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Hughenden

Visit 'Hughie', the seven-metre Muttaburrasaurus and an impressive fossil collection at the Flinders Discovery Centre. While you are there, relive the glory days of sheep production and its subsequent demise in the 'Shearing Straggler' exhibit. A small entry fee applies.

Follow the windmill blades through the streets of Hughenden, exploring the Outback history and art features of the town. Meet 'Mutt', a full-bodied Muttaburrasaurus replica along the way.

Just outside Hughenden, Mount Walker rises out of the flat back soil plains, proving a great location for grazing across town and around the district. Further afield, Porcupine Gorge National Park is a spectacular gorge often referred to as Australia's 'Little Grand Canyon'. The first lookout gives you and indication of the depth and magnitude of the gorge and is a 'must see' for all visitors. Camping grounds are located at the Pyramid Lookout; campers should take their own water and be full self-sufficient. Contact Parks and Wildlife for permits.

The Basalt Byway is a scenic drive plotted through the picturesque volcanic basalt countryside, boasting excellent lookouts and an abundance of flora and fauna. For the four wheel driving enthusiasts, the Eromanga Sea Byway traces the edge of the prehistoric inland sea and is a fossil fossicker's delight! Make the sandy crossing on the Flinders River Byway and reward yourself with a cold drink at the pub.

Fossicking enthusiasts will delight in the Chudleigh Park Gemfields. Peridot, rare sapphires and black spinel are generally found in this area. Whilst general permission for fossicking and camping has been given to holders of fossicking licences, please check at the Flinders Discovery Centre prior to arrival.

Hughenden is located half-way between Townsville and Mount Isa on the Flinders Highway, North West Queensland. Hughenden is situated on the banks of Queensland's longest river, the Flinders. The town is located above the Great Artesian Basin.

Hughenden, Flinders Area
Queensland
Australia

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Camooweal Caves National Park

Camooweal, Mount Isa Area
Free Entry
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.

Combo Conservation Park

Kynuna, McKinlay Area
Free Entry
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.

Porcupine Gorge National Park

Hughenden, Flinders Area
Free Entry
In this park, towering sandstone cliffs and lush vine-forest fringing Porcupine Creek provide a striking contrast with surrounding flat plains. Porcupine Gorge is an impressive canyon that has been carved into the landscape by the eroding action of Porcupine Creek, revealing strata of sedimentary rocks spanning hundreds of millions of years. In the wider section of the gorge the creek has also created the Pyramid, an isolated monolith of multicoloured sandstone rising from the floor of the gorge, shaped as its name suggests. The gorge is a great place for viewing wildlife, especially birds. Take the 2.4 kilometre return walk along the track to the base of the gorge, to explore the sculpted sandstone and deep pools of the gorge floor. Enjoy the bird calls and look for wallaroos and red kangaroos. Take an easy walk through sparse open woodland to the Pyramid lookout for scenic views over the gorge. Set up camp in the camping area and enjoy the solitude of the outback.

Fountain Springs Circuit

Cloncurry, Cloncurry Area
Free Entry
Stop at Clem Walton Park, a picturesque spot on the creek banks. Continue back on the main track, passing by Corella River and the site of the old Ballara township, to Fountain Springs - a permanent waterhole with abundant birdlife. Continue the circuit back through Ballara and onto Hightville and Wee McGregor Mine. Beware of unmarked open mine shafts. Fossick for Maltese Crosses at Crystal Mountain (licence and permission required). The track passes through spectacular sawback ranges. The Fountain Springs Circuit is approximately 40 kilometres long and will take approximately one day to complete. The road has some very rough sections and should only be attempted by experienced four wheel drive drivers.

Lawn Hill Circuit

Lawn Hill, Burke Area
Free Entry
This circuit travels through a variety of differing landscapes through the heart of the Gulf Savannah. Discover hidden oases where pandanus palms and giant paperbarks border crystal clear waters. Rare fossils of long-extinct species are scattered throughout the awe inspiring geology. Remnants of aboriginal tradition express the ancient connection these people have with the land. Sites of pioneering heritage can also be visited. Canoeing along Lawn Hill Gorge in Boodjamulla National Park is a definite highlight of this trip. The trip is approximately 570 kilometres long and will take approximately five days to complete (this includes a couple of days at Lawn Hill National Park). Some of the river crossings require car and passes through private property.

Boulia to Cloncurry Scenic Drive

Duchess, Cloncurry Area
Free Entry
This scenic drive is a pleasant alternative route between Cloncurry and Boulia. Pass through Malbon (the junction for the Kuridala-Selwyn railway) and the old town sites of Kuridala and Selwyn. Stop in at Duchess where only the hotel remains in this once-busy railway and mining town. Follow in the footsteps of Burke and Wills to the marked tree. This once was a Cobb and Co route for travellers of yesteryear. The road is approximately 340 kilometres long and will take approximately one day to complete. This road is only suitable for high clearance vehicles.

The Outback Way

Winton, Winton Area
Free Entry
The Outback Way extends 2,750 kilometres from Laverton, Western Australia to Winton, Queensland via central Australia. As a self-drive route it passes through central Australia’s deserts, Ayers Rock, The Olga’s, Alice Springs and a host of fascinating places of interest. The Outback Way is made up of seven inter-connecting roads including The Great Central Road (Western Australia); Tjukaruru Road, Lasseter Highway, Stuart Highway and Plenty Highway (Northern Territory); and Donohue Highway and Min Min Byway (Queensland). Collectively these are The Outback Way. The Outback Way offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy some of Australia’s icons as well as life in the outback, remote and rugged landscapes and an adventurous journey travelling across outback Australia. The Outback Way is all about the journey and enjoying the unspoilt wonders of Australia’s central deserts and remote outback.
Free Entry
This exceptional park features spectacular gorge country, including the lush oasis of Lawn Hill Gorge, sandstone ranges and World Heritage fossils. One of Queensland's most scenic national parks, it is home to abundant and diverse wildlife. The Riversleigh fossil deposits, part of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte) World Heritage Area, are among the richest and most extensive in the world. Bush camp in the gorge's popular camping area. Paddle a canoe through the mirror-like waters of the gorge and look for birds such as purple-crowned fairy-wrens and crimson finches along the creek edge, and turtles in the creek. Explore the gorge and sandstone ridges on one of the many walking tracks of varying length and difficulty. Find out about the Aboriginal heritage of the gorge and the Dreamtime story of Boodjamulla. Travel to Riversleigh to discover ancient yet amazingly well-preserved fossils of turtles, birds and mammals on the Riversleigh Fossil trail.

Riversleigh Fossil Fields

Mount Isa, Mount Isa Area
Free Entry
The Australian Fossil Mammal Sites at Riversleigh and Naracoorte were inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1994 for their outstanding representation of the evolution of Australian mammals and the quality of their fossils, which are preserved in limestone. The Riversleigh section, which covers 10,000 hectares, is located in the southern section of Boodjamulla National Park in north-west Queensland. Naracoorte can be found over 2,000 kilometres away in South Australia. The Riversleigh fossil deposits are among the richest and most extensive in the world, with some fossils dating back 15 to 25 million years. The site provides exceptional examples of mammalian assemblages in a continent whose mammal evolutionary history has been the most isolated and most distinctive in the world. It includes the first records of many groups of living mammals, such as marsupial moles and feather-tailed possums, as well as other unique and extinct species such as the 'marsupial lion'. The area open to the public was one of the first fossil deposits found, and gives visitors an opportunity to view many fossilised mammals and reptiles first hand.

Richmond Fossil Hunting Sites

Richmond, Richmond Area
Free Entry
After exploring the Prehistoric World at Kronosaurus Korner, they have the ideal place for you to visit. The fossil hunting sites are approximately 12 kilometres to the north of Richmond and are easily accessible to all vehicles. You don't require any digging tools - in fact most people don't have any equipment and still manage to make wonderful finds. Some of the fossils that are found in the area include belemnites, fish bones and scales, inoceramus shells and shark teeth. Fossickers are reminded that you are more than welcome to bring your discoveries back to Kronosaurus Korner for identification.
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