Drives

Queensland contains some of the most accessible Outback experiences Australia has to offer. We’re talking about the real deal – the true blue, fair dinkum, Aussie way to go bush. You don’t need to be an expert off-roader to explore the legendary Queensland Outback and get a taste for life on the land.

  • Hit the road and witness endless blue skies, burnt orange sunsets and rich red deserts as you cruise the Matilda Highway from the New South Wales border all the way to the Gulf of Carpentaria, passing through Charleville, Longreach and Winton.
  • If you have little ones in tow, you might prefer a shorter jaunt starting in Brisbane and venturing to the gateway to the west, aka Charleville, before trying your hand at station life in Cunnamulla and your luck at black opal mining in Lightening Ridge. Make one last stop in Goondiwindi before lopping back to the big city.
  • Dreaming of the ultimate 4WD adventure? Make your way from Brisbane to Birdsville. This route is packed full of opportunities to go off road, visit historic sites, stopover in outback National Parks, and soak in the eye-wateringly vast region.
  • Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs on the Channel Country Explorer drive or Ancient Outback tours through Mt Isa.
  • Combine country and coast on a self-guided drive from white sandy beaches to the red dust of the desert. Try the Overlanders Way, Central Queensland Outback Drive or Warrego Way.

Queensland’s Outback is connected by both sealed roads and dirt tracks. Before you head off, don’t forget to brush up on the basics for a safe and successful Australian road trip.

Plan your holiday

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Surat

Surat, Maranoa Area
Fresh air and great fishing are two good reasons to spend some time in the picturesque little town of Surat, midway between St George and Roma on the Great Inland Way. But they're not the only things you'll find in this relaxed river town.

Cheepie

Cheepie, Quilpie Area
Cheepie is the friendly 'ghost town' of the Outback. The township formed when the railway first came through in 1914 and gradually grew to have a police station, blacksmith, railway station, tent boarding houses, butcher shop, bakery and two vegetable gardens.

Lake Paluma

Paluma, Charters Towers Area
Free Entry
Lake Paluma is an attractive lake surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. It provides a water supply for approximately one third of the year. Access is via a 12 kilometres gravel road just past the Paluma township.

Lake Murphy Conservation Park

Taroom, Banana Area
Free Entry
Nestled beneath the low Murphy's Range in the central highlands, Lake Murphy remains largely unchanged from the days when Europeans first passed this way. This perched lake is a seasonal refuge for waterbirds and only fills when nearby Robinson Creek overflows.

Muttaburra

Muttaburra, Barcaldine Area
Muttaburra derives its name from the local Aboriginal tribe of Mootaburra which means the meeting of waters and has the distinction of being the town closest to the geographic centre of Queensland. Although Muttaburra is only small in population with around 200 people, it has a huge reputation for its hospitality and a strong community minded population.

Charters Towers

Charters Towers, Charters Towers Area
Take a step back in time and discover the enchanting town of Charters Towers, just an hour and half west of Townsville. Driving through the streets of Charters Towers is like viewing a living montage of Australian history and heritage.

Eulo Town Hole

Eulo, Paroo Area
Free Entry
The Eulo Town Hole is a fantastic fishing area in South West Queensland. Head west from Eulo on the Adventure Way and cross the Paroo River Bridge. The Eulo Town Hole features nature walks and heritage trails and is a leisurely stroll from the township.

Mount Surprise

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
Mount Surprise is a railway town on the Cairns to Forsayth Railway and is the first town within the Gulf Savannah encountered by visitors approaching from the east. It is a centre for gem fossicking, with quantities of topaz, quartz, spinel, garnet, cairngorm and aquamarine to be found.

Wallumbilla

Wallumbilla, Maranoa Area
Wallumbilla is situated five hours travel from Brisbane, just east of Roma and has a population of approximately 320 residents. If you stop for freshly baked scones with jam and cream at Wallumbilla's Calico Cottage and Visitor Information Centre, you're sure to meet a local who will happily give you the rundown on what to see and do in town.

Charleville

Charleville, Murweh Area
Immortalised in Slim Dusty's song by the same name, Charleville is the largest town in Queensland's south west and is a hub for visitors and pastoralists alike. In the heart of 'mulga country', Charleville and surrounding pastoral properties are rich in history, flora and fauna.
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