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

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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Daintree Discovery Centre

Cow Bay, Douglas Area
From AU$32 - 32
A multi-award winner, the Discovery Centre is nestled in the heart of the rainforest, 10 kilometres north of the Daintree River. The Centre is a 'must see' for anyone visiting the area and where you can experience the rainforest at every level - from the forest floor to the upper most reaches of the canopy.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
From AU$9.50 - 9.50
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$51 - 210
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a unique rainforest experience, taking you on an unforgettable journey over and through Australia's World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests. Spanning seven and a half kilometres in the Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway glides just metres over the canopy, its comfortable six-person gondola cabins providing spectacular views of the rainforest, tropical Cairns, the Coral Sea and lush Cairns Highlands.

Hope Vale

Hope Vale,
Hope Vale Aboriginal community lies 40 kilometres north of Cooktown. Originally established as a Moravian Lutheran Mission on the east coast near Cape Bedford, the community was later moved to its present location.

Castle Rock Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Castle Rock is a tower of coral at the Agincourt Reefs, accessible from Port Douglas on a day trip. Rising from 25 metres to almost break the surface, Castle Rock is home to trevally, snappers, sweetlips, goatfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish and a very friendly Malabar groper called Colin.

Mossman

Mossman, Douglas Area
Mossman is a picturesque little township nestled at the foot of the mountains among bright green fields of sugar cane. A friendly town, Mossman invites you to enjoy its genuine Tropical North Queensland hospitality, as you explore the country stores and historic pubs along the wide tree-lined main street.

Mount Whitfield Conservation Park

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The rainforest-clad slopes of the Whitfield Range form a dramatic backdrop to Cairns and offering a great walking escape close to the city. Climb through shady rainforest gullies, dry open forest and grasslands studded with cycads to the Lumley Hill summit, and soak up the scenic views of Cairns and the coastline.

Cape Melville National Park (CYPAL)

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Rugged yet beautiful, Cape Melville National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) features the rocky headlands of Cape Melville, impressive granite boulders of the Melville Range, sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay, sandstone escarpments and inland dunes.

Tijou Reef

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Located off Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef is Tijou Reef, home to many different dive sites, particularly the coral gardens on the inner side and wonderful wall dives on its outer eastern side.

Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park

Daintree, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Cape Tribulation, in Daintree National Park, is famed for steep rainforested mountains sweeping down to long sandy beaches and turquoise coastal waters. One of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, this park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the coastal waters are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
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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).