Drovers and Pioneers Trail

Multiple Locations

The Drovers and Pioneers Trail includes a mix of sealed and unsealed roads therefore a Four Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended. Begin your journey in Mount Isa city in Queensland's vast North West Outback then follow the Diamantina Development Road through spectacular outback scenery en route to Boulia, capital of the Channel Country. Turn right onto the unsealed Urandangie North Road and follow the 'unusual' signs to the remote township of Urangangie, once an important centre for travellers and drovers on the Georgina and other stock routes. Take time to explore nearby waterholes on the Georgina, ideal for fishing and bird watching before following the unsealed South Road loop to Boulia with its rich grazing heritage, pioneering stories and the mysterious Min Min Light.

Journey Details

Duration
120 Hours
Distance
1162 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Mount Isa

Begin your drive in Mount Isa nestled in the ochre-red colours of the Selwyn Ranges on the banks of the Leichhardt River. Take in the size of the imposing Mount Isa Mine - the World's largest single producer of copper, silver, lead and zinc.

While in Mount Isa, visit the Outback at Isa attraction where you can get 'hands on' with mining at the Hard Times Mine, explore Australia's ancient past in the Riversleigh Fossil Centre and discover Mount Isa's pioneering history in the Isa Experience. Visit the onsite Visitor Information Centre for helpful advice, maps and local knowledge.

Take a guided tour in the completely restored Underground Hospital and National Trust Tent House to hear amazing stories of this region's innovative pioneers. Enjoy a short scenic drive to Lake Moondarra for great swimming and barramundi fishing or relax with a casual barbecue.

The annual Mount Isa Rodeo event is held in August and features non-stop rodeo action in a program of week long festivities. Mount Isa is easily accessed by air with direct flights to and from Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Gold Coast and Darwin through Mount Isa Airport. Hire car facilities are available.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type Circuit
Suggested Stops
Mount Isa Mines
Mount Isa to Urandangie

Drive South from Mount Isa on the Diamantina Developmental Road then take the maintained dirt road (North road) to Urandangie. Proclaimed a town in 1891, Urandangie is where the Boulia, Cloncurry and Camooweal mail runs converged. It was an important stopover for drovers taking Northern Territory cattle to market. In its heyday, there were over 400 people living in the area and today there is a permanent population of approximately 14 people!

The town consists of a state school, a pioneer cemetery, park, sports area, several houses, "Santa's mailbox" and the historic Urandangie Hotel.The "Dangi Pub" as it is known locally, is an experience in itself and worth the drive to see the various animals feeding out the back. View the room that resembles its own eclectic museum, and have a yarn with the fascinating locals and publican.

Camping is permitted in town and there are bush campsites on the nearby Georgina River. Boil the billy and throw in a line at one of the tranquil waterholes or take a refreshing swim. The drive in and out of Urandangie is made all that more interesting with the sporadically placed old car bonnet signs with quirky messages for travellers.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car
Route Type One Way
Level of Difficulty Level 2: Suitable for families with young children
Suggested Stops
Urandangie
Urandangie to Dajarra

Take the Urandangie South Road and travel through Mitchell grass downs and rugged rocky hills to rejoin the Diamantina Development Road. Call in at Dajarra, once the largest cattle trucking depot in the world and now a quiet, laid back town. The older people of the area who remember Dajarra's heyday say that the area trucked more cattle than Texas in the United States of America. Drovers would bring cattle from as far away as Western Australia to put them on the train at Dajarra. Then came the road trains and soon the railway was turned into just a memory. The Post Office Museum and the Dajarra Hotel are also points of interest for visitors.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 158 kms
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Urandangie to Dajarra
Dajarra to Boulia

About one and a half hours drive south of Dajarra through rich grazing country is Boulia. The name Boulia, is said to be derived from the waterhole in the Burke River named by the Pitta Pitta tribe. Burke and Wills are more closely associated with the early history of Boulia than any other explorers, having travelled through the area on their journey to the Gulf and return to Coopers Creek. In Boulia, visit the Min Min Encounter for a unique theatrical experience based around the famed Min Min Light phenomenon.

Call into the well-preserved Stonehouse Museum which is also home to a Marine Reptile Fossil exhibit - evidence that Boulia was part of an Inland Sea 100 million years ago. See the last recognised Corroboree tree of the Pitta Pitta tribe - a distinctive Waddi tree. Just a short drive out of town is the Barracks Waterhole, site of the Police Barracks (1874-1884). The waterhole is an ideal spot for a picnic, fishing, bird watching or simply enjoying the peace and tranquillity.

The Boulia Rodeo, Races and Campdraft is a major event at Easter, and the famous Boulia Camel Races are held annually on the third weekend in July.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 148 kms
Route Type One Way
Boulia to Diamantina National Park

Stay a few days in Boulia and you'll have time to visit the nearby Diamantina National Park (approximately 186 kilometres south of Boulia).

This 507,000 hectare park is home to many rare and threatened species and the park's rich colours are a photographer's delight. Canoe, bird-watch or take a scenic drive around the park. Fishing in the waterholes is permitted and you can catch yellow-belly and Welsh's grunter in the Mundewerra Waterhole. Size and bag limits apply. A Four Wheel Drive vehicle with high clearance is necessary as many outback roads are unsealed and wheel ruts can be deep. Take extra fuel, food and water. Open all year however wet weather may cause temporary closures. Visiting is recommended from April to September. Camping is permitted at Hunters Gorge and Gum Hole camping areas.

For information on permits visit the National Parks website.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 287 kms
Route Type Return
Suggested Stops
Diamantina National Park
Boulia to Mount Isa

Your return journey to Mount Isa is via the sealed Diamantina Development Road. View the ever-changing landscapes where long stretches of grazing land are broken by rugged rocky outcrops. Along the way you may spot local birdlife to include Wedge-tail Eagles, several types of Hawks, Emus, Brolgas, Cockatoos and Parrots just to name a few. Also keep an eye out for the quirky 'Bicycle Tree,' an example of the outback sense of humour!

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 304 kms
Route Type One Way

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Crane Wines

Kingaroy, South Burnett Area
Crane Winery, a small family owned Boutique Winery and Bed and Breakfast accommodation, was the first winery in the beautiful South Burnett. The grand old colonial homestead and rustic cellar door perch high on the Booie Range with breathtaking views east.

Wooroolin Wetland

Wooroolin, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
The Wooroolin Wetland is located at the township of Wooroolin, 16 kilometres north of Kingaroy along the Bunya Highway. Wooroolin Wetlands was declared a fauna sanctuary in 1973, now classified as a palustrine wetland, a non-tidal, inland, seasonally flooded, vegetated swamp.

Gordonbrook Dam

Kingaroy, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Gordonbrook Dam is the sole water supply for Kingaroy and a peaceful spot to unwind. Originally built in 1941 as a water supply for the Royal Australian Air Force Training Base during WWII, the dam wall was raised in 1987 to inundate an area of 229 hectares - the dam we have today.

Bunya Mountains National Park

Bunya Mountains, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Experience a spellbinding landscape where spectacular bunya pines tower over tall rainforest along a mountain range that rises dramatically from the surrounding plains. Soak up stunning mountain scenery and spot a diverse range of wildlife as you explore on foot.

Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery

Kingaroy, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery is the place if you're looking for beautiful local art or a creative keepsake of your travels. It's the oldest public art space in the South Burnett and has a growing reputation as one of South East Queensland's most dynamic arts hubs.

Poppies on the Hill Cafe

Bunya Mountains, South Burnett Area
Perfectly positioned within the Bunya Mountains National Park Poppies on the Hill Cafe is the ideal location to enjoy a delicious meal, tea, coffee or snack. Enjoy comfortable seating inside our spacious and attractive venue overlooking the rainforest or sit outside and interact with their friendly native birds and animals.

Nanango Fauna Reserve

Nanango, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Just ten minutes out of Nanango, the peaceful Nanango Fauna Reserve offers many different environments to explore, from seasonal waterholes to eucalypt woodland, acacia scrub, and dry vine scrub. It is a bird watcher's delight with a variety of species to be found including the Yellow-Faced Honeyeater, Australian Darter, Varied Sittella, Nankeen Night Heron, and Little Black and Little Pied Cormorant.

Reg McCallum Park

Nanango, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
Located in Henry Street, Nanango, this attractive park, Reg McCallum Park, is named after the Mayor of the Nanango Shire, Reg McCallum, who has been the Mayor for over 25 years. The facilities include public toilets with wheelchair access, parenting rooms, free showers (need to get key from the South Burnett Visitor Information Centre - Nanango), playground, tables and chairs.

Kingaroy Rotary Park

Kingaroy, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
In Kingaroy Rotary Park you'll find a large covered picnic table and barbecue provide a welcome area for travellers to break their journey. The Rotary Park is located on the eastern side of Kingaroy. Travel east along Haly Street until the lights at Fisher Street.

Kumbia Federation Heritage Centre

Kumbia, South Burnett Area
Free Entry
In this collection you'll find a treasure trove of historical photographs, local historical records and artefacts relating to the early residents of Kumbia. The collection is thanks to the efforts of the Kumbia and District Historical Society (established 1980) and the Kumbia Hall Committee who joined forces to preserve and present as much local history as possible for the benefit of future generations and those interested in local history.
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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).