Capricorn Way

Multiple Locations

Have you ever seen a real dinosaur fossil, experienced an ancient rainforest, mined for your own sapphires or explored one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World?

Do all these things and more with Capricorn Way's Dig the Tropic Drive.

Spanning approximately 1200km along the Capricorn Highway from the Capricorn Coast, inland to the Central Highlands and towards the Outback, Dig the Tropic will see you uncovering the history of Australia - from the Jurassic era to the present day.

Explore ancient limestone caverns at Capricorn Caves, visit Mt Morgan; home to over 300 early Jurassic dinosaur footprints, discover Thundereggs at Mt Hay and fossick for gems on the Sapphire Gemfields. Go on a real Australian road trip and discover a real adventure as you follow the Capricorn Way, the link to Outback Queensland.

The drive is easily accessible whether you are in a car, 4x4, camp trailer and even a caravan. Take your time and experience all there is to offer from the Reef to the Outback.

Journey Details

Duration
30 Hours
Distance
579.67 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Rockhampton to Duaringa

Approximately one hour west of Rockhampton you will discover the Duaringa. Duaringa is the welcoming gateway to the Central Highlands. it is the oldest township in the area dating back to the 1860's. The Old Duaringa hotel has been preserved as reminder of the pioneering lifestyle. Check out Mackenzie Park on the the east side of town, which features the unique Budgeroo or Duaringa stringy bark tree.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Capricorn Way
Duaringa to Blackwater

From Duaringa, keep following the Capricorn Way until you reach Blackwater. Blackwater's heritage and substantial export earnings has earned it the total of 'Coal Capital of Queensland'. Blackwater is the second largest town in the Central Highlands and offers all major services. Blackwater also boasts a fine Japanese garden. These gardens mark the relationship between Blackwater and her sister city Fujisawa, Japan. Well worth a visit.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Capricorn Way
Blackwater to Emerald

Continuing along the Capricorn Way, heading towards the township of Emerald. Named not after the gem, but for the lush green pastures that once surrounded the town. Emerald is the hub of the Central Highlands area. Primary industries include coal, sapphire and gem mining, cotton, wheat, maize, sorghum, sunflowers and a variety of other crops. Emerald is home to the worlds biggest Van Gogh 'Sunflower' painting located in Morton Park. This is must see for every visitor.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Capricorn Way
Emerald to Gemfields

Take a slight detour and try your luck in the towns of Sapphire, Anakie, Willows and Rubyvale gem fields and go looking for sapphires. People from all over the world descend on the Sapphire Gemfields each year to experience fossicking first hand and to try their luck at finding the ultimate gem discovery.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
capricorn Way
Capricorn Way
Gemfields to Alpha

Head to the Outback town of Alpha. Along the drive you will take in the Drummond range. Get the camera ready and make sure you make a stop at the lookout. The views are truly amazing and well worth the stop.

Alpha is known as the 'Town of Murals' and displays a number that have been painted on both private and public buildings depicting the areas history. The region is known as Mitchel country, named after Sir Thomas Mitchell who went through the area in 1846.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Capricorn Way
Alpha to Barcaldine

Before leaving Alpha stock up on your baked goods from their famed bakery. Once back on the Capricorn Way you will be headed to Barcaldine. Barcaldine is situated at the crossroads of the Matilda and Capricorn Ways. It is a town filled with history and colour. Barcaldine is a wonderful place to spend a few days checking out the eclectic mix of modern and historical buildings.

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

Find What's Nearby

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Airlie Beach Foreshore Markets

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Weekly from 21 October 2017
The Airlie Beach Saturday Markets are located on the foreshore of Airlie Beach, every Saturday morning. Complete with local produce, art, craft and all locally made souvenirs, it is a great place to spend some time, have a coffee or purchase a unique gift.

Whitsunday Health and Wellness Retreat - Two Days of Awesomeness

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
From AU$450.00 - 690.00
27 – 29 October 2017
PepperBerry House is located a few kilometres from the centre of Airlie Beach, high on a hill overlooking the Whitsunday waters. Surrounded by State Forrest the property is encased by nature. This tropical, tranquil piece of paradise is the ideal location to revive, rejuvenate and re-energize.

Comedy Show With Mike Bennett and Dave Callan

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$20 - 25
5 November 2017
Reef Gateway presents Stand Up Comedy Show "Double Trouble" featuring two of Australias most loved comedians Dave Callan and Mike Bennett. International award winning comedian Michael Bennett has his audience laughing out loud with his electrifying charisma, energetic stage style and wide eyed persona.

Melbourne Cup at Hemingway's

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$150 - 150
7 November 2017
Join them at Airlie Beach's newest restaurant on the water, Hemingway's for Melbourne Cup. They are offering a superb opportunity to experience an afternoon of food, fashion and the race that stops the nation, whilst overlooking the award-winning Abell Point Marina.

Melbourne Cup Garden Party - Reef Gateway Hotel

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$79 - 139
7 November 2017
Veuve Clicquot Carnaval presents Melbourne Cup Garden Party at the The Reef Gateway Hotel. Deluxe Seafood Buffet, five hour drinks package, arrival Veuve Cliquot, live Band & DJ, comedian and party host Mike Bennette, full TAB facilities, sweeps, raffles and prizes.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
From AU$220.00 - 1000.00
10 – 12 November 2017
Located in the town of Airlie beach at the heart of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, the Festival main stage is set on tropical waterfront lawns at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. Geared to an over 30s audience, but includes all genres so there is something to suit all ages and music tastes.

Joy of Photography A weekend with Steve Parish

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
From AU$850 - 850
18 – 19 November 2017
During the weekend world renown photographer and publisher Steve Parish explores how our individual life experiences position us to bring our unique images to a story-hungry world. Over a full weekend, Steve further delves into both the plethora of creative stimuli that available and the many ways we can deal with negative mind stories that can erode our self-confidence.

Whitsunday Health and Wellness Retreat

Cannon Valley,
From AU$500.00 - 990.00
24 – 27 November 2017
This outstanding luxurious wellbeing retreat offers a four day program, where you can come to relax and disconnect from daily life. To step away from the distractions of the modern world and focus solely on connecting and reviving the relationship with yourself.

The Handmade Expo Markets

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Quarterly from 10 December 2017
The Handmade Expo and Vintage Market is a high quality market showcasing talented craftspeople, artists, designers, providers of high quality supplies and gourmets and vintage items. There will be free entry and the best in the regions hand made and home grown goods.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Whitsundays Stopover

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
13 – 30 January 2018
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will sail into Abell Point Marina, Whitsundays in January 2018. The vessels will arrive in January as part of the All-Australian Leg, berthing at Abell Point Marina for several days before departing to start Race 7 to Sanya, China.
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Explore the Region

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).