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Brisbane to Birdsville 4WD Adventure Drive Itinerary - From Brisbane to Birdsville

Longreach, Longreach Area

You've got the four-wheel-drive and you've got the spirit of adventure; let that lead you on the outback trip of a lifetime through southern Queensland to some of Australia's most remote and iconic outback townships.

Getting away early is easy when you're eager to explore new destinations, so there's no doubt that Brisbane will be in your rearview mirror before you can say "let's go on a road trip". However, a cautious traveller is a safe traveller, so it pays to check RACQ's updated road conditions before you leave for very remote areas like Birdsville and Innamincka. Also, ensure you pack enough food and water to last you a few days in case you get stranded outback; and an extra spare tyre won't hurt, either. Tell a few loved ones where you're going and when to expect you to arrive (don't forget to call them and let them know you got there safe and sound) so they can raise the alarm if necessary - just in case!

Journey Details

Duration
144 Hours
Distance
1813 Kilometres

Facilities

  • Car park

Activities

  • Off Road Driving
Queensland Government Building
Landsborough Highway
Longreach, Longreach Area
Queensland
Australia

Full Itinerary

Brisbane to Goondiwindi

Call in at Aratula, at the foot of Cunningham's Gap on the Cunningham Highway, and stretch the legs with a walk through Main Range National Park. Spot the stone cairn, a memorial to early explorers, and breathe in the fresh scent of eucalypts.

Continuing on to Warwick is a gardener's dream in springtime as the town blooms with an impressive amount of roses, one of which, called the Arafuto or 'City of Warwick' rose, was developed especially for the town. No matter the season, Warwick's quaint shops and bustling cafes make it a great spot to grab a bite of lunch before setting off for Goondiwindi.

Goondiwindi is the junction of six highways and therefore 'on the road to everywhere'. It sits just on the Queensland side of the state border with New South Wales and was first explored by Allan Cunningham in 1827. Beef, wool, cotton and wheat are the diverse resources keeping the economy thriving and a number of industry tours are on offer for visitors to glimpse the complexity of these seemingly simple industries. For the fitness and nature inclined, there's a lovely river walk along the banks of the Macintyre River.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
4x4
Goondiwindi to Cunnamulla

Throughout the five-hour drive through the western regions towards Cunnamulla, the landscape and towns will slowly begin to feel more 'outback'. In Nindigully, the historic hotel, built in 1863, is home to one of the country's oldest and largest pig racing events, a sure sign that you're nearing the outback.

If the lure of the outback itself isn't enough, the Culgoa Floodplain National Park sits west of St George and is a haven for four-wheel-drive enthusiasts with many challenging tracks and thick, cozy mulga campsites on offer. For the less four-wheel-drive adventurous, the drive from St George to Cunnamulla brings excitement in koala bear spotting along the Wallan Creek.

With two million sheep on stations in the Cunnamulla region, it's not surprising that this town boasts Queensland's largest wool loading station. The Cunnamulla Heritage Trail explains the town's fascinating past, while the Stephanie Mills Gallery displays local photographic artwork that provides a unique perspective on the region's scenery.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
4x4
Cunnamulla to Thargomindah

If you're a wine buff, there's no missing Australia's most remote winery at Eulo, where there's also a date farm, mud bath and the Paroo Race Track.

A detour to Yowah is worth its weight in opals. This friendly town is the home of many a fossicking site where visitors and long-time opal miners alike can strike it lucky.

Upon reaching 'Thargo', head to the Bulloo River Hotel and meet local icon 'Surly Shirley'. If you feel she doesn't like you, don't worry; you're not the only one! She's really a laugh and a great introduction to the first town in the world to harness the power of artesian water to provide the town's electricity in the late 1800s.

Amble along the Bulloo River Walk, discover the treasures of Leahy Historic House and shop for Bulloo Built souvenirs crafted from weathered timbers reclaimed from surrounding stations before heading for the remote and historic Innamincka, just over the South Australian Border. Detour to the Dig Tree at the site of the infamous Burke and Wills' final camp to learn about the heroic explorers' catastrophic demise. Finally, stop to view the Aboriginal rock carvings at Cullyamurra Waterhole on the Cooper Creek.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
4x4
Thargomindah to Innamincka

Get up early and explore the township of Thargomindah this morning. Learn how the power of the artesian water was harnessed to provide the town's electricity in the late 1800s. Amble along the Bulloo River Walk, discover the treasures of Leahy Historic House and shop for Bulloo Built souvenirs crafted from weathered timbers reclaimed from surrounding stations.

Leave early enough though for the drive to Innamincka - just across the South Australian border. The road starts as sealed bitumen for approximately the first 200 kilometres; then from here on in the rest of this journey is on unsealed roads/tracks only suitable for 4WD. Ensure you are prepared for driving in the Outback and semi-desert regions. Take plenty of provisions with you, including fresh water.

Just before arriving at the Queensland-South Australian border, you will reach the famous historic Burke and Wills 'Dig Tree' site on the banks of Cooper Creek, where the Burke and Wills expedition ended in tragedy, and the site of their original graves. Just outside of Innamincka, stop to view the Aboriginal rock carvings at Cullyamurra Waterhole on the Cooper Creek.

Continue on to Innamincka for the night.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
4x4
Innamincka to Birdsville

Before leaving Innamincka, learn about the remote outpost's tumultuous history in the re-built Australian Inland Mission Hostel. Fish for yellowbelly or spot turtles in the Cooper Creek waterholes near the town and talk to the locals about which route is the best one to take to reach Birdsville. They're all dirt roads and mainly suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only.

Walker's Crossing is the most direct but isolated off-road track, and both the Cordillo Downs road and Arrabury Road are more major dirt roads and have various sites to see along the way. The Cordillo Downs shearing shed is the biggest in the world, while the Arrabury road will take you through the ghost town of Betoota. If the roads are rough, take it easy and camp along the way where you find a suitable site.

Birdsville has numerous attractions on offer, including the historic Birdsville Hotel and the quirky culinary delights of the Birdsville Bakery. 'Big Red' is a 40 metre high sand dune on the edge of the Simpson Desert and is a wonderful place to watch the sun set over the vast desert horizons only 35 kilometres west of the town.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 1: Suitable for the disabled with assistance
Mode of Travel
4x4

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Accommodation
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Great Keppel Island Hideaway

Great Keppel Island,
From AU$60 - 300
Great Keppel Island Hideaway welcomes guests to share their barefoot island paradise, an authentic locally owned Island resort situated on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, merely 30 minutes ferry from Yeppoon.

Palm Bay Resort

Long Island,
From AU$229 - 600
Palm Bay Resort is a beautiful boutique resort nestled in the neck of Long Island, one of the stunning islands of the Great Barrier Reef. With their very own secluded private cove Palm Bay offers spacious Balinese inspired villas with extensive views to the Whitsunday passage and Coral Sea.

qualia

Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Area
From AU$1050 - 5500
This business has been impacted by recent weather events in Queensland. Please make contact with the operator or visit their website for information regarding bookings and travel plans. Nestled in the northern most tip of Hamilton Island, qualia is a unique expression of world-class luxury.

Hamilton Island Palm Bungalows

Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$380 - 495
Romantic and affordable, Hamilton Island Palm Bungalows are designed for couples and families holidaying on a budget. Surrounded by tropical landscaped gardens and Hamilton Island's lush foliage, the bungalows have everything you need for a comfortable island holiday.

Beach Club, Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$680 - 880
Awaken to absolute beachfront views at the Beach Club. Surrounded by landscaped gardens on Catseye Beach, the Beach Club Hamilton Island is a boutique retreat exclusively for adults. Romantic, intimate and perfect for couples, the well appointed boutique rooms have a stylish and relaxed beach house vibe, tailor-made for relaxing.

Hamilton Island Reef View Hotel

Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$390 - 1475
The Reef View Hotel has many amenities, including a 35-metre swimming pool, the Reef Lounge bar, and in-house Pool Terrace Restaurant serving buffet breakfast, light lunches and à la carte dinner menu.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, Cook Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$1800 - 6380
Lizard Island, Australia's northernmost island resort on the Great Barrier Reef, is truly secluded from the rest of the world and is located a one hour scenic flight over the reef from Cairns. With only one resort on the island hosting 40 rooms – it is the tranquillity and natural beauty of the island that will first greet you.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
From AU$160 - 385
Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay located at the southern tip of Australia's World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, 80 kilometres north-east of Bundaberg (north of Fraser Island). Situated within a highly protected 'Green Zone', the Island is a sanctuary for over 1200 species of marine life and is renowned for an abundance of manta rays, turtles, reef sharks, amazing array of spectacular marine life and unspoilt coral reef.

Heron Island

Heron Island,
From AU$330 - 881
Heron Island is a natural wonderland to explore on the Great Barrier Reef. A true coral cay, located right on the Southern Great Barrier Reef the island is ribboned by white sands, crystal clear waters (swimmable all year) and acres of coral with beautifully coloured marine life.

Green Island Resort

Green Island,
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From AU$695 - 799
Located 27 kilometres across the Coral Sea from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, the eco-sensitive Resort is luxury on the Great Barrier Reef. Nestled among the rainforest and secluded from the day visitor facilities, Green Island Resort offers a unique blend of luxurious accommodation and unparalleled access to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, lush rainforest, and a spectacular array of bird and marine life.
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Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).