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

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Mackay Choral Society presents Legends Through Time

Mackay, Mackay Area
From AU$24.90 - 35
17 December 2017
Mackay Choral Society and the Producers of “Legendary” bring to Mackay Audiences a third Legendary concert - Legends Through Time: A Musical Tribute. This Legendary show will take audiences on a journey as they follow the travels of their gallant knight as he seeks his fair maiden.

Greater Whitsunday Farmers Markets

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Weekly from 20 December 2017
The Greater Whitsunday Farmers’ Market is the showcase of local, fresh produce and value added products from within Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Region. Every Wednesday afternoon in Mackay's vibrant city heart on the beautiful Bluewater Quay, join families and restaurateurs in buying local produce that does not come any fresher.

Back to Mackay for Christmas Race Day

Ooralea, Mackay Area
Free Entry
23 December 2017
Do you have friends, family or out of town visitors coming to Mackay for Christmas Day this year? Christmas time is when everyone comes home to see family and friends. This year you can get them all together and enjoy a day at the races on Saturday December 23.

Christmas Lunch

Glenella, Mackay Area
From AU$0.00 - 104.99
25 December 2017
Enjoy Magpies famous traditional Christmas Lunch this Christmas Day: a buffet of honey glazed baked ham, roast turkey, pork and beef, cold meats, king prawns, pacific oysters, salads and vegetables, then finish with trifle, pavlova and plum pudding with brandy custard.

Deadly 60 Downunder

Mackay, Mackay Area
From AU$49 - 179
10 January 2018
After two sell-out Australian tours, Steve Backshall, the star of the hit television show Deadly 60 is returning to Australia with his brand new stage show. However this time there is big difference … this summer Steve will appear live on stage with some of Australia’s deadliest animals!

Rebel Women’s Big Bash League - Brisbane Heat Vs Melbourne Stars

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
12 – 13 January 2018
The Women’s Big Bash League is coming to Mackay under lights! See the Brisbane Heat take on the Melbourne Stars at Harrup Park. Don’t miss a moment of the blockbuster action as some of the worlds best female cricketers take to the field.

International Pro Darts Showdown Series

Mackay, Mackay Area
27 – 28 January 2018
It's time for a showdown that really hits the target. For the first time ever, Queensland audiences will have the chance to see international champion dart players up close and personal! Come and join the action of one of the fastest growing sports and see for yourself why audiences are hailing pro darts as one of the best nights out by far.

The Pirates of Penzance – Twenty-first (and final!) Anniversary Tour

Mackay, Mackay Area
From AU$15 - 22
10 February 2018
Promac Productions have toured through Australia for several years now, with their unique versions of classic Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. Undoubtedly the most critically acclaimed and most popular is The Pirates of Penzance, with a cast of only six!

Ash Grunwald

Mackay, Mackay Area
From AU$22 - 45
14 February 2018
See Ash Grunwald perform live at the MECC this Valentine’s Day! Blistering live sets on the festival circuit throughout Australia, Japan, Canada, America, Europe and the UK, have had critics and fans raving about his unique blend of roots, blues, beats and a whole lotta groove for more than a decade.

Velos in the Valley

Mackay Harbour, Mackay Area
7 – 8 April 2018
Come and join them on an cycling adventure through the Pioneer Valley, Mackay Queensland. Their route will take you from the Mackay Marina to Finch Hatton cruising their country roads, cane fields and bush.
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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).