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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Places to Visit
Displaying 1-10 of 86
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Gardners Falls

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Leave your vehicle in the car park on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek and take a short, level walk downstream to Gardners Falls.  You’ll pass a number of shallow rock pools which are ideal for smaller children who just want to splash about.

Curtis Falls, Joalah Section

Tamborine, Logan City Area
Free Entry
On entering the rainforest in Tamborine National Park, take the right-hand fork and head down to Curtis Falls. A viewing platform in the forest is a good place to stop and listen to the birds or rest on your way back.

Mount Merino

Binna Burra, Scenic Rim Area
Free Entry
The Mount Merino walk is located in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park. This stunning national park boasts extensive walking tracks along the McPherson Range, which allow visitors to explore the area's forests, creeks and waterfalls.

Heart Reef

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. Located in Hardy Reef, Heart Reef is best experienced from the air by helicopter or seaplane, as visitors are unable to snorkel or dive there due it's protected status.

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.

Ngaro Cultural Site

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
The Ngaro people have walked this land for over 9,000 years. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface. The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage.

Millstream Falls National Park

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away.
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, part of Michaelmas and Upolo Cays National Park, is one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Michaelmas Cay is a small, low sand cay, covered by grasses and low-growing plants.

John Egan Pioneer Track

Stonehenge, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
The John Egan Pioneer Track highlights the ecological and cultural values of the Stonehenge town reserve. The track passes through downs country, scenic hill view country, spectacular erosions and rocky outcrops, natural springs and waterfalls (in wet seasons).

Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park

Rolleston, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
An oasis of birdlife, unique plant species and freshwater creeks, the Carnarvon Gorge is a sparkling gem amongst the dusty heart of Central Queensland. Is it any wonder it's the region's most popular attraction?
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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).