Dig the Tropic Four Day Drive

Multiple Locations

Resting 23.5 degrees south of the Equator, the aptly-named Capricorn region lays along the Tropic of Capricorn, considered one of Earth's major circles of latitude. Home to extreme conditions and dramatic landscapes, experience the living museum which is a countryside embedded with mineral wealth, tell-tale fossils, and inspiring landscapes. Explore the Tropic of Capricorn and discover the secrets of the ages. While this Queensland journey could be easily driven in less than four days, you're encouraged to pause, dig for treasures and enjoy life under the big sky country.

Journey Details

Duration
96 Hours
Distance
413 Kilometres

Internet Access

  • Free Wifi

Activities

  • Camping
  • Hiking/Trekking

Other Information

Family Friendly:

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

Full Itinerary

Blackwater International Coal Centre to the Sapphire Gemfields

The Blackwater International Coal Centre provides amazing perspectives of the coal mining industry as it showcases the Australian coal industry to the world. See how early settlers lived and worked. Marvel at the size and scale of the massive equipment used today, and learn about Australia's leading role in the development of technologies of global importance. Experience the warm welcome of a country mining town, see Outback scenery and be amazed at the sheer size of this vital, world-class industry. It's a totally interactive learning experience for the whole family.

Heading west towards the Gemfields, you'll pass through Emerald, the hub of the Central Highlands. Outside the Town Hall you will find a fossilised tree trunk estimated to be 250 million years old.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Sapphire Gemfields to Drummond Range Lookout

Queensland's Central Highland towns of Anake, Rubyvale, Sapphire and The Willows are home to the largest sapphire fields in the Southern Hemisphere. Like many of the wonders along the Tropic of Capricorn the "Dig the Tropic" drive route, the Sapphire Gemfields are a product of incredible time and drastic changes in climate and environment. Between 40 to 70 million years ago as the earth's crust shifted moving Australia closer to its current position, hot spots developed below. Plugs of the Mount Hoy Basalt erupted spewing out basaltic ash and lavas. Abundant sapphires and zircons that had formed deep in the earth's crust, blasted out as crystals in the volcanic ash.

The Sapphire Gemfields are famous for rich, golden yellow and parti-coloured stones and are also home to the famous black star sapphires. Heading west, finish your journey at Alpha where dramatic shifts in Tectonic plates formed the Drummond Range - home to petrified wood.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Capricorn Caves to Mt Hay

Only 30 minutes north of Rockhampton are the Capricorn Caves, with stunning rock formations, cave networks and their inhabitants, and fossils of creatures from lifetimes ago. These spectacular caves date back 390 million years ago when the sedimentary limestone rock originated under the sea as coral growing in shallow waters. These days the caves are open to adventure caving, abseiling, climbing and a high ropes course, with accommodation options. The majority of the caves are accessible, with easy walking tours and wheelchair accessible caves, as well as the wild caving adventure tours.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Mt Hay to Blackdown Tableland National Park

At the base of Mt Hay, on what was once a rumbling volcano, are the fruits of its violent eruptions known as "Volcanic Birthstones" or "Thunder Eggs". Ordinary on the outside, these 120 million-year-old geo treasures are stunning underneath and their layers tell the story of an incredible geo journey. Heading west, see the breathtaking sandstone plateau rising above the plains at Blackdown Tableland National Park. The walks there and the views are stunning.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way
Blackdown Tableland National Park to Blackwater International Coal Centre

At the north-eastern edge of the sandstone belt and part of the Sandstone Wilderness, the spectacular gorges of Blackdown Tableland National Park rise boldly above the plains. The steep escarpments offer a dramatic sight and protect a beautiful National Park adorned with waterfalls and Aboriginal rock art. The Park protects a sandstone plateau rising abruptly above the flat plains. Bordered by high rugged cliffs, this is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. Dissected by deep gorges, the park offers spectacular lookouts and scenic waterfalls. Several short tracks take in creeks, lookouts and interesting relics from the past. Go spotlighting at night or relax in the peaceful Munall campground. Enjoy the views from Horseshoe lookout. In a four wheel drive, explore the 19 kilometre loop road.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Bus, Car, Caravan, Four Wheel Drive
Route Type One Way

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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.

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.

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.

Tallebudgera Valley

Tallebudgera Valley, Gold Coast Area
Its formal name is Tallebudgera Valley but in true Aussie minimalist style, you'll probably hear locals around these parts refer to it as the Tally Valley. However you prefer to wrap your mouth around it, this lush valley at the back of Tallebudgera Beach leads you into emerald-green farmland and natural forests and the relaxed ambience for which the southern Gold Coast is renowned.

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.

Brisbane Lookout Mount Coot-tha

Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Brisbane will come at you with riverside vistas around almost every corner, but it takes a short drive from the city centre and a few twists and turns up Sir Samuel Griffith Scenic Drive to find the city's best angle.

Cod Hole Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Possibly the most well-known dive site in the world can be found roughly 96 kilometres north of Cairns, at Cod Hole. Part of the string of long narrow Ribbon Reefs, Cod Hole is home to a group of very friendly potato cod, reaching up to 100 kilograms, that have become accustomed to divers over the past 30 years.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef.

Tugun

Tugun, Gold Coast Area
Just when you thought the Gold Coast couldn't get any more relaxed you arrive over the hill and into Tugun. This southern Gold Coast suburb is so laid-back that locals fondly call her Tugz (pronounced choog-s) while ancient Aborigines referred to Tugun as a place of "breaking waves".

Milton

Milton, Brisbane Area
Milton is Icons and Espressos. Park Road is the original cafe strip, one of the first suburbs to undergo an urban revitalisation and credited with igniting Brisbane's love affair with exciting, individual villages.
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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).