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Capricorn Way

Multiple Locations

Have you ever seen a real dinosaur fossil, experienced an ancient rainforest, mined for your own sapphires or explored one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World?

Do all these things and more with Capricorn Way's Dig the Tropic Drive.

Spanning approximately 1200km along the Capricorn Highway from the Capricorn Coast, inland to the Central Highlands and towards the Outback, Dig the Tropic will see you uncovering the history of Australia - from the Jurassic era to the present day.

Explore ancient limestone caverns at Capricorn Caves, visit Mt Morgan; home to over 300 early Jurassic dinosaur footprints, discover Thundereggs at Mt Hay and fossick for gems on the Sapphire Gemfields. Go on a real Australian road trip and discover a real adventure as you follow the Capricorn Way, the link to Outback Queensland.

The drive is easily accessible whether you are in a car, 4x4, camp trailer and even a caravan. Take your time and experience all there is to offer from the Reef to the Outback.

Journey Details

Duration
30 Hours
Distance
579.67 Kilometres

Facilities

  • BBQ Facilities
  • Car park

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping

Other Information

Family Friendly:

Family friendly – please refer to operator's website for services and facilities.

Full Itinerary

Rockhampton to Duaringa

Approximately one hour west of Rockhampton you will discover the Duaringa. Duaringa is the welcoming gateway to the Central Highlands. it is the oldest township in the area dating back to the 1860's. The Old Duaringa hotel has been preserved as reminder of the pioneering lifestyle. Check out Mackenzie Park on the the east side of town, which features the unique Budgeroo or Duaringa stringy bark tree.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Capricorn Way
Duaringa to Blackwater

From Duaringa, keep following the Capricorn Way until you reach Blackwater. Blackwater's heritage and substantial export earnings has earned it the total of 'Coal Capital of Queensland'. Blackwater is the second largest town in the Central Highlands and offers all major services. Blackwater also boasts a fine Japanese garden. These gardens mark the relationship between Blackwater and her sister city Fujisawa, Japan. Well worth a visit.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Capricorn Way
Blackwater to Emerald

Continuing along the Capricorn Way, heading towards the township of Emerald. Named not after the gem, but for the lush green pastures that once surrounded the town. Emerald is the hub of the Central Highlands area. Primary industries include coal, sapphire and gem mining, cotton, wheat, maize, sorghum, sunflowers and a variety of other crops. Emerald is home to the worlds biggest Van Gogh 'Sunflower' painting located in Morton Park. This is must see for every visitor.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Capricorn Way
Emerald to Gemfields

Take a slight detour and try your luck in the towns of Sapphire, Anakie, Willows and Rubyvale gem fields and go looking for sapphires. People from all over the world descend on the Sapphire Gemfields each year to experience fossicking first hand and to try their luck at finding the ultimate gem discovery.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- capricorn Way
- Capricorn Way
Gemfields to Alpha

Head to the Outback town of Alpha. Along the drive you will take in the Drummond range. Get the camera ready and make sure you make a stop at the lookout. The views are truly amazing and well worth the stop.

Alpha is known as the 'Town of Murals' and displays a number that have been painted on both private and public buildings depicting the areas history. The region is known as Mitchel country, named after Sir Thomas Mitchell who went through the area in 1846.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Capricorn Way
Alpha to Barcaldine

Before leaving Alpha stock up on your baked goods from their famed bakery. Once back on the Capricorn Way you will be headed to Barcaldine. Barcaldine is situated at the crossroads of the Matilda and Capricorn Ways. It is a town filled with history and colour. Barcaldine is a wonderful place to spend a few days checking out the eclectic mix of modern and historical buildings.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Capricorn Way

Find What's Nearby

Choose a category:
Places to Visit
Displaying 1-10 of 16
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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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

Dajarra

Dajarra, Cloncurry Area
Believe it or not Dajarra was once the largest trucking depot in the world. Dajarra is now a quiet, laid back town in the far north of Outback Queensland. The older people of the area who remember Dajarra's heyday say that the area trucked more cattle than Texas in the United States of America.

Julia Creek

Julia Creek, McKinlay Area
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.

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.

Karumba

Karumba, Carpentaria Area
Situated on the mouth of the Norman River, Karumba is already well known as a recreational fishing mecca and birdwatchers paradise. Today however, being so accessible, Karumba is fast becoming a must do destination for travellers looking for an experience with a difference.

McKinlay

Mckinlay, McKinlay Area
Located 104 kilometres south east of Cloncurry, McKinlay was named after the McKinlay River which was discovered and named by the explorer John McKinlay. McKinlay had arrived in New South Wales in 1836 and by 1861 had become such an adept bushman that he was chosen to lead the South Australian Burke Relief Expedition to search for the missing Burke and Wills.
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