Low Isles

Situated 15 kilometres north-east of Port Douglas, the Low Isles comprise a four acre coral cay surrounded by 55 acres of reef. The reefs are very close to the island, which makes snorkelling an easy and enjoyable experience. The two small islands are separate but share the common reef.

The larger of the two, Woody Island, is uninhabited except for a large bird population. It is a vital habitat for many species.

The smaller of the Low Isles is a coral cay with a lighthouse that has been operating since 1878. Weather data has been gathered from the island since 1887, and scientific associations date back to 1928 when it was the base for a year-long scientific survey that examined the structure and ecology of the surrounding reef. This was the first scientific study of a coral reef anywhere in the world, and many current theories of coral reef ecology are based on the findings of this expedition.

There are 150 different species of hard corals in the waters surrounding Low Isles, although these are dominated by 15 species of soft corals. If you look closely, the feathery tentacles of soft corals can often be seen collecting tiny food particles from the water around them. Living amongst the corals is a large variety of fish, molluscs, sea cucumbers and other animals. Colourful blue, green and purple parrotfish are a common sight as well as angelfish, damselfish, anenomefish or clownfish, trevally, rabbitfish, sweetlip, moon wrasse and fusilleers, just to name a few! Plus, you might run into the resident turtles.

The lightstation (controlled by Queensland Parks and Wildlife) on the flat low lying western island, was completed and exhibited in 1878. The 18 metre tower was originally constructed on a timber frame with a galvanised sheath in the typical Queensland fashion, however Low Isles was the first to have porthole windows.

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Simpson Desert National Park

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
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.

French Line - Simpson Desert

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
The Simpson Desert is undoubtedly Australia's most loved desert with large numbers of visitors each year accepting the challenge of crossing the Simpson. Winter rains carpet the desert in wildflowers and the night skies are a star gazers delight.
Free Entry
The landscape and scenery on the Winton - Boulia via Diamantina National Park journey will leave you awestruck. A challenging journey, this relatively isolated route will require the driver to be well prepared as there are no fuel or food facilities.

Diamantina National Park Circuit

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Diamantina National Park has been named one of Australia’s top 10 national parks by the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The drive passes through a variety of landscapes, from the river channels and waterholes on the flood plains, to sand dunes, gibber plains and grasslands.

Birdsville Track

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
An Australian Outback Adventure, the well maintained, unsealed track links Birdsville in Queensland's south-west to Maree in the mid-north of South Australia. The Birdsville Track covers some of Australia's most beautiful and challenging country, passing through the Simpson Desert and Sturt's Stoney Desert.

Diamantina National Park

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
In Diamantina National Park, the mighty Diamantina River, one of Queensland’s longest, cuts braided channels through gibber flats, sand dunes and red-capped ranges. The park supports a large number of rare and threatened plants and animals, including the greater bilby.

Red Sandhills

Windorah, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
The Red Sandhills ten kilometres west of Windorah on the Birdsville Road are the reddest that you will find anywhere. They may not be very high, but they are worth stopping to admire, especially for photographers.

Waddi Trees

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
One of Australia’s rarest plants, the Waddi Trees (Acacia puece) have spiky, needle-like leaves and thick bark. The Waddi tree piqued early explorer William John Wills’ interest, with some samples of the seeds found buried in his diary after his death.

Cuttaburra Crossing

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Cuttaburra Crossing is a permanent waterhole and a renowned wetland on the Eyre Creek. It is located between Lake Koolivoo and Lake Machattie. Cuttaburra Crossing is home to many species of birdlife.

Big Red

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Standing at 30 metres in height, this awesome sand dune, Big Red, provides a challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast. The first of 1113 dunes in the Simpson Desert, the spectacular sunsets from the top of Big Red are an experience not to be missed.
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