Dig the Tropic Four Day Drive

Multiple Locations

Resting 23.5 degrees south of the Equator, the aptly-named Capricorn region lays along the Tropic of Capricorn, considered one of Earth's major circles of latitude. Home to extreme conditions and dramatic landscapes, experience the living museum which is a countryside embedded with mineral wealth, tell-tale fossils, and inspiring landscapes. Explore the Tropic of Capricorn and discover the secrets of the ages. While this Queensland journey could be easily driven in less than four days, you're encouraged to pause, dig for treasures and enjoy life under the big sky country.

Journey Details

Duration
96 Hours
Distance
413 Kilometres

Internet Access

  • Free Wifi

Activities

  • Camping
  • Hiking/Trekking

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Blackwater International Coal Centre to the Sapphire Gemfields

The Blackwater International Coal Centre provides amazing perspectives of the coal mining industry as it showcases the Australian coal industry to the world. See how early settlers lived and worked. Marvel at the size and scale of the massive equipment used today, and learn about Australia's leading role in the development of technologies of global importance. Experience the warm welcome of a country mining town, see Outback scenery and be amazed at the sheer size of this vital, world-class industry. It's a totally interactive learning experience for the whole family.

Heading west towards the Gemfields, you'll pass through Emerald, the hub of the Central Highlands. Outside the Town Hall you will find a fossilised tree trunk estimated to be 250 million years old.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Sapphire Gemfields to Drummond Range Lookout

Queensland's Central Highland towns of Anake, Rubyvale, Sapphire and The Willows are home to the largest sapphire fields in the Southern Hemisphere. Like many of the wonders along the Tropic of Capricorn the "Dig the Tropic" drive route, the Sapphire Gemfields are a product of incredible time and drastic changes in climate and environment. Between 40 to 70 million years ago as the earth's crust shifted moving Australia closer to its current position, hot spots developed below. Plugs of the Mount Hoy Basalt erupted spewing out basaltic ash and lavas. Abundant sapphires and zircons that had formed deep in the earth's crust, blasted out as crystals in the volcanic ash.

The Sapphire Gemfields are famous for rich, golden yellow and parti-coloured stones and are also home to the famous black star sapphires. Heading west, finish your journey at Alpha where dramatic shifts in Tectonic plates formed the Drummond Range - home to petrified wood.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Capricorn Caves to Mt Hay

Only 30 minutes north of Rockhampton are the Capricorn Caves, with stunning rock formations, cave networks and their inhabitants, and fossils of creatures from lifetimes ago. These spectacular caves date back 390 million years ago when the sedimentary limestone rock originated under the sea as coral growing in shallow waters. These days the caves are open to adventure caving, abseiling, climbing and a high ropes course, with accommodation options. The majority of the caves are accessible, with easy walking tours and wheelchair accessible caves, as well as the wild caving adventure tours.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Mt Hay to Blackdown Tableland National Park

At the base of Mt Hay, on what was once a rumbling volcano, are the fruits of its violent eruptions known as "Volcanic Birthstones" or "Thunder Eggs". Ordinary on the outside, these 120 million-year-old geo treasures are stunning underneath and their layers tell the story of an incredible geo journey. Heading west, see the breathtaking sandstone plateau rising above the plains at Blackdown Tableland National Park. The walks there and the views are stunning.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Blackdown Tableland National Park to Blackwater International Coal Centre

At the north-eastern edge of the sandstone belt and part of the Sandstone Wilderness, the spectacular gorges of Blackdown Tableland National Park rise boldly above the plains. The steep escarpments offer a dramatic sight and protect a beautiful National Park adorned with waterfalls and Aboriginal rock art. The Park protects a sandstone plateau rising abruptly above the flat plains. Bordered by high rugged cliffs, this is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. Dissected by deep gorges, the park offers spectacular lookouts and scenic waterfalls. Several short tracks take in creeks, lookouts and interesting relics from the past. Go spotlighting at night or relax in the peaceful Munall campground. Enjoy the views from Horseshoe lookout. In a four wheel drive, explore the 19 kilometre loop road.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way

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Lustre: Pearling and Australia Exhibition

Townsville City, Townsville Area
From AU$8.80 - 38.00
2 September 2017 – 28 January 2018
From a 2,000-year-old natural pearl found in a Kimberley rock shelter to modern lustrous pearl jewellery, the exhibition Lustre: Pearling and Australia traces the fascinating heritage of pearling across the north of Australia, from Shark Bay to the Torres Strait Islands.

Horrible Histories - Pirates: The Exhibition

Townsville City, Townsville Area
From AU$8.80 - 38.00
16 September 2017 – 4 February 2018
Do you have what it takes to be a pirate? Get hands-on with pirate history at this Australian National Maritime Museum travelling exhibition based on the bestselling Horrible Histories series and developed in association with Scholastic UK.

Drawn: From the City of Townsville Art Collection

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
24 November 2017 – 21 January 2018
This exhibition is curated from works which are drawn from the City of Townsville Art Collection. The focal point of the show is works with a drawn aspect to their medium, as drawings can be seen as the fundamental skill underpinning most, if not all, forms of visual art.

Stable on the Strand

Townsville City, Townsville Area
Free Entry
18 – 22 December 2017
Townsville's Christmas Festival, Stable on the Strand, celebrates its 16th birthday in 2017 at Townsville's premier event location, Strand Park. Stable on the Strand is one of Australia's most spectacular Christmas events, delighting crowds of 40,000 people over five nights as Christmas is shared with story, song and festivity.

Full Moon Down Under - Base Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
From AU$20 - 125
Monthly from 31 December 2017
The Biggest Island Party In Australia, at Townsville - Queensland. For the last five years, Full Moon Down Under has become one of Queensland's, and Australia's most iconic events. Full Moon is staged monthly and set on the ridiculously beautiful Magnetic Island's Nelly Beach.

Casino Royale New Year's Eve Party

Townsville City, Townsville Area
From AU$170 - 170
31 December 2017
It's all glamour and class at this years New Year's eve soiree! Ticket price includes a gourmet three course dinner, five hour beverage package and entertainment by Abbey Road! Menu Freshly baked bread rolls TO START Tiger prawn, crab and lime tian, green pea, chilli oil and micro cress Alternatively served Char grilled harissa spiced lamb fillet, fried chickpea, tabouli and minted yoghurt IN BETWEEN Barkers Creek pork cutlet, rosemary buttered chat potatoes, wilted spinach and beetroot relish Alternatively served Bindaree grain fed eye fillet of beef, pommes Anna, field mushroom, broccolini and thyme jus TO FINISH Strawberry and white chocolate delice, champagne jelly, berry coulis and white chocolate shard Freshly brewed coffee and tea Tickets on sale at their website.

Castle Hill Trail Run

West End, Brisbane Area
25 February 2018
The first run in the Outer Limits Trail Running Series 2018: The Castle Hill Trail Run. This event being early in the the year is designed to get people into trail running and utilise Townsville biggest icon.

Women's Mountain Bike Retreat

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
8 – 11 March 2018
That's right - they have another Women's Mountain Bike Retreat with Lauretta Howarth from Ride Fundamentals Mountain Bike Skills for you. March 8 to 11, 2018 on Magnetic Island. Learn new skills, meet new friends, maybe even discover a new 'you'?

Multi Sport Sprint Series 2018 - Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, Townsville Area
25 March 2018
Join Outer Limits for a fun, but yet challenging multi sport adventure on the island. This event combines kayaking, mountain biking and trail running into a fast multi sport event. You can either do it solo or in a team or two or three.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Basketball - Townsville Prelims

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$15 - 30
5 April 2018
Individual athleticism and skill, combined with teamwork and tactics will have Basketball crowds cheering and chanting all over Queensland. With four captivating quarters of end-to end action each match, spectators will witness sporting entertainment like nothing else.
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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).