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Overlanders Way

Multiple Locations

From the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and pristine beaches of north Queensland to the rugged rocky outcrops and red sand of north-west Queensland and into the Northern Territory, the Overlanders' Way will take you through architecturally rich historic towns, dinosaur centres and to the home of some of the world's most quirky events; without even leaving the bitumen! Follow in the footsteps of Australia's droving heroes, who drove mobs of thousands of cattle from the Northern Territory across Queensland's vast interior to the coastal markets and discover the unspoilt beauty of Outback Queensland.

Journey Details

Duration
144 Hours
Distance
1081 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Hiking/Trekking
  • Off Road Driving
  • Swimming

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Townsville to Charters Towers

Although this stretch is short in distance, it's rich in things to see and do, so take at least a day to explore the vibrant coastal hub of Townsville. Take a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive or snorkel with colourful fish, giant turtles and a forest of bright coral. Visit Reef HQ Aquarium where you can experience the world's largest coral reef aquarium and visit the Turtle Hospital.

Learn about the HMS Pandora, which sank on the Great Barrier Reef, at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, see local wildlife at Billabong Sanctuary or try fresh regional produce at the North Shore Farmers Market. The Strand runs along the beach and offers many dining, café and bar options.

Magnetic Island, just a short boat ride away, is home to a colony of koalas and comes alive with young, energetic locals and visitors from around the world for a monthly full moon party.

As you head west towards Charters Towers, call in at Ravenswood to see magnificent restored buildings and mining remnants such as mullock heaps, old shafts and chimneys stacks. Then continue on to Charters Towers, a beautifully preserved part of North Queensland history.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car, Four Wheel Drive

Suggested Stops

- Castle Hill, Townsville
- Macrossan Bridge Flood Marker, Burdekin River
- Ravenswood
Charters Towers to Hughenden

This gold mining town was once the largest city in Queensland after Brisbane. During the gold rush, the town boasted 65 hotels and 29 crushing mills. The prosperity of this era can be seen in the beautifully preserved city centre, known as 'One Square Mile'.

The stories and legends of the gold rush have been brought to life on the Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail: The discovery of Gold at the foot of Towers Hill; the Grandeur of the historic One Square Mile; Greed at the Stock Exchange Arcade; and the Ghosts of the Venus Battery.

Queensland's last bushranger was laid to rest at the Charters Towers Cemetery, where you'll find the graves of other notable people including Jupiter Mossman, the Aboriginal boy who helped discover gold at Charters Towers.

From the glory days of the late 1800s gold rush, head to Hughenden to step back even further in time to the era of dinosaurs.

Along the way, stop at Burra Range or Mount Walker lookouts for an uninterrupted view of the densely wooded buffel country. In Pentland, visit the Norwood Police Cells for a glimpse into the tiny town's past and take a break at the welcoming Pentland Hotel.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Burra Range Lookout
- Mt Walker Lookout, Hughenden
- Norwood Police Cells, Pentland
Hughenden to Richmond

Hughenden is the heart of dinosaur country; in prehistoric times, it sat on the shoreline of a great inland sea. Nearly 3000 dinosaur and marine fossils have been found in the surrounding countryside. To get a true idea of the beasts that roamed these lands, check out the life-size replica Muttaburrasaurus. This rare find, the first entire dinosaur skeleton found in Australia, catapulted the area into international fame. 'Hughie', as the skeleton was nicknamed, is on display at the Flinders Discovery Centre.

Porcupine Gorge, known locally as 'Australia's little Grand Canyon' is 63 kilometres north of town and Blackbraes National Park, with its unique basalt features is around another 90 kilometres north.

Venture 'underwater' into the prehistoric inland sea to Richmond, the fossil capital of Australia.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Historic Coolabah Tree and Surveyors Peg
- Moonstone Hill
- Wirilla Mill
Richmond to Julia Creek

In Richmond, explore the amazing collection of marine reptile fossils at the award-winning Kronosaurus Korner. The museum is home to Australia's best-preserved dinosaur skeleton, Minmi, and the Richmond Pliosaur, one of the world's best skeleton fossils. See the fossil preparation area, then grab a map and fossick at one of the free designated sites and have the fossil centre curator identify your find.

Step back into the present and wander Hughenden's bougainvillea-lined streets and lush gardens where naturally round limestone moon rocks are scattered throughout. Explore the Bush Tucker Gardens on the banks of Lake Fred Tritton where you will find local native plants labelled with their traditional purposes. The lake has sandy beaches, a boat ramp, free barbecues and a playground, making it an ideal place to relax, swim and fish for barramundi or red claw.

Richmond's business district of yesteryear can be discovered on the Heritage Walk, which includes a replica of an original 1860s homestead. Head further west to Julia Creek for spectacular outback sunsets and a chance to gaze at a thick blanket of stars that covers an outback night.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car, Four Wheel Drive

Suggested Stops

- Lake Fred Tritton, Richmond
- Max Welton rest stop
- Richmond free fossil fossicking sites
Julia Creek to Cloncurry

Meet Digby, the Julia Creek Dunnart, a tiny endangered marsupial who lives in a special nocturnal viewing area at the Visitor Information and Interpretive Centre, called 'At The Creek'. This multi-award winning centre is built from recycled materials sourced from local railway fettler's cottages and focuses on the themes of water, Country and people. Learn how the Great Artesian Basin sustains life in the outback, have a picnic on the moon rock chairs and tables, or go underground to explore the geological features that shaped the region.

Follow the nature trail or take an historical walk through the township. The remains of a WW2 Directional Finding Installation can be seen near the airport.

Come April, the town population swells to 3000 for the annual Dirt 'n' Dust Festival. The program includes a triathlon, horse races, bull ride and typically outback novelty events such as mud snorkeling races.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Cloncurry Sale Yards
- Oorindi Rest Stop
- World War Two Directional Finding Installation
Cloncurry to Mount Isa

Continue along the Overlander's Way to Cloncurry, the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which is as integral to outback survival today as it was when it serviced these remote outposts of Australia's vast inland when the Reverend John Flynn launched the flying medical service in the 1920s. Learn how he harnessed the emerging technology of the pedal radio to pioneer outback radio communication when visiting the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery. On the theme of aviation, visit the original Qantas hangar where the first passenger flew from Longreach to Cloncurry in 1922.

Cloncurry was named by explorer Robert O'Hara Burke and you can see his drink bottle at the Burke and Wills display in the Cloncurry Unearthed Museum at the Mary Kathleen Memorial Park, where you can learn about the former Mary Kathleen uranium mine.

Other attractions include the Cloncurry Cemetery with graves dating back to the 1880s, the Court House, which was built in 1898, and Chinaman Creek Dam where you can swim, picnic and take in an outback sunset. From Cloncurry, the Overlander's Way winds through the spectacular Selwyn Ranges to Mount Isa.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Chinaman Creek Dam
- Fountain Springs rockpool
- Lake Corella
Mount Isa to Camooweal

Mount Isa is outback Queensland's only city and offers a melting pot mix of culture, industry, history and nature. The town's major industries are mining and beef production, and visitors can experience both at the Outback at Isa visitor centre, home to the replica Hard Times Mine. Descend 22 metres underground to feel the earth move with the firing of the drill face and use real mining equipment. Outback at Isa also houses an outback park and the Riversleigh Fossil Centre. Join the resident palaeontologist on a lab tour to see exciting local fossil finds.

Lake Moondarra, a few kilometres out of town, offers excellent barbecue facilities, swimming, fishing and a lookout.

Before leaving Isa, call in to the School of the Air for a glimpse into classes conducted via satellite internet with students from remote communities and cattle stations. See the WW2 Underground Hospital, visit the National Trust Tent House, take a surface mine tour and see inside the Bureau of Meteorology.

The final stop is Camooweal. There you can visit the Drovers' Camp to learn about this historic droving town or the Camooweal Caves National Park, which is honeycombed with sink holes dating back 500 million years.

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Route Details

Route Type
One Way
Level of Difficulty
Mode of Travel
Car

Suggested Stops

- Lake Moondarra
- Mt Isa Lookout
- WWII Monument Rest Stop

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Accommodation
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Cargal Apartments

Collinsville, Whitsunday Area
From AU$150 - 190
Cargal Apartments have new fully furnished self-contained ground level apartments built in 2006. There are five, one bedroom apartments that sleep up to four people and four, two bedroom apartments that sleep up to six.

Poinciana Tourist Park

Capricorn Coast, Livingstone Area
From AU$30.50 - 99.00
The most central caravan park on the Capricorn Coast. Relax and enjoy the natural beauty, close to golden tropical beaches, local shops and a range of eateries. Poinciana Tourist Park features spacious, shady sites set amidst tropical gardens, a saltwater pool, large covered barbecue area, self-contained cabins and modern amenities.

Oaks Gateway on Palmer

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$108 - 617
Gateway on Palmer is Townsville's next generation in resort-style accommodation. Located on the waterfront and conveniently close to the Central Business District fringe, Gateway caters to all travellers, both leisure and business.

Glenmore Palms Motel

Norman Gardens, Rockhampton Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$115.00 - 165.00
The Glenmore Palms Motel has 38 fully renovated ground floor units, including self contained suites, luxurious Queen, Twin and Family motel rooms, and an all new wheelchair accessible motel room. There is parking at your door and their location is set back from the highway and offers a quiet and secure setting.

Kings Motor Inn and Steakhouse

Roma, Maranoa Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$100 - 170
Kings Motor Inn and Steakhouse, situated in the vibrant town of Roma, offers comfortable, affordable accommodation and great meals. With 25 motel rooms of various styles they can accommodate singles, couples or families.

Econo Lodge Citywalk Rockhampton

Rockhampton, Rockhampton Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$99 - 159
Econo Lodge Citywalk is a modern and quiet motel off the busy Bruce Highway in Rockhampton's city centre, with friendly and helpful staff dedicated to making your stay comfortable. With quality bedding, furniture and furnishings, staying at Citywalk is comfortable.

Motel 98

Rockhampton, Rockhampton Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$159 - 185
Located in the heart of Rockhampton's Riverfront precinct on the banks of the Fitzroy River, Motel 98 offers an oasis with tropical gardens, resort style pool and leading Rockhampton Restaurant 98 Seafood and Steakhouse.

Discovery Parks - Rockhampton

North Rockhampton, Rockhampton Area
From AU$35 - 220
Discovery Parks - Rockhampton is a quality property situated in North Rockhampton and covers an area of 10 acres with beautifully landscaped gardens. They offer a large variety of self-contained cabins and villas to suit every budget and need from individuals, families to larger sporting groups.

Gee-Dees Family Cabins

Karumba, Carpentaria Area
  • Free WiFi
From AU$120 - 170
Gee-Dee's Family Cabins at Karumba Point offer affordable family-style, couple or fisherperson accommodation on the Gulf of Carpentaria at the mouth of the Norman River. Your stay will be in family owned and operated, motel-like self-contained cabins, or a three bedroom holiday house, that offers you the latest in modern, clean, air conditioned rooms.

Sunlover Lodge Holiday Units and Cabins

Capricorn Coast, Livingstone Area
From AU$90 - 130
Sunlover Lodge Holiday Units and Cabins have got something different, real peace and quiet! Sunlover Lodge is designed for complete relaxation. People seek them out because they are so quiet, set off the main highway, close to the beach in over an acre of lush, tropical award-winning gardens and only a short walk to lovely Kinka Beach.
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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).