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Opalton

Home of Queensland Boulder Opal, Opalton lies 124 kilometres from Winton. Opal was first discovered here by George Cragg in 1888 and the first mine was worked in 1894. By the end of the decade there was a bustling township of 600 and Opalton became known for the enormous volume and quality of its opal. In 1899 the largest piece of opal ever recorded was mined from Opalton, a pipe opal more than three metres long.

Now home to a much smaller community, Opalton boasts one shop where you are likely to meet all the locals when the mail is delivered every Thursday. Try your luck in the public fossicking area. There are camping facilities at the bush park and basic cabins are available.

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Lark Quarry Conservation Park

Winton, Winton Area
Free Entry
Lark Quarry Conservation Park holds the only evidence in the whole world of a dinosaur stampede. The evidence: 3,300 fossilised dinosaur footprints from a time when dinosaurs stomped through lush rainforests and the outback looked very different from the way it is today. These dinosaur tracks inspired the dinosaur stampede scene in Steven Spielberg's movie Jurassic Park. The tracks are protected inside a solar-powered building, constructed using ecologically sustainable methods. Discover the fascinating story of the stampede of 95 million years ago. Entry to the tracks is by guided tour only (a fee applies). Independent visitors can enjoy a short 500 metre walk along the Spinifex circuit, or enjoy a longer 3.5 kilometre return walk along the Jump Up Loop to explore this awe-inspiring landscape known as 'jump up' country.

Iningai Nature Reserve

Longreach, Longreach Area
Free Entry
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.

Langlo - Adavale Road

Blackall, Blackall-Tambo Area
Free Entry
Rather than taking the Matilda Highway, this track is a great alternative to see more of Queensland's Outback as you travel between Tambo and Blackall the Langlo - Adavale Road. The drive presents great views of beautiful outback landscapes. You will see native wildlife and livestock as you pass through a number of stations. Take care as the track is not fenced and the livestock roam freely. The Langlo - Adavale Road is approximately 200 kilometres and will take approximately one day to complete. You will need a four wheel drive to complete this track and it can become impassable in the wet.

Bladensburg National Park

Winton, Winton Area
Free Entry
Bladensburg National Park is a large park protecting Mitchell grass downs and channel country. It is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife, including tiny mammals called dunnarts. Flat-topped mesas and sandstone ranges form a pleasing backdrop to the park's grassland plains and river flats. The park is important to Traditional Owners, the Koa people, and also contains reminders of the area's pastoral history. At the original homestead complex, learn about the early days of station life and the park's plants and animals. Camping is permitted at Bough Shed Hole beside Surprise Creek, where birdlife is prolific. Camping fees apply. Visit Scrammy Gorge for impressive views. Take the Route of the River Gums drive and visit the stony Top Crossing, once used by horse-drawn wagons. Out there, the night skies are amazing - go stargazing!

Forest Den National Park

Longreach, Longreach Area
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.

Aramac - Muttaburra Heritage Trail

Aramac, Barcaldine Area
Free Entry
The picturesque Heritage Trail is a scenic loop between Aramac and Muttaburra. The trail showcases a diversity of landscapes as you travel through black soil open downs country, to the desert uplands, up or down the Jump Up and past natural lakes. A number of attractions are seen on the drive, including the Pump Hole, Broadwater, Muttaburrasaurus, Lake Galilee, Lake Dunn, the Jump Up, Grey Rock and the White Bull. The Trail is 194 kilometres long and will take a full day to complete. The road is mostly gravel with some black soil and may become impassable after rain. Please ensure you drive to the conditions of the road.

Outback Way, The

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.

Kooroorinya Falls Nature Reserve

Hughenden, Flinders Area
From AU$20 - 20
Kooroorinya Falls is a natural waterhole surrounded by high rock walls on one side and sandy, shaded banks on the other. Visitors can go swimming, fishing, birdwatching or just take a walk. There is a creek with plenty of water and spectacular falls during the wetter months. The Kooroorinya site offers camping grounds, hot showers and toilet facilities. The Kooroorinya Races are held each year. The meeting is run over three days and is a great family occasion. In years gone by, this prestigious event was by invitation only, with Fashions Of The Field, dancing and country cooking. Now the invitation to the Kooroorinya Races extends to everyone, run by the Oakley Amateur Picnic Race Club. It is important to check road conditions before travelling during wet weather and to always carry plenty of water. Campers must call in to the caretaker’s office on arrival. A small fee applies.
From AU$12 - 12
The Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park, where over 3,300 dinosaur tracks mark the site of the only known dinosaur stampede on the planet. In a remarkable piece of scientific detective work, scientists from the Queensland Museum have pieced together a dramatic tale of hunter and hunted from the footprints left behind. About 95 million years ago a herd of over 300 dinosaurs, some as small as chickens (called Coelursaurs) and some about the size of an emus (called Ornithopods) were drinking on the muddy shore of a lake. The herd panicked and started a mad dash to escape when a large meat-eating dinosaur appeared close by. The stampede was recorded in the mud, preserved by the natural environment, and immortalised in stone. Preserved inside a modern building, this amazing Dinosaur Stampede is accessible to everyone at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. The starkly beautiful red earth and spinifex-studded landscape is a dramatic contrast to the moist green world that existed at the time of the dinosaurs.

Moorrinya National Park

Hughenden, Flinders Area
Free Entry
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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