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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

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Accommodation
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La Solana - Mackay

Blacks Beach, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$99 - 180
Moving to Mackay? Working in Mackay or feel like a mini beach break? Their spacious apartments provide a comfortable home away from home, so that you can truly settle in and enjoy your stay. Whether you simply need accommodation for yourself or for your whole family, whether you’re on a work placement or on an extended holiday, you can rest assured knowing that La Solana Apartments can meet all your short or long stay accommodation needs.

Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina

Mackay Harbour, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$189 - 299
The Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina is considered as Mackay's premier hotel. Located on the relaxing waterfront setting of the picturesque Mackay Marina, the hotel is only a short drive from Mackay's city centre and 20 minutes from Mackay Airport and is Mackay's only hotel with marina views over the tropical blue waters of the Coral Sea.

Mycow Accommodation Mackay

Bakers Creek, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$20 - 77
Relax and enjoy the peace and comfort of your own private room or water front caravan site. The park is ideally located on the south side of Mackay, only 10 minutes from Central Business District, five minutes to the airport and five minutes to Paget (Mackay's industrial precinct).

BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park

Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Deals
From AU$30 - 150
BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park is situated two kilometres from Mackay Harbour Precinct and only four kilometres from the city centre. There's a good range of cabin, caravan and camping accommodation for your family and your furry friends.

Central Tourist Park Mackay

North Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$30 - 95
Located just two kilometres north from Mackay's city heart, the Central Tourist Park offers a range of budget accommodation, from tent sites, van sites (drive thru) , to fully air-conditioned self contained units and villas.

Hi-Way Units Motel

Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$110 - 180
The Hi-Way Units Motel is very centrally located in Mackay. This provides easy access to all attractions including the Botanical Gardens. They are only three kilometres to the airport and the city centre, and two kilometres to the railway station and hospital.

Direct Hotels - Pacific Sands

Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$99 - 299
Located adjacent to the ocean, river and parklands, yet just three minutes from the Central Business District cafe, dining and entertainment district, Direct Hotels - Pacific Sands is Mackay's newest apartment hotel.

Quest Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$150 - 300
Quest Mackay is an apartment style hotel located in the heart of the Mackay Central Business District close to all local attractions, restaurants, nightlife and the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.

Mid City Motor Inn

Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$99 - 160
Mid City Motor Inn is located on the bank of the blue 'Pioneer' river in the city heart of Mackay. It is a very short stroll to restaurants and shopping centres. The adjacent river boardwalk passes the motel and leads to Caneland Shopping Centre, one of the north's most popular centres with Myer and the new Family Entertainment Centre with Ten Pin Bowling and Laser Tag for the kids.

Coral Cay Resort Motor Inn

Mackay, Mackay Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$88 - 265
The Coral Cay Resort comprises of 82 well appointed units (executive, spa and studio suites, as well as two and three bedroom semi self-contained units). All units have broadband access for the business executive and Foxtel television.
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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).