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Julia Creek

Julia Creek is located on the Overlander's Way, the main route from Townsville that runs west to Mount Isa and on to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Julia Creek started to grow when the railway line was extended in February 1908. The town was named after the niece of Donald McIntyre, the first European settler in the area. An interesting collection of memorabilia can be found at the Donald McIntyre Museum in Burke Street.

The district’s main industries are cattle, sheep, and mining at BHP Cannington. Julia Creek is a major stock trucking and cattle sales centre. Its impressive saleyards are fitted with lighting for night loading and unloading.

The area is home to a rare and endangered marsupial, the Julia Creek Dunnart. Because of their nocturnal habits and timid natures, glimpses of the dunnart are rare.

While visiting Julia Creek why not visit the Proa Redclaw Farm. The 12 ponds use artesian water, some containing up to 16,000 redclaw. Self-drive tours are available.

Julia Creek has many sporting and social events on its calendar that are a major feature of the town's lifestyle. The annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival is held annually in April and includes one of the major triathlon events, the Artesian Express Horse Race (the richest horse race in the north west), at PBR Bullride and Australia's Best Butt Competition.

While in the area, take the time to visit Punchbowl Waterhole and Sedan Dip. On the Flinders River approximately 45 kilometres north-east of Julia Creek, the Punchbowl is an excellent spot for swimming, fishing and picnicking. Sedan Dip is on the Cloncurry River, on the Beef Road to Normanton, 100 kilometres north of Julia Creek.

In the late afternoon take a stroll along the nature trail at the back of the caravan park to enjoy the wonderful birdlife or enjoy watching the sunset while relaxing in the caravan park's naturally heated artesian spa after a long day's travel.

Julia Creek, McKinlay Area
Queensland
Australia

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

Duchess

Duchess, Cloncurry Area
In earlier days Duchess was an important railway and mining town which has declined since the advent of road transport. Today, relive the glory days over a drink or two at the local Duchess Hotel where the beer and stories flow. The old Duchess Mine and the old lime quarry a little further out of town remain as reminders of more heady days. Located 123 kilometres south west of Cloncurry, in Queensland's Outback.

Burketown

Burketown, Burke Area
The Gulf Savannah is an interesting region to visit all year. However during the monsoon season, transportation methods must be carefully considered, as some parts of the Gulf Savannah region suffer from a lack of road infrastructure. Burketown sits on the Albert River and on the east-west dividing line between the wetlands to the north and the beginning of the savannah grass plains (Plains of Promise) to the south, some 25 kilometres from the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Albert River is tidal and the Gulf is accessible from Burketown by boat. Surrounding environs include flat, grassy plains to the south and immense salt flats and wetlands to the north. The Nicholson River is some 17 kilometres to the west and is fresh water and perennial. The wetlands are breeding grounds for crocodiles, barramundi and prawns and a vast amount of bird species which are prolific during the summer months. The grasslands to the south are the habitat of a great array of wildlife including emus, kangaroos and birdlife. Burketown is 425 kilometres north of Mt Isa.

Lawn Hill

Lawn Hill, Burke Area
Every year, thousands of visitors are drawn to Lawn Hill National Park to experience the true Outback. Encompassing the spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge with its imposing sandstone cliffs, and cool pristine waterways, the area is most famous for the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil fields. An oasis of green set in a landscape of dry semi-arid countryside, Lawn Hill National Park is a popular spot for campers exploring the vast Gulf country of Outback Queensland. The waterways, fed by numerous freshwater springs, can be explored by canoe, or on foot along one of six walking tracks. These tracks will lead you through lush vegetation to tranquil waterholes and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The local Waanyi Aboriginal people have a long and sacred history with the area, evident in the aboriginal rock art found at the Wild Dog Dreaming Art Shelter. Take the bridge across the gorge, and enjoy this ancient art gallery for yourself. Crocodiles can be spied lazing in the waters of the lower gorge, but further up are rock pools and cascade spas where swimming is not only safe, but delightfully refreshing on a hot day. Boodjamulla National Park is located approximately three and a half hours’ drive north-west of Mt Isa and a little over two hours’ drive south-west of Burketown. Camping facilities are available at the Park however the campground is not suitable for caravans, buses, motorhomes or camper trailers over four metres.
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