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Outback Queensland

Nowhere else but Outback Queensland can you sleep under star-studded skies, bond with a bushman over a beer, dig for million-years-old dinosaur fossils and watch camels race against the clock.   

Soak up the serenity
Get some dirt under nail and dust under foot and immerse yourself in life on the land for the ultimate outback adventure.
  • Visit a working cattle or sheep station and try your hand at mustering, shearing or campdrafting.
  • Fossick for gems from Quilpie to Cloncurry and you might find yourself some boulder opal, amethyst or gold.
  • Time your trip with an outback event and see the region come to life in all its bronco bucking, yabby racing, bog snorkelling glory.
Dig a dino
Bone hunters, fossil fanatics and amateur paleontologists unite in Australia’s dinosaur capital.
  • Dig up and dust off 20-million-year-old dinosaur bones travelling along the Dinosaur trail between Winton, Richmond and Hughenden.
  • Follow three-toed footprints at the world’s best-preserved dinosaur stampede at World Heritage Listed Lark Quarry Conservation Park.
  • Dive into the marine fossil museum in Richmond and spot the 10-metre prehistoric sea monster.
Sky’s the limit
Whether you arrive by train, plane or bus, you’ll have the best point of view if you simply look up.
  • Watch a purple and orange-hued sunset over the sand dunes of the Simpson Desert.
  • Climb into a swag and camp out under the moonlight on the banks of an Outback River.
  • Gaze through a telescope at the clearest of starry skies at an outback observatory in Charleville.
  • Head north into the Gulf Savannah, wet a line and land yourself a wild barramundi.
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This remote park has dry, flat plains criss-crossed by watercourses and covered in open eucalypt, paperbark and acacia woodlands and grasslands. Moorrinya is a wildlife refuge, protecting Australian icons such as kangaroos, koalas, emus and dingoes, as well as rare and threatened species such as the square-tailed kite, squatter pigeon and Julia Creek dunnart. Located in the heart of the Desert Uplands, Moorrinya National Park, initially established as the sheep grazing property, Shirley Station, today protects 18 land types in the Lake Eyre Basin, one of Australia's most important catchments. Set up camp near the old Shirley shearing shed. Much of the sheep station infrastructure, dating back to the late 1940s, remains as a reminder of the spirit and hard work of the people who lived in this remote part of Queensland. Take a short stroll on the Bullock Creek walk from the camping area to the creek and look for native fish and waterbirds. Enjoy birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Ride mountain bikes and trail bikes and drive four-wheel-drives on Moorinya's internal roads and firebreaks.
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Spectacular white sandstone bluffs and gorges, brilliant wildflowers and exceptionally diverse habitats, ranging from lancewood forests to spinifex grasslands and sandy dunes, make this outback park truly unique. The park is a vast arid landscape for most of the year, but comes alive in winter with a colourful display of wildflowers. The spectacled hare-wallaby and eastern pebble-mound mouse are found in this park. Stop for a picnic at the Burra Range lookout on the Flinders Highway, where it crosses the Great Dividing Range and enjoy views of steep gorges, lancewood forests and white sandstone shelves and peaks. Bushwalk in this remote area to discover the park's many different plants and animals. Look for a variety of honeyeaters and lorikeets feeding on nectar or for reptiles sunning themselves on the rocks. Set up camp at Canns Camp Creek camping area for an outback experience. Four-wheel-drive, or ride your mountain bike or trail bike along the access road from the Flinders Highway to Sawpit Gorge lookout, or to Poison Valley. Enjoy colourful wildflower displays as wattles, ironbarks, acacias and grevilleas bloom from May to September.
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Iningai Nature Reserve is named after the Inangai, the traditional owners who lived along the Thomson River prior to European settlement. It is currently a reserve and the town common. You'll find bushwalking tracks leading from just south of town where car parking is available. The many different walks and loops make an enjoyable expedition and showcase much of the local flora and fauna.
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Spanning 1,012,000 hectares in the arid outback, this is Queensland’s largest protected area. Parallel wind-blown sand dunes dominate the striking landscape. Some extend 200 kilometres and reach 90 metres high. Saltpans and gibber-ironstone flats occupy interdunal areas. More than 180 species of birds, including the Eyrean grasswren, and numerous mammals and reptiles live in the park. Wildflowers are prolific after good rains. On your way visit Big Red, the largest sand dune just east of the park boundary. At Poeppels Corner, attempt to stand in two states and a territory at once. Camp and admire the expansive night sky and make sure you take binoculars and a camera! Camping fees apply. Be aware Simpson Desert National Park is closed from 1 December to 15 March due to extreme summer temperatures of 40-50 °C.
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Wide expanses of Mitchell grass plains and spinifex woodland are protected in this park on the Barkly Tableland, a peaceful stopover for weary travellers. The park features caves and sinkholes that were formed when water percolated through 500 million year-old layers of soluble dolomite creating caverns linked by vertical shafts up to 75 metres deep. Relax and refresh at this pleasant stopover on the Barkly Highway. Take the short 70 metre return walk to the Little Nowranie Cave entrance or the 220 metre return track to the Great Nowranie Cave. Be extremely cautious around the edges of the sinkholes. The caves are not accessible to visitors. Camp in a remote bush setting at Nowranie Waterhole camping area. Look for a variety of birds including waterbirds and woodland species at different times of the year. RIde your mountain bike or trail bike on the park's internal roads and firebreaks.
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Combo Conservation Park protects a string of semi-permanent waterholes along the Diamantina River in Queensland’s outback. They are said to have been the poet A B (Banjo) Paterson's inspiration for Waltzing Matilda, Australia's most popular folk song. The waterholes marked one of seven Cobb & Co stops on the Winton to Kynuna route. Today, Combo offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a picturesque, quiet area, relatively unchanged since Paterson visited in 1895. The holes along the river are a refuge for wildlife, especially numerous bird species. Enjoy a bush picnic under the coolibah trees that grace the banks of the river. See the stone-pitched overshot weir built by Chinese labourers more than 100 years ago.
Free Entry
Mitchell grass plains and gidgee woodlands are protected in this remote park in the Torrens Creek catchment in central-western Queensland. Forest Den National Park's semi-permanent waterholes along Torrens and Paradise Creeks provide a refuge for travellers and wildlife alike. This 5890 hectare park conserves a wide diversity of plants, some unique to this reserve within the region. Although used as grazing land for more than 100 years, little remains of this era apart from a few pastoral relics—fences, gateways and a derelict round timber bridge over Torrens Creek. Enjoy birdwatching in the cooler hours of dusk and dawn. Whistling kites, brown falcons, and waterbirds including white ibis, royal spoonbills, darters, Pacific herons, egrets and rufus-throated honeyeaters nest by the waterholes. Picnic on the banks of Torrens Creek or camp at Four Mile Waterhole. No facilities are provided. Camping fees apply.
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Lake Bindegolly National Park is a remote but accessible park on the edge of Queensland's channel country. This park is a bird and sunset-watcher's paradise, distinguished by desert landscapes, a string of salt and freshwater lakes, thousands of waterbirds and a rare tree. Acacia ammophila, a large gidgee-like tree with golden flowers clustered in balls, grows along sand dunes fringing the eastern side of the lakes. Camping is permitted on a reserve just outside the park, but not on the park itself. From the park entrance, walk four and a half kilometres to the lakeside bird-viewing site. See swans, pelicans, and (possibly) rare freckled ducks. Continue along the 9.2 kilometre circuit track as it skirts the lake's edge and returns via scrub-covered sandhills. Look for wedge-tailed eagles and Major Mitchell cockatoos. Tiny marsupials seek shelter in the samphire plants at the lake edge. At home in the park are tiny box-patterned geckos, skinks, painted dragons and sand goannas.
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In the Salvator Rosa Section of Carnarvon National Park, the spring-fed Nogoa River and Louisa Creek meander beneath a backdrop of rocky sandstone crags and spires. Spyglass Peak and The Sentinel, sculpted by millions of years of weathering, dominate the skyline. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is needed to access the park and to visit Belinda Springs and Major Mitchell springs. See vivid orange-barked yellow jacket trees as you take the 1 kilometre return walk to the base of Spyglass Peak. See wildflowers in spring. At least 10 of the park's 300 plant species are rare or threatened. Photograph the sunrise over the park's bluffs and spires. Go birdwatching. Self-sufficient visitors can camp at the Nogoa River camping area. April to September is the best time to visit.
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In semi-arid, south-western Queensland, Tregole National Park straddles the boundary between two of the state’s natural regions, the brigalow belt and the mulga lands. The park protects a small, almost pure stand of ooline Cadellia pentastylis, an attractive dry rainforest tree dating back to the Ice Ages. Ooline has been extensively cleared and is now uncommon and considered vulnerable to extinction. Tregole’s ooline forest survives in the less than ideal semi-arid conditions. Mulga grows on the ridges while poplar box woodlands cover the alluvial plains, brigalow woodlands grow on areas with heavy clay soils and Mitchell grasslands are found on the park’s undulating plains.
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