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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Mooloolaba Beach Festival | Mooloolaba Mile Ocean Swim

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$19.50 - 59.50
17 – 18 February 2018
Welcome to the new Mooloolaba Beach Festival! The new-look weekend of events is a celebration of sand, surf and beach culture on the Sunshine Coast. We’ve put together a program of events that offer a range of experiences, including ocean swims (some old and some new!

Saltwater Pamper Day Retreat

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$180 - 180
Weekly from 21 February 2018
The Saltwater Retreat Pamper Day is the perfect one-day luxury health boost. This day is just for you, come on your own or with friends and celebrate your senses with a blend of Massage, Facial, Art Class, SUP Boards, Kayaks and /or relax by the pool, or indulge in a Waterfront Hot Spa.

Queensland Youth Surf Life Saving Championships

Alexandra Headland, Sunshine Coast Area
2 – 4 March 2018
The Queensland youth surf life saving championships is the blue-ribbon junior surf sports event in the state and showcases future champions in the making. The largest and most prestigious event for u11-u15 age categories, the Queensland youth surf life saving championships sees the finest talent from around the state go head to head.

Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$195 - 195
11 March 2018
Experience Mooloolaba Tri and Swim, Bike, Run, Party! Located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival remains been a standout event on the Australian Triathlon Calendar. The Olympic distance triathlon provides a course that is known and loved for it's ocean swim along with the electric buzz in the atmosphere as thousands of triathletes descend on this popular beach town.

Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships

Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Area
16 – 18 March 2018
The pinnacle event on Surf Life Saving Queensland’s sporting calendar, the Queensland surf life saving championships see more than 2000 competitors from all across Queensland line up each year to battle the surf, sand and each other in their quest for state glory.

Opera at the Castle - Sunshine Castle

Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$49 - 85
23 – 25 March 2018
Opera at the Castle - Presented by the Underground Opera Company. The Underground Opera Company returns to the Sunshine Castle, Bli Bli, (just a five minute drive from Maroochydore) for their next "Opera in the Castle" concerts.

Ramsay Health Care Triathlon Pink - Sunshine Coast

Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast Area
29 April 2018
Triathlon Pink is open and available to children aged seven to 14 and ladies of all ages. For those of you who want bring the whole family and have a spunky male who wants to get involved, they also have Fun Run Pink which is for everyone!

Sunshine Coast Relay For Life

Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$20 - 40
5 – 6 May 2018
The Sunshine Coast Relay For Life will be held at the University of the Sunshine Coast Athletics Track at 2pm Saturday 5 May and 9am Sunday 6 May 2018. Relay For Life is a chance for the Sunshine Coast community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers, to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer and to raise money to help save more lives.

Sunshine Coast Anywhere Theatre Festival

Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Area
From AU$0 - 20
10 – 11 May 2018
Discover the nooks and crannies of the Sunshine Coast in a way you never expected at the Sunshine Coast Anywhere Theatre Festival. Over 18 days experience comedy in alleys, drama in backyards, poetry in bowling clubs, music in basements and much more.

Island Charity Swim

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
12 May 2018
The Island Charity Swim is a test of endurance for the participants and a major fundraiser for the amazing and inspirational children at the Nambour and Currimundi Special schools. It is a unique challenge, not only for a very worthy cause but its completion guarantees your inclusion in swimming folklore, an exclusive club reserved for those who meet the sponsorship requirements and complete the course.
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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).