Natural Encounters Trail

Multiple Locations

Meet the locals in Boulia, learn the yarn of the mysterious Min Min Light then follow the Natural Encounter Trail to Winton (around 492 kilometres). Along the way, explore the Diamantina National Park, named one of Australia's top 10 National Parks. Learn about the desert landscape on the Warracoota Circuit Drive and visit important wetland habitats. Travel across ancient mesas, gullies and broken escarpments to the world's only known dinosaur stampede site. Visit the beautiful Bladensburg National Park, home to unique birdlife, plants and animals and an area of important Indigenous and pastoral heritage. Take a guided tour of the world's largest collection of Australia dinosaur fossils at Australian Age of Dinosaurs and discover the majestic Jump Up landscapes surrounding Winton.

Journey Details

Duration
N/A
Distance
559 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Canoeing

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Lark Quarry to Bladensburg National Park

Drive north on the Winton-Jundah Road to the turn-off for Bladensburg National Park just seven kilometres south west of Winton. The beautiful 84900 hectare national park boasts impressive flat-topped plateaus and residual sandstone ranges which provide a scenic backdrop to vast grassland plains and river flats, river red gums and rocky scarp. Roads within the park are formed dirt roads more suited to Four Wheel Drive vehicles. Conventional vehicles can access Bladensburg only during dry weather, and a high clearance Four Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended at all times. Bladensburg National Park is open all year however wet weather may cause temporary closures. Camp beside Surprise Creek at the permanent Bough Shed waterhole.

For information or permits visit the National Parks website.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
lark quarry to Bladensburg national park
Bladensburg National Park to Winton

Departing Bladensburg National Park, continue on the Winton-Jundah Road north to Winton, in big sky country, which has a rich history as the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and QANTAS, and links to the 1891 Great Shearers' Strike. The region has diverse natural history and spectacular Jump Up landscapes.

Winton's attractions include the Australian Age of Dinosaurs which houses the world's largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils. Experience Winton's free attractions - play a tune on the world's first permanent Musical Fence, take a self-guided walk through possibly the last working Chinese market garden in Queensland, and marvel at Arno's Wall where everything can be found! With five days of outback entertainment, the biennial Outback Festival is held over the 3rd week in September. The famous Winton Camel Races and the Vision Splendid Film Festival are held annually in July.

Winton is approximately 179 kilometres north west of Longreach. Rex Air operates twice weekly flights to Winton from Townsville and there is a twice-weekly "Spirit of the Outback" Rail/Coach service from Brisbane. Motels, caravan parks and free campsites are available. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi in Winton's main street.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Bladensburg to Winton
Boulia

Beginning the Trail 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, one of the first homes built in Western Queensland, 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 - located near the Boulia Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Drive approximately 25 kilometres out of town to the Old Police Barracks site (1875-1884). An ideal spot for fishing, bird watching and taking in the tranquility of this pretty bush setting, the campsite at this natural waterhole had great spiritual significance to the local people. The Boulia Rodeo, Races and Campdraft is a major event at Easter, and the famous Boulia Camel Races are held every third weekend in July.

Accommodation options in Boulia include a hotel/motel, motel, caravan park and bush camping. Rex Air operates twice-weekly flights into Boulia from Brisbane. Nearest hire car facility is Mount Isa Airport (approximately 3 hours drive). Contact the Min Min Encounter Information Centre for information.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type Circuit
Suggested Stops
Boulia circuit
Boulia to Diamantina National Park

Drive approximately two and a half hours south east of Boulia to the Diamantina National Park. The Worldwide Fund for Nature has named it one of Australia's top 10 National Parks. This 507000 hectare park is home to many rare and threatened species. Lake Constance and Hunters Gorge are important wetlands and support breeding populations of many resident and migratory birds.

Diamantina National Park was formerly a pastoral holding and became a national park in 1992. In the past, Maiawali and Karuwali Aboriginal people moved through every part of this landscape. Their strong spiritual connections remain today. While in the park, sample a range of outdoor activities - canoeing on Hunters Gorge (own canoe), wildlife spotting, exploring the Warracoota Ruins and taking in the sights at Janet's Leap Lookout. 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. 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.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Boulia to Diamantina National Park
Diamantina National Park to Lark Quarry Conservation Park

Proceed north approximately 132 kilometres on the unsealed Diamantina River Road before heading east approximately 67 kilometres on the Old Cork Road to Lark Quarry Conservation Park. The Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park is where over 3,300 dinosaur tracks mark the site of the only known dinosaur stampede on the planet - these tracks are estimated to be about 95 million years old. There are guided tours of the Trackways, which take almost an hour and a self guided Spinifex Walk takes 15-30 minutes.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 132 kms
Route Type One Way
Suggested Stops
Diamantina to Lark Quarry

Find What's Nearby

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Newstead

Newstead, Brisbane Area
Cool craft beer and live music are a feature of this funky inner-city neighbourhood adjacent to Fortitude Valley. Newstead Brewing Co offers more than 10 house-brewed beers, which can be paired with a selection of tasty and sophisticated pub-style eats.

Paddington

Paddington, Brisbane Area
Paddington is hills, cottages and boutiques. The rolling and leafy hills of Paddington and Rosalie are speckled with quaint cottages turned enticing shop-fronts, restaurants that spill out onto the pavement and a mixture of traditional tin and timber houses and renovated Queenslanders.

Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane Area
Live. Loud. Proud Fortitude Valley is a contradiction in itself, raw yet sophisticated, where elegance and style meets grungy and offbeat. A place where heritage listed properties proudly stand amongst new and contemporary structures.

Lytton

Lytton, Brisbane Area
Lytton, near the mouth of the Brisbane River and Port of Brisbane, is one of the most historically significant areas of Brisbane. The suburb is home to Fort Lytton, built as a first line naval defence between 1880 and 1881.

Spring Hill

Spring Hill, Brisbane Area
Perched on the cusp of the Brisbane city centre, Spring Hill is one of Brisbane's most popular suburbs, within easy walking distance to the best of what Brisbane has to offer. To the West are the beautiful Roma Street Parklands, where visitors can feed the ducks and take the boardwalk high above a forest canopy.

Manly

Manly, Brisbane Area
With immediate access to Moreton Bay, Manly is a boat lover's dream. The centerpiece of Manly is Manly Harbour, a marina crowded with magnificent yachts and quality eateries. Stop in at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for a meal and enjoy the beautiful marina views.

Chermside

Chermside, Brisbane Area
Chermside is unofficially recognised as the mini central business district of Brisbane's northern suburbs. The suburb is home to one of the largest shopping centres in the country - Westfield Chermside, providing shopaholics with plenty of retail therapy.

D'Aguilar National Park

The Gap, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Discover remote gorges, sheltered pockets of subtropical rainforest, expanses of eucalypt woodland and spectacular views to Moreton Bay, all within an hour and a half's drive of Brisbane. D'Aguilar National Park (formerly Brisbane Forest Park) protects the D'Aguilar Range’s vast bushland area.

Eagle Farm

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
The Brisbane suburb of Eagle Farm is synonymous with horse racing due to the nearby location of the Eagle Farm and Doomben racetracks. During the winter racing season Eagle Farm comes alive with colourfully attired race-goers and jockeys along with frisky race horses and their nervous trainers.

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

The Gap, Brisbane Area
From AU$7.45 - 18.85
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre features an Information Centre, a Wildlife Centre and a wedding/conference centre and cafe. There is also the opportunity to go swimming or kayaking in Enoggera Reservoir, enjoy a short bushwalk, or go mountain bike riding on the dedicated skills course.
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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).