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Central West Outback Adventure Drive

Multiple Locations

Nothing beats an outback road trip through the wide-open spaces, sweeping sand dunes and quirky towns of central west Queensland's 'big sky country'. Beginning in Longreach, the home of Qantas and the Stockman's Hall of Fame, this five day adventure drive will give you a taste of what life in one of Australia's most remote regions is like.

Journey Details

Duration
120 Hours
Distance
1463 Kilometres

Facilities

  • Pets allowed, enquire on booking

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Winton to Boulia

After exploring Winton's unique attractions, like the eccentric 'music fence', boulder opal displays and dinosaur fossil displays, head westward towards Boulia. Call in to Middleton, the pub on the side of the road with the world's most remote 'Hilton Hotel', and keep an eye out for the mesas, what the locals call 'jump ups', that are a reminder of the ancient inland sea that once covered this whole area. The Cawnpore lookout offers a spectacular view and information boards about these prehistoric landmarks.

Boulia is the heart of 'Min Min' country, and a visit to the sensational Min Min Encounter will give you the heebie jeebies as you find out just how eerie these mysterious lights are, and you may hope you never see one for yourself! The historic Stone House, the oldest house in town, now houses a collection of aboriginal artifacts, local memorabilia and a dinosaur fossil display.

Historic ruins in the area include the Min Min Hotel, on the way into town, and the police barracks, 19 kilometres north of town. The adventurous four-wheel-drive traveller can head to the Diamantina National Park, 150 kilometres south-east of Boulia, where the mighty Diamantina River flows through the Diamantina Gates.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
Mode of Travel
Car
Boulia to Birdsville

Heading south, don't miss the turn-off to the Vaughan Johnson Lookout on the border of the Boulia and Diamantina Shires. Its 'loo with a view' offers sensational views over the channel country, some of Australia's best cattle fattening land.

Explore Bedourie and soak in the tranquility of this desert oasis at the natural artesian spa and aquatic centre. Visit the historic Royal Hotel before heading south to Birdsville via the Bilby Way and keep an eye out for these little endangered marsupials, particularly in the early hours of the morning. Walk through the Carcoory Homestead Ruins and just before reaching Birdsville, look out for the patch of Waddi trees, an extremely rare species growing in only three places world-wide.

In Birdsville, sip a coldie at the iconic Birdsville Hotel, and enjoy one of the quintessentially outback pies, such as 'curried camel' or 'kangaroo claret', at the Birdsville Bakery. The 35 kilometre drive westward to the 40 metre high 'Big Red' sand-dune is worth it. Watch the sun set over the Simpson Desert or venture to Poeppel corner; the junction of Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia, 175 kilometres west of Birdsville but only for very well equipped four-wheel-drive travellers.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 3: Recommended for people with some bushwalking experience
Mode of Travel
Car
Birdsville to Windorah

The 350 kilometre drive to Windorah passes Betoota, Australia's smallest town. With a population of zero, this once-thriving Cobb & Co. exchange and inter-colony toll point declined after federation to leave a sole pub, which was abandoned in 1997. These days, Betoota comes alive twice a year for its annual horse and motorbike gymkhana and race meet, and the ghostly old pub still stands proud on the lonely gibber flat. Just down the road, a magnificent rainbow serpent is blazed upon a ridge and looks spectacular from both the road and the air. A little further and Deon's Lookout rises above the channel country flats and is a superb lunch stop for those heading on to Windorah.

In Windorah, the celebrated Western Star Hotel is a great place to meet some of the locals, while the Cooper Creek, a legendary channel country waterway, is a refreshing swim or fishing stop after a 16 kilometres nature drive to the east of town. Discover the picturesque red sand hills to the west of town and watch the magical sunset reflected in the thousands of mirrors mounted on the giant solar panels nearby.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 3: Recommended for people with some bushwalking experience
Mode of Travel
Car
Windorah to Longreach

Following north along the route of the Thomson River, continue on to Longreach. Stop off in the country towns of Jundah and tiny Stonehenge, home to just 30 people. Less than four kilometres from Stonehenge you will find a series of magnificent Rock Holes shaded by ghostly white gum trees, the perfect place to cool off. You will discover some glorious landscapes and scenic lookouts on this trip.

Onto Longreach, home of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Powerhouse Museum and Qantas Founders Outback Museum and a wealth of entertainment and warm, country hospitality. Another highlight of a visit to Longreach is a cruise on the Thomson River. Qantas Airlines began in nearby Winton, however its first main operations were from Longreach. So look out for a replica of the first Qantas booking office as you wander through town.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Level 3: Recommended for people with some bushwalking experience
Mode of Travel
Car

Find What's Nearby

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Displaying 1-10 of 34
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Wooroolin Wetland

Wooroolin, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
The Wooroolin Wetland is located at the township of Wooroolin, 16 kilometres north of Kingaroy along the Bunya Highway. Wooroolin Wetlands was declared a fauna sanctuary in 1973, now classified as a palustrine wetland, a non-tidal, inland, seasonally flooded, vegetated swamp.

Nanango Fauna Reserve

Nanango, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
The Nanango Fauna Reserve offers many different environments of seasonal waterholes, eucalypt woodland, acacia scrub, and dry vine scrub. It is a birdwatcher's delight with a variety of birds to be found including the Yellow-Faced Honeyeater, Australian Darter, Varied Sittella, Nankeen Night Heron, and Little Black and Little Pied Cormorant.

Benarkin State Forest Park

Benarkin, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Benarkin State Forest on the Blackbutt Range is a great spot to picnic, fish, spot platypus or hike or ride on forest trails. From the D'Aguilar Highway an unsealed 16 kilometre scenic forest drive leads through rainforest, hoop pine plantations and eucalypt forests containing blackbutt, tallowwood, white mahogany, gums and ironbarks to small flats beside the inviting waters of Emu Creek.

Bunya Mountains National Park

Bunya Mountains, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
The Bunya Mountains National Park is perched 1100 metres high and 200 kilometres north-west of Brisbane and considered Queensland's second-oldest national park being gazetted in 1908. It's there ancient rainforest-clad peaks stand tall and shelter the world's largest formation of bunya pines (Araucaria bidwillii) - once a popular meeting place for Aboriginal folk to gather nuts in the 1800s.

Boat Mountain Regional Park

Murgon, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
This distinctive flat-topped ridge, shaped like an upturned boat, is a landmark near Murgon. Rising to a height of 589 metres, Boat Mountain is covered in dry rainforest with areas of open eucalypt forest.

Jimna State Forest

Jimna, Somerset Area
Free Entry
Jimna State Forest has had a colourful history of gold mining and timber milling. The last flurry of mining, in the 1940s, yielded 2.8 kilograms of gold. Attractions include creeks, log bridges and wildlife including platypus and many species of birds.

Gordonbrook Dam

Kingaroy, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
The Dam is the sole source of water supply for Kingaroy; it was built in 1941 to provide water for the Royal Australian Air Force Training Base during WWII. In 1987 due to increased demand the dam wall was raised and the inundated area is now 229 hectares.

Coomba Falls

Maidenwell, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Coomba Falls, at Maidenwell, is an exceptionally beautiful place, featuring a deep natural swimming hole and striking granite cliffs. The water is icy most of the year, so it's the ideal site to cool down on a hot day.

Coral Gardens Dive Site Mooloolaba

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Located on the Inner Gneerings off Mooloolaba, the Coral Gardens are like a small section of the Great Barrier Reef on the Sunshine Coast. Lovely hard and soft corals rule this reef in depths from 10 to 15 metres, with the site topography dominated by a series of gutters.

Lake Boondooma

Proston, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Peaceful Lake Boondooma is paradise for anglers, campers, bird watchers and water sports enthusiasts. The 1,900 hectare dam was purpose-built across the Boyne River in 1983 to provide a water supply to the Tarong Power Station.
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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).