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 13
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Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
From AU$8.50 - 8.50
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage.

Snapper Island, Hope Islands National Park

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
This high continental island, close to Port Douglas, boasts lush vine forests, dense eucalypt forest, mangroves and white sandy beaches. The islands and surrounding waters and fringing reefs are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Wangetti Beach

Wangetti, Douglas Area
Local secret Wangetti Beach is just north of Palm Cove in Tropical North Queensland. Running from Slip Cliff Point to Red Cliff Point, the 4km of almost straight coastline has no facilities, with only a carpark on either end of the beach and a stretch of highway connecting them.

Wet Tropics

Mossman, Douglas Area
Free Entry
The Wet Tropics World Heritage property extends from Townsville to Cooktown on the north-east coast of Queensland and covers almost 900,000 hectares. The area is a region of spectacular scenery with fast-flowing rivers, deep gorges, numerous waterfalls and mountain summits providing expansive rainforest views.
Free Entry
Mossman Gorge is a very accessible and scenic section of Daintree National Park, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Crystal-clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge.

Mossman

Mossman, Douglas Area
Mossman is a picturesque little township nestled at the foot of the mountains among bright green fields of sugar cane. A friendly town, Mossman invites you to enjoy its genuine Tropical North Queensland hospitality, as you explore the country stores and historic pubs along the wide tree-lined main street.

Daintree

Daintree, Cairns Area
Stretching from Daintree Village across the river, the Daintree encompasses Cape Kimberley, Cow Bay, Thornton's Peak, Cooper Creek, Thornton Beach, Noah Valley, Cape Tribulation and the Bloomfield Track to the north.

Low Isles

Low Isles, Douglas Area
Situated 15 kilometres north-east of Port Douglas, the Low Isles comprise a four acre coral cay surrounded by 55 acres of reef. The reefs are very close to the island, which makes snorkelling an easy and enjoyable experience.

Mount Molloy

Mount Molloy, Mareeba Area
Mount Molloy was named to honour teamster Patrick Molloy who, in the mid 1880s, found the copper outcrop whilst searching for stray bullocks. Four years he worked it as a one man show, then amid murmurs of "claim jumping", it changed hands.
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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).