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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Best Western Ipswich

Ipswich City, Ipswich Area
From AU$130 - 450
Stay at this centrally located Ipswich motel, within walking distance of hospitals, show grounds, the University of Queensland Ipswich and the city centre. They are a 15 minute drive to Willowbank Raceway and Amberley Air Force Base and are set in peaceful surroundings with delightful sub-tropical gardens.

Quest Ipswich

Ipswich City, Ipswich Area
From AU$150 - 465
Quest Ipswich Apartments, just one kilometre from the Ipswich Central Business District, is the popular go-to place for many wanting a modern and comfortable accommodation experience. There are 64 serviced apartments over three levels, from studio to one to three bedrooms, provide spacious and airy living areas, tasteful décor and fully self-contained kitchens.

Ipswich Country Motel

Ipswich Area
From AU$125 - 200
The Ipswich Country Motel offers all you need in a motel with country-style friendly service. Located just a few minutes drive from the Ipswich Central Business District and walking distance to Brothers Leagues Club with a small shopping village conveniently located just across the road.

Metro Hotel Ipswich International

Ipswich Area
From AU$120 - 400
Metro Hotel Ipswich International is as central as it gets in the Ipswich Central Business District. Situated next door to the Ipswich Civic Centre and Market Square Park, the hotel is the perfect place to stay if you're in town for one of the large number of theatre and musical events in this arts-loving city.

Motel Monaco

North Ipswich, Ipswich Area
From AU$85 - 95
Motel Monaco is always a popular choice if it's comfortable, budget accommodation you want in Ipswich. It's just a three-minute drive from Ipswich town centre and the same distance to the award-winning Workshops Rail Museum.

Rosehill Apartments

Eastern Heights, Ipswich Area
From AU$100 - 120
If you're looking for somewhere to stay that's quiet yet still within cooee distance of the Ipswich Central Business District, Rosehill Apartments tick all the boxes. Located in the attractive suburb of Eastern Heights, you'll have the advantage of a residential feel while being within a few minutes' walk to the acclaimed nearby attractions of Queens Park, the stunning Japanese Nerima Gardens and Ipswich Nature Centre.

Oaks Aspire

Woodend, Ipswich Area
From AU$83 - 699
Providing excellent short or long term accommodation to both business travellers and visitors, Oaks Aspire sets the benchmark for contemporary studio, one and two bedroom apartment accommodation. This modern apartment hotel's facilities include a gym, lap pool, sauna and spa, meeting and business facilities, broadband access, and more.

Hardings Paddock Campground

Ipswich Area
From AU$12 - 12
Just 20 minutes from the Ipswich Central Business District and 45 minutes from the Brisbane Central Business District, the Hardings Paddock campground is perfect for a weekend getaway for the whole family.
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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).