers. Road Train Burger is available daily and can feed 4–8 people. The Annual Nindigully Pig Races 28 November 2020 – raising money for the RFDS. Free camping along the banks of the beautiful Moonie River in front of the pub.

M/W/F 5pm (5:30pm Nov–Feb); $25 adult | $20 child

Ignite your interest in sabotage, drama and intrigue through the eyes of a “Roma Rigger” guide, with a glass of Outback port and an original sound and light show Combination, concession and family prices available for all tours

Roma Visitor Information Centre Injune Visitor Information Centre Mitchell Visitor Information Centre

P: 07 4624 0204 tourism@maranoa.qld.gov.au facebook.com/TheBigRigRoma

roma saleyards

Australia’s Largest Cattle Selling Centre Roma Saleyards Interpretive Centre Open 7 Days FREE guided tours Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30am. Sale days may be impacted by seasonal conditions. Roma Saleyards is the largest cattle selling centre in Australia with 300,000-400,000 head of cattle sold through the facility annually.

Visitors can experience the sale of around 7,000 head of cattle in a single day. The new Roma Saleyards Interpretive Centre provides an immersive and informative experience for all visitors.

For more information please contact the Roma Visitor Information Centre

P: (07) 4624 0204 | E: tourism@maranoa.qld.gov.au 56

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THE SOUTH WEST

Come out and stay, play, explore and experience life in the real Outback!

Our experienced staff have an abundance of knowledge on everything to do at The Dig Tree, The Face Tree, Noccundra, Cameron Corner, Thargomindah, Kilcowera Station, Currawinya National Park, Hungerford and a wide variety of other locations, both intra and interstate. Come and relax in our air conditioned centre and use our free wifi to catch up with family and friends.

Thargomindah Visitor Information Centre 37 Dowling Street, Thargomindah

Phone: 07 4621 8095 *www.explorebulloo.com.au* * tourism@bulloo.qld.gov.au * https://www.facebook.com/explorebulloo/

WO R L L A RG D ’S AMA EST PRIZE TEUR POOL

JUNE + JULY 2020

CALLING ALL AMATEUR GOLFERS! ADVENTURE OUTBACK THROUGH AUSTRALIA’S MOST REMOTE GOLF SERIES.

WIN!

MILLION DOLLAR PLUS 5 x $ 10,000 HOLE-IN-ONE CHALLENGES IN EACH LOCATION Presented by

BILOELA

|

CHARLEVILLE

|

QUILPIE

|

BLACKALL

|

HUGHENDEN

|

LONGREACH

outbackqueensland.com.au

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THE EAST

INCORPORATING THE COMMUNITIES OF BILOELA, THEODORE, MOURA AND TAROOM CAIRNS

Mount Isa

Julia Cloncurry Creek

NT

TOWNSVILLE

NORTH WEST

It’s home to Lake Murphy, Kroombit Tops and Mt. Scoria Conservation Parks along with Isla and Cania Gorges.

QLD

Winton Boulia

P

ut simply, the easternmost part of Outback Queensland is gorge-ous!

Richmond Hughenden

CENTRAL WEST Longreach Barcaldine Blackall Tambo

FAR WEST

Biloela

Windorah

SA

Quilpie

Charleville

Cunnamulla

NSW

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Roma

BRISBANE

SOUTH WEST Thargomindah

Its capital Biloela provides the perfect base for your eastern adventure, rich with history which you can discover at Queensland Heritage Park in Biloela.

EAST

Birdsville Eromanga

Bring your fishing rod because the fish are always biting, whether you’re casting off at The Dawson River or Callide Dam.


THE EAST

FIVE CAN’T MISS ATTRACTIONS IN THE EAST ISCOVER NATIONAL 1 DPARKS SUCH AS THE GLEBE WEIR AND EXPEDITION NATIONAL PARK

AKE YOUR 4WD OFF 2 TROAD TO KROOMBIT STATE FOREST AND NATIONAL PARK

AKE A PICTURE WITH THE 3 TSTATUE OF BANANA – THE DUN-COLOURED BULLOCK ON THE MAIN STREET OF BANANA

AVE A PICNIC AT MT 4 HSCORIA, WITH ITS ROCK FORMATION STANDING 150M HIGH

ISIT THE SANDSTONE 5 VWONDERS OF ISLA GORGE, A NATIONAL PARK BEST KNOWN FOR ITS ROCK FORMATIONS AND RARE AND THREATENED PLANT SPECIES

Boolimba Bluff

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A REAL-LIFE

JURASSIC PARK TUCKED WITHIN THE CARNARVON RANGES WITH PRICELESS CULTURAL TREASURES, PRIMITIVE PLANTS AND DRAMATIC SANDSTONE ESCARPMENTS, ONE THING’S CLEAR: THIS IS NO ORDINARY CATTLE RUN. By David Levell

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CARNARVON

Wallaroo Outback Retreat consists of eight glamping safari-style tents, all on wooden decks with framed beds and quality linen. Close by, a reception centre includes flushing toilets, showers and a kitchen. There’s even Wi-Fi. The best way to take an in-depth scout about the property, however, is with Craig Eddie of Roma-based Boobook Ecotours. You don’t have to stay at the Retreat to join a Boobook day trip to Wallaroo, but it’s the only way to see the best of the station.

I

s this a rock wall or a time machine? Facing a sandstone overhang on Wallaroo Station in Central Queensland’s Carnarvon Ranges, I feel it could almost be a couple of thousand years ago – the ancient artworks stencilled in ochre here seem so fresh and alive. This is Rainbow Cave, an astonishing legacy from a mysterious corner of Australia’s past. Outlines of human hands – even a full body stencil – adorn the rock face, along with a smattering of paintings, such as kangaroo testicles and even a European-style axe. What does it all mean? No one knows for sure. The traditional owners have never been identified, cultural continuity severed by colonialism long ago. And it’s far from the only Indigenous site on the station; another called the Axe Factory, for example, has hundreds of rock grooves indicating major blade-sharpening activity.

the world’s greatest concentrations of Indigenous stencil art. Flying in by helicopter from Roma (160km south) affords an unforgettable idea of the sheer size and isolation of this country. As we approach, cleared flat paddocks give way to increasingly forested hills, with the eastern edge of Wallaroo skirting the dramatic sandstone escarpments bordering the neighbouring Arcadia Valley. Altogether Wallaroo encompasses 71,000 acres – nobody talks hectares out here – almost twice the area of metropolitan Sydney. Wallaroo is also easily accessible by road, along the Great Inland Way (Carnarvon Highway) between Injune and Rolleston. It’s remote but we’re not roughing it. The

With wildly weathered sandstone formations, weird and primitive giant cycad plants, Aussie wildlife galore and Aboriginal cultural sites par excellence, there’s plenty to take in. Craig, an ecologist by trade, talks us through all the changing terrain – ironbark woodland, dry eucalypt rainforest – and identifies flora and fauna for us, including five kangaroo and wallaby species. We stop off at choice vantage points over the Arcadia Valley – lush farmland only opened to agriculture in the 1960s – to marvel at looming towers of sandstone with evocative names, such as The Sphinx. Morning tea sees us in Cycad Grove, an extensive forest of macrozamia cycads, primitive palm-like vegetation that exudes a strong dawn-of-time vibe. In fact, cycads are often called ‘dinosaur plants’,

All images: Carnarvon Gorge

It might seem amazing that such priceless cultural treasures exist on a privately owned cattle run, but this is no ordinary farm and getting here with Boobook Ecotours (boobookecotours.com.au) is no ordinary tour. It’s heavily forested, huge and filled with secluded gorges and caves – much like the rest of the Carnarvon Ranges, a region blessed with one of

61


being the dominant vegetation back when the world was a real-life Jurassic park. It looks like it still could be, in this secluded macrozamia metropolis framed by tall sandstone walls. Cycads are everywhere, but the crowning glory is The Arch, a weathered rock outcrop standing like a thick-thighed giant, legs apart, turned to stone but poised to galumph its way out of the gorge should the spell be lifted. But then there’s something enchanting about this whole country – I’m feeling spellbound by it myself. We finish up at Rainbow Cave. ‘We make sure these sites are never desecrated,’

says Wallaroo station owner, Justin MacDonnell, whose determination to protect his environment, natural and cultural, is unwavering. One day he hopes to be able to invite Indigenous custodians here, should they ever be found. We may not know exactly why those hands were painted, but as captured moments from real lives lived, they are moving in ways unconnected with rite or symbol. They simply mark a day, perhaps much like this one, when living hands like ours, from the world’s oldest living culture, pressed against rock to reach us across all of recorded time. Above left: Take a ‘great walk’ in Carnarvon National Park

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GETTING HERE

Above: A scenic road in Carnarvon Gorge

Qantas flies direct to Roma where you can join Boobook Ecotours. For more information: outbackqueensland.com.au/tours/boobook-ecotours

Below: Sandstone Park, Carnarvon Gorge

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SANDSTONE WONDERS INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF BILOELA, BARALABA, DULULU, WOWAN, GOOVIGEN, JAMBIN, THANGOOL, BANANA, MOURA, TAROOM, THEODORE AND CRACOW

3 GORGES PUTTING THE SANDSTONE IN “SANDSTONE WONDERS” ISLA GORGE NATIONAL PARK While the park’s suitable to visit yearround, nothing beats late winter and early spring when the bush is in bloom and creatures come to feed. You’ll see plenty of honeyeaters and grey kangaroos but the real stars of the park are the heavilycamouflaged Herbert’s rock wallaby, which are only found in this region of Queensland. Like most parks in the area, Isla Gorge National Park is not for novice campers or hikers; you’ll need to be self-sufficient, and to carry at least seven litres of water per person per day. But the rewards are everywhere: the park is a massive maze of gorges, sandstone outcrops and striking rock formations that are home to extremely rare species of plants and trees. The Gorge Creek runs through it, and you may camp at one of the most spectacular campsites in Queensland – right on the edge of the cliffs that make up Isla Gorge, with a natural viewing area overlooking Gorge Creek and across to Devil’s Nest, a cluster of jagged rocks that protrude from a ridge.

EXPEDITION NATIONAL PARK That this park is of special significance to the Kongabulla Clan of the Iman tribe – the carpet snake people – who had lived here for thousands of years is of little surprise. The park is full of rugged deep gorges and stunning sandstone cliffs over 100 metres high. It’s not, however, for novice campers or hikers; the park is remote and undeveloped. Robinson Gorge is the park’s main attraction – it stretches for 14 kilometres like a fortress, offering three stunning look-outs for experienced

hikers. But there’s gorges and wide-open valleys throughout the park. You’ll find bush camping areas in three distinct areas of the park: Starkvale, Lonesome and Beilba. Only the Lonesome area can be reached by conventional vehicles, the rest require 4WDs, though even with a 4WD, the more remote Beilba area is not accessible in the wet.

KROOMBIT TOPS This national park is an all-terrain adventurist’s fantasy - sub-tropical rainforest, massive sandstone escarpments and creeks perfect for cooling down in. It’s wild in here and should only be navigated by those with lots of bush experience – a Brigadier Bomber “Beautiful Betsy” which crashed here in 1945 during WW2 wasn’t found till 1994, that’s how rugged it really is. You can visit the crash site, and explore the creeks which run right through the park. There’s three camp areas in the park, none of which have camping facilities beyond a long-drop toilet. Both the Griffiths Creek and The Wall bush camping areas run along the banks of picturesque waterways, though the Razorback camping area in its tall blackbutt forest setting is just as stunning and has room for just two tents (not that you’ll have neighbours out here). If you’re fortunate, you might spot the critically endangered Kroombit tinker frog - the only place on Earth you’ll find this 25-millimetre-long frog (in spring and summer, it’s found in wet gullies of the rainforest).

TRAVELLER TIPS FROM A LOCAL From long-time local and Manager of Biloela’s Queensland Heritage Park, Cindy Cooper 1 Spend a few hours exploring Outback Queensland’s past – there’s restored churches, railway station buildings, machinery and more - at the Queensland Heritage Park in Biloela for an insight into the lives of early pioneers. 2 See how life was in the area for women, from the earliest Aboriginals all the way through to European settlers, at Biloela’s Spirit Of The Land mural. Spanning over a 100 metres, the mural is a community art project which wraps around the town’s reservoirs. 3 Make sure you check out the many festivals and events that make this part of Queensland so special. The best ones to come for 2020 include the Old Wheels in Motion Rally from 18 to 19 July 2020, Lake Callide Family Fishing Classic and Theodore Bulls ‘N’ Barrels Bonanza, both held at the end of October.

BILOELA....................................................................................................Population: 5,758 BILOELA RURAL HINTERLAND VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 11 Exhibition Avenue, Biloela | P: 07 4992 2400 E: rhvic@bigpond.com | www.sandstonewonders.com

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THE CENTRAL WEST INCORPORATING THE COMMUNITIES OF LONGREACH, WINTON, BARCALDINE, BLACKALL AND TAMBO

CAIRNS

Mount Isa

Julia Cloncurry Creek

NT

TOWNSVILLE

NORTH WEST

Outback Queensland’s central west wears its history on its sleeve, proudly the birthplace of Qantas, Waltzing Matilda and Australia’s Labor Party.

QLD

Winton Boulia

T

here’s lots to love about the heart of the Outback.

Richmond Hughenden

CENTRAL WEST Longreach Barcaldine Blackall Tambo

FAR WEST Windorah

EAST

Birdsville Eromanga

SA

Quilpie

Charleville

Cunnamulla

NSW

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Roma

BRISBANE

SOUTH WEST Thargomindah

Pioneering history is at the core of the central west and you can explore it by galloping horse-drawn stagecoach, sunset river cruises and live performances at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

Biloela

For history that predates early settlers, the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils can be found at The Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum in Winton.


THE CENTRAL WEST

YOU CAN’T SAY YOU’VE BEEN TO THE CENTRAL WEST UNTIL YOU’VE: ICKED UP A KEEPSAKE 1 PATAFTERALL, TAMBO TEDDIES. IF IT’S GOOD

ENOUGH FOR THE ROYAL FAMILY, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOURS

ISITED THE FAMOUS 2 VFOLIAGE OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE IN BARCALDINE

AKEN A TOUR OF THE 3 TBRAND NEW WALTZING MATILDA CENTRE IN

WINTON, THE FIRST MUSEUM TO BE DEDICATED TO A SONG

ISCOVERED EARLY 4 DAUSTRALIAN HISTORY WITH A TOUR OF THE

BLACKALL WOOLSCOUR

ISITED THE LONGREACH 5 VPOWERHOUSE MUSEUM, THE LARGEST PRESERVED RURAL GENERATING FACILITY IN AUSTRALIA

Experience a Winton sunset

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FULL OF SURPRISES

A SELF-CONFESSED URBANITE FINDS ALL SORTS OF REVELATIONS BENEATH THE RED DUST ON HER FIRST OUTBACK ADVENTURE IN CENTRAL WEST QUEENSLAND. By Natascha Mirosch

‘A

nd they’re off! C’mon girls get out there,’ yells race caller and publican Ben Casey as he lifts the gate. On the third and final loop of the track it’s ‘Apricot’ in the lead, but in the dying seconds, feisty ‘Bluey’, wrinkly legs pistoning and wattles wobbling, comes up on the outside and takes it by a breast. The crowd, a mix of older travellers, international backpackers and family holidaymakers applaud, and the happy winner tips her beer to Bluey the

chook, now feasting on her prize of fresh mealy worms. Ben Casey’s chicken races at The Royal Carrangarra Hotel in Tambo are just one of a multitude of quirky events central western Queensland seems to revel in, I’m discovering. A latteloving, deeply committed urbanite, I’m exploring Queensland’s central west, around 1000kms out of my comfort zone. At home, I can walk to Brisbane’s

CBD and have more than a dozen cafes, restaurants and bars within a kilometre, as well as all my essential services (eyebrow technician, independent bottle shop, nail bar etc). Despite being a well-seasoned global nomad, I’ve never been west of Warwick, or indeed barely made it out of any of Australia’s larger cities, mainly because the outback of my imagination is a lonely and desolate place; vast, sun-baked and featureless, remote and uncivilised. Yet, I have to admit to myself as I now sit in a beer garden with a frosty ale and my new best friends, grey nomads Keith and Wanda, my preconceptions are being smashed left, right and centre. The first is the outback roads. The anxietyinducing vision of me trying to negotiate rutted bulldust covered roads in an unfamiliar 4WD is thankfully incorrect. The roads are sealed and well-maintained, transporting a steady convoy of caravans and campers, 4WDs and everyday cars.

Clockwise from top: Lara Wetlands Carisbrooke Station, Winton Picturesque Winton

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THE CENTRAL WEST

GETTING HERE Central west is a 13-hour drive north west of Brisbane taking the Matilda Way. QantasLink also flies to the area for those short on time. Plan your holiday: outbackqueensland.com.au/ outbackregions/central-west

And far from flat and featureless, the central western Queensland scenery is diverse and beautiful. There are flat-topped mesas I learn are called ‘jump ups’ rising from plains of Mitchell grass, jagged hills covered in spiky trees blooming with hardy wildflowers and deep gorges carved from prehistoric waterways. Water, in fact, played a huge part in the geography of this region as it was once covered by the vast Eromanga Sea, leaving behind a treasure trove of marine fossils. And of course, there are the dinosaurs.

Then there’s the 28 murals of tiny Alpha – a town that’s earned the moniker ‘The Art Capital of the Outback’ with an outdoor sculpture trail including the much photographed ‘Roly Poly’ as well as a collection of murals by local artist Bob Wilson (who also paints miniatures on cigarette papers!). North east of Aramac there are sculptures on the road to Lake Dunn and Ranges Valley depicting aspects of outback life by local artist Milynda Rogers.

At Lark Quarry Conservation Park south west of Winton is the world’s only preserved evidence of a dinosaur stampede. Around 95 million years ago the guide tells us, herds of small two-legged dinosaurs came to drink at the lake when a huge carnivorous theropod set off a stampede, resulting in a panicked mass of footprints in the mud as the smaller dinosaurs ran for their lives. The footprints were preserved under sandy sediment which compressed to rock over millions of years. The tracks were first discovered in the 1960s but remained a well-known local secret until scientists visited in 1971.

The Outback’s love of film is also alive too. Not only is Winton the host of Australia’s most remote film festival, the nine-day Vision Splendid at the end of June each year but it is guardian of one of Australia’s last open-air cinemas, The Royal, built in 1918. Barcaldine meanwhile has The Radio Picture Theatre, a classic Art Nouveau movie theatre, with the original canvas seating and painted screen façade while tiny Jericho (population 100) is home to the smallest and oldest operating drive-in theatre in the country. Then there is a packed calendar of events all across the region, from Barcaldine’s Tree of Knowledge Festival, to racing carnivals, music festivals, markets and more.

The rich history in central west Queensland is also a surprise. In Longreach, the biggest town in the region, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre details the impressive achievements of our early outback pioneers. Longreach was also where QANTAS was founded and is home to the QANTAS Founders Museum. Winton, meanwhile was where poet Banjo Paterson penned Australia’s unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda in 1895. The most unexpected of my preconceptions to be blown away however is around art and culture; things I’d somehow imagined belonged solely to our urban centres. Winton’s new Waltzing Matilda Centre, designed by acclaimed Cox Architects after fire decimated the original building in 2015, is not only the first museum in Australia dedicated to a song, but showcases an enviable collection in the Outback Regional Gallery.

One expectation that turns out to be true however is the red dust. The further west I head, the deeper in colour it becomes and it gets everywhere, including, I’m surprised to find, between my toes despite thick socks and my new serious bushwalking shoes. Of all my outback experiences though, it’s day’s close that make the most lasting memories. I’ve seen sunsets from Santorini to Santa Monica and there is nothing, nothing that even comes close to the grand production that is a bush sunset. Each late afternoon I head to a high point to watch the colours change from a muted pale pink to burning, blazing orange or park myself near waterholes to watch the chaos as screeching mobs of galahs hand over to the bats as dusk falls, the sky starts to fill with a million stars and I sip my Chardonnay and wonder what the poor city folk are doing.

9 MORE SURPRISES IN THE CENTRAL WEST

1

 Did you know that Blackall

2

 Notice anything different

3

 But is it art? The ‘black

4

The town of Tambo is

5

 Check out

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The Evian of the outback?

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has thermal spas, created by the drilling of the first artesian bore in the outback in 1895?

about Longreach? All streets running east-west are named after water birds, like ‘Pelican’ and ‘Swan’ while the streets running north-south are named after land birds, such as ‘Galah’, ‘Cassowary’ and ‘Cockatoo’. box’ that frames the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine has stirred many a debate about the nature of art. known as the Outback Teddy Capital with over 40,000 homemade teddy bears sold in the last 25 years. Ilfracombe’s ‘Great Machinery Mile’, an amazing line-up of historic machinery stretching over one kilometre. Barcaldine holds the title for ‘best tasting water’ in Queensland and New South Wales.

The town of Opalton is home to the largest piece of opal ever recorded here in 1899, a pipe opal more than three metres long. Every afternoon during the tourist season, a besuited, hatted gentleman plays the piano and sings Waltzing Matilda in the North Gregory Hotel, the place it was first performed in 1895. In Longreach, you can take a Cobb and Co stagecoach gallop along part of an old mail route.

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RED RIDGE

(INTERIOR QUEENSLAND) SHAPING OUTBACK QUEENSLAND’S ARTS AND CULTURAL SCENE

R

ed Ridge (Interior Queensland) Ltd has become a leader in advancing arts and cultural activities in Outback Queensland, extending its services across the breadth of the interior belt of the state, as far north as Mount Isa, and as south as Thargomindah. Our vision has been to cultivate local talent and artists and facilitate community projects that have transformed the arts and cultural scene of the Outback, leaving legacy building outcomes for all the communities in which we serve. From impressive performing arts for communities and tourists to dabble in while visiting our outback region, to creating epic art installations, or preserving our unique cultural heritage – Red Ridge galvanises the arts and cultural offerings along the beaten track. We continue to showcase to the wider community that regional communities and people are innovative, engaging and highly creative. While passing through our rural roads, you may come across epic murals, transforming water tanks and towers that

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share the stories of Outback trailblazers, and the heritage that our communities encapsulate — with the ‘Trailblazing the West’ Mural Trail extending from Mount Isa through to Boulia. Red Ridge recognises that our region’s pastimes are important to the social fabric of our communities and have protected traditional arts and cultural activities such as leather making skills. While waltzing down the main street of Blackall, in Central Western Queensland, you will unearth the ‘Lost Art’ studio workshop, where some of the Outback’s last remaining leather craftsmen will be toiling away, ‘making and creating’ with leather. Be sure not to leave town without your very own ‘Lost Art Fly Flogger’. So, no matter where your travels take you across Outback Western Queensland, Red Ridge hopes you enjoy the vastness and high calibre of arts and cultural offerings along the way. To see more of what Red Ridge offers the outback, visit our website www.redridgeinteriorqueensland.com or follow us on Facebook.


THE CENTRAL WEST

Clockwise from far left: Artwork by Sauce Studio Trailblazing the West – Windorah Water Tower Artist David Houghton Trailblazing the West – Augathella Water Tower Artists The Blender Studios “On Track” Artist: Bob Wilson – Willo Lost Art Studio, Blackall and Colin Davidson

Trailblazing the West is funded under the Year of Outback Tourism Events Program

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LONGREACH REGION Experience the Heart of Outback Queensland

INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF ILFRACOMBE, ISISFORD, YARAKA AND EMMET

Welcome to Longreach Region: a smorgasbord of outback experiences. Whether you arrive by train, plane or stagecoach the Longreach region serves up a hearty outback feast. From serene sunsets on the Thomson River to the stories of outback spirit that riddle the region, this is the spot to devour outback ‘fare’.

HOPE YOU BROUGHT YOUR APPETITE! Prep your palate with a visit to Yaraka and Emmet, two tiny outposts, which sprouted from a rail project in the early 20th century. Emmet, once a meeting point for locals around a rail siding, shares its history in a display at the railway station. Once you reach Yaraka, at the end of the rail line, you’re in for a visual treat atop Mount Slowcombe. Give yourself time to truly appreciate a sunrise or sunset over the Yang Yang Ranges before you head to Isisford for more outback delights. If humans had been alive 98 million years ago we might have been on the menu for the prehistoric Isisfordia Duncani, the ancestor to the modern-day crocodile. See the evolution of nature on display at the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre and Café. If you have been left feeling a little vulnerable, tip the predator scales in your favour and cast a line at Oma Waterhole where Yellowbelly are on the bite. You can pitch your bush camp along the river or stay in town at the Golden West Hotel (hotel or caravan options). Tuck into the history of how machines shaped the outback with a stop at Lynn Cameron Machinery Mile in Ilfracombe, with notes of farm machinery – from a 1917 Ruston Tractor to a 1935 Series 1 Caterpillar grader – and a garnish of more modern machines.

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For a meatier main course head on over to the Wellshot Centre where the story of Wellshot Station – established in 1872 and at one time the largest sheep station in the world running 460,000 head – is on display. Still have room? Head down to the Heritage-listed Langenbaker house – a 1899 vintage – to truly understand the harsh realities of the outback. Rest and digest at the Wellshot Hotel or unhitch at Ilfracombe Caravan Park. With that teaser, head into Longreach but don’t worry, even though it is the heart of the outback it won’t serve up any ‘offal’ experiences. Understand the life of those who drove your dinner from paddock to plate at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame (outbackheritage. com.au). Add some sizzle to your steak with a stagecoach ride on a Cobb & Co. coach (outbackpioneers.com.au) retracing the old mail routes. The bull dust will settle on you as the horses gallop ahead leaving you a well-seasoned Outback Pioneer.

There’s no awful plane food on offer at the Qantas Founders Museum (qfom.com.au), rather a story rich in the spirit of innovation that saw two small biplanes grow to become the national airline of Australia. From simulators to stealth missions, a mechanic’s hanger to wing walks the museum showcases how Queenslanders (and the nation) took to the skies. Got eyes bigger than your stomach? Take advantage of the tour packages available for entry to a mix of menu items. You’re well served in Longreach with accommodation options but if you live by the expression you can sleep when you’re dead then take a walking tour of the cemetery to fill those spare moments between courses. At the end if you decide to head on, or head home, rest assured the friendly locals of the Longreach region will welcome you back to the dinner table with a plate full of experiences anytime.

Rustle up some grub and head to Starlight’s Lookout, once used by notorious cattle thief Harry Redford for a morning hike and picnic. Back on the Thomson River, join Outback Aussie Tours (outbackaussietours. com.au) for the Drover’s Sunset Cruise. Tuck into some tasty onboard nibbles then take your seat at Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show.

LONGREACH........................................................................................... Population: 3,043 LONGREACH VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE Qantas Park, 99a Eagle Street, Longreach | P: 07 4658 4150 E: experience@longreach.qld.gov.au | www.experiencelongreach.com.au


WINTON

Home of Waltzing Matilda INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF OPALTON AND MIDDLETON

Winton has always had a way with words. Places and events around this iconic outback town inspired the most immortal words ever put together by famous bush poet Andrew ‘Banjo’ Paterson – the lyrics of Australia’s best-loved song, Waltzing Matilda, long-regarded as our unofficial national anthem. Back in January 1895, 30-year-old Paterson was staying at Dagworth sheep station outside Winton when he put lyrics to a tune he heard the boss’s daughter, Christina Macpherson, playing on an autoharp. His inspirations included the recent suicide of a striking shearer at nearby Combo Waterhole, and his discovery, while out riding with Christina’s brother, of a sheep butchered at a billabong for some longgone swagman’s meal. The new song spread rapidly. “In a short time everyone in the district was singing it,” Christina later recalled. The first public recital was at Winton’s North Gregory Hotel on April 6, now celebrated annually in town as Matilda Day. Although the lyrics and melody have varied over the years, one reason for its unchanging popularity must be that dense array of delightfully Australian words – swagman, coolibah, jumbuck, billabong. Another is simply that it’s a good story, simply told. Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre tells the tangled tale of the song’s composition and cultural legacy, with artefacts including sheet music and instruments. The Centre is more than the song, though. Reopened in April 2018 after the original building burnt down in June 2015, it’s also a state-of-theart museum and cultural centre for the district, telling many a story of life on the land from which Banjo’s words sprang.

Stories of the land are similarly served at Winton’s annual Outback Writers’ Festival (June 23-25, 2020), which promotes reading and writing about the outback with author talks, seminars, short story competition and book fair. It’s held at the Winton Club, once the gentlemanly preserve of the district’s graziers and the venue, in 1921, for the first board meeting of Qantas – now there’s another iconic Australian word. And here’s two more: “vision splendid”. It’s Banjo Paterson again, his powerful description of western Queensland’s open expanses from his classic ballad Clancy Of The Overflow – “the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended”. What better name for a local film festival? Held immediately after the Writers Festival, Winton’s Vision Splendid Film Festival (June 26-July 4, 2020) celebrates another, more visual way of storytelling. The outback-slanted program is complemented by a themed short-film competition and a daily Breakfast With The Stars at the artdeco North Gregory Hotel, in which films on show are discussed by their makers.

the screen under – to quote Banjo – ‘the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars” of a clear outback night sky. The Royal also opens as a museum, displaying memorabilia such as antique posters and projectors – and even rollerskates from when it doubled as a rink. Dominating the back row is the world’s biggest deckchair – dinosaur-sized, in fact, which suits Winton’s recent emergence as the “Dinosaur Capital of Australia”. Fittingly, the three new species found locally were all named for Paterson and his creations – Clancy, Banjo and Matilda. The latter two turned up together in a fossil billabong. Like Paterson’s swagman they weren’t taken alive, of course. Their ghosts are finally being heard as scientists uncover their secrets, but that’s another story of this land. There’s always another story in Winton.

While several venues participate, the focus is on the Royal Theatre in Elderslie Street. Dating to 1918, it’s a vision to behold itself, one of the last two traditional openair cinemas left in Australia. Behind tall corrugated-iron walls, patrons settle back in canvas deckchairs to watch the stars of

WINTON..................................................................................................... Population: 1,134 WINTON VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 50 Elderslie Street, Winton | P: 1300 665 115 E: waltzing@matildacentre.com.au | www.experiencewinton.com.au

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BARCALDINE REGION INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF ALPHA, JERICHO, ARAMAC AND MUTTABURRA

OUTBACK TASTE-TESTER: FIVE DAYS IN THE BARCALDINE REGION Welcome to the beating heart of the Outback: Barcaldine Region is the geographical centre of Queensland and caretaker of its lifeblood, the Great Artesian Basin. This five-day mini break will surprise and delight you at every turn, and as far as the eye can see.

DAY 1: A IS FOR ALPHA Gateway to the region, the town of Alpha is a cultural showstopper, and the community’s 27 murals are a unique way of getting to know her history. Here you’ll find Bruinsma’s “Fossilised Forest” sculpture of a large rock split open with prehistoric treasures revealed inside, plus the Tivoli Theatre Museum and Jane Neville Rolfe Art Gallery nearby. After lunch, drive 50km west to the town of Jericho, sitting on the banks of a popular camping spot, the Jordan River. Jericho has a fascinating biblical-infused history, including The Crystal Trumpeters monument and “The Trumpeter” sculpture. Time your visit so you catch the smallest drive-in theatre in the Southern Hemisphere, where a double feature shows once a month.

DAY 2: VISIT AN OUTBACK OASIS A scenic 4WD detour via Blackall will take you to the stunning Lara Station Wetlands, 28km south of Barcaldine. Lara is a mustdo outback oasis, with shady campsites, large camp kitchen and shower/toilet amenities. Explore the wetlands by kayak or relax in the natural, artesian mineral hot pool – outback luxury at its best. The water reflections are particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset.

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DAY 3: DISCOVER THE GARDEN CITY After falling for Lara, it’s time to hit the region’s ‘capital’, Barcaldine (Barcy to the locals). Head straight to the Tree of Knowledge, and pay homage to a centrepiece of history, the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party and 1891 shearers’ strike. The once-poisoned, 200-year-old, heritage-listed ghost gum has been recreated as an incredible 18m high sculptural timber canopy, best viewed in the early or late-afternoon sun, and beautifully lit up at night. Time it right and you’ll end up in the middle of the Tree of Knowledge Festival (on the first weekend in May). Take the time to visit the Australian Workers Heritage Centre while you’re in town. You’ll find Barcaldine’s famous hospitality in Oak Street with its five historic hotels, perfect for a pub-crawl of epic proportions. Not only can you catch-up with the friendly locals, you’ll snag yourself a bed for the night at one of the hotels or head to a range of commercial caravan parks and motels.

DAY 4: GO WILDLIFE SPOTTING Get up bright and early for Lagoon Creek, just outside of town. There’s 2km of walking tracks and take your camera for some great nature shots. See kangaroos and emus watering here at dawn or dusk, plus 200 species of birds including tiny finches and super-cute fairy-wrens. After arriving in one of the oldest towns in the central west, Aramac (formerly

Marathon), take the time to check out the famous White Bull, mini Adorabulls located throughout town and Aramac Tramway Museum. Grab a feed at the White Bull Café before getting off the beaten track to the freshwater lake of Lake Dunn, 68km past Aramac. As you travel to Lake Dunn, keep your eye out for artist Milynda Rogers’ sculpture trail, featuring 38 metal works over a 200km loop. Once you’re at “The Lake” you can enjoy water sports such as windsurfing and sailing and there’s powered or unpowered campsites, plus the waterfront cabins for a cosy night in. Take some snags and fire up a barbie under the night sky.

DAY 5: MARVEL AT MUTTABURRA Head to Muttaburra, the geographic Centre of Queensland by passing over the rivers where Muttaburra got its name from, “meeting of the waters”. You’ll find a replica of the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni Dinosaur, one of the most complete dinosaurs found in 1963 by Doug Langdon, at the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre and two impressive museums to wander through. Don’t forget to have a look at the sculptures in this community created by local artists.  Have a swim at the Aquatic Centre with a heated spa or maybe do some geocaching, there are lots to find. Stay the night at the Caravan Park or the Muttaburra Freedom Park and enjoy the town’s hospitality.

BARCALDINE......................................................................................... Population: 1,500 BARCALDINE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 149 Oak Street, Barcaldine | P: 07 4651 1724 E: tourism@barc.qld.gov.au | www.barcaldinerc.qld.gov.au


BLACKALL-TAMBO You’re invited

Tambo and Blackall, 102km apart on the Matilda Way, are not just two small, welcoming outback towns – they’re the heart and soul of Queensland’s woolgrowing heritage. Here’s how to see the best of them both in 48 hours.

DAY 1: TAMBO 9am | Although Tambo is western Queensland’s oldest town (1863), its leading attraction dates to the 1990s, when slumping wool prices gave three local women a great idea to boost the district’s growers – quality hand-crafted sheepskin teddy bears. A quarter-century and 50,000-plus bears later, Tambo Teddies are Aussie icons, reflecting the outback’s can-do community spirit. Visit the shop (17 Arthur Street) to catch the bear-making action. Amid the scissors and patterns, wool samples and workbenches, newborn bears will catch your eye. Can you bear to leave without one? 11am | At 9 Arthur Street, Tambo Courthouse (1888) retains original fittings but is now the library and tourist information centre. Nearby, the Heritage Precinct features local history displays in Tambo’s original post and telegraph offices – have a go at sending a Morse code message. 12:30pm | For lunch (or breakfast), Fanny Mae’s Café (15 Arthur Street) or Cindy’s Coffee & Gifts (30 Arthur Street) are both popular local options. 3pm | Refuelled? Check out the free Grassland Art Gallery (30 Arthur Street), then set out on The Coolibah Walk from the Tambo Dam along both shady banks of the Barcoo River. This birdlife haven (especially early mornings and evenings) makes an ideal picnic spot. 5pm | Be back in Arthur Street by 5pm for the Royal Carrangarra Hotel’s madcap Chicken

Racing. At 5.30pm daily (May-October), publican Ben’s racing hens chase a feedfilled buggy around a track, with half the prize pool – bid to back a chook from 5pm – going to the Flying Doctor Service. After the madcap fun, toast the clucky winner with a glass of your favourite tipple and enjoy dinner at this friendly old-style country pub.

DAY 2: BLACKALL 9am | Blackall Woolscour (Clematis Street; 4km along Evora Road heading east from town) is a must-do – a visit to the cave of a clanking mechanical dragon, a symphony of wood, metal, shadows and steam. Australia’s last intact steampowered wool-washing plant, it closed in 1978 after 70 years of processing bales – but the machinery still runs, making a guided tour (hourly 9am-4pm) an evocative experience. It’s the still-beating heart of our wool industry’s glory days. There’s also an original 20-stand shearing shed, a free-flowing artesian bore – and cappuccinos in the cafe! 12pm | Back in town, turn left onto Shamrock Street to find Jack Howe’s statue. The Bradman of shearers, local legend Howe shore 321 sheep in seven hours 40 minutes in 1892 – still the world record for blade shears (basically scissors). You can also visit his grave in Blackall Cemetery.

1pm | Jack is one of nine artworks making up the Blackall Sculpture Trail, including the 3m metal Bottle Tree and the spherical Roly Poly just outside town. But you might want lunch first – and dinner afterwards – so wander down Shamrock Street for a number of choices, including counter meals at the atmospheric Barcoo Hotel. To dine in a heritage-listed building, set your sights on The Lodge on Hawthorn, where good food, coffee and antiques meet. 3pm | After lunch, wander up to Ram Park and explore the collection of relocated buildings and artefacts that give glimpses of early days in the Blackall region. Pop into the info centre, located in the middle of town, for more information about the other attractions Blackall has to offer. 5pm | Craving some R&R? Take time out at the Blackall Aquatic Centre (Salvia Street) and relax in the spa, its warm bubbling artesian waters fed by 58 degree bore water. If you prefer to swim some laps, there is also a 50 metre olympic size pool. Finally, you might recall the Aussie phrase ‘beyond the black stump’, meaning anywhere remote. Originally it meant the unsettled country west of Blackall, where colonial surveyors steadied their transits on a tree stump. Make sure you get the story at the Black Stump Memorial (Thistle Street) before you venture beyond Blackall.

BLACKALL...............Population: 1,588 TAMBO............................Population: 611 BLACKALL VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

TAMBO INFORMATION CENTRE

108a Shamrock Street, Blackall P: 07 4657 4637 E: binfo@btrc.qld.gov.au www.blackalltambotourism.com.au

9 Arthur Street, Tambo P: 07 4654 6408 E: tourism@btrc.qld.gov.au www.blackalltambotourism.com.au

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Explore the Outback

with a Savannah Guides Operator DAY TOURS | CRUISES | HOLIDAY PACKAGES Horn Island Thursday Island Cape York

Seisia Jardine River NP

Fruit Bat Falls

Moreton Telegraph Station

Horn Island to Cairns

Bamaga

Archer River

Iron Range NP

Weipa

Old Telegraph Track

Mungkan Kandju NP

Coen TOURING ROUTES Lakefield NP

Musgrave

Cooktown Lion’s Den Hotel Cape Tribulation Staaten River NP

Wujal Wujal Daintree Port Douglas

Karumba Critters Camp

Lawn Hill Boodjamulla NP

Gregory

Burke & Wills Roadhouse r Rive rry Fli cu nd

sR

Cloncurry

Journey of the Gulf Savannah

Birdsville Desert Escape

Legendary Longreach & Winton

Corner Country Explorer

Townsville Brisbane to Cairns

er

Clo n

t hhard Leic iver R

Adels Grove

Undara Lava Tubes Einasleigh Cobbold Gorge Forsayth

Croydon

Mount Surprise

Georgetown

Leichhardt Falls

Cape York & Torres Strait

Cairns

Lake Barrine

Normanton Burketown

Porcupine Gorge NP iv er

Longreach to Townsville

Jundah

Innamincka Strzelecki Regional Reserve Cameron Corner

Belyand oR iv e r

Bundaberg g rre

o

iv er

Ba rco oR ive r

Wa

Charleville

Dig Tree Thargomindah Eulo Sturt NP

Tibooburra

Carnarvon Gorge NP

Brisbane to Longreach

Maryborough

Roma Miles

o Ri ver

Noccundra

Coongie Lakes

Lake Eyre NP

Idalia NP

Paro

Innamincka Goyder’s Lagoon Regional Reserve

Creek Cooper

Haddon’s Corner

Windorah

Gladstone

Camden Park Station

Welford NP

Betoota

S O U T H Birdsville AUSTRALIA

Riv er

Stonehenge

Rockhampton

Bullo oR

Big Red

Lochern NP

Th om son

Simpson Desert NP

Strathmore Station

Diamantina NP Diam ant ina Riv er

ree Eyre C k

Bedourie

LONGREACH

er

Dinosaur Stampede

QUEENSLAND

R iv

Boulia

Poeppel Corner

Anna William reek Creek inted Hills

Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Bladensburg NP Middleton

River ina org Ge

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Winton

Thom son River

Mackay

Dalby

BRISBANE

Toowoomba

Cunnamulla

NEW SOUTH WALES

Gold Coast


SAV E on th$ $ $ BIG 3e

DROVER’S SUNSET CRUISE PACKAGE LON G R E AC H

LONGREACH LEGENDS ATTRACTIONS PASS

GREAT SAVINGS ON TOP ATTRACTIONS Stockman’s Hall of Fame

Qantas Founders Museum

Drover’s Sunset Cruise Package

Book in early for this award-winning cruise, dinner and show package. Relax on the top deck of the fully licensed Longreach Explorer. Tuck into tasty onboard nibbles platters as your cruise to Sunset Bend for an awesome outback sunset. Then, take your seat at Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show for a night to remember. Savour a two-course camp oven dinner under the stars as you watch our talented entertainer perform live on the river stage. Finish off the night with fresh damper and billy tea.

SMITHY’S ARVO CRUISE

OUTBACK STATION TOURS

Board the Longreach Explorer at Smithy’s camp for a leisurely two hour afternoon cruise on the mighty Thomson River. Relax on the top deck while your Skipper regales you with stories of the river and native wildlife. Purchase drinks and refreshments onboard. EFPOS available.

Meet local graziers on Camden Park and Strathmore stations. Tour their properties and hear stories about life on the land. Choose from a selection of morning ‘smoko’ and sunset station tours. Tours include either a delicious home-baked smoko or sunset nibbles. View our website for full tour details.

LON G R E AC H

LON G R E AC H

Call 1300 78 78 90 Email info@oat.net.au or visit www.outbackaussietours.com.au Longreach Historic Railway Station, Landsborough Hwy ABN: 31 010 813 313 | ACN: 010 813 313


The outback is as prosperous, tough and unforgiving as it ever was. It’s where hard yakka, guts and resilience built our nation’s identity and why the great Australian stockman – the legend of the bush - became our national hero.

THE STOCKMAN’S LIFE LIVE SHOW is your best chance to get down in the dust with us, hear the stories and meet our working dogs, learn about bush skills and get to know more about the stockman’s deep connection to the land and the livestock they care for. (Every day at 11am except Fridays)

The enduring journey of the stockman, the challenges and demands, and the evolution of this epic industry continue to this day. In honour of that stoic outback spirit, 2020 will see the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame introduce a stunning multimilliondollar transformation.

Our brilliant new cinematic experience will transport you through history in a tribute to our pioneers of the outback. All your senses will come alive to the movement and soundscape as you journey alongside the early bush custodians, through the generations to now.

THE STOCKMAN’S NIGHT OUT LIVE – DINNER, SHOW & MUSIC is a must-do event! You’ll be thoroughly entertained while you enjoy a sumptuous two course home cooked Outback BBQ dinner. It’s a bit like being in a country pub when the shearers get paid – unexpected, entertaining and does not always go to script. Relax around the traditional homestead, revisit the art of conversation around our family table and live the life of the stockman and his family. It’s a great night out!

Like nothing you have seen before, our leading-edge technology will awaken you to the hardships, passion, bush comradery and industry changes that have shaped the industry and made our country great.

We don’t stop there. In planning to bring you a state of the art museum, with exceptional galleries, displays and entertainment, The Stockman’s Hall of Fame will bring the stockman’s experience to life with the launch of two new LIVE shows.

Our famous Stockman’s Pie Floater lunch is also a must. Grab a beer in our fully licensed cafe and afterwards treat yourself to a unique shopping experience where you can buy that perfect outback memento. Open 7 days a week.

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O U R S T O RY S I N C E 1920

Find us on

OPENING HOURS The Museum is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm (except Christmas and Boxing Day). Special opening hours are available to groups and charters by prior arrangement. Tours operate daily and bookings are essential. Combination tour packages are also available.

qfom.com.au

(07) 4658 3737 | info@qfom.com.au Sir Hudson Fysh Drive, Longreach, Queensland, Australia

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SALTBUSH RETREAT

Saltbush Retreat’s rustic but beautiful self-contained accommodation reflects the unique textures and tones of the Outback. The exquisitely themed 4.5-star Homestead Stables and 4-star Slab Huts deliver an authentic outback experience; without sacrificing those all-important creature comforts. The well-appointed 3.5-star Outback Cabins are a true home-away-from-home. It’s an easy stroll to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum from your accommodation. Guests staying in Homestead Stables and Slab Huts also have access to the exclusive Outdoor Bath Terrace. 63-65 Ilfracombe Road, Longreach P 07 4658 3811 | info@saltbushretreat.com.au www.saltbushretreat.com.au

SCHOOL OF THE AIR, LONGREACH

MERINO BAKERY

$2 Merino Money Present this advertisement to be stamped at the Merino Bakery and receive your gift of $2 off any purchase.* ■ Minimum sale amount $5.00 ■ One stamp per family per visit ■ Not redeemable for cash ■ Offer expires 31 December 2020 ■ Open 7 Days 120 Eagle Street, Longreach P 07 4658 1715 | F 07 4658 0045 Right in the middle of town

COOPERS ON CASSOWARY 77 Cassowary Street, Longreach M 0474 077 298 info@coopersoncassowary.com.au www.coopersoncassowary.com.au Relax in style in our very private 3 bedroom cottage. ■ Spacious self contained, A/C accommodation ■ Sleeps 5 / 1 queen, 1 twin, 1 single ■ Exclusively yours for your stay, all linen provided ■ Set in shady, fully fenced private garden with BBQ ■ Centrally located in town centre, 50m from the Botanic Walkway

Guided tours 9:00am & 10:30am Monday – Friday (excl. public/Christmas school holidays) – bookings recommended for large groups. Please check opening hours/tour availability December and January. ■ Visitors will experience firsthand what an on-air lesson looks and sounds like and hear from students, home tutors, teachers and staff about this unique school. 2020 is a school musical year, you’ll be amazed at what we can achieve when effort conquers distance – come and enjoy our outback hospitality ■ Leave your mark on our school by donating to our student donation programs ■

ABAJAZ MOTOR INN

10349 Landsborough Highway, Longreach P 07 4658 4232 | tours1@eq.edu.au www.longreachsde@eq.edu.au (tourist information)

CAMDEN PARK STATION P 0407 139 640 outbackdan@camdenparkstation.com.au www.camdenparkstation.com.au Camden Park Station is home of the newly famous Outback Yacht Club – tour the homestead where the Queen visited in 1970! Award Winning Outback Dan and the Walker family will love to host you for a hands on touch feel unique experience. Live Australia’s story!

LONGREACH MOTORS 33 Swan Street, Longreach P 07 4658 1700 F 07 4658 1857 longreachmotors@bigpond.com www.longreachmotors.com.au Mechanical Repairs and Servicing Truck Repairs and Servicing ■ Tyres, Wheels and Alignments ■ Exhaust, Brakes and Suspension ■ 4WD Fitouts, Bullbars and Lighting ■ Fridges and Camping Accessories

Rodd and Liane invite you to stay at the Abajaz. We pride ourselves in our personalised service to ensure your Longreach experience is the best. ■ 19 Ground floor rooms, undercover parking, Foxtel, reverse cycle airconditioning, microwave, fridge, tea/coffee making facilities ■ Free Wireless Internet direct to all rooms, pool, BBQ, guest laundry ■ Cooked or Continental Breakfasts available every day ■ Cot, hairdryer, toaster, fax and photocopying – ask at office ■ TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Winner 2013; TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Member – recognised for five (5) consecutive years as Certificate of Excellence Award Winners ■ Call us Direct and mention this ad for Special/Promotional Rates

■ ■

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11 Wonga Street, Longreach P 1800 081 288 | info@abajazmotorinn.com.au www.abajazmotorinn.com.au


LIVE-I SAVER T SAVE PAS%S 15

LIVE THE OUTBACK STORY FOR LESS!

Step into pioneers’ shoes in Longreach and enjoy all three of the award-winning Outback Pioneers signature experiences with the LIVE-IT SAVER PASS. SAVE 15% by booking all three!

LL of FAME HA • 2019

CERTIFICATE of

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EXCELLENCE

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Bookings are essential as popular times get fully booked.

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7 01

Adults $303 normally $357 Concession $291 normally $342 Child 5-14 $228 normally $267 Infant 0-4 FREE Family 2A+2C $1017 normally $1197

Cruise the Thomson River at sunset on a historic riverboat Tuck into a hearty stockman’s camp fire dinner with bush storytellers Wonder at the Starlight’s Spectacular Sound & Light Picture Show on the riverbank.

2015 • 20 1

Marvel at the merino wool story in our historic shearing shed Take a station safari to spot the animals Enjoy a billy-can smoko at Captain Starlight’s bush camp Be inspired by the Kinnon family’s own outback stories.

WINNER

V I S ITO R ’S C H O I C E OUTBACK QUEENSLAND EXPERIENCE

Gallop on the old Longreach mail route by Cobb & Co stagecoach Relish a real country smoko (morning tea) at The Welcome Home Hotel Rediscover a classic bush movie Laugh at the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show. Voted ‘BEST EXPERIENCE’ in the Visitor’s Choice Awards 2019 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards. Ask us to add on an entry pass to AUSTRALIAN STOCKMAN’S HALL OF FAME and QANTAS FOUNDERS MUSEUM.

DISCOVER MORE AND BOOK YOUR PASS ONLINE AT OUTBACKPIONEERS.COM.AU OR PHONE 07 4658 1776 When you’re in town, find out more at our booking office: 128 Eagle Street, Longreach outbackqueensland.com.au

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WINTON OUTBACK MOTEL 95 Elderslie Street, Winton P 07 4657 1422 info@wintonoutbackmotel.com www.wintonoutbackmotel.com 5 brand new rooms Standard, deluxe, family and disabled units ■ Foxtel and free wireless internet ■ Undercover parking and heavy vehicle parking ■ BBQ area and Airport pick-up ■ Pet friendly rooms available ■ ■

WINTON OUTBACK FESTIVAL

NOONBAH STATION

Noonbah Station offers secluded waterhole bush camping for self-contained campers

We are a working cattle property, 2 hours drive SW of Longreach in the iconic channel country, and we would love to share our land with you. Great birdwatching with over 215 species of birds on our property list, we can provide you with our bird list and bird, frog and reptile field guides are for sale. Fishing and pets are permitted. Relaxation and unwinding encouraged. $10 per vehicle per night. Enjoy our beautiful, big landscape and our unbelievable night skies. For a deeper experience of the outback, we also offer half day natural history tours, with a hearty homestead smoko included. These tours can be tailored to your particular interests.

P 07 4657 1558 info@outbackfestival.com.au www.outbackfestival.com.au 28 Sept - 2 Oct 2021 Held during the September school holidays it’s perfect for families or anyone who loves the Aussie Outback. The festival’s hilarious signature event, the Quilton Australian Dunny Derby, will top off five days of quirky events, warm Outback hospitality and nightly live entertainment attracting visitors from all over.

WINTON’S DIAMANTINA TRUCK MUSEUM

If you prefer not to camp, we offer our newly renovated accommodation, The Old Schoolhouse. This cottage is air conditioned, fully self-contained, with a Queen bed and everything you would need for a short stay. Ask about our packages to include a natural history tour with your overnight stays.

Situated on the Winton to Hughenden Road P 0429 806 140 | Open daily – 8am to 5pm heritagetruckswinton@hotmail.com.au www.wintontruckmuseum.com.au

Explore our website for more details.

Take a nostalgic trip into Transport History ... ■ Historic Trucks, Vehicles & Machinery ■ Toots’ Truck – Australian legendary female truckie ■ 1890 Ruston Stationary Steam Engine ■ Story Board Exhibition, Photographic collection, Merchandise & Transport memorabilia

S ee you soon!

Tonkoro Road via Longreach P 07 4658 5953 | E noonbahstationtourism@gmail.com www.noonbahstation.com.au

Winton Dinosaur Capital of Australia HOME TO THE AUSTRALIAN AGE OF DINOSAURS MUSEUM A N D D I N O S AU R S TA M P E D E N AT I O N A L M O N U M E N T

AU S T R A L I AN AG E O F D I N O SAUR S . COM

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HUGHENDEN Flinders Discovery Centre Hughenden P (07) 4741 2970 | E info@flinders.qld.gov.au www.visithughenden.com.au

RICHMOND Australia’s Dinosaur Trail in Queensland’s Outback is an exciting adventure, where you can follow in the footsteps of the prehistoric creatures that once roamed this ancient land. The trail links the towns of Richmond, Hughenden and Winton where some of the world’s most amazing fossils are still being found. A journey along the Dinosaur Trail offers visitors a range of unique experiences not available anywhere else in the world, let alone Australia! It provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see world-class fossils, Australia’s bestpreserved dinosaur skeleton, and to try uncovering their own fossils.

“The Fossil Capital of Australia” Kronosaurus Korner P (07) 4719 3390 E enquiries@kronosauruskorner.com.au www.kronosauruskorner.com.au

WINTON Winton Visitor Information Centre Waltzing Matilda Centre P 1300 665 115 | E waltzing@matildacentre.com.au www.experiencewinton.com.au

I’m an Outback Mate

TATTERSALLS HOTEL & VAN PARK

Red Dirt Tours will take you to locations you don’t have access to when you drive yourself and provide informative commentary on Winton’s unique landscape, flora, fauna, history and pre-history. So, take a break from driving. Sit back, relax and let Red Dirt Tours do the driving for you. Check availability and book online at www.reddirttours.com.au n Dinosaur Stampede n Australian Age of & Merton Gorge Dinosaurs Museum n Carisbrooke Station n Rangelands Rifts & Sunsets n Diamantina River & Old Cork n Bladensburg National Park

Tattersalls Hotel, on Elderslie, is Winton’s oldest standing public-house – an ongoing testimony of the pioneer era, pastoral, mining and tourism industries of the region. Quality service to its varied clientele flows at Tattersalls, boasting a colourful public bar, alfresco dining, extensive menu and wine list, bottle shop, pokies, keno, ATM and Van Park adjacent to Hotel. Tattersalls Van Park is walking distance to attractions, banks, post office, pool, hotels, cafes, bakery, bottle shop, counter meals. All sites are powered – guest laundry and hot water. Site bookings can be made at Tattersalls Hotel. Tattersalls Hotel 78 Elderslie Street, Winton Tattersalls Van Park Werna Street, Winton (opp Tattersalls Hotel) P 07 4657 1309 F 07 4657 1722

SPAR Cnr A Vindex Streets, Winton part&ofManuka our community. Our award-winning P 07family-owned 4657 1254 F 07 4657 1202 supermarket has been offering the sparwinton1@gmail.com

Winton community quality groceries since 1984.

A part of our community. Fresh fruit and Our vegaward-winning BBQ chickens family-owned supermarket has been offering the ATM Phone recharge Winton community quality service since 1984.

Ice

Bait

■ Phone recharge Fresh fruit and veg cnr Vindex & Manuka Streets, Winton QLD 4735 ■ ATM ■ Bait P: (07) 4657 1254 F: (07) 74657 ■ Ice ■ Open days –1202 ■ BBQ easy access E: chickens winton@5staronline.net ■

07 4657 1466 (Winton Info Centre)

reddirttours.com.au

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Waltzing Matilda Centre P: 1300 665 115 E: waltzing@matildacentre.com.au

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Situated in the heart of central western Queensland, our region offers visitors a warm outback welcome and experience. See all our region has to offer by exploring our five towns – Alpha, Jericho, Barcaldine, Aramac and Muttaburra. Experience the good old fashioned small town values and charm that our region has to offer.

C O M M U N I T I E S

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BARCALDINE COUNTRY MOTOR INN

TAMBO TEDDIES

1 Box Street, Barcaldine P 07 4651 1488 F 07 4651 1847 countrymotorinn@bigpond.com Barcaldine Country Motor Inn has the best position in town, friendly staff and large country homecooked meals. 33 air-conditioned ground floor units and 7 4-star villas all with undercover car parking and fully concreted driveways. Within walking distance to local tourist attractions.

17 Arthur Street, Tambo P 07 4654 6223 info@tamboteddies.com.au www.tamboteddies.com.au

RED RIDGE INTERIOR QUEENSLAND LTD

Tambo Teddies create innovative quality Australian made 100% natural woollen products. We produce cuddly soft teddy bears, echidnas, koalas and are the makers of the original flat teddy, the Bickie Bear. A must stop in Tambo, pop into the workshop and watch your bear be created. Get your Tambo Teddy and have a friend for life!

The Regional Arts Services Network is an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Red Ridge Interior Queensland Ltd has been appointed as the Western Queensland provider. You will find many of our projects across the whole of Western Queensland region such as Trail Blazing the West and Dress the West.

77-79 Shamrock Street, Blackall M 0428 397 319 info@redridge.org.au redridgeinteriorqueensland.com

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THE FAR WEST INCORPORATING THE COMMUNITIES OF DIAMANTINA, BARCOO AND BOULIA

CAIRNS

Mount Isa

Julia Cloncurry Creek

NT

TOWNSVILLE

NORTH WEST

QLD

Winton Boulia

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hey say they do things better in the west, and the far west of Outback Queensland is no exception.

Richmond Hughenden

CENTRAL WEST Longreach Barcaldine Blackall Tambo

FAR WEST

Biloela

Windorah

Eromanga

Quilpie

Charleville

Cunnamulla

NSW

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Roma

BRISBANE

SOUTH WEST Thargomindah

Nothing is more iconic than standing atop Big Red at sunset, watching the sun dip from the first sand dune of the Simpson Desert (Munga-Thirri National Park).

EAST

Birdsville

SA

The farthest corner of Queensland delivers so much more than gibber flats; you’ll find red sand dunes, waterholes and channel country that can see the whole area go under water.

Travel via desert roads for the opportunity to travel between three states without ever getting on a plane.


THE FAR WEST

THE BEST IN THE FAR WEST OIN THE 9000 OTHER 1 JREVELLERS WHO TRAVEL FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE COUNTRY TO THE BIG RED BASH, THE WORLD’S MOST REMOTE MUSIC FESTIVAL

NOCK BACK A COLDIE AT 2 KTHE BIRDSVILLE HOTEL BEFORE SMASHING A

CURRIED CAMEL PIE AT THE BIRDSVILLE BAKERY

EEP YOUR EYES PEELED 3 KFOR THE MYSTERIOUS BOULIA MIN MIN LIGHTS HEER ON A CAMEL AT 4 CTHE BEDOURIE OR BOULIA CAMEL RACES ISIT THE ONLY PLACE 5 VINTWO THE WORLD WHERE MAJOR RIVERS, THE

The Iconic Birdsville Hotel

THOMSON AND BARCOO, MEET TO FORM A CREEK, COOPER CREEK

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WEIRD ENCOUNTERS

IN QUEENSLAND’S WILD WEST WELCOME TO THE LAST FRONTIER

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or anyone with a love of offbeat characters and equally unconventional adventurers, the far west – a vast, remote stretch of country, 1500 kilometres or about 17 hours-straight drive west of Brisbane – is one for the bucket-list. Not only does it have a rich history, woven with wild yarns and eccentric characters, from lost explorers to Afghan cameleers and pioneering pastoralists, but equally strange natural marvels.

STRANGE LIGHTS For a town with a population of around 300, and literature that describes sightings as ‘rare’, a surprising number of Boulia residents claim to have seen the natural (or supernatural, depending on your outlook) phenomenon of the Min Min lights. And if they haven’t, they know someone who has. The Min Min lights were first seen outside Boulia at a lonely Cobb and Co staging site in 1918 and to this day, there’s been no conclusive explanation for these balls of light that hover and dance above the ground, scaring cattle and hardy stockman alike. Everyone has a theory though, just ask around town and you’ll get the gamut – from fluorescent gases to UFO activity. There’s no point looking

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for the Min Min lights though – as everyone will tell you – the capricious lights are said to look for you. For a sense of what they’re like without the fear factor, head to Boulia’s biggest attraction – The Min Min Encounter in the main street. It’s kitschy good fun, with animatronic characters, drovers ‘Gunna’ and ‘Bluey’ describing their sightings, while other characters expound on some of the theories proposed over the years to explain the mystery of the lights – from the scientific to laughably lunatic.

THE WET DESERT Considered the most unusual of Australia’s deserts, Diamantina Channel Country is a riverine desert and a spectacular natural phenomenon. In the dry, its endless shimmering plains of desiccated gibber grass seem unlikely to support any life at all. But in the wet, the vast network of veins of shallow interconnecting channels and creeks fill and spill across 95,000 square kilometres, swelling waterholes and attracting up to 450,000 birds including packs of chattering zebra finches, Australian bustards and even the extremely rare night parrot. In fact, the wildlife here significantly outnumbers the


THE FAR WEST

Clockwise from left: Camels on the roadside at Boulia Signpost at Boulia Avington Station, Barcoo River A cattle farmer in Diamantina Shire Boulia landscape A ‘wild west’ weird encounter

human residents with just 300 people and 11 mega cattle stations (some bigger than Singapore or Vanuatu) calling the region home.

Hilton’, you should make it a point to call in to the historic Middleton Hotel, between Winton and Boulia, to have a cold one and a yarn with the laconic, akubra-hatted Les Cain and his wife Val.

QUEENSLAND’S GHOST TOWN PUB

The couple, in their 70s, ex-farmers and former camel wranglers are the only residents of the once-thriving town, the pub one of only two structures remaining (the other is a dance hall). Built in 1876 during the Cobb & Co. era, the hotel is where tired horses and equally fatigued drivers were replaced on the stage coach route and there’s an original stage coach still parked out the front, destined

Conversely, there are many blink-andyou’ll- miss ‘em towns in this part of Queensland. Runner up is Middleton (population: 2), home to the Middleton Hotel or ‘The Hilton Hotel’, the cheeky name for a bare-bones camping ground in the red dust across the road from the most remote pub in Queensland. Even if you’re not staying the night at ‘The

to gradually succumb to time and the weather. While you may imagine it a lonely existence, Les says they couldn’t imagine living elsewhere and that ‘there’s always someone coming along’.

BETOOTA: POPULATION ZERO Middleton may be small, but the gong for Queensland’s smallest town goes to Betoota. Despite having a satirical online newspaper named after it (The Betoota Advocate), the sign welcoming visitors to Betoota reads ‘population 0’. A former customs post and Cobb and Co. change station in the late 1800s, the

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SIX WACKY

OUTBACK EVENTS

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town’s population dwindled, only saved from the title of ‘ghost town’ thanks to the presence of sole resident, Sigmund (‘Ziggy’) Remienko who ran the Betoota Hotel for 47 years. He died in 2004, bequeathing the hotel to friends but it sat empty until 2017 when it was bought. Ziggy has actually been laid to rest behind the Betoota Hotel so he is still keeping a close eye on the place.

Add your name alongside other worldly wanderers in the stone address book, found two kilometres out of town on the Longreach side of the sealed Stonehenge turn-off. You’ll know you’ve found it when you come to a wide, flat area and spy messages and addresses fashioned from stones.

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Boulia’s ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’ is run over 1500m with the mighty ships of the desert (who can weigh up to 800kg) on occasion getting their diva on by refusing to move out of the starters gate or deciding to run the wrong way around the track. bouliacamelraces.com.au

THE BIG RED BASH, JULY

Held at the very edge of the Simpson Desert with the backdrop of the desert’s highest dune, affectionately called ‘Big Red’, the familyfriendly, dog-friendly camping-under-the-stars music festival attracts some impressive Aussie acts like John Farnham, the Hoodoo Gurus and Midnight Oil. bigredbash.com.au

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BEDOURIE CAMEL AND PIG

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BETOOTA RACES, AUGUST

RACES, JULY

Camels are the animal of choice at the annual Bedourie races, run over six events. There’s also pig racing and a traditional camp oven cook off. thediamantina.com.au

It may be Australia’s smallest town, but come August, it positively throbs with life as travellers descend for the famous Betoota Races. betootaraces.com

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YABBY RACES, SEPTEMBER Held in the main street outside The Western Star Hotel in Windorah (population 80) the Yabby Races with local blue claw crustaceans competing inside a ring have been a fixture in the town for 10 years. barcoo.qld.gov.au

SIRI’S GOT NOTHING ON STONE The UK’s Stonehenge is known for its mysterious Neolithic monuments but in Australia’s own Stonehenge, history is written in stone in a far more literal way.

BOULIA CAMEL RACES, JULY

6  Top: Boulia Camel Races Above Left: Experience the thrill of driving off-road in the Outback Above: Big Red Bash 2019

BIRDSVILLE RACES, SEPTEMBER The town, generally boasting a modest 130 residents, swells to as many as 7000 each September as travellers descend to attend the races, held here since 1882. birdsvilleraces.com


BIRDSVILLE & SURROUNDS

Where the Desert meets the Channel Country INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF BEDOURIE AND BETOOTA

HOW TO TAKE ON THE SIMPSON DESERT (AND WIN) It’s one of the most desolate deserts in the world and for adventure seekers, it’s the ultimate Aussie trophy. The Simpson Desert stretches for 500kms, spreading itself between three states, with lots of loose sand and challenging tracks. It’s an ever-changing landscape; you could be in the Wild West one moment, expecting cowboys to pop up from behind the spinifex; the Middle East looking out for camels the next.

The more difficult of the two directions of travel is east to west because of the dune formation – well, harder for 4WDs but a heady challenge for bikers. It’s one of the most challenging rides in Australia because the sand or dunes look firm right until you’re riding over one. It’s not like riding on a gravel road where it doesn’t move under you; you have to concentrate all the time and the minute you relax is the minute you’re picking up your bike for the 30th time in the sand.

Some people have been dedicated (or crazy) enough to walk or pedal across the desert (always for a good cause), but most are attracted by the chance to pit man and machine against nature as they motorcycle or 4WD up and over the desert’s 1100 dunes.

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Munga-Thirri National Parks (Simpson Desert) in South Australia and Queensland are closed in summer from 1 December to 15 March. Big Red is closed for public access a few days prior to the Big Red Bash, during the event, and two days after. Munga-Thirri NP (Simpson Desert) is still accessible during this time via Little Red. All reserves have a 40km/h speed limit unless sign posted otherwise. Tag-along tours are a smart option if you want to tackle the Simpson in your own 4WD to ensure you have the support if and when you need it. You’ll need to bring your own bike to Birdsville or book via a company that supplies bikes, but this is no beginner’s playground. You’ll need to have had a decent amount of experience and understand how your bike performs in the sand.

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There is definitely more interest in going across the Simpson because it is one of those last frontiers that is generally not open to everybody.

The thing about a motorbike is, most people haven’t ridden in the desert before. You’ve got limited carrying capacity so the biggest issue is carrying enough fuel and provisions, or if you can carry it all, it makes it very heavy and difficult to cross the tough terrain.

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You have to be Macgyver-prepared to consider a trip to the “dead centre” - you’re not exactly able to call up RACQ or NRMA if you get in a bind. There are no official roads through the Simpson, just soft tracks that snake their way across the dry dunes.

For those considering the journey by twowheels follow the Scouts’ motto and always be prepared.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

 veryone who has done it has loved E the experience and calls it one of the best in the country but it does take that constant concentration. You do need to be fit and healthy to achieve it and preparation is everything – for the bike and your body.

BIRDSVILLE.................Population: 115 BEDOURIE.......... Population: 120 WIRRARRI VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

 EDOURIE OUTBACK VISITOR B INFORMATION CENTRE

29 Burt Street, Birdsville P: 07 4564 2000 E: info@diamantina.qld.gov.au www.thediamantina.com.au

17 Herbert Street, Bedourie P: 07 4746 1620 E: visitors@diamantina.qld.gov.au www.thediamantina.com.au

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BARCOO

INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF JUNDAH, STONEHENGE AND WINDORAH

THE A-Z OF BARCOO A IS FOR APP The old bush telegraph has been updated with the release of the Visit Barcoo App. With self-guided tours and points of interest it is a handy travel companion. Download it for iOS and Android devices.

B IS FOR BRONCO Bronco Branding takes centre stage at events held in the three communities. A competition version of the traditional early cattle branding methods.

C IS FOR CABINS AND CARAVANS Travelling without the van and need some home comforts of a cabin? Look no further than the Jundah Galaxy Opal Tourist Park! Travelling with the van and need a tidy place to stop over for a visit? Then spend a night in one of our caravan parks in either Jundah, Stonehenge or Windorah!

E IS FOR EXPLORING Follow the ridge to river drive from Stonehenge or the Barcoo Way touring route and discover gems like Magee’s Shanty and the escarpment country.

F IS FOR FISHING Try your hand for a Yellowbelly or Barcoo Grunter from the banks of Cooper’s Creek, Thomson or Barcoo Rivers. For those seeking fame, sign up for the Yellowbelly Hunt!

G IS FOR GALLOP Gallop down the home straight and join the locals on the first weekend in October at the Jundah Racecourse for the Shire’s only race meet.

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H IS FOR HOWZAT! It’s plum and he is out. Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist might not be calling the game but the excitement is alive and well at the Barcoo Big Bash.

I IS FOR INDIGENOUS HERITAGE The Native Wells located 32km north of Jundah were managed by the local Kuungkari tribe to protect the purity of the water.

J IS FOR JOHN EGAN PIONEER TRACK This short 4WD track weaves away from Stonehenge for 8km, taking in unusual rock formations and views over the gidgee woodlands. Budget about two hours to complete it.

M IS FOR MITCHELL GRASS Take the short but informative Jundah Settler’s Nature Drive for an interpretation of the Barcoo’s flora and fauna. Strewth, you might even see a Major Mitchell cockatoo!

N IS FOR NATURE DRIVE The 12km Nature Drive winds its way from Windorah to Cooper’s Creek. Plants are identified along the way through the differing land systems.

R IS FOR RICHARD WELFORD Richard Welford first took up a pastoral station in c.1870 which was converted to

the Welford National Park in 1992. Clamber to the top of the rolling red sand dunes for big sky views and spectacular sunsets.

S IS FOR SUNSETS Watch the sunset from the various vantage points around Barcoo Shire, from the glorious red sandhills west of Windorah; from the Swanvale Jumpup, 20km south of Stonehenge; or while visiting Welford National Park.

T IS FOR THE THOMSON RIVER Wash off the red dust at this outback oasis. Pull up just outside Jundah for free camping, to launch the boat, paddle around or cast a line.

U IS FOR UNIQUE When looking for that event that’s a little different, don’t miss the Jundah Sheep Shenanigans. The name says it all!

V IS FOR VISIT BARCOO Visit Barcoo to take in a panorama view of the region. From landscapes, events, flora and fauna, experience it all and enjoy the tranquillity of our part of Outback Queensland.

Y IS FOR YABBY RACES The crustacean craze takes hold in Windorah the Wednesday prior to the Birdsville races when 1000 punters line up at the Western Star Hotel to cheer on their favourite lil’ nipper.

WINDORAH...................................................................................................Population: 80 WINDORAH VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 7 Maryborough Street, Windorah | P: 07 4656 3063 E: windorahinfo@barcoo.qld.gov.au | www.barcoo.qld.gov.au


BOULIA & SURROUNDS INCORPORATING THE TOWN OF URANDANGI

Capital of the Channel Country and Land of the Min Min Light, where history and mystery abound. Mysterious eerie balls of unexplained light that follow the traveller, rare birds and trees, prehistoric dinosaurs of the deep, centuries old buildings are all to be found in this remote part of Western Queensland. Although the town at only 139 years old is young, the prehistoric denizens of the deep such as the Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur were here 110 million years ago when sea water covered the region. Fossilised remains of these mighty marine reptiles are to be found in Boulia and are the best examples of their kind on display in Australia. Also for the enthusiasts there are fossilised remains of turtles including the world’s oldest, named Bouliachelys suteri for the two brothers in Boulia who discovered it, John and Richard Suter. A Heritage listed building at Boulia Heritage Complex built of stone and compacted rubble within its walls is the last of its kind in the West that is still accessible for the public to wander through and view living conditions from 130 years ago. Marvel at life before electricity and modern appliances made their appearance. The rare 400,000 year old Waddi trees are only to be found in three areas in Australia, the wood which is extremely hard and dense was used by the local Indigenous people to make a weapon called the waddy and one of the oldest Waddi trees used as a sacred corroboree tree is still thriving in Boulia. The rare endangered night parrot first recorded in 1861 and then eluding bird enthusiasts and scientists for decades can still be found in the Boulia region. For bird watchers there are hundreds of species of birds to delight in the region.

The biggest mystery of all however is the Min Min Light, which cannot be explained by scientific fact although many varied theories abound.

cattle on the stock route there. Historically there were many Chinese market gardeners living there in its heydey who grew an impressive array of fruit and vegetables.

Legend has it that the first recorded sighting was at a lonely graveyard along the early Cobb and Co coach route outside of Boulia on the route from Winton, it was believed to have spooked a horseman so much he rode his horse 100km into Boulia and alerted the police officer there who put the garbled story down to “too much rum”. However to this day, the lights still appear to many a camper and motorist in the dead of night where no lights should be or could be. There has been no harm ever recorded by these mysterious sightings but it does leave the fortunate ones who see it with a sense of disbelief and eeriness, especially when it seems to hover and follow cars on lonely stretches of highway. Boulia has modern accommodation available and a must see Visitor Information Centre where you can catch the story of the Min Min Light in case you miss sighting the real thing. Urandangi is the other historic township in the Shire which became the drovers stop between Camooweal and Dajarra and quickly expanded into a township in 1883 where mail and supplies could be addressed. It was not uncommon to see at least three mobs of drovers with up to 2000 head of

Traditional owners of the land in Boulia are the Pitta Pitta and their culture is explored at the Boulia Heritage Complex where early pioneering history can also be seen in the form of medical, farming, machinery, exploration and education artefacts.

BOULIA......................................................................................................... Population: 480 MIN MIN ENCOUNTER AND VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 25 Herbert Street, Boulia | P: 07 4746 3386 E: tourism@boulia.qld.gov.au | www.boulia.qld.gov.au

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n amenitie Clean/moder

Beautifu

s

l grasse

d powe

red site

s availa

ble

(07) 4656 3214

(All enquiries to Bedourie Outback Visitor Centre)

birdsvillecaravanpark.com

1 Florence Street, Birdsville

www.thediamantina.com.au

JUNDAH ROADHOUSE 24 Dickson Street, Jundah jundah.roadhouse@outlook.com ■ 24 hour fuel access (Diesel & Unleaded) ■ Grocery Supplies ■ Meals – in house dining ■ Takeaways ■ Refreshments ■ Qualified barista onsite ■ Gift Ware ■ Off street parking

BIG RED BASH

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+ WENDY GLENN MERC + ROSS WILSON + VIKA & LINDA MATTHEWS -SEX + BJORN + DRAGON+ THIRSTY + THE RADIATORS + CHOCOLATE + MI SHANNON NOLLSHORROCK STARFISH AGAIN + DRAGON ++ + BJORN AGAIN NOLLBALBI THE RADIATORS STARFISH++THE MI-BIG SEXRED + THE+CRACK MARKSHANNON GABLE + STEVE UP SISTERS CHOCOLATE CAITLYN SHADBOLT BASH BAND MARK GABLE + STEVE BALBI + THE CRACK UP SISTERS + CAITLYN SHADBOLT + THE BIG RED BASH BAND

The Birdsville Big Red Bash is the world’s most remote music festival held on the edge of the Simpson Desert, west of Birdsville. The iconic Big Red Dune, from which the event takes its name, forms a spectacular stage backdrop for performances by some of the best Australian artists. On-site camping at this incredible location is all included. This bucket list event has SOLD OUT for 2020, so plan ahead for 2021! Find out more and join the mailing list on the website for updates. Simpson Desert, Qld | 7-9 July 2020 www.bigredbash.com.au SIMPSON DESERT, QLDQLD | 7-9 JULY 2020 SIMPSON DESERT, | 7-9 JULY 2020| BIGREDBASH.COM.AU | BIGREDBASH.COM.AU

WORLD’S WORLD’SMOST MOST REMOTE REMOTE MUSIC MUSICFESTIVAL FESTIVAL

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Camp Kitchen

Birdsville Bi

Corner of Herbert & Nappa Streets, Bedourie 1300 794 257

info@diamantina.qld.gov.au

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Birdsville Lodge

info@birdsvillecaravanpark.com

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llabong


THE FAR WEST WESTERN STAR HOTEL/MOTEL

COOPER CABINS

Best Outback Queensland Pub 2014/2015. The Western Star Hotel/Motel is a unique family owned hotel in the heart of Queensland’s Channel Country. We offer all the facilities and services of a modern hotel: ■ Bar & poolroom ■ Beer garden & outdoor sitting area ■ The Sandhill Grill restaurant ■ Budget accommodation ■ Self-contained motel units & cabins

Fully self-contained cabins with linen Reverse cycle air-conditioning ■ Television ■ Bar and licensed dining room ■ BBQ area ■ Laundry ■ ■

Albert Street, Windorah P 07 4656 3166 | bookings@westernstarhotel.biz www.westernstarhotel.com.au

11 Edward Street, Windorah P 07 4656 3101 | F 07 4656 3090 Your Hosts: Ross and Di Ward

Around a campfire at night Look out for the light @ Boulia Outback Queensland

Discover the mystery of the

MIN MIN LIGHT

Email tourism@boulia.qld.gov.au or visit www.boulia.qld.gov.au/min-min-encounter-tourist-centre

BOULIA CAMEL RACES

2020 2020

2020

It’s the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Races’ – the iconic Boulia Camel Races is the longest and most prestigious camel race in Australia! The tiny town of Boulia welcomes travellers to its famed camel races on the 3rd weekend of July annually. Camp onsite with campfires, live music nightly and glamping. Enjoy professional camel racing, with novelty fun by the trackside such as camel and sheep tagging, yabby races and lawnmower races. It’s an adventure in the land of the mysterious ‘Min Min Light’.

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THE NORTH WEST

INCORPORATING THE COMMUNITIES OF MOUNT ISA, CLONCURRY, JULIA CREEK, RICHMOND AND HUGHENDEN CAIRNS

Mount Isa

Julia Cloncurry Creek

NT

ack your hard-hat and sense of adventure – just four hours’ drive west of Townsville, Outback Queensland’s north west region begins.

Richmond Hughenden

QLD

Winton Boulia

P

TOWNSVILLE

NORTH WEST

It’s packed with dinosaur fossils, jawdropping scenery and mining history that will lead you deep underground.

CENTRAL WEST Longreach Barcaldine Blackall Tambo

FAR WEST Windorah

EAST

Birdsville Eromanga

SA

Quilpie

Charleville

Cunnamulla

NSW

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Roma

BRISBANE

SOUTH WEST Thargomindah

Ancient history is the only kind served around here, from Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park where you can walk amongst 25-million-year-old World Heritage-listed sites at Riversleigh, to ancient underwater marine reptiles in Richmond, or the fossil collections in Hughenden.

Biloela

No two days are the same in these parts; and in the north west a sense of adventure is the only packing essential.


THE NORTH WEST

TICK THESE MUST-DOS OFF DURING YOUR TIME IN THE NORTH WEST: AVE A BUCKING 1 HGOOD TIME AT MOUNT ISA MINES RODEO, HELD EACH AUGUST

IKE OUTBACK 2 HQUEENSLAND’S OWN ‘GRAND CANYON’ AT PORCUPINE GORGE NATIONAL PARK

AKE A SOAK OUTDOORS 3 TATBATHHOUSES ONE OF JULIA CREEK’S ISIT THE GHOST TOWN 4 VOFFORMER MARY KATHLEEN, A URANIUM MINE EE RICHMOND’S FAMOUS 5 SFOSSILS WITH A VISIT TO KRONOSAURUS KORNER Driving near Julia Creek

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YOUR RUGGED AUSSIE ADVENTURE

STARTS HERE LOAD UP THE 4WD AND PRACTISE YOUR BEST RUSSELL COIGHT IMPERSONATION FOR THIS BOOTS-AND-ALL ADVENTURE.

I

t’s Queensland’s big sky country, where the rusty, dusty red Outback meets brilliant blue hues and explodes into bushfire orange sunsets. This is the land of fossicking and exploring deep gorges, of break-or-bust rodeos, crisp campfire nights and tall tales of remote and rugged experiences. Out here, you’ll find dinosaurs, dirt and dust, and even a mine site or two. Queensland’s north west, framed by Mount Isa to the west and Hughenden to the east, and punctuated by Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond and Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park to the north, will unleash your inner cowboy or cowgirl and lasso your heart.

DIG IT One of Queensland’s richest regions when it comes to natural resources, the north west is built on a vibrant mining history, and dating back even further, a time when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Take a jaunty journey underground at Outback at Isa and discover Mount Isa’s rich history. A trek north of Mount Isa to the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Site will reward you with limestonepreserved fossils dating back 25 million years. Head east to Richmond’s Kronosaurus Korner and witness ancient marine fossils, while further east along

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Australia’s Dinosaur Trail at Hughenden, visit the Flinders Discovery Centre for more evidence of this vast prehistoric inland sea.

FISH IT Pristine waters, low pollution, wellstocked waterways and ideal breeding conditions mean the barramundi are always biting up here. But in the tradition of a good Aussie adventure, you’ll still have to work for your feed of fish. Luckily, there’s plenty of watering holes in which to test your mettle. Richmond’s Lake Fred Tritton is an oasis along the Overlander’s Way and fully stocked with Barra as well as 17 other species of fish. Further east, toss in a line at Mount Isa’s Lake Moondarra, or load up your four-wheel drive and head north to Adels Grove. Just west of Cloncurry, Chinaman Creek Dam is stocked with the Outback’s answer to lobster – the Redclaw crayfish.

RIDE IT Legends are born at outback races and rodeos and the north west is renowned for producing some of Australia’s best. Strap on your chaps and be part of the adventure, cheering from the stands, enjoying a punt, or having a coldie and a chin-wag behind the scenes to the characters about who these


THE NORTH WEST

Clockwise from left: Explore Cloncurry and the surrounding countryside in a campervan Riversleigh Fossil Fields Mount Isa Rodeo Lake Moondarra Porcupine Gorge National Park

GETTING HERE Mount Isa is a 20-hour drive north west of Brisbane. If you’re short on time, Qantas, Virgin Australia and REX fly into the north west Plan your holiday: outbackqueensland.com.au/outbackregions/north-west

stories are told. The Mount Isa Rodeo is the largest and richest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere and is packed with adrenalin and action from bull rides to barrel racing to steer riding. In 2018, the Mount Isa Rodeo celebrated 60 years, firmly entrenching it in Outback lore. For a more intimate outback race meet, head to the Julia Creek Turf Club for the Artesian Express Race Day, part of the Dirt n Dust Festival.

HIKE IT They call it Australia’s Little Grand Canyon and a hike around Porcupine Gorge National Park, north of Hughenden, will reward you with spectacular views of this deep chasm in the landscape. Discover coloured

sandstone cliffs, vine forests and watering holes here. Head to the camping area for the start of the 2.4km return Pyramid Track walk which trails down into the gorge. To glean a sense of the diverse bioregions to which the Flinders Shire is home, take the Eco Walk on Flinders at Hughenden which boasts more than 1.5km of tracks highlighting local flora and artworks as well as important events in this region. Further east, at Torrens Creek, the White Mountains National Park is peppered with white sandstone bluffs and gorges as well as diverse wildflowers which blossom from May to August.

SPLASH IT It may be called the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival, but there’s even a spot of

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Left: Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

CAMP IT

snorkelling tossed in for good measure. We’re talking about one of Australia’s toughest competitions which tests the strength and stamina of competitors to the core. Celebrating its 26th year in 2020, this event has everything from your classic triathlon, staged among some of the roughest Outback conditions, to bull riding and bog snorkelling – where competitors plunge into a mud-filled trench, and wade their way to the murky finish. For something a little more sedate, head to Richmond’s Lake Fred Tritton which is an ideal spot for canoeing, water skiing, sailing and swimming. North west of Mount Isa, at Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, it’s hard to beat kayaking or canoeing over water lilies with the sunburnt orange cliffs towering over you.

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DRIVE IT Pump up the tyres and hit the open road for some of our adventurous Outback tracks. We’ve got them in droves up here. Head to Hughenden and drive along the Basalt Byway punctuated by volcanic basalt countryside and lookouts boasting gidgee and eucalyptus country. Grab your fourwheel drive and follow the Eromanga Sea Byway along the edge of the former inland sea, or take the Flinders River Byway where its sandy crossing ends with a coldie at the Prairie Pub, an outback classic. For a touch of history, head to Cloncurry’s Ballara Mining Heritage Trail. This four-wheel-drive track winds through the three historic mining towns of Bulonga, Ballara and Highville, all former booming copper destinations.

Forget five-star accommodation, out here our star-rating is in the millions. Nothing beats sleeping under the Southern Cross on a clear night, in a secluded spot, where the only sound is the crackle of a campfire. Arguably one of the prettiest places to unroll your swag and boil a billy is at Fountain Springs, 60km east of Mount Isa off the Overlander’s Way. Home to a permanent deep waterhole and tonnes of wildlife, even better, it’s free. Over near Cloncurry, Mary Kathleen may be a ghost town, but this former uranium mining town is a popular spot for caravanners with its concrete slabs. Epitomising bush camping at its best, the Clem Walton Park near Cloncurry is so close to the Corella Dam, you can catch your Redclaw dinner from the comfort of your van. Searching for some shade and style? Adels Grove, near Lawn Hill Gorge, boasts campsites, donga accommodation and onsite tents on this pretty property with its sparkling waterholes, which are ideal for swimming at the end of a dusty drive. Or do as the hardcore Mount Isa Rodeo goers do, and head to Swag City during the event and sleep under the stars. On this north west adventure, you’ve earned your stars, and now have your stripes too, as an outback jackaroo or jillaroo.


MOUNT ISA

See the other side of Queensland Welcome to an oasis in the outback, a city where history was built from the ground up, through mining and innovation, blossoming into the rich and diverse community it is today. Mount Isa is home to more than 20,000 people, comprising 52 different nationalities, and is the heartbeat of north west Queensland. The city spans some 43,000 square kilometres, making it one of the largest cities in the world. Though its roots are in mining, it has grown to encompass agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing, and offers a lifestyle that rivals anywhere else. It’s a melting pot of culture and vibrancy, with events and entertainment to rival any Australian city. Home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Rodeo, Mount Isa is also a gateway to the beautiful Lawn Hill Gorge in Boodjamulla National Park and its neighbour, the UNESCO World Heritagelisted Riversleigh Fossil Fields.

MOUNT ISA EXPERIENCES At Outback at Isa, Mount Isa’s major tourism facility, you will find the Mount Isa Visitor Information Centre (VIC), Hard Times Mine Underground Tour, Isa Experience and Outback Park, the Mount Isa Regional Art Gallery, Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Mount Isa Fish Hatchery Project and the Outback Cafe. A trip down Hard Times Mine is a perfect way to experience what life working in an underground mine is really like. It’s a complete experience, where you’re able to don the iconic, high-vis orange overalls, steel-capped boots and cap-light, hop into an Alimak Cage and head underground into a working mine.

There you’ll find impressive boom drills and mucking units, which helped to create the mine’s tunnels, and it’s all hands on deck to drill and blast the ore seams to fill the wagons before shift’s end. Try your hand at an air-leg drill, or down tools and pop into the crib room to enjoy a tasty snack. The experienced guides are a wealth of knowledge as they recount the details of a miner’s life and what’s involved in working underground with many years of local mining experience under their belt. Tours run daily for those 7 years and older at Outback at Isa (bookings: 07 4749 1555).

A DESERT OASIS For a touch of peaceful tranquillity, you can’t go past the oasis in the desert that is Lake Moondarra. About 15km north of Mount Isa, the lake is easily accessible via a new fully sealed road. It’s the perfect destination for thrill-seekers looking to enjoy a spot of water-skiing, jet-skiing or recreational anglers hoping to catch the elusive big one, the lake is regularly stocked with barramundi, and is home to the annual Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic. It is also a popular spot for birdwatching, canoeing, sailing, boating, swimming and picnics, so whether you’re looking for a place for your next barbecue, gathering with friends or just hoping to spend a long,

lazy afternoon out on the water, Lake Moondarra is the place to be.

ANCIENT WONDERS The underground action continues further afield at the Riversleigh World Heritage site, which attracts palaeontologists from around the world and which Sir David Attenborough described as a “a treasure house of palaeontology”. Twenty-five million years ago, the area was a lush rainforest teaming with life, including ancient ancestors of koalas, Tasmanian tigers and kangaroos, the remains of which have only ever been found at the Riversleigh site and are helping to rewrite the evolution of Australian fauna. While a small section of the fossil site within the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is open to the public, the Riversleigh Fossil Centre at Outback at Isa provides an easier way to get a better understanding of the sorts of animals whose fossils have been discovered at Riversleigh. Get the behind-the-scenes experience during twice-daily tours with our guides – fossil enthusiasts themselves – who will take you through the lab and demonstrate how specimens are sorted, cleaned and fossils extracted to admire recreations of various creatures.

MOUNT ISA.......................................................................................... Population: 23,000 OUTBACK AT ISA VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa | P: 07 4749 1555 E: info@outbackatisa.com.au | www.outbackatisa.com.au

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CLONCURRY & SURROUNDS

Unearth Your Next Adventure INCORPORATING THE AREAS OF QUAMBY, DAJARRA, DUCHESS, KAJABBI AND BURKE & WILLS JUNCTION

Few places can claim to be as influential in shaping Australia as Cloncurry; birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and destination of the first QANTAS flight. Cloncurry is a community that celebrates outback life – the true Australian way. When visiting Cloncurry, you’ll hear stories of days gone past in cattle and mining. The rugged landscape offers unique experiences and whichever way you travel there are treasures to be discovered.

OASIS IN THE OUTBACK Check out Chinaman Creek Dam to watch the changing colours of Mt Leviathan at sunset, stretch your legs wandering the water’s edge, try your hand at fishing, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding. Make a stop at Clem Walton Park, a picturesque spot 57km west of Cloncurry, just off the Barkly Highway. The spot provides a recreation and camping area along the banks of Corella Dam.

GHOST TOWN ADVENTURE Experience Cloncurry’s very own ghost town, Mary Kathleen, which was once a thriving town until its sole mine was closed in 1983, homes were auctioned and the town deserted. Take a look at the remnants of the mine which are still evident today.

TAKE A STEP BACK IN TIME With over 150 years of history, Cloncurry’s stories will capture you as you take a step back in time at either John Flynn Place or Cloncurry Unearthed Museums. Explore the beginnings of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the history of outback aviation, medicine and radio at John Flynn Place Museum. John Flynn Place records the role of Cloncurry within this great story, for it was here that John

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Flynn began the flying doctor service in 1928 and pioneered his dream of outback radio communication. Walk through Cloncurry Unearthed and be taken back in time to the founding days of Cloncurry and the rich mining history that has shaped the shire. Stroll around the free outdoor display featuring historic mining, rail and farm equipment and have a picnic under the shade of the Mary Kathleen Park.

SURROUNDING TOWNS It might be hard to believe looking at it now, but the sleepy little outback settlement of Dajarra was once the biggest cattle trucking centre in the world. Situated on the Diamantina Development Road between Boulia and Mount Isa, this area trucked more cattle than Texas, USA. But those days have gone, and the last train pulled out of Dajarra in 1988. See the old railway line, the camps and ruins of the holding yards. Duchess, a former mining town, is a hamlet on the railway line between Cloncurry and Dajarra. Alexander Kennedy, a pioneer pastoralist, discovered a rich copper ore body in 1897 and began the Duchess Mine. The settlement once had up to 1,000 people living there, with a school, three hotels, fruit shop, Catholic church, cricket ground, tennis courts and race track. Today, you can relive the glory days over a drink or two at the local Duchess Hotel.

Quamby is located approximately 60km from Cloncurry, once a busy little railway town servicing the cattle and mining industries. On the last weekend of July each year, hundreds flock into Quamby for the annual Quamby Rodeo to witness the thrills and spills of the ‘greatest little bush rodeo in the North West’. Breaking the trip between Cloncurry and Normanton on the Matilda Way is the Burke and Wills Roadhouse, named after the route taken by the ill-fated explorers. Situated at the Burke and Wills Junction, it’s also the turn-off for travellers heading to Gregory Downs, Adels Grove or Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park.

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS Visit Cloncurry to experience action packed weekends, full of extreme sports, entertainment and fun for the whole family, at one of our many major community events. Events include rodeos, races, gem and mineral festivals just to name a few of the events in Cloncurry’s social calendar. Speak to the friendly staff at the Cloncurry Unearthed Visitor Information Centre and Museum to learn more about what to see and do in Cloncurry; they’ll know just the place for you. When at Cloncurry Unearthed, remember to purchase a permit to fossick in this mineral rich country, you might just unearth some amazing treasures.

CLONCURRY............................................................................................Population: 3,123 CLONCURRY UNEARTHED VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE & MUSEUM McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry | P: 07 4742 1361 E: info@cloncurry.qld.gov.au | www.cloncurry.qld.gov.au


RICHMOND Talking to a palaeontologist about dinosaurs is like waving a map at a pirate… just a hint of buried treasure is enough to get a bone-digger reaching for a spade.

the world that you can not only study fossilised bones and see experts working on them but also get out into the field to dig for them.

Ask Haydn Geraldene, a retired engineer and amateur fossil-seeker from Portland, Victoria, who was sifting through dirt and unearthing bones of a marine reptile, ichthyosaur, just out of Richmond recently.

Which is what attracted Haydn Geraldene and got him down and dirty and looking for treasure last year. He was part of a dig team of 14, including supervisors from Kronosaurus Korner.

“It’s like looking for gold,’’ he says, “but it’s also about knowledge. Every piece of rock you pick up on a dig has a story.”

“We found exposed rib bones and vertebrae, and then a second ichthyosaur,” he says.

Haydn, a veteran of dinosaur digs elsewhere in Australia, arrived in Richmond this year as part of a growing tourism wave in the state – the search for the bones and fossils of some of the most extraordinary creatures ever to have lived on earth. Richmond, in Queensland’s north west outback, draws thousands of people every year looking for a dinosaur or fossil fix, and there’s one very good reason. About 500km west of Townsville, it lies on the northern fringe of a region known as “Dinosaur Country” – an ancient inland sea region rich in fossil remains including dinosaurs and marine reptiles that lived more than 100 million years ago. Fossils and bones are nothing new in this part of the outback, but digging for them is. It began in earnest in Richmond in 1989 when brothers Ian and Rob Ievers unearthed an almost complete skeleton of a marine reptile, polycotylid, on their family property. Other fossilised skeletons followed, many of them huge Cretaceous-era marine reptiles, and the rest, as they say, is history. Richmond’s Kronosaurus Korner, a major fossil museum and research centre, is a pivotal point in Australian dinosaur tourism and one of the few places in

“This is why palaeontology is so stimulating. It’s about knowledge and experience and getting a better understanding of the world through the people you’re working with, and contributing to science. “It’s absolutely one of the best things you can do if you’re travelling the Queensland outback.’’ Louise Townshend, her partner Shayne and their children Brody, 8, and Amelia, 5, would agree with him. Louise, a Gold Coast teacher’s aide, is an experienced outback traveller and was also in Richmond with her family in 2018, digging for fossils. “We found some chiton (marine mollusc) bones, some really good sharks’ teeth and elasmosaur (marine reptile) vertebrae, all from the Cretaceous,’’ she says.

“It was awesome. The kids were absolutely excited by everything, and we were able to go back to do some prepping in the laboratory as part of the experience. It was so satisfying for them to be able to extract a shark’s tooth from a rock and then help preserve it. “Doing something like this as a family, where we’re all learning, is just wonderful.”

SO, HOW DO YOU DO IT? Kronosaurus Korner offers a range of digging and fossil hunting experiences in the main tourist season (April to October). It includes self-guided and escorted two-hour introductory digs close to Richmond to full-day, familyfriendly digs during school holidays and more remote one-week digs which concentrate on excavating major fossil finds. Kronosaurus Korner can arrange accommodation for the longer digs, which involve daily travel from Richmond to the dig sites and back. For a town that calls itself the “Fossil Capital of Australia”, this is par for the course. Richmond has the bones covered. All you have to do is dig them up.

RICHMOND..................................................................................................Population: 850 RICHMOND VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE – KRONOSAURUS KORNER 91-93 Goldring Street, Richmond | P: 07 4719 3390 E: enquiries@kronosauruskorner.com.au | www.kronosauruskorner.com.au

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HUGHENDEN & SURROUNDS

Hooked on Hughenden INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF PRAIRIE, TORRENS CREEK AND STAMFORD

KOOROORINYA NATURE RESERVE Ready to get your nature fix? Head south 57km from the pioneering town of Prairie to Kooroorinya Nature Reserve. It’s at its best during the wet season, but when the rain has subsided you can take a refreshing dip in a naturally formed waterhole lined by shady, native gum trees. Apart from fish and bird life, the spot is generally secluded unless you’ve arrived in time for the century-old Picnic Races meet, which are held each May.

PRAIRIE HOTEL The Prairie Hotel welcomes visitors and is well worth an inspection on your travels. Call in to owners Andrea and Tom for a stay over or a cold beverage and home cooked country meals in the unique atmosphere with their collection of stockman hats and other memorabilia.

PORCUPINE GORGE NATIONAL PARK Time to stretch the legs – Porcupine Gorge National Park is one nature stop you don’t want to miss! Home to the Yirandali people, its dramatic cliffs tower over a deep gorge 60km north of Hughenden on a fully sealed road. The Gorge’s 120m depth is in stark contrast to the surrounding savannah plateau, and it’s earned itself a reputation as Australia’s “Little Grand Canyon”. You can take in the view from two access points. Firstly, up high from the lookout off Kennedy Developmental Road. Or, if you want to get up close and personal, head to the campsite area, then it is a moderate 1.2km walking track to the bottom. Yes, you will need to walk all the way back up, but the iconic pyramid-shaped sandstone formation at the bottom of the gorge is a sight to behold (as is the swimming hole beneath it). With twenty-two camping sights

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at the pyramid lookout; campers need to take their own water and be fully selfsufficient as there are no facilities available apart from eco toilets. There is no self registration available. Camping permits are available from the Flinders Discovery Centre or phone 13 74 68 or online at www.qld.gov.au/camping.

WHITE MOUNTAINS White Mountains National Park is one of inland Queensland’s most botanically diverse areas located 107km north-east of Hughenden. Fourteen unique ecosystems from white sandstone cliffs to forests, woodlands and grasslands span an area of more than 112,000ha. Get there in winter or spring to witness an explosion of kaleidoscopic colour as natives bloom across the landscape in yellow, orange, red and purple. Experienced and self-sufficient campers can camp at Canns Camp Creek (BYO water and supplies). You can grab a snapshot view from the picnic spot on Burra Range.

EXCHANGE HOTEL The Exchange Hotel welcomes all travellers, with cool drinks and great meals. The Hotel boasts a graffiti gallery and visitors are invited to add their mark to the existing humour. The Hotel has accommodation for all and attached to the hotel are caravan and camping facilities.

FLINDERS DISCOVERY CENTRE The one stop shop for all of your travelling needs; the Centre is located on Gray Street, housing the life-size replica of the Muttaburrasaurus, Shearing the Stragglers exhibit, rocks, fossils and minerals of international homage and local historical displays. The Museum is a must do when visiting Hughenden. Talk to our knowledgeable team for all your information and hotspot needs during your visit. Historical Cemetery and Town walking tours available upon request. Live shearing display twice a week at the Diggers Entertainment Centre.

MOUNT WALKER Take advantage of the sunsets when you can see from horizon to horizon, and the best place around these parts is from Mount Walker, 478m above sea level. There are an incredible six different lookout spots, meaning you’re sure to snag a view all your own with full-circle sights of the stunning scenery. Enjoy a BBQ under the stars, as Mount Walker is around 10km out of town from Hughenden. Don’t forget the camera!

HUGHENDEN RECREATIONAL LAKE 22ha Hughenden Recreational Lake opened early 2020 with facilities for swimming, motorised water sports and fishing. It also includes a circular walking/ cycling track, sandy beach, waterfall, BBQ area and children’s playground.

HUGHENDEN.......................................................................................... Population: 1,200 FLINDERS DISCOVERY CENTRE & DINOSAUR DISPLAY MUSEUM 37 Gray Street, Hughenden | P: 07 4741 2970 E: info@flinders.qld.gov.au | www.visithughenden.com.au


JULIA CREEK & SURROUNDS

INCORPORATING THE TOWNS OF McKINLAY, KYNUNA AND NELIA

AN ENGLISHMAN, IRISHMAN AND A SCOT WALKED INTO THE OUTBACK Unfortunately for Burke and Wills whose expedition was beset by failure, McKinlay, the Scot, was a few months too late to save them. Departing from Adelaide, John McKinlay was one of six different relief parties that set out on rescue expeditions for the ill-fated explorers. McKinlay pressed north to the Gulf of Carpentaria hoping to meet with a relief ship but swampland caused him to turn east and head for the coast. The lands over which he traversed opened up extensively in the late 1800s after he noted excellent grazing conditions on the back of summer rainfall and as settlement took hold, McKinlay Shire was formed. These days as you mount your own expedition you still need to be prepared but the Julia Creek Caravan Park is making travel easy and is a must-stop oasis on your outback journey.

HITCHING THE WAGON Gone are the days of packing and saddling horses but unhitching the van is as easy as finding a fly in the outback with plenty of drive-through powered sites at the caravan park. There are unpowered sites and cabins available too. Alternatively, you can also pull up your van on the banks of Julia Creek just outside town and free camp for up to 96 hours. From here it is an easy walk or ride (free cruiser bikes available) into town along the nature walk. This site is only for selfcontained vans and RVs (toilet and shower on board).

IS THAT YOU OR ME? If you’ve been traipsing the outback for days and your travelling companion is a little on the nose, scrub up at the newly installed artesian bath houses, inside the caravan park. Wash away the dust, enjoy a drink and just soak in the views, returning refreshed for another adventure. Artesian water is lauded for its health and healing benefits.

YUM, DELICIOUS BOOT LACES AND LEATHER BELTS! Explorers of old sometimes resorted to eating items of little nutritional value to stave off their hunger but luckily for you the Bush Dinners run on Monday nights at the Julia Creek Caravan Park offer hearty fare without having to suck on the end of your belt. With meals cooked by a community group from local produce, and camp fires adding warmth, this is a mealbreak done right for a good cause. Bush Dinners run from late April to September.

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE Waterholes defined explorers’ daily progress and while the Burke and Wills expedition was notoriously overloaded with gear, Burke forbade the packing of Wills’ floaties. These days Wills would have had the last laugh as right in the middle of town is the Julia Creek Swimming Pool with 25m lap pool, children’s pool and toddler’s play area, with water slides for

the more adventurous. Entry is free for caravan park guests.

SIDE TRIPS FOR INTREPID EXPLORERS Go walkabout and explore the Walkabout Creek Hotel, made famous by Crocodile Dundee. Head 100km south west of Julia Creek to McKinlay township for a cold beer while comparing knives. Caravans are welcome behind the hotel. Banjo Paterson brought a more merry approach to travelling than Burke and Wills who just wanted to walk for days. Like all DJs, Banjo loved to be the life of the party and Waltzing Matilda was first performed in the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna, which has been going strong since 1899. Fifty kilometres east of Julia Creek, along the Overlander’s Way, sits the quaint town of Nelia. The largest known brolga sculptures are effortlessly framed by breathtaking outback sunsets. These days you don’t even have to leave the air-con to explore the outback, so call into the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre to experience cattle mustering by virtual reality. With a simple headset you can be right in the action either by helicopter or motorbike all without having to worry about a stray hoof. This centre was crowned the best in Queensland in 2019 so make sure you don’t miss it.

JULIA CREEK............................................................................................ Population: 400 JULIA CREEK VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE – ‘AT THE CREEK’ 34 Burke Street, Julia Creek | P: 07 4746 7690 E: tourism@mckinlay.qld.gov.au | www.atthecreek.com.au

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Mount Isa street party

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BOODJAMULLA LAWN HILL NATIONAL PARK MIYUMBA RIVERSLEIGH WORLD HERITAGE AREA

reservations@adelsgrove.com.au | 07 4748 5502

adelsgrove.com.au

MOUNT ISA CITY TOUR

OLD MARY KATHLEEN URANIUM MINE TOUR

LAKE MOONDARRA SUNSET TOUR

Circuit of the city showcasing tin houses and grand homes, native plants and mining infrastructure, including the original copper open cut pit.

Originally discovered in 1954 by Norm McConachy and Clem Walton, the Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine and Township were officially opened by Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia and Frank Nicklin, Premier of Queensland in October 1958.

End your day relaxing in the picturesque surrounds of Transport Bay. Experience the serenity and sunset over Lake Moondarra whilst enjoying a beverage and generous ploughman’s platter.

EXPLORE THE OLD AND THE NEW OF THE ISA

Uncover the hidden treasures and the character of the Isa. Discover our History and Heritage

SELECT DEPARTURES BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL: See website for availability and bookings or talk to the team at Outback at Isa

07 4744 8577 www.northwesttours.com.au outbackqueensland.com.au


OUTBACK AT ISA

‘AT THE CREEK’ JULIA CREEK

VISITOR INFORMATION & SERVICES

Awarded Best Visitor Centre in Queensland in 2019 Virtual reality helicopter mustering experience ■ Brochures, maps, itineraries, travel bookings and iconic souvenirs ■ Interactive film, photographic and audio displays housed in historical fettler’s cottages featuring the region’s proud and honest history ■ The new ‘Beneath the Creek’ experience lets you unearth Julia Creek’s geological and geographical features ■ Free Wi-Fi + invaluable travel advice ■ Nocturnal viewing area of dunnarts + daily feeding shows ■ ■

Outback at Isa has it for you! Get hands on with mining at the Hard Times Mine underground tour, explore Australia’s ancient past in the Riversleigh Fossil Centre which will undergo an exciting, major upgrade in 2020, discover Mount Isa’s pioneering history in the Isa Experience along with the new ‘Rodeo Hall of Fame’, check out the native flora and fauna in the Outback Park or wander through one of the exhibitions in our art gallery. All in one place, at Outback at Isa. While you’re here, why not have a coffee at our café or grab a souvenir in the gift shop? Plan your trip in the award-winning Visitor Information Centre, catch up on emails with the free WiFi in the centre, have a hot shower or just relax in our brochure room and watch historic movies about Mount Isa and its mining background. Whatever you need, Outback at Isa has it for you!

34 Burke Street, Julia Creek P 07 4746 7690 | tourism@mckinlay.qld.gov.au www.atthecreek.com.au

JULIA CREEK – 96HR RV FRIENDLY AREA

19 Marian Street, Mount Isa P 07 4749 1555 | info@outbackatisa.com.au www.experiencemountisa.com

MOUNT ISA UNDERGROUND HOSPITAL AND MUSEUM

Suitable for self-contained RVs and Caravans (must have a toilet and shower on board), this FREE camping area adjacent to Julia Creek is an ideal spot to observe the wildlife or to wet the line. Cruiser bikes so you can pedal up town, water, picnic tables and bush camp cooks are all provided free of charge. On Monday nights from April to September, a courtesy bus will take you to the iconic Julia Creek Caravan Park Bush Dinners. Permits obtained from the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre. If you wish to be an RV Camp Host Volunteer in 2020, please contact the award-winning Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre – the centre was crowned the best in Queensland in 2019. Contact ‘At the Creek’ Visitor Information Centre for directions P 07 4746 7690 | tourism@mckinlay.qld.gov.au www.atthecreek.com.au

Including The Beth Anderson Museum and National Trust Tent House Take a guided tour of the tunnels carved in the hillside behind the Mount Isa Hospital. The Mount Isa Underground Hospital stands as a reminder of the tenacity of the volunteer mine workers who built the evacuation hospital after the bombing of Darwin during WWII. Wander around the Beth Anderson Museum, filled with fascinating hospital memorabilia. Built of canvas stretched over a timber frame, The Tent House was a quick, inexpensive form of accommodation in the 1930s. Open 10am – 2pm daily: 1 April to 30 September; October to March by appointment, bookings not essential.

JULIA CREEK CARAVAN PARK

Joan Street, Mount Isa P 07 4749 3087 | info@undergroundhospital.com www.undergroundhospital.com

 Artesian Bath Houses Award winning Bush Dinners Monday nights April–September ■ New self-contained cabins ■ Unpowered & powered van sites ■ Powered sites on grass for motor homes & camping ■ Large grassed camping area ■ New amenities block and laundry

Horse racing during Dirt n Dust Festival

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Well behaved pets welcome Camp kitchen–communal BBQ, TV, fridge & washing up facilities ■ Waste dump point ■ Nature walk ■ Walking distance to town centre, pool & indoor sports centre ■ Free Wi-Fi & free cruiser bike hire ■ Friendly atmosphere & clean amenities

Old Normanton Road, Julia Creek P 07 4746 7108 | jccaravanpark@mckinlay.qld.gov.au www.jccaravanpark.com.au


THE NORTH WEST

Cloncurry Unearthed - Outdoor Museum

Beat the Heat Festival

John Flynn Place

Birthplace of the Flying Doctor Service

s r a e y 0 Explore over 15

tory s i h of

Corella Dam Cloncurry Unearthed Visitor Information Centre and Museum Mary Kathleen Park, Flinders Highway/McIlwraith Street P: (07) 4742 1361 E: info@cloncurry.qld.gov.au W: www.cloncurry.qld.gov.au

TOURS

and ACCOMMODATION

RED RIDGE INTERIOR QUEENSLAND LTD

Bookings Essential

TOLL FREE 1800 669 922 cobboldgorge.com.au

The Regional Arts Services Network is an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Red Ridge Interior Queensland Ltd has been appointed as the Western Queensland provider. You will ďŹ nd many of our projects across the whole of Western Queensland region such as Trail Blazing the West and Dress the West.

77-79 Shamrock Street, Blackall M 0428 397 319 info@redridge.org.au redridgeinteriorqueensland.com

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HUGHENDEN SUPERMARKET 31 Moran Street, Hughenden P 07 4741 1109 Spar Supermarket for all your grocery needs ...

 

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables EFTPOS â– Frozen Food â–  Cold Drinks & Ice Cream â–  Ample Parking â– 





â–

Friendly Country Service with Weekly Specials Competitive Supermarket Prices

REST EASI MOTEL 11 Richmond Hill Drive, Hughenden P 07 4741 1633 info@resteasimotel.com.au Situated west of town on Richmond Hill Drive, the Rest Easi Motel has 15 clean, comfortable rooms. â– All rooms have air conditioning, Foxtel and Free Wi-Fi â–  Evening meals and breakfast are served to your unit

PORCUPINE GORGE

WHITE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Scenic Flight from Hughenden

Scenic Flight from Torrens Creek

Picture yourself soaring over towering cliffs of coloured sandstone, pockets of vine forest and deep permanent waterholes of Porcupine Gorge National Park; a spectacular canyon carved into the earth over millions of years.

Experience magniďŹ cent views over the red Outback Desert Uplands, dramatic escarpments and gorges. Follow the spring fed Flinders River, the longest river in Queensland. Enjoy exclusive views of a true remote wilderness.

THE DROVER’S CAMP CAMOOWEAL On the Barkly Highway, 1km East of Camooweal P 07 4748 2022 info@droverscamp.com.au www.droverscamp.com.au Droving Heritage Centre – Admission $10 ■Opens daily to visitors – May to Sept 9am – 3pm ■ Guided Tours available May to Aug – 9.30am, 11.30am & 1.30pm – wheelchair friendly ■ Gift Shop; EFTPOS; Coach Tours Welcome; O season entry available (phone prior to arrival) ■ Drover’s Camp Festival 4th weekend in August

Find us on the

B O O K O N L I N E AT

foxhelicopterservices.com.au or call (07) 4741 3116

FLINDERS DISCOVERY CENTRE, HUGHENDEN VISIT HUGHENDEN AND BE A PART OF A TRULY ULTIMATE OUTBACK EXPERIENCE!

LIVE SHEARING DISPLAY Meet ‘Hughie’ a life sized skeletal Muttaburrasaurus Porcupine Gorge light and sound show Shearing the Straggler’s Exquisite fossil & gem display Kids Corner Excellent souvenir shop Town & cemetery walking tours Local and regional tourist information Open 7 days 9:00am — 5:00pm Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day, plus some public holidays Dec/Jan/Feb: Weekends 9am – 1pm Nov – Mar: Sat 9am – 1pm (closed Sun) 37 Gray Street, Hughenden QLD 4821 P: (07) 4741 2970 F: (07) 4741 1029 E: info@flinders.qld.gov.au

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/Visit Hughenden – Flinders Discovery Centre @visithughenden Find us on TripAdvisor!

MAY - SEPTEMBER Every Tuesday & Thursday Please purchase tickets from the Flinders Discovery Centre, HUGHENDEN visithughenden.com.au P: 07 4741 2970


Visiting Australia’s premier marine fossil museum, Kronosaurus Korner is an unforgettable, prehistoric adventure, where you see some of the most awe-inspiring marine creatures such as ‘Penny’ the Richmond plesiosaur – Australia’s best vertebrate fossil. OPEN 7 DAYS INCLUDING PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday

Find us on Facebook Badge

CMYK / .ai

Like us on

For the latest on Richmond, including the Richmond Outback Fossil Fest visit

www.kronosauruskorner.com.au 1300 KRONOK | enquiries@kronosauruskorner.com.au

Digging at Dawn

Learn how to find, identify & excavate your very own 100 million year old fossils! Tag along tours depart every Tuesday & Thursday from April to September, with additional days during school holidays.

RICHMOND

Lakeview Caravan Park Caravan Park | Cabins | Camping sites

The park with a million dollar view

Self-contained cabins + villas | Budget rooms 40 powered sites | 13 grassed & 27 hard surfaced drive through sites 3 large unpowered grassed areas for tents and camper trailers Free Wi-Fi | Disabled + baby facilities | Clean amenities Camp kitchen | Free electric BBQ | Laundry | Pets conditional BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL

Phone Kronosaurus Korner on (07) 4719 3390 or visit www.kronosauruskorner.com.au

Flinders Highway, Richmond QLD P: (07) 4741 3772 F: (07) 4741 3774 E: rscp@tpg.com.au www.richmondlakeviewcaravanpark.com.au


DIRECTORY TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS Artesian Time Tunnel Jane Street, Cunnamulla 4490 07 4655 8470 | paroo.qld.gov.au Australian Age of Dinosaurs Lot 1 Dinosaur Drive, Corfield 4735 07 4657 0078 | australianageofdinosaurs.com Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre Landsborough Highway, Longreach 4730 1800 177 148 | outbackheritage.com.au

Eulo Artesian Mud Baths 6889 Adventure Way, 4491 Eulo 07 4655 4890 | artesianmudbaths.com.au Flinders Discovery Centre 37 Gray Street, Hughenden 4821 07 4741 2970 | visithughenden.com.au Fox Helicopter Services Hughenden 4821 0429 413 117 | foxhelicopterservices.com.au

Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge 103 Oak Street, Barcaldine 4725 07 4651 1724 | barcaldinerc.qld.gov.au

Grassland Art Gallery 30 Arthur Street, Tambo 4478 07 4621 6600 | btrc.qld.gov.au

Bedourie Mud Hut 13 Herbert Street, Bedourie 4829 1300 794 257 | thediamantina.com.au

Hydro Power Plant Gilmore Street, Thargomindah 4492 07 4621 8095 | visitbulloo.com.au

Blackall Sculpture Trail Blackall 4472 07 4657 4637 | blackalltambotourism.com.au

Ilfracombe Machinery Mile and Heritage Museum Main Avenue, Ilfracombe 4727 07 4658 4150 | visitlongreachregion.com.au

Boobook Ecotours 15 Quintin Street, Roma 4455 07 4622 2646 | boobooktours.com.au

John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery Cnr King and Dantree Street, Cloncurry 4824 07 4742 4153 | johnflynnplace.com.au

Boulia Heritage Complex 58 Mulligan Street, Boulia 4829 07 4746 3386 | boulia.qld.gov.au

Kronosaurus Korner 91-93 Goldring Street, Richmond 4822 1300 576 665 | kronosauruskorner.com.au

Cambridge Downs Heritage Display Centre 97 Goldring Street, Richmond 4822 1300 576 665 | kronosauruskorner.com.au

Lake Fred Tritton 111-113 Goldring Street, Richmond 4822 1300 576 665 | kronosauruskorner.com.au

Camden Park Station 1 Landsborough Highway, Longreach 4730 0407 139 640 | camdenparkstation.com.au Carcory Homestead Ruins Eyre Developmental Road, Birdsville 4482 07 4656 3300 | thediamantina.com.au Charleville Cosmos Centre 1 Milky Way, Charleville 4470 07 4654 7771 | experiencecharleville.comau

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Eromanga Natural History Museum 1 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga 4480 07 4656 3084 | enhm.com.au

Lark Quarry Conservation Park Winton-Jundah Road, Opalton 4735 07 4657 0078 | dinosaurtrackways.com.au Leahy Historical House Dowling Street, Thargomindah 4492 07 4621 8000 | visitbulloo.com.au Mount Isa Rodeo Hall of Fame 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 4825 07 4743 2706 | isarodeo.com.au

Cobb & Co Charging Station 62 Burrows Street, Surat 07 4626 5136 | visitmaranoa.com.au

Musical Fence Kennedy Developmental Road, Winton 4735

Cobbold Gorge Cobbold Gorge, Forsayth 4871 1800 669 992 | cobboldgorge.com.au

North West Tours 550 Barkly Highway, Kalkadoon 4825 07 4744 8577 | northwesttours.com.au

Duncan McIntyre Museum Burke Street, Julia Creek 4823 07 4746 7690 | atthecreek.com.au

Outback Aussie Tours Landsborough Highway, Longreach 4730 1300 787 890 | outbackaussietours.com.au

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DIRECTORY

Cawnpore Hills, Boulia

Outback Pioneers 126 Eagle Street, Longreach 4730 07 4658 2001 | outbackpioneers.com.au

Top Secret WWII Tour 1 Milky Way, Charleville 4470 07 4654 3057 | experiencecharleville.com.au

Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre 12 Saint Mary Street, Isisford 4731 07 4658 8133 | visitlongreachregion.com.au

Travel West Lot 1 Frawley Street, Charleville 4470 0428 545 954 | travelwest.com.au

Palmer’s Coaches 21 Lynagh Street, Miles 4415 0413 924 054 | palmerscoaches.com.au

Vision Splendid Outback Tours 67 Elderslie Street, Winton 4735 07 4657 0647 | visionsplendidoutbacktours.com.au

Powerhouse Museum Wyandra Macks Street, Wyandra 4489 07 4655 8470 | cunnamullatourism.com.au

Vortex Rainmaking Guns Sturt Street, Charleville 4470 07 4654 3057 | experiencecharleville.com.au

Q150 SHED Main Street, Augathella 4477 07 4654 5244 | murweh.qld.gov.au

Waltzing Matilda Centre 50 Elderslie Street, Winton 4735 07 4567 1466 | matildacentre.com.au

Qantas Founders Museum Sir Hudson Fysh Drive, Longreach 4730 07 4658 3737 | qfom.com.au

Warrego River Walk Warrego River, Charleville 4470 07 4654 3057 | experiencecharleville.com.au

QLD Helicopters Longreach Airport, Longreach 4730 0417 624 422 | queenslandhelicopters.com.au Ram Park 145a Shamrock Street, Blackall 4472 07 4657 4637 | blackalltambotourism.com.au Red Dirt Tours 71 Elderslie Street, Winton 4735 07 4657 1466 | reddirttours.com.au Riversleigh Fossil Centre 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa 4825 07 4749 1555 | mietv.com.au Roma Saleyards Visitor Tours Warrego Highway, Roma 4455 07 4622 8676 | mymaranoa.org.au

Whitula Gate Museum 7 Maryborough Street, Windorah 4481 07 4656 3063 | barcoo.qld.gov.au

ACCOMMODATION Abajaz Motor Inn 11 Wonga Street, Longreach 4730 07 4658 1288 | abajazmotorinn.com.au Adels Grove Lawn Hill National Park Road, Lawn Hill 4825 0458 367 310 | adelsgrove.com.au Aramac Hotel 79 Gordon Street, Aramac 4726 | 0457 748 999

Tagalong Tours of Australia Trinity Beach 4879 07 4057 4096 | tagalongtours.com.au

Barcoo River Camp Site Isisford Blackall Road, Blackall 4472 07 4657 4637 | blackalltambotourism.com.au

Tambo Heritage Precinct 10 Arthur Street, Tambo 4478 07 4621 6605 | blackalltambotourism.com.au

Bedourie Caravan Park Herbert Street, Bedourie 4829 07 4746 1040 | thediamatina.com.au

Tambo Teddies 17 Arthur Street, Tambo 4478 07 4654 6223 | tamboteddies.com.au Thargomindah Old Hospital McGregor Street, Thargomindah 4492 07 4621 8095 | visitbulloo.com.au The Big Rig 2 Riggers Road, Roma 4455 07 4622 2325 | mymaranoa.org.au

Birdsville Caravan Park 50 Florence Street, Birdsville 4482 07 4656 3214 | birdsvillecaravanpark.com Bonus Downs Farmstay 4566 Mitchell-Bollon Road, Mitchell 4465 07 4623 1573 | bonusdownsfarmstay.com.au Boulia Caravan Park Diamantina Developmental Road, Boulia 4829 07 4746 3320 | boulia.qld.gov.au

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DIRECTORY

Cloncurry Caravan Park Oasis 57-74 McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry 4824 07 4742 1313 | cloncurrycaravanparkoasis.com.au

Napunya Caravan Park 42 Powell Street, Thargomindah 4492 07 4621 8000 | visitbulloo.com.au

Cobbold Village Cobbold Gorge, Forsayth 4871 1800 669 992 | cobboldgorge.com.au

Noonbah Station Bush Camping 12345 Tonkoro Road, Longreach 4730 07 4658 5953 | noonbahstation.com.au

Cooper Cabins 11 Edward Street, Windorah 4481 | 07 4656 3101

North Gregory Hotel Winton 67 Elderslie Street, Winton 4735 07 4657 0647 | northgregoryhotel.com

Cooper’s Country Lodge 2 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga 4480 07 4656 3084 | enhm.com.au Cunnmulla Tourist Park and Cabins 65 Watson Street Cunnamulla 4490 07 4655 1421 | cunnamullapark.com Explorers Caravan Park 88 Dowling Street, Thargomindah 4492 1800 820 890 | thargotourism.com.au Flinders Shire Council RV Camp Hughenden Showgrounds, Stansfiled Street Hughenden 4821 07 4741 2970 | visithughenden.com.au Gilberton Outback Retreat Gilberton Road, Einasleigh 4871 07 4062 5329 | gilbertonoutbackretreat.com Glebe Weir 2525 Glebe Weir Road, Taroom 4420 07 4992 9500 | sandstonewonders.com.au Hughenden Allen Terry Caravan Park 4-6 Resolution Street, Hughenden 4821 07 4741 1190 | hughendenvanpark.com.au Isisford Barcoo Weir Mary Street, Isisford 4731 07 4658 8133 | longreachtourism.com.au Julia Creek Caravan Park Cnr of Julia Street and Old Normanton Road, Julia Creek 4823 07 4746 7108 | jccaravanpark.com.au Jundah Galaxy Opal Tourist Park Dickson Street, Jundah 4736 07 4658 6930 | barcoo.qld.gov.au Lake Callide Retreat 119 Lake Callide Drive Biloela 07 4993 9010 | lakecallideretreat.com Lakeview Caravan Park 109 Goldring Street, Richmond 4822 07 4741 3772 | richmondlakeviewcaravanpark.com.au Muttaburra Caravan Park 9 Bridge Street, Muttaburra 4732 | 07 4658 7191

Redbank Park 18 Redbank Park Road, Jericho 4715 07 4651 4129 | barcaldinerc.qld.gov.au Richmond RV Park Hiller Street, Richmond 4822 07 4719 3390 | kronosauruskorner.com.au Rocks Motel 74 Wills Street, Charleville 4470 07 4654 2888 | rocksmotel.com.au Stonehenge Caravan Park 9 Stratford Street, Stonehenge 4730 07 4658 5857 | barcoo.qld.gov.au Thomson River, Jundah Thomson River, Jundah 4736 07 4658 6930 | barcoo.qld.gov.au Thomson River, Stonehenge Thomson River, Stonehenge 4730 07 4658 5857 | barcoo.qld.gov.au Wallaroo Outback Retreat 250 The Basin Road, Arcadia Valley 4454 07 4626 3746 | wallaroooutbackretreat.com.au Ward River, Charleville Diamantina Developmental Road, Charleville 4470 07 4654 5244 | experiencecharleville.com.au Warrego River, Augathella Warrego River, Augathella 4477 07 4654 5244 | experiencecharleville.com.au Warrego Riverside Tourist Park 322 Weir Road, Cunnamulla 4490 07 4655 0097 | warregoriversidetouristpark.com.au Western Star Hotel Windorah 15 Albert Sreet, Windorah 4481 07 4656 3166 | westernstarhotel.com.au Windorah Caravan Park 1 Albert Street, Windorah 4481 07 4656 3063 | barcoo.qld.gov.au Yaraka Caravan Park Jarley Street, Yaraka 4731 07 4657 5526 | longreachtourism.com.au

S H A RE YO U R S N A P S & S TO RIE S!

#OutbackQueensland @OUTBACKQUEENSLAND

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Outback Queensland Tourism has compiled and produced this publication in the interests of fostering and developing tourism in Queensland. No part of this publication (advertising or editorial) may be reproduced without written permission of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association Inc. ŠOQTA 2020. No responsibility is accepted for information contained in advertisements or editorial. The inclusion or exclusion of any establishment does not indicate any recommendation or otherwise on the part of the Association which, in addition, does not hold itself responsible for any complaints relating to such establishments or businesses. However, we would welcome constructive comments from visitors to the region and these should be addressed to: General Manager, Outback Queensland Tourism Association, PO Box 506, Longreach QLD 4730 Photographs courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland and Outback Queensland Tourism Association. Photo on contents page by Katie Purling. Photo on this page by Helen Commens. Front Cover Photo: Live Australia’s story Winton.


ACCREDITED VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES This sign denotes genuine, quality visitor information centres. These centres have achieved specified industry standards and are recognised within their region as genuine, quality information providers.

BARCALDINE

CLONCURRY

MOUNT ISA

Barcaldine Visitor Information Centre 149 Oak Street, Barcaldine P (07) 4651 1724 tourism@barc.qld.gov.au www.barcaldinerc.qld.gov.au

Cloncurry Unearthed Visitor Information Centre & Museum McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry P (07) 4742 1361 info@cloncurry.qld.gov.au www.cloncurry.qld.gov.au

Outback at Isa 19 Marian Street, Mount Isa P (07) 4749 1555 info@outbackatisa.com.au www.outbackatisa.com.au

BEDOURIE

CUNNAMULLA

Bedourie Outback Visitor Information Centre 17 Herbert Street, Bedourie P (07) 4746 1620 visitors@diamantina.qld.gov.au www.thediamantina.com.au

Cunnamulla Fella Centre 2 Jane Street, Cunnamulla P (07) 4655 8470 cunnamullainfo@paroo.qld.gov.au www.cunnamullatourism.com.au

Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, Museum & Gallery 51 Brolga Street, Quilpie P (07) 4656 0540 tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au www.visitquilpieshire.com

QUILPIE

HUGHENDEN Flinders Discovery Centre & Dinosaur Display Museum 37 Gray Street, Hughenden P (07) 4741 2970 info@flinders.qld.gov.au www.visithughenden.com.au

BILOELA Biloela Rural Hinterland Visitor Information Centre 11 Exhibition Avenue, Biloela P (07) 4992 2400 rhvic@bigpond.com www.sandstonewonders.com

INJUNE

BIRDSVILLE Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre 29 Burt Street, Birdsville P (07) 4564 2000 info@diamantina.qld.gov.au www.thediamantina.com.au

BOULIA Min Min Encounter and Visitor Information Centre 25 Herbert Street, Boulia P (07) 4746 3386 tourism@boulia.qld.gov.au www.boulia.qld.gov.au

Injune Visitor Information Centre 32 Hutton Street, Injune P (07) 4626 0503 tourism@maranoa.qld.gov.au www.mymaranoa.org.au

RICHMOND Kronosaurus Korner 91–93 Goldring Street, Richmond P (07) 4719 3390 enquiries@kronosauruskorner.com.au www.kronosauruskorner.com.au

ROMA The Big Rig and Visitor Information Centre 2 Riggers Road, Roma P (07) 4624 0204 tourism@maranoa.qld.gov.au www.mymaranoa.org.au

JULIA CREEK ‘At the Creek’ – Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre 34 Burke Street, Julia Creek P (07) 4746 7690 tourism@mckinlay.qld.gov.au www.atthecreek.com.au

LONGREACH

CHARLEVILLE

Longreach Visitor Information Centre Qantas Park, 99a Eagle Street, Longreach P (07) 4658 4150 experience@longreach.qld.gov.au www.experiencelongreach.com.au

Charleville Visitor Information Centre Charleville Railway Station King Street, Charleville P (07) 4654 3057 info@murweh.qld.gov.au www.experiencecharleville.com.au

Great Artesian Spa 2 Cambridge Street, Mitchell P (07) 4624 6923 mitchell.spa@outlook.com www.greatartesianspa.com.au

MITCHELL

THARGOMINDAH Echidna Place 37 Dowling Street, Thargomindah P (07) 4621 8095 tourism@bulloo.qld.gov.au www.visitbulloo.com.au

WINDORAH Windorah Visitor Information Centre 7 Maryborough Street, Windorah P (07) 4656 3063 E: windorahinfo@barcoo.qld.gov.au www.barcoo.qld.gov.au

WINTON Waltzing Matilda Centre 50 Elderslie Street, Winton P 1300 665 115 waltzing@matildacentre.com.au www.experiencewinton.com.au

For more information please call +61 400 812 350 or email admin@outbackqueensland.com.au

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Outback Queesnland Visitor Guide  

Live Australia's Story — 2019 was the Year of Outback Tourism and what a year it was with more than one million visitors choosing to adventu...

Outback Queesnland Visitor Guide  

Live Australia's Story — 2019 was the Year of Outback Tourism and what a year it was with more than one million visitors choosing to adventu...

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